Ergonomic specialists often say humorously that the best ergonomic computer chair would have upturned pins in it!
Seriously though, the chair shouldn’t be the comfiest chair you have ever sat on because you need to get up and move your body around regularly to stop muscle and tendon fatigue. Being on the firmer side is good as it will encourage you to move about and stand up more.
Your computer chair has a job to do and it needs to have certain features as a minimum:-
- It should accommodate your size and weight fully without any squeezing
- The seat and back rest should be padded with rounded edges where it touches your back and thighs
- Adjustable height – many are too low!
- Adjustable rake/tilt so that you can recline the back by 10 to 20 degrees from vertical and unlock/lock it
- Lumbar support
Arm and head rests
We’re not so keen on armrests as they can causes shoulder shrugging leading to tension in the neck and shoulders and potential RSI issues. On the other hand, armrests can support the arm whilst using the mouse.
You need your body to be close to your desk with so reaching out. Armrests and headrests can be a hindrance in this respect but if you like an armrest we suggest you pay attention to these points:-
- armrests which are fixed to the seat base may prevent you getting as close to your desk as you need to be
- similarly, armrests that are oval in shape which connect to the back and seat may prevent you getting as close to your desk as you need to be
- armrests connected to the back of the seat/bottom of the back which flip up are often the most flexible as you can push them out of the way. Be aware however that you might not get height adjustment.
If you want a headrest, it should be height adjustable otherwise you may well find that it is too high or low for you.
Chair back height and material covering
To some extent the back height and how the chair is covered is a matter of personal taste. However, remember that this is a functional chair. Firm lumbar and seat support is important and all the better if you have to get out of the chair more often.
Adjusting levers and knobs
You might have one or more levers on your chair and possibly a large knob underneath the seat. Sometimes levers do more than one task. These are typical:-
- Pneumatic Seat Height Adjustment
Usually a lever underneath the left or right of the chair which controls the height of the seat
- Back rest height knob
Usually on the left or right of a pillar supporting the back
- Tilt tension adjustment – controls the angle of the back to the seat.
It may be a large round knob underneath the seat toward the front of the chair. Alternatively a lever underneath.
The seats below have key minimum features we would look for so these are a good place to start but chairs are one’s personal taste of course, just remember the issues to look for which we’ve discussed above.
Ergonomic Computer Chairs
HollyHOME PU Leather Back Office Chair
Arm rests flip up. Max load 113Kg / 17st10oz. Adjustable seat height 49.5-59cm / 19.5-23.2in (a good range). High back PU leatherView UK supplier
Office Hippo Mesh Back Office Chair
Arm rests flip up. Max load 115Kg / 18st. Adjustable seat height 47-57cm / 18.5-22.5in (a good range).View UK supplier
SONGMICS Mesh Back Office Chair
Arm rests flip up. Max load 150Kg / 23st. Adjustable seat height 42-50cm / 16.5-19.5in (check if high enough for you).View UK supplier
Flash Mesh Back Office Chair
Arm rests flip up. Max load 330lb / 150Kg. Adjustable seat height 16.5-19.5in / 42-50cm (check if high enough for you).View USA supplier
Office Star Mesh Back Office Chair
Arm rests flip up. Max load 250lb / 113Kg. Adjustable seat height 17.75-21.75in / 45-55cmView USA supplier
REFICCER Office Chair High Back Leather Executive Computer Desk Chair
Arm rests flip up. Max load 113Kg / 250lb. Adjustable seat height 20-22in / 50.8-55.8cm (a good range). High back bonded leatherView USA supplier
Office Star Mesh Back Office Chair
Arm rests flip up. Max load 250lb / 113Kg. Adjustable seat height 17.75-21.75in / 45-55cmView Canadian supplier
Techni Mobili Mesh Task Chair
Arm rests flip up. Max load 220lb / 100Kg. Adjustable seat height 17-20in / 43-51cm (check if high enough for you).View Canadian supplier
VANBOW High Back Leather Executive Computer Chair
Arm rests flip up. Max load 250lb / 113Kg. Adjustable seat height 20-22in / 50.8-55.8cm (a good range). High back bonded leatherView Canadian supplier