Last updated: August 5, 2021

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No office should be without comfortable and convenient office chairs. They make your working day a little easier and support you in every position. But they should not only offer comfort. Ergonomics at the workplace is just as important as sitting comfortably.

In our office chair test 2021 we help you find the ideal office chair for your needs. We compare different types and models and list useful details. In our guide you will find answers to your questions. This should help you with your purchase decision and make it as easy as possible.




Summary

  • When sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, at home or at work, it is important to be comfortable. However, your health should not suffer from this comfort, so it is also important to sit ergonomically.
  • Before buying an office chair, you should pay attention to the features. Test the office chair before you buy it. Different models offer you a wide range of options.
  • Inform yourself well and compare the prices of the suppliers of office chairs. You should also consider alternatives.

The Best Office Chair: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for office chairs

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to distinguish between the many different office chairs.

The criteria you can use to compare office chairs include:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in each of the criteria.

Equipment

There are many different ways to equip an office chair. Here we briefly describe some of them.

Armrest

The armrest on an office chair relieves pressure on the shoulders and neck while sitting. It allows you to support your arms and thus relax your body.

Make sure you adjust the armrest correctly so that you can work well at your desk. It is adjustable in height, as well as forwards and backwards.

Not every office chair is equipped with armrests. They are usually part of the equipment, especially in executive chairs and ergonomic office chairs. You can also remove the armrests later.

Backrest

The backrest is an important factor in the design. It should adapt to the back, not the other way round.

This is particularly the case with ergonomic office chairs. They actively support the seated posture, which promotes healthy sitting at the workplace.

A good backrest is adjustable and should end in line with the shoulders. Movement mechanisms such as the rocker or synchronous mechanism support the adjustment of the office chair. The backrest automatically adjusts to your body.

Furthermore, the lumbar support ensures an upright posture of the body. It supports the lumbar vertebrae and the lower back. Adjusting the position of the lumbar support is particularly important for tall people.

Some people prefer an integrated head and neck support in an office chair, for particularly good comfort when leaning back. This relaxes the shoulder and neck area and relieves the strain on the intervertebral discs.

Seat

The shape of an office chair seat can vary. The seat surface and the seat height are decisive.

You can adjust the height with a lever to achieve the ideal seat height. If you form an angle of 90 degrees at the back of the knees, the seat is correctly adjusted.

A sliding seat can be very useful for tall people. A natural sitting posture is just as important as sitting comfort. The seat should feel as comfortable as possible.

Dimensions

The dimensions of an office chair can vary. First and foremost, they must fit your size.

There are ergonomic swivel stools or large executive chairs. For executive chairs, the dimensions also depend on the base and the castors. Some stools can be folded down for easier storage.

When buying an office chair, don't just look at the size. It should fit your body size and ensure healthy sitting at the workplace.

Material

For many people, sturdy materials play an important role when buying an office chair. You don't have to sacrifice your comfort at work. Quality materials are more durable and comfortable to sit on.

Cover materials such as leather and fabric differ in quality. High-quality material has its price and makes your office chair more durable. Materials such as imitation leather or mesh cover are alternatives.

The material of the footrests, backrest and armrests are also important. Look for good workmanship and comfort.

Assembly

You can buy an office chair already assembled or disassembled. Assembling an office chair is easy. With most models you can do it yourself. We show you how to proceed here.

  1. Prepare: Prepare the supplied parts of the office chair and make sure you have enough space.
  2. Assemble: You will need the base, the gas pressure spring and the seat element. In most cases, you do not need to screw the base together, you only need to plug it together. If the castors on the base are already pre-assembled, then insert the gas pressure spring into the matching part of the base.
  3. Finish and check: Now place the seat element of the office chair on the prepared base. The last step is to check that all parts are correctly assembled, and then you are done.

The necessary tools are usually included, but you may need a screwdriver. The assembly instructions may vary. With this set-up, you should easily be able to assemble the office chair yourself.

Some office chairs do not require assembly. Ergonomic stools are often available assembled.

Ergonomics

An ergonomic workplace is becoming more and more essential for healthy working. Ergonomics means adapting the workplace to the person and not vice versa.

You sit up to 8 hours a day in an office chair, whether at work or at home, then your office chair should be ergonomically well adapted.

Not only office chairs should be ergonomic. The workplace should be just as ergonomic

Basically, you should adapt the entire workplace to ergonomics, not just the office chair. Check the distance between the office chair and the desk and screen. Depending on your personal requirements, such as your height and stature, adjust the office chair.

Ergonomic office chairs are:

  • height-adjustable
  • have adjustable backrests
  • have armrests that you can adjust

Even the best office chair is no substitute for movement at work. You should get up and move around at regular intervals. This loosens tense muscles and protects you from tension.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about office chairs answered in detail

If you are thinking about getting an office chair, you probably have a few questions. In this guide, we answer the most important questions about office chairs. We explain what is important when buying and how to find the ideal office chair for you.

What types of office chairs are there?

Office chairs are divided into different categories. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages that you should consider.

The most common types include:

  • Executive chair
  • Gