Last updated: August 16, 2021

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This time we will be talking about a basic work tool for everyone who spends hours working at home or in the office. We are talking about desk chairs, which are common but not always comfortable for their occupants.

Normally we cannot choose the chair, as we have to stick to the one assigned to us in the workplace, and generally the best ones are intended for the company's top management. When we aspire to promotion, a better chair is often part of the change, especially if it involves a move to another office.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the types of chairs on the market gives us the opportunity to see that beyond being used only to sit and do our tasks, and beyond just choosing them for comfort, they have a very important health implication. So take note of the details we will give you about it.




Summary

  • The office chair is a piece of furniture that is used for people to sit on while doing their work. Although there are variations among them, the average has a seat, backrest, armrests and base with between 3 and 5 supports. They can be made of wood, wrought iron, plastic, iron, etc.
  • Due to their characteristics, materials and the function they fulfil in the work environment, there are several types of chairs to choose from, however we will focus on two and from them we will move on to the others, we are referring to ergonomic chairs and designer chairs.
  • Knowing the wide range of options available, we can focus on functionality, durability and health, as each chair has features that may or may not favour health and promote comfort. Therefore we will detail the most relevant points such as: the seat, the backrest, the adjustments and the base.

The Best Desk Chair: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about a desk chair

Wanting to buy an item is the first step in getting into a product, but it's not enough to go to a shop and buy it. Our recommendation is to research thoroughly to make smart purchases that leave you satisfied, where your money is well spent and you have less incidence of returns or regrets.

Complementary chairs are common in business meetings. (Photo: Cathy Yeulet / 123rf.com)

What are desk chairs?

Office chairs are desks that help staff working in companies, entrepreneurs or freelancers to do their work in front of a desk and/or computer. Such furniture allows them to sit for a full working day while sitting still at the desk and working on their assigned tasks.

There is a variety of options thanks to the number of different types of chairs, but also thanks to their individual features and design. Many of them are coordinated with the office furniture as a whole.

What are the advantages of desk chairs?

There are many ways in which office chairs benefit the user. Comfort, functionality, and features that promote correct posture for less damage and health problems will be the result of the needs and the right product selection.

Choosing the right one will depend not only on personal taste but also on its qualities, so it is essential to evaluate its advantages and disadvantages, being clear about what we want and what we are willing to accept in a product and what we are not.

Advantages
  • Options for all needs
  • Ergonomic and adjustable chairs promote health
  • Good materials offer durability
  • There are chairs designed for the use that will be given
  • Variety of prices
Disadvantages
  • There are options that are not recommended
  • Uncomfortable chairs affect health
  • There are chairs of poor quality
  • High prices in favourable chairs
  • Deteriorated chairs affect work performance

Ergonomic or designer desk chairs - what should you pay attention to?

As we have already mentioned, thinking about a chair goes beyond just sitting on it, as the user can spend up to 8 hours a day on it, in some cases from Monday to Friday and in others even on weekends. In other words, while the user is not eating or sleeping, he/she is most likely to be glued to the chair working.

The consequence of not having a proper chair affects work performance, generates distractions. And most importantly, in the long run it affects the state of health of the person causing alterations, personal absences or in more serious cases even the need for surgery.

Ergonomic chairs. These are chairs that are designed to provide comfort and efficiency. They are classified as ergonomic because their components are adapted to the physiological conditions of the user, which means that they have been studied before being manufactured.

Design chairs. These are chairs that normally do not fulfil the ergonomic function because they are created with the aim of innovation and/or design. They are usually beautiful but not necessarily comfortable. They are used to create ambience and function in certain areas of the office. Their use is for more limited periods of time.

ERGONOMIC CHAIRS DESIGN CHAIRS
Comfort Very comfortable Not very comfortable
Functionality Use at managerial or operative level Use for short periods
Mobility Yes, thanks to its wheels With wheels or fixed legs
Adjustments They have adjustments They cannot be adjusted

Classification of chairs

There are several models to choose from, but not all are practical for everyone and not all have the same function, so it is worth knowing them, to be clear about which product meets our needs. Let's get to know some of them and their most important details:

Managerial Chairs. They are those that from the moment you see them, you know that they are very comfortable, it is a combination of aesthetics and comfort, their finishes are of very good quality, they are usually robust and have wide seats. In companies they are used by top management.

