Office and Desk Chairs

A desk chair for your office can impact your performance as well as your health and wellbeing. What should you look for BEFORE you buy?

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FACT: Selecting office and desk chairs has far-reaching consequences. 

Using the wrong desk chair in your home or work office can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing, as well as having a negative impact on your performance while you work or play.

For some time now, we have published a variety of Knowledge Articles to assist you in your purchasing journey. In this blog I will list those 10 articles that will give you a comprehensive understanding of the science behind sitting, chair design, your health and wellbeing while you sit, as well as the numerous features to consider BEFORE you buy a desk chair. 

10 Articles to read BEFORE you buy a new desk chair for your home or work office

1.  Breaking Back – What actually happens when you sit?

What it’s about:

According to statistics released by BigThink.com, professional office workers spend about 70 percent of their time sitting on a chair at their desk, while people like telemarketers spend nearly all their working hours sitting down. As discussed by the Victoria Department of Health, sitting still or in an awkward position for long periods can lead to cardiovascular, circulatory and musculoskeletal problems such as pain in your lower back, neck and shoulders. This article discusses what exactly happens to your body when you sit at a desk all day, and why choosing the right office chair is important.

How it will help:

Sitting all day can be detrimental to our long-term health. Following best ergonomic practices in the workplace can be highly beneficial. The first step is to invest in a good ergonomic or orthopedic office chair.

2.  What is an ergonomic office chair?

What it’s about:

There are many desk chairs available in South Africa, but what exactly is an ergonomic office chair, what features must it have and how do you make the right choice?

How it will help:

This is an in-depth article on what an ergonomic office chair really is. How to select the right chair from the multitude available requires an understanding of office ergonomics. The chair must have the necessary adjustment features for your workspace setup. A good office chair will only be of benefit to you if it has been adjusted to correctly match your desk, and your body shape.

3.  What is an orthopedic office chair?

What it’s about:

Do you find that after a day’s work your back aches and your neck and shoulders are stiff and sore? People may tell you that you need an ergonomic or orthopedic office chair to deal with these challenges. What is an orthopedic office chair and how does it differ from its ergonomic counterpart? What is the best office chair for medical conditions like sciatica?

How it will help:

In this article, we define both chair types and highlight their differences. We then provide guidelines to assist you in selecting the right office chair and deciding which is best for medical conditions such as sciatica.

4.  How are office chairs designed?

What it’s about:

The design of a modern high-back office chair may have a profound impact on your health and wellbeing. The ergonomic functionality of your desk chair should be the first and most important aspect to consider when you buy a new chair for your work or home office. In this article we focus on the design of an office chair.

How it will help:

We are all built differently. There is no one chair design that will be a good fit for all of us. With such a large selection of office chairs available, this article will help you understand how they are designed.

5.  Why does the chair you select depend on the type of work you do?

What it’s about:

The work you do determines the type of chair you need. This may sound obvious, but it is an often neglected first step in selecting a new chair. Working on a computer at a desk in an office requires a totally different chair to someone working on an assembly line or medical facility, laboratory, or call center. How do you go about selecting the best work chair? 

How it will help:

If you work in an environment that requires you to sit down, make sure you get the right TYPE of chair for the work you do. 

6.  We are all different, so how do I select an office chair?

What it’s about:

We often get asked, What is the right ergonomic desk chair for my office?” or “How do I choose the right office chair?”  These are tough questions without easy answers and the reason is simple: choosing a comfortable office chair is highly subjective. We are all different and there is no, and never will be, a one-size-fits-all.

How it will help:

The goal of this article is to help you understand the differences between office chairs and assist you in choosing the perfect desk chair. To achieve this goal, we have analysed the body shapes of various people within the Karo team, and then asked them what their favourite chair is, and why.

7.  Why is it important to have a fully adjustable office chair behind your desk or workstation?

What it’s about:

We are all different and no two people have the exact same body shape and size. An office chair that is comfortable for one person may be totally uncomfortable for someone else. To accommodate our different body shapes, the design of modern office chairs includes greater adjustability. Today, high-end office chairs are fully adjustable and can be altered to accommodate almost every body shape and size. 

How it will help:

Having a variety of adjustable functions reduces the likelihood of health problems that are commonly caused by sitting on a chair that doesn’t suit or fit your body. This article will detail the adjustable features that any good office chair should include. 

8.  Why is the back support on an office chair so important?

What it’s about:

One of the most important features to look for when selecting an office chair is lower back, or lumbar support. Ergonomic office and desk chairs are fitted with back supports that range from multi-adjustable backrests to portable lumbar cushions that are attached to the chair by means of a strap. Sitting for long periods on a chair with poor back support increases the stress in the lumbosacral discs, resulting in pain and discomfort in the lower back. 

How it will help:

This article discusses why back support is important, what options are available on office chairs, and finally, how to avoid developing or aggravating back problems.

9.  What is the difference between office chair swivel mechanisms and why is this important?

What it’s about:

A chair mechanism allows you to personalise your seat position for optimal comfort and support.  Most types of office chair mechanisms have multiple adjustment levers and knobs which control the various movements, namely, seat height, backrest tilt, seat tilt, tilt tension, and seat depth. There are different types of office chair mechanisms available, but how do they work and what is the difference between them?

How it will help:

This article takes a look at all the major office chair mechanism types and discusses their differences. We also look at how the chair mechanism influences both static and dynamic sitting.

10.  What types of office chair armrests are available, and which is best for working at a desk or workbench?

What it’s about:

Armrests support your arms while you are working. When shopping for a new desk chair for your work or home office, there are a lot of different features to consider, including the type of armrests. What options are available, how do they work and are they necessary?

How it will help:

This article will help you understand the differences between the armrests and why they are not required for certain types of work.

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