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Malaysia Office Furniture - Choosing The Right Ergonomic Office Chair

By Thomas Teo

Ergonomics is a means of providing an enabling environment that best facilitates employees' performance and general productivity. Finding the right office chair for your body is important for your health and work productivity. There are some of the most important elements to consider when choosing the right ergonomic office chair.


Seat Pan

There should be enough hip room to accommodate you comfortably. Your body's dimension can be a good gauge when choosing an ergonomic office chair. A width of 17-20 inches is standard. It should not be narrow that you are unable to shift with ease or so wide that you cannot rest your arms on the armrests without stretching them out to the side. A proper seat depth is able to provide adequate support under your thighs whilst allowing you to utilize the lumber curve of the chair. A seat slider enables you to adjust the seat forward or backward to suit your leg length. If a seat is too long, there will be discomfort as the edge of the seat presses into the back of your legs. You will be inclined to prop forward, which then results in straining your back and legs. It is good to keep a 3-finger gap between the back of your knees and the front edge of the seat.


Seat Height

Choose an ergonomic office chair with pneumatic height adjustment, so even when you are seated, you can adjust the chair's height according to yours. An ideal sitting position is when your thighs are parallel to the ground with your feet flat on the floor or footrest. Your forearms should also be parallel to the work surface. Make sure that the positioning is neither too high nor too low. The former can hinder your blood circulation while the latter shifts your body weight back, putting pressure on your sitting bones.


Lumbar Support

This is the lower back seat curvature designed to support your lumbar spine. It is the most essential feature of an ergonomic office chair to help reduce strain on your lower spine and promotes good posture, especially for those who sit in the chair all day. Unfortunately, one size does not fit all. You may need a support adjustable in depth and height to best fit your lower back shape.


Backrest

There are 2 types of chair backrest – mid-backrest which allows for upper-torso movement, and high-backrest which supports your shoulder blades. An excellent ergonomic office chair has great flexibility, enabling you to recline and achieve dynamic postures. This can transfer some of your upper body weight to the backrest of the chair and improve back comfort.


Armrests

Armrests should be broad, cushioned and at a height where you can rest your forearms without elevating or hunching your shoulders. With pivoting armrests, you can better relax your neck and shoulder muscles regardless of your body size. In addition, swing-back armrest adjustability is useful to complement various desk layouts and tasks.


Mobility

It is essential that your office chair allow you free movement in your work space. Go for one that has a 5-pedestal base with casters that glide freely over the floor surface. A 4-spoke base tends to tip and lean. If you work at a larger desk, a 360° swiveling seat will be best for you to reach all areas of your workstation conveniently.


Seat Material

Chairs can be covered in a variety of upholstery materials, the material on the chair seat and back should be padded to ensure comfort when used for extended periods of time. Having a cloth fabric that breathes is preferable to a harder surface, so that the seat does not heat up considerable amount of moisture beneath your thighs. The chair should have contoured cushions to maximize weight support and distribution. It is also wise to consider the maintenance issue of every unique material when deciding on an ergonomic office chair.


Headrest and Footrest

A headrest is designed to relieve the tension that the weight of the head places on the neck. It is necessary for anyone with a preexisting neck issue. Meanwhile, if you desire a footrest, choose a free-standing floor-mounted support that allows you to rest your feet out with comfort.

A good chair is an investment in comfort, productivity, and personal health. Take your time and always feel free to ask an expert for insights before picking an ergonomic office chair.