What are the features of a good ergonomic chair?

By Michael Aust | Last updated: January 17, 2019

The most basic and common features of a good ergonomic chair to consider when purchasing an ergonomic chair include the following:

  • Height range of the chair seat can accommodate the height recommended for the persons who will be using the chair. A general rule is for the seat height to be about one quarter of the body height of the user. A seat height that falls within the range of 16 to 21 inches from the floor is appropriate for the majority of workers.
  • Adequate seat depth to accommodate leg and knee clearance for tall and short height users should be present. A seated worker should be able to have their back resting on the back rest while their legs have between 2 and 4 inches of space behind the back of the knees before the front of the chair begins.
  • A backrest that is adjustable both vertically as well as for the frontward and backward direction to provide lumbar support. The backrest should be between 11 and 20 inches wide.
  • 5 point base to provide chair stability.
  • Ease of chair mobility. If casters are to be used, make sure they match to the type of flooring the chair rests on. For example, nylon casters are best used for carpet. Urethane casters are best used for hard surface floors. The mobility of the chair should swivel with ease so the user can reach different areas of the workstation without an effort that may cause strain.
  • Arm rests with adjustable heights. The arm rests should allow the user to relax their shoulders when resting their arms.
  • Seat and back material should be appropriate. The material of the seat and back should have cloth padding to make it comfortable for the user to sit for long period of time.
  • Choice between wide and narrow arm rests for user comfort is preferble.

While choosing a good ergonomic chair, always keep in mind that one chair does not meet all the needs of every user. This is why having so many adjustable features are important to accommodate a wide range of users dimensions such as body weight, height, width. Also, consider maintenance and repair costs of the chair that you do purchase. Read the manufacturers instructions for frequency of chair inspections and how to conduct inspections.

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