It is vital to choose a comfortable office chair because we spend an average of 9.3 hours a day sitting, more than we spend sleeping (7.7 hours a day). Sitting is not natural for humans, which in the long run damages our bodies and puts our health at risk. In order to avoid many illnesses such as chronic back pain, it is important to choose a comfortable office chair. A good office chair should be comfortable and ergonomic. So we have put together this short guide to help you select the best office chair for you and your body type, one that you will spend a lot of time with.
Our experience with new and used chairs has given us the opportunity to test many models from different manufacturers, including the following chair models:
Steps to choosing an ergonomic office chair
Step 1: Get the right position
An ergonomic position is first and foremost a dynamic posture that allows movement. Mobility in the office chair promotes blood circulation. Regularly leaning backwards reduces pressure on the intervertebral discs and relieves muscle tension.
Some key points in the sitting position :
- Keep the distance between your eyes and your screen greater than 40 cm
- Place your back against the backrest to take advantage of the curves provided for this purpose
- Adjust the height of the backrest to support the lumbar region and pelvis
- Sit at the back of the seat to use the support of the backrest
- Place your forearms horizontally, with the elbow forming a 90° angle
- Maintain a minimum 90° angle at the knees to avoid pressure on the popliteal fossa. The distance between the knees and the desk should be about 10 cm
- Place your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest if necessary.
Step 2: Take into account your body shape
A good office chair must above all correspond to the user’s morphology, taking into account any back or blood circulation problems. So, for an ergonomic office chair to limit back pain as much as possible, there are several criteria:
The seat of the office chair
The seat should be slightly downwards. If the seat is straight, it is bad for the circulation of the legs. A sloping seat ensures that the vertebrae are supported, as many of them have shock absorbers.
The back of the office chair
The backrest of the chair should be enveloping. The narrower it is, the less comfortable you will be. The more the backrest supports your back, the more comfortable the office chair will be.
Add armrests to your office chair
An office chair with armrests is more comfortable than a chair without armrests. Armrests help to relieve the muscles of the upper body. There are different types of armrests to suit different user profiles. Therefore, for an ergonomic office chair it is preferable that the armrests are adjustable: at least in height and if possible in other dimensions: forward/backward and left/right translation, pivot.
Third step: take into account the length of time you will be using the chair
Sitting for long periods of time can lead to multiple back problems. That is why it is important to choose your model according to how long you will use it. Here are the types of ergonomic office chairs recommended according to the daily duration of use:
Go for a “standard” type mechanism.
The backrest is fixed, the seat is adjustable in height.
Go for a “permanent contact” type mechanism. The backrest of the office chair follows your movements and remains in “permanent contact” with your back. It can also be locked in the desired position. The backrest pressure can be adjusted to suit your body type and weight. The seat remains fixed.
The backrest and seat tilt at a constant angle to support and cushion your movements.
Go for a “synchronous” type mechanism. In a synchronous office chair, the backrest and seat tilt in a ratio that always provides optimum comfort. The backrest pressure can be adjusted to suit your body type and weight. An anti-return safety system prevents any impact on the spine.
You can also choose a “tilt and shift” mechanism. The same characteristics as the centred tilting mechanism with the added advantage that the axis of rotation is moved forward, allowing the feet to remain in contact with the ground whatever the extent of the swing.
Step 4: Engage in physical activity
We end our guide with this fourth step because, as we said in the introduction, we are not meant to sit. It is therefore important to be physically active on a regular basis (about 30 minutes a day) to limit the health problems associated with our modern lifestyles. So get your trainers!
But which ergonomic office chair should you choose?
To give you an idea of what an ergonomic chair actually has to offer, here are the features and prices of a selection of three iconic and successful ergonomic office chairs. These three work chairs represent the best office chairs on the market.
As Herman Miller is the leading brand in ergonomics, the office chairs shown below can be a real investment. That’s why at Adopte Un bureau, you have the choice of used office chairs. As an authorised Herman Miller dealer, we refurbish all Herman Miller chairs to near new condition.
Similar in their settings, these three ergonomic office chairs are suitable for intensive and/or daily use (<6h) :
- To suit both young and old, the seat height is adjustable.
- The backrest can be locked in several positions and the tension of the backrest can be adjusted to suit the different work phases.
- Armrest height adjustment for the Aeron Classic and Sayl; height, depth and orientation adjustment for the Remastered and Sayl
- Front tilt option that accompanies the user’s back to maintain back support. Recommended when working slightly forward (e.g. when concentrating on the computer)
The Aeron Classic by Herman Miller
The Aeron ergonomic office chair combines an in-depth knowledge of human-centred design with state-of-the-art technology. With over 7 million units sold, the Herman Miller Aeron task chair remains the benchmark for ergonomic comfort more than 20 years after its debut.
The Aeron is the only chair to come in a range of sizes. This means that it can be adapted as closely as possible to all body types. Both tall and short people will be happy with it.
Only available second hand, the prices of the “original Aeron chair” vary between 490 and 710€ HT depending on the options.
The Aeron Remastered by Herman Miller
The new Aeron chair has everything in appearance of the Aeron Classic. But in reality, everything has been rethought and redesigned to take into account new advances in ergonomics and technology.
What does the Remastered version of the Aeron chair change for the user? More intuitive settings, easier adaptability to the user.
Like its “parent”, the Aeron Remastered is designed for all body shapes (sizes A, B and C) and is ideal for long-term use. An ergonomic office chair that is comfortable even for tall people.
The new version of the Aeron at a price of 1515€ excl. tax is guaranteed for 12 years and Adopte Un Bureau ensures its repurchase at the end of use.
For more information the Aeron Remastered product sheet is available on our website.
The Sayl by Herman Miller
Finally, the Sayl, with its design inspired by the Golden Gate in San Francisco, is the Herman Miller chair with the best quality/drawing/price ratio.
Yves Béhar has designed the backrest without a frame, a clever suspension system that offers great freedom of movement.
Available new or used, it is the most affordable of the Herman Miller ergonomic chairs.