Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ergo Science 101: Dissecting Your Office Chair

Every wondered about the anatomy of your office chair and what makes it ergonomically efficient? Us too! That being said, in today's post we'll be dissecting an office chair from top to bottom in order to find out what makes it so darn comfy. Enjoy!


Office Chair Mechanism

Your chair mechanism is it's central nervous system, and the perfect place to start to today's ergo science class. Most of today's ergonomic office chairs are outfitted with single paddle, dual paddle, and three paddle mechanisms that control the height, tilt, and seat depth of your chair. The best selling office chairs on the market in 2015 offer high tech syncro tilt mechanisms that feature tilt tension knobs designed to prevent those loose falling feelings and provide top notch support. Your chair mechanism is located directly underneath the seat and connects to the pneumatic cylinder and base which we'll cover later. During chair assembly the mechanism will typically need to be attached to your chair base with a few heavy duty bolts. When selection your office chair, it's important to know what type of mechanism your chair has and it's capabilities. This important attribute will play a key role in your day to day functionality!


Office Chair Arms

Arms and armrests are pretty self explanatory. However, they play a key role in office comfort and must be covered in our dissection. If you're considering a new office chair in 2015, shop for models that have width and height adjustable arms. This popular style will offer far more versatility in the workplace. In addition, conference room chairs typically feature fixed arms and lack the ability to adjust. While this is okay for applications in which users will not be seated for longer than a couple hours at a time, adjustable arms are certainly preferred by most ergo professionals. No matter the type of arms your chair is outfitted with, it's important to maintain contact with the armrests as much as possible to gain the most ergonomic benefits possible.

Pneumatic Cylinder

Pneumatic Chair Cylinder

The pneumatic cylinder connects the chair base and mechanism. This important piece acts as the main structural support and controls the height of your seat base. In 2015, nearly all computer chairs, task chairs, executive chairs, and conference chairs come standard with a pneumatic cylinder. If assembly is required, the cylinder should be easily plugged into the central hole located on the chair chair mechanism and plugged into the base. As a side tip, you'll want to have the mechanism attached to the base before plugging in the cylinder. If you've ever dealt with a wobbly office chair, the pneumatic cylinder is the usual culprit. Try checking the connections between the cylinder, mechanism, and base. Reconnect accordingly if needed and your problem should be solved.


Ergonomic Chair Back

Chair backs come in a variety of sizes and shapes that work to serve a variety of features. In today's article we'll focus on the two main types. Mid back office chairs are typically used for office tasking applications and provide directed support to the lumbar area. Taller individuals will find more comfort with high back office chairs in the workplace. Often equipped with head rests, high back office chairs are typically seen in executive and home office environments. When sitting, the user should maintain contestant contact with the chair back. No more leaning forward and slouching over the desk! Simply adjust the angle at which your back is set with the paddle on your chair mechanism we covered first in today's post. Your chair back provides posture friendly features and ergonomic benefits that are quickly lost if you don't use it properly.


Ergonomic Tractor Seat

The seat is an integral chair part that is often overlooked by shoppers. While we have to form good ergonomic habits to keep our bodies in contact with the back and arms of a chair,  our hind ends are always touching the seat! Tractor seats, waterfall seats, and contoured seats are the most commonly used styles found on office chairs in 2015. All offer individual benefits and should be tested accordingly. In addition, the seat size will vary from chair to chair. You'll want to test a variety of models to ensure you find a seat surface large enough to accommodate you properly. Seats can be constructed of high density foam, soft padding, and even memory foams. Dissect your individual needs, wants, and preferences to determine which will help you make it through those long days at the office.


Office Chair Headrest

Often desired but seldom used, chair headrests are a luxury feature that add high end appeal. That being said, adjustable headrests can really come in handy if you use them properly. Headrests can provide excellent neck support when sitting if you maintain contact with them. To utilize your headrest properly, you'll need to adjust the angle at which you sit as well as the the angle of the headrest. Most commonly, executive office chairs are designed with headrests to provide aesthetic value as well as support for taller individuals.


office chair casters

If you're chair is mobile, it's outfitted with casters. Hard casters are designed for wood and tile surfaces while soft casters are designed for carpet. As the casters utilized on your chair will greatly effect the mobility, it's important to know which style you are purchasing. That being said, your chair will still roll on any surface, just not as effectively. In terms of assembly, your base will typically require you to plug the casters in. This is a super simple process that typically requires no tools.


5 Star Office Chair Base

The base is the support platform of your office chair. In the seating world, 5 star bases have become the standard. They offer excellent stability and are preferred for nearly every applications. When it comes to materials there's plenty of options to choose from. Nylon bases are essentially heavy duty plastic and used on less expensive chairs. Polished aluminum and chrome bases are a bit stronger and offer luxury appeal. Metal bases are certainly preferred and should be utilized if possible. That being said, you'll want to wipe down your metal base to prevent tarnishing over time.

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