Picking The Perfect Desk Chair: A How-To Guide
If you’ve ever sat in front of a computer for any length of time, you probably already appreciate the difference a good desk chair can make. Besides the obvious benefit of just being more comfortable, a chair that fits you correctly comes with many other highly desirable benefits that you may never have even thought of. Things such as improved posture, decreased neck and back pain, a reduction in headaches, reduced physical and mental stress, improved concentration, and even increased productivity can all be yours with the right chair. Pretty awesome, right?
But wait! Before you go rushing out the door in search of a new chair, you need to make sure you know what you’re looking for. Fortunately, today I’m going to share with you exactly what you need to look for in order to find your perfect chair.
How To Pick Out Your Perfect Desk Chair
When searching for a new chair it may seem that there are about as many options available as there are stars in the sky. Obviously, sorting through all of these options can seem like a daunting task. However, by knowing what to look for, you can very quickly narrow down your selection to a handful of chairs that would work best for you.
Below are a few tips that can quickly help you narrow down your selection.
With prices ranging from under $100 to well into the thousands, you should always start by having an idea of how much you have available to invest in your new chair. However, don’t get caught in the trap of assuming a higher priced chair is automatically going to be better for you. I’ve sat in quite a few expensive chairs that I personally thought were uncomfortable. Often, you can find a chair that fits your needs at the lower end of the pricing spectrum.
Don’t get caught in the trap of assuming a higher priced chair is automatically going to be better for you.
That being said, you’ll typically want to avoid options at the lowest end of the spectrum as they typically lack important features that are essential for making it the perfect chair for you.
Once you determine your price range the next step is finding a chair in that range that, at the very least, feels comfortable to you. Sounds obvious I know. But this is a very important step and why I never recommend purchasing a chair without actually “test driving” it first. Yes, I mean you really need to sit down in it and spend a few minutes their mimicking activities you perform on a regular basis.
Trust me, it’s better to find out you don’t like a particular feature of a chair now rather than after it’s been unwrapped and assembled at your desk. Don’t assume that just because a chair has a zillion five star reviews online that it’s a good chair for you.
Here are a few things to look at when considering the fit of a desk chair:
1) Does it feel comfortable? This again is really important. If you can’t get the chair to feel comfortable when sitting in it for just a few seconds then it’s probably not going to feel good after sitting in it for an entire day.
2) Are you able to rest your feet flat on the floor when fully seated back into the chair? If not, but you really like the chair, you’ll also want to consider investing in an adjustable foot rest. What kind do I recommend? Honestly, it’s personal preference kind of a thing. You can check out some options below.
3) Is there two to three inches of space between the edge of the seat pan (the part you sit on) and the back of your lower legs when fully seated back into the chair? This is important as a chair that pushes into the back of your legs can impede circulation, which is obviously a bad thing.
4) Do the arm rests go low enough so that your elbows can rest at ninety degrees and your shoulders can stay relaxed away from your ears when typing? Hunched shoulders can lead to excessive neck tension and headaches.
5) Does it support your lower back? This is extremely important. A chair that doesn’t adequately support your lower back will lead to a whole host of unwanted problems. Fortunately, this feature can easily be added, or modified, by purchasing a separate back support that you can strap to your chair. Personally, I recommend Fellowes Professional Series Back Support as it offers great support and stays in place really well. However, there are many other types of supports that can, and will, do the job.
If you have followed the first two steps then you’ve most likely already narrowed down your options to just a handful of chairs that will do the job. From here, it’s all about adjustable features. Unless there’s one chair that really stands out in terms of comfort, then your deciding factor at this point should be which chair give you the most options for creating the ideal fit.
For example, are the arm rests adjustable? Can you alter the height of the chair? Is the depth of the seat pan (the part you sit on) adjustable? The more features you can adjust to fit your needs the more likely you’ll consider this your perfect chair.
The more features you can adjust to fit your needs the more likely you’ll consider this your perfect chair.
The Above Steps In Action
I wanted to share with you my recent experience searching for a new chair so you could see how simple the process could be.
Step #1: I started by asking myself how much I was willing to invest in a new chair. I really didn’t feel like spending too much money so I set the bar at $200. (Trust me. You can find some really nice chairs for under $200).
Step #2: Next, I drove to a Staples store located pretty close to where I live and proceeded to sit in every chair that was priced at or below $200. These two steps quickly narrowed down my selection to three chairs that would potentially work for me.
Step #3: I then sat in each of my top three chairs for a few minutes to see if they were still comfortable after sitting in them for some time. This narrowed my selection down to two chairs.
Step #4: Finally, I considered what adjustable features the last two remaining chairs had. I noticed right away that one of the chairs I liked had adjustable arm rests and the other did not. Because I had liked them both equally at that point, I decided to go with the one that had the adjustable arm rest because it gave me an even greater ability to make it my perfect chair.
And that was it. I brought it home and am happy to report that I am currently seated very comfortably while typing up this post for you. However, that’s not even the best part.
The Best Part
The chair was listed at only $100. So I was already happy because it was way less than what I had been willing to spend. At checkout, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the chair was on sale that day for only $50! So, yes, I found a great chair for only $50. Had I not followed my own advice, I could have easily spent $200 or more on a chair that I may not have liked at all, simply because it “looked cool”.
Not only did the above steps help me find a great chair at a great price, it also helped save me a tremendous amount of time and frustration. The more closely you follow the above steps the more likely you are to find your perfect chair.
Do you have any advice for someone looking for a new chair? Please share.
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