Office chair buying guide

Posted by Furniturise (UK) on

Selecting the right office chair is vital, particularly as more and more of us spend increased amounts of time at our desks. We often spend even more time in our office chair than we do our bed, and it is so important to get it right. Whilst there can be no substitute for visiting a showroom and trying numerous chairs for comfort, often this is not practical.

So if you come to select an office chair for yourself and/or other members of your team, it is important to consider the ergonomic elements that will make the choice of chair adaptable to suit each individual user to their own needs.

The most important features that a good ergonomic chair will offer include:

  1. Seat height adjustment: a pneumatic adjustment lever is the most common, and simplest way of adjusting the seat height on an office chair. A seat height range of 400mm to 530mm is the standard to suit most individuals. If you or a member of your team finds the maximum height to be insufficient, it may well be possible to fit a taller gas stem on the chair. Ask your office chair supplier for details.

  2. Backrest: An ergonomic office chair should have a backrest of between 300mm – 500mm wide, preferably separate from the seat. It should have a height adjustment (often on a ratchet/wheel) and also have an adjustment on the angle, usually by means of a paddle, which will allow the angle to be “locked” or free-floating.

  3. Seat width and depth: a seat width of somewhere between 430mm and 510mm will cater for most users. Seat depths vary, but the user should be able to sit with his/her back against the backrest of the office chair, with a gap between his/her knee and the front of the seat of between 40mm – 80mm. Office chairs with a sliding seat offer versatility to adjust this element for users of various heights. The seat tilt (backward or forward) should also be adjustable.

  4. Lumbar support: Because the spine has an inward curve, having lower back support is very important in an office chair. Sitting with no lower back support often leads to adopting a “slouched” position, which can lead to damage within the structure of the lower spine. An adjustable lumbar function means that each user can achieve the proper fit to support the inward curve of the lower back.

  5. Fabric: of course fabrics and foams on all office chairs should be fire retardant and have a good Martindale (rub) resistance level. In addition, there should be sufficient padding so as to be comfortable and choosing a breathable cloth benefits the user by maintaining air flow around the body thus reducing the risks of sweating and subsequent discomfort.

  6. Arms: Arm rests should be at the right height for the user to be able to rest their arms comfortably whilst allowing the shoulders to remain relaxed. Adjustable armrests are preferable as clearly they offer more versatility for each user.

  7. Swivel action: an office chair should have a swivel action which allows easy rotation enabling the user to reach the extent of his/her desk without having to strain.

  8. Chair base: an office chair should have a five-star base, with strong (normally nylon) castors that allow easy movement within the vicinity of the desk. 

About Furniturise
Furniturise is an online store offering the latest office furniture designs focusing on ergonomics and well-being in the workplace & in the home office. Our mission is to provide a range of ergonomic office chairs and desking ranges that are affordable and comfortable. We believe in making your office the home of your business by combining ergonomics, value, quality and design.

Furniturise is a sister company of Century Office that has over 35 years' of experience in supplying office furniture and operates under the COE Group headquartered in Colchester, Essex. Furniturise provides the perfect solution for professionals working from home, as well as SMEs that operate from a small office space. For more information, visit 

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