Operational Chairs. These are chairs used by workers, they are common in boardrooms, call centres, shared work areas, etc. They come in various styles. The seat and backrest are usually adjustable, and the ergonomic ones are the most recommended for people who work full days in them.

Guest chairs. These chairs have a basic design, no armrests, no wheels and no adjustments. They can be used in waiting rooms, meeting rooms, entrance halls, etc. They are supposed to be used for no more than 30 minutes.

Sports, gaming or bucket chairs. These are chairs that have become popular. Initially used by videogame players and nowadays also by office workers. They are high-level seats, with a car seat design; comfortable, adjustable, reclining, with headrest and armrests, some with built-in joystick.

Folding chairs. These are chairs that are used only when needed for meetings, conferences, etc. They are simple, lightweight and not very comfortable, but can be stackable and stored when not in use.

How much does a desk chair cost?

In the wide range of existing chairs we can find a variety of prices that are defined by their manufacturing materials and their elements or characteristics. The more austere it is, for example, the cheaper it may be, unless it is designed by a well-known brand or designer.

Where to buy a desk chair?

Although it is a specialised product, it is not difficult to find shops where they sell it, surely there is more than one option near you, either well-known shops, local or specialised shops. Or online, since technology has solved many things for us and now we can buy from the comfort of our own home.

To go to physical shops we recommend you to visit places like Office Depot, Walmart, Costco or Elektra. As for specialised shops you can go to Sillas Delta, Bodega de Muebles, Ofimarca, Poliarte and in the historic centre of the city, you can find Mundo In.

If you want to do an initial search online or buy directly, then you can go to online shops such as Amazon, Mercado Libre,

Todo Oficina or Dessa, although you can certainly search in any of the shops mentioned here, as most of them have an e-commerce alternative.

Purchasing criteria

We have already made an important tour on essential information before buying an office chair, now it is time to know in depth the characteristics that we must take into account to desire or discriminate models, depending on how much they favour us. We will now look at the main points.

  • Seat
  • Backrest
  • Adjustments
  • Base

Seat

One of the most important points of the chairs since it is where you sit for hours. If that base is not comfortable, and is not ergonomic, it is far from being a good option unless its use by one or more people is considered to be for a limited time, say a waiting room or an audiovisual room, for example.

Another crucial point is the adjustment that it should have, in order to place it at the desired height. We are not all the same height, with a fixed chair, you have an average height, but it will be more uncomfortable for some than for others, not to mention that it is ideal that the torso is kept at the height of the desk so as not to generate pain in the lumbar area.

Backrest

Another important element of a chair, responsible for supporting the back and keeping the body in a comfortable position while working long or short hours. If it supports the lower back then it will be a good working companion. It is recommended that it is long in length to cover the entire back.

The height of the backrest should also be adjustable and it should be possible to adjust its angle of inclination and mobility. Some have a headrest at the top, which offers greater comfort when resting, and helps to rest the vertebrae in the dorsal area without causing the spine to arch too much.

Adjustments

While ergonomics play an important role in the quality of the chair, adjustments are criteria to be considered and assessed. The more adjustments the chair has, the better it will be, why? Because as we have mentioned, it is difficult for the same chair to be perfect for all bodies, but with the adjustments it can be adjusted to suit the client's taste.

Manufacturers allow customisation or adjustment of the seat height, backrest height and inclination, headrests and armrests, among the most universal. Some chairs, such as gaming chairs, have footrests that can also be adjusted to the user's taste.

Base

The base is the structural point of the chair, it is like its backbone and can be made up of wheels or fixed legs depending on the design, one with more advantages than the other, but everything will depend on where they will be used:

Tyres. They have an average of 5 support points, that is to say, 5 rims that usually come double and rotate 360°. Their function besides supporting the other parts of the chair is to allow the mobility of its occupant, so it can slide from one place to another with ease.

Fixed legs. Their function is basic and unique, i.e. to support the rest of the chair and give it stability. They are maintained at a universal height; none of their elements move or can be adjusted. They have 2 or 4 legs for support. To move them or place them elsewhere, it is necessary to carry them a little.

(Featured image photo: Igor Terekhov /123rf.com)

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