Self Management

Ergonomic Office Chair Buying Tips and Guide


  • For a chair to be ergonomic, a backrest should be 12” to 19” wide.
  • Include a tilt mechanism, which will allow the backrest to maintain lumbar support when you move
  • Seat pan: with a 1” space on either side, and deep enough to allow 2” to 4” of space between the back of the knees
  • To ensure proper circulation, the seat should have a rounded or waterfall edge, which means that it will slope slightly downward to help relieve pressure on the back of the thighs.
  • For ultimate comfort, select padded armrests.
  • Select an extra-wide base
  • locking casters to immobilize the chair. Use hard casters for carpeting and soft or rubber-coated casters on a hardwood floor


High back office chairs (known as executive chairs)

  • high enough to support upper back, and both the neck and head
  • relieves tension in the lower back, preventing long term strain
  • pillow back style of built-in lumbar support specifically designed to relieve lower back stress
  • can include waterfall seat fronts

Mid-back office chair

  • offers support to the mid-to-upper back region
  • pillow back style of built-in lumbar support specifically designed to relieve lower back stress
  • can include waterfall seat fronts

Low back office chairs

  • supports the lower-to-mid back region
  • can feature tilt tension control and pneumatic seat height adjustment

Fabric office chairs

  • select a heavy weight fabric that is durable and easy to clean, to extend the longevity of your fabric office chair
  • Check product descriptions to see if a stain-resistant coating has been applied to the fabric
  • To maximize your comfort, especially if you will be sitting in the chair for long periods of time, choose a breathable fabric

Leather office chair

  • They look sleek and feel comfortable
  • Leather office chairs can range from simple stitched detail, button-tufted styling, tailored leather padding to ribbed back and seat
  • A leather office chair does require regular care and maintenance to keep it soft and supple
  • is prone to minor wear and blemishes with daily use

Vinyl office chairs

  • look like leather, but are more economical and easier to care for
  • Many models offer similar details, such as button-tufted styling found in high-end leather chairs
  • manufacturers provide vinyl seating with an anti-bacterial, anti-microbial coating; perfect for easy maintenance in high-use work settings or high traffic areas

Mesh office chairs

  • are breathable, allowing air to flow through
  • Some types of these chairs have just a mesh back, while others have both a mesh back and seat
  • Sometimes the back is mesh, while the seat is perforated leather
  • They are meant to conform to the body and make sitting for long periods of time more comfortable by allowing your back to breathe, thus promoting better circulation
  • A mesh office chair with built-in lumbar support is considered to be ergonomic



Considerations for Purchase within Budget:

  • controls for adjusting the backrest and chair height
  • a waterfall seat edge
  • For optimum comfort, choose a mid-back or high-back office chair with flexible or built-in lumbar support
  • check the chair’s maximum weight capacity
  • If the chair is intended for a computer station, choose an office chair with adjustable armrests or no arms at all. This will allow for the constant mobility associated with typing or keyboarding.
  • select a fabric that doesn’t slide, shift or have a tendency to bunch up
  • Adjustment controls are either mechanical or pneumatic: pneumatic office chairs, based on a system of springs and compressed air, are easier to use.
  • Adjustment controls should be user-friendly and accessible while sitting in the chair.



A Guide to Buying the Ideal Office Chair


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