Basic criteria for choosing an office chair
There are a wide variety of office chairs on the market, but which is best suited to your needs? In this guide, we’ll offer you a few basic tips that we hope will help you make your decision. Let’s get started!
A chair for professional or domestic use?
Office chairs can be separated into two main categories according to their use: chairs for professional use and chairs for domestic use. One of the key decisions you’ll need to consider before choosing a chair is which type will best suit your needs.
Chairs for domestic use are perfect for working at home, for use as a desk chair or in a home office, but are not designed for prolonged use. These are quite simple chairs, with few adjustment mechanisms and which can be found in large supermarkets and home-furnishing shops.
These office chairs can be an attractive choice, particularly from an economic point of view, – but also from a design perspective, as the appearance of these chairs is an important element and they are usually available in a wide range of colours and designs.
The comfort and variety of adjustments offered with this type of chair is generally quite limited, but if you intend to use them quite infrequently (for around four hours a day) and don’t want to invest too much money, this may be a good option to consider.
The key characteristics you’ll find in home office chairs are:
· Height adjustment through a gas-lift piston.
· Armrests are usually fixed, without any lumbar support.
· Tilt-tension control.
· Equipped with a tilt mechanism or standard mechanism.
Wide variety of colours and designs
Not recommend for prolonged workdays.
Limited adjustment capabilities and less comfort.
On the other hand, we have chairs for professional or intensive use. These are the office chairs found in the majority of companies, although with more and more people working from home, it’s increasingly common to find these not just in office environments, but for domestic use in homes.
One of the main differences are their components and materials, which are of a higher quality as they need to withstand more wear than domestic-use chairs, allowing for longer working days of 8 hours or more.
In general, chairs for professional use cost more than chairs for domestic use, given that – as we previously noted – their materials and components are of a higher quality. Some manufacturers confuse users by selling domestic-use chairs as professional chairs: a good trick to distinguish them is by checking their certifications – professional chairs will be Aenor EN1335:1,2: 2019 certified as professional-use chairs.
Among the range of professional office chairs, you’ll find ergonomic office chairs which include a greater number of adjustments than traditional office chairs. What makes this type of chair special is that it can adapt to the movements of your body, reducing fatigue and stress and even increasing productivity. For this reason, they’re particularly recommended in the professional world, as working days become longer and longer.
Sin duda es aconsejable invertir en sillas de oficina más sofisticadas. Invertir en una buena silla ergonómica es invertir en salud y además puede ayudarnos a mejorar nuestra eficacia en el trabajo diario.
Without a doubt, it’s a good idea to invest in more sophisticated office chairs. Investing in a good ergonomic chair means investing in your health, and can help you to improve your efficiency throughout your daily work.
The key characteristics you’ll find in professional office chairs are:
· Synchronised or relaxed tilt mechanisms.
· Adjustable armrests.
· Seats with dynamic support.
· Wide range of options for adjustment, both on the back and for lumbar support and the seat itself.
Better quality and comfort.
Wide variety of adjustments.
Less exciting designs.
Elegir el mecanismo adecuado
Another of the most important aspects when it comes to choosing an office chair is the type of mechanism. There are a wide variety of mechanisms for office chairs: some offer a wide range of adjustments, while others are more limited, and some are more specifically designed for certain types of work.
If you want more information about the different types of mechanisms available on the market, we encourage you to read this article: types of mechanisms for office chairs
We recommend that the mechanism features at least one locking position, so you can work more comfortably with the backrest fixed rather than constantly tilting. If this is not possible, you can adjust tilting with the tension regulator underneath the seat – but make sure that the office chair you’ve chosen offers at least one of these options.
The chair’s height setting is another aspect to consider, as not everyone is the same and not all office desks have the same work-surface height. For this, it’s very important that your chair includes height adjustment in order to work comfortably, with both feet on the floor at a 90 degree angle.
Types of armrests
Por otro lado, los brazos en cualquier silla de oficina también son muy necesarios. Dotar a una silla de brazos permite reducir la tensión que sufre el usuario a nivel de codos, omoplatos y espalda. Diferentes estudios de ergonomía avalan que trabajar con los brazos apoyados aligerar la carga de los discos vertebrales ayudando a mantener una postura más saludable.
Office chair arms can be divided into two groups: fixed armrests and adjustable armrests. Whenever possible, we advise you to buy chairs with adjustable armrests, as these will adapt better to the way you work and avoid having these bump into the edge of the table.
There are also a wide variety of adjustable armrests according to the level of adjustability offered. The simplest adjustable armrests are one-dimensional, allowing the user to adjust the height. There are other much more sophisticated armrests, found mainly on ergonomic chairs, which allow you to adjust the armrest in four dimensions (height, angle, width and depth).
The importance of headrests
Whether you’re tall or short, we always advise buying a chair with a headrest. This can either be integrated into the backrest itself, or included as a separate element – either way, we always recommend making sure that your chair includes support to rest your head on while sitting down. Thanks to headrests, we can ensure a much more complete sitting position, relieving pressure from the neck and shoulders.
On the other hand, the backrest must allow you to position your back correctly, without the edge of the seat pressing on the back of the legs. The height of the seat and the angle of the backrest should be adjustable from a seated position, without the need to stand up to adjust any mechanisms.
Some new-generation gaming chairs feature armrests that can be adjusted in up to five dimensions. This is a highly innovative characteristic that allows players to bend the arm, making it easier to handle controls.
Another crucial characteristic for any office chair is the headrest. Many people believe that headrests are only required for tall people, but we at Ofichairs assure you that this is entirely untrue. What’s certain is that making use of a headrest when seated will allow you to work in a much more healthy way.
Castors suited to the workplace floor
Another very important aspect – which is often neglected – is the type of castor included. It’s vital that your office chair has good castors in order to work more dynamically, making it easier to move around.
We also recommend that these are suited to the type of surface on which they will be used. Hard-rolling castors are better suited to hard, tile-like surfaces. Soft-rolling castors are better for more delicate tiled surfaces or carpets, as they leave less marks. You’ll find castors with a diameter of 50, 60 or 65 mm – this is largely an aesthetic aspect, as a larger castor isn’t necessarily better than a smaller one.
Nylon or aluminium bases
In general, office chairs use five-spoke bases as they offer greater stability for users. Various types of bases are available, differing mainly in the material used for their production, and falling into three categories: nylon, metal or aluminium bases.
Many people believe that metal or aluminium bases are more resistant than nylon. Although this is sometimes true, it’s not always the case. Of course, metal bases are usually more resistant, but nowadays we can also find glass-fibre nylon bases, which offer greater resistance.
High-end chairs normally feature aluminium bases. Aluminium is a fine and very resistant material which is much lighter than iron, allowing users to move the chair around much more easily, while still offering very high resistance.
That’s the end of our basic guide on how to choose the right office chair – we hope that it will come in handy for you when choosing your future office chair. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via chat, email or through social networks. We’ll be delighted to help you.