New reports show that over two-thirds of Australians work from home at least one day per week. Are you one of them?
Do you also, like 3.7 million Australians, struggle with back problems on a regular basis?
If so, the chair in your home office could be part of the problem. Most of us spend the majority of our workday, whether we work at home or in a traditional office, sitting hunched over a computer. This wreaks havoc on our backs and increases our pain and discomfort.
If you’re looking to make your workspace a bit more ergonomic, keep reading. Listed below are some tips to help you find the best ergonomic chair for your home office.
- 1 Benefits of Ergonomic Chairs
- 2 How to Find the Best Ergonomic Chair
- 3 How to Make Your Home Office More Ergonomic
- 4 Looking for More Work from Home Tips?
Benefits of Ergonomic Chairs
At this point, you might be thinking, “What’s so great about an ergonomic chair?”
The term “ergonomic” might seem like a fancy marketing ploy at first. But, there are actually a lot of benefits that come with using these chairs, whether you have a work-from-home job or regular office job.
The following are some specific benefits of ergonomic chairs:
- Improved posture, which minimizes back pain and neck pain
- Improved productivity as a result of reduced pain and discomfort
- Improved wellness and job satisfaction
- Reduced sick days
- Reduced stress
Ergonomic chairs also tend to last longer than regular office chairs. This means less waste and fewer chairs ending up in landfills.
How to Find the Best Ergonomic Chair
Okay, you’re convinced that an ergonomic chair might be a good idea. But, how do you go about finding a good one? Start by looking for the following features:
It should be easy to adjust the height of your office chair. Generally speaking, most people do best with a chair that can adjust from 16-21 inches off the floor.
How can you tell if your chair is the correct height? Make sure your feet can rest flat on the floor. Your thighs should also be parallel to the floor.
Seat Depth and Width
The seat of your chair should also be the right depth and width. What does this look like?
Your seat should be deep enough for you to sit with your back flat against the backrest while still leaving between two and four inches between the edge of the seat and the backs of your knees.
Standard seat width is somewhere between 17 and 20 inches. This works well for most people.
You should also check to make sure your seat can be adjusted to tilt forward or backward.
Make sure the backrest of the chair is wide enough (between 12 and 19 inches is great). If the backrest is separate from the rest of the chair, you should be able to adjust its height and angle. You should also be able to easily adjust it forward and backward.
Lumbar support is especially important for those who want a more ergonomic office space.
Make sure the chair has a lumbar adjustment that can be adjusted to mimic the natural curve of your spine. Ideally, you will be able to adjust both the height and depth of this adjustment.
Most people don’t give much thought to the armrests of their office chair, but they can make a huge difference to your overall comfort. Look for a chair with adjustable armrests.
You should be able to sit with your arms parallel to your shins with your shoulders relaxed. The forearms should not rest on the armrest while you type, either.
Lots of people hurt their backs twisting in their chair to reach something above or below their desk. To avoid this, make sure your office chair easily swivels and rotates from side to side.
Finally, consider the seat material. It should be breathable and have enough padding to keep you comfortable while sitting for extended periods of time.
How to Make Your Home Office More Ergonomic
Once you’ve upgraded your office chair, you might be interested in switching out some of your other pieces of office furniture.
If you want to make your whole home office more ergonomic, consider starting with the following changes:
Rearrange Your Desk
You don’t necessarily have to buy anything new to make your office more ergonomic. Start by simply rearranging your desk.
Gather the objects you use most often — your phone, keyboard, mouse, etc., — and arrange them so that they’re within easy reach. That way, you’ll minimize the amount of reaching and straining you have to do while sitting at your desk.
Adjust Your Computer Monitor
Raise up your computer monitor, too. It should be at eye level. If you have to constantly crane your neck while typing, you’re likely going to end up with headaches, neck pain, and back pain.
Invest in a Footrest
If your feet cannot rest comfortably on the floor, even when your chair is lowered as much as possible, you might want to invest in a footrest. You can also fashion your own out of a stack of books or an overturned box.
Upgrade Your Desk
Check to make sure your knees fit comfortably under your desk. If they don’t, you may need to upgrade to ensure there’s plenty of space.
If you can’t get a new desk, you might also want to try raising it up on blocks or sturdy boards to make more room for your knees. If it’s too high, raise your chair up and use a footrest.
Looking for More Work from Home Tips?
Now that you know how to find the best ergonomic chair for your home office, it’s time to go out and start shopping.
While you’re at it, you might want to look for some other ergonomic office furniture to take your workspace to the next level. After all, the more comfortable you are in your home office, the more productive you’ll be.
Once you’ve upgraded your office furniture, you might even find that you want to do more work from home than you did before.
Are you interested in learning about new ways to earn money from home? If so, check out our Ultimate Guide on How to Work from Home. It’s full of helpful tips you can utilize to increase your income without leaving the house!