Ergonomic chairs are designed specifically to provide support to areas such as the lower back to prevent slouching and incorrect posture that could add extra strain to your spine. They are primarily designed for those who spend more than an hour sitting at a computer every day, and especially for those who work at a computer for eight hours a day or more as part of their job.
A good ergonomic chair is comfortable, provides adequate support, is adjustable and allows for a wide range of movements. A good chair will have armrests that can adjust to allow many positions, and the ability to swivel, allowing movement without strain. Proper chairs will adjust to accommodate a variety of heights, sizes, body types and work arrangements. The key purpose of these chairs is to ensure proper support and promote a healthy sitting position.
Different Kinds and Styles
There are a wide variety of ergonomic chairs available, both in design and price. The majority of chairs will include basic back support and a good amount of cushioning and flexibility, but other chairs will have higher backs, more defined armrests and a wider range of adjustability. Different forms range from the typical user's chair to executive and manager-type chairs.
Higher-backed chairs offer additional support to the shoulder blades and the middle back, while some chairs even have an additional section dedicated to giving the neck a place to rest. Many chairs with this addition are more expensive and are not always necessary. A reasonable price to pay for a quality chair would be between $200 and $700, depending on how much you'd like to spend. Note that some prices can be influenced mainly by the materials used and by demand for the specific product.
Choosing a Chair
There are a few factors to consider when choosing a chair. Many chairs have vertical adjusters, but if you have to adjust it too much, it probably isn't the right kind for you. The height and back should be adjusted so you sit straight up comfortably, with your feet flat on the floor. Armrests should be at a height that allow your arms and shoulders to rest comfortably without drooping or being raised too high.
The best way to find a chair that suits you best is to try them out. Many stores like Staples, Office Max and Office Depot will have a section dedicated to office furniture, and you can test out many of the chairs currently in stock. If you are unable to test a chair before you buy, consider looking up measurements, details and customer reviews online.
While it's important to have a good chair to take care of your back, there is no greater aid than self-awareness. Give yourself some break time every so often. Take a few minutes to walk around and stretch every hour, and remember that any additional time away from sitting down is helpful.
Regardless of whether or not you have a good ergonomic chair, take care of yourself. If you start or continue to experience back pains, see a doctor.