We have tips for selecting ergonomic computer seating. Key elements to look for in a new ergonomic office chair are:
- Adjustable Seat Height – Make sure you can adjust your seat low enough so that your feet are 100% flat on the floor. Minimize the pressure between the seat and your thighs. Better chairs are available with different sized height cylinders.
- Arms – We recommend you avoid arm rests. Some people have developed problems with them.
- Backrest height and angle Adjustability – People who sit upright should select a short back rest. Those who recline or have slouching problems should consider a tall backrest. The backrest should be narrow enough so that your elbows don’t hit it when you are using the computer. Set the backrest height so that it supports your lower back, while still allowing you to swivel. The chair in the picture above is a special ergonomic chair with a pear shaped rest designed to allow your elbows, maximum clearance.
- Chair Recline – A well designed chair will allow you to recline it and adjust the amount of play.
- Seat pan Adjustability along with angle – Make sure that you can push the seat back towards the backrest so that you have one two four inches of space between it and the back of your leg.
- Lumbar support and Adjustability – Better chairs have adjusters to support your lumbar region.
- Seat type and size – More advanced chairs have different sized seats. Smaller folks should purchase smaller seats, those with wide hips or heavier weight should opt for a more supportive material. Different types of fabric and cushioning are sometimes also available.
The most challenging chairs to find are those for women and shorter individuals. Seat depth is extremely important for these people as is back rest height.
Office Chair Armrests
I have had problems with arm rests on chairs in the past. Typing with arms on an arm rest lead to some problems. Newer armrests may have addressed some of the problems. Soft material on the armrest that prevents a pinch point, should be sought after. I ditched my arms on my ergonomic computer chair and tried to use a special Morency ergonomic wrist rest recommended by my ergonomics consultant. This wrist rest help support the weight of my arms, preventing my shoulder and elbows from being locked into a single position of support. In the end it didn’t work out with my injury, but may for you.
You may need to go to a computer chair or ergonomics specialty store and not an office product super store to find your optimal ergonomic office chair. Try an ergonomic chair before you buy it.
Office Master Chairs
Office Master makes the Discovery DB96 computer chair that I use. It has a unique pear shaped back shape that forces me to sit correctly. It is also fully adjustable with its numerous paddles. Check it out at your local specialty office supply store, as fit is extremely important and varies from person to person.
After being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, I realized a high back chair worked better for me. I could tell when I slouched, as my head would stop touching the back rest. Soma chairs makes some highly customizable ergonomic office chairs. They are expensive but worth it.
Above all, it is important to sit upright, and not to slouch. Slouching can cause undue strain to be applied on your hands.
Back Joy is an interesting device that forces you to sit up straight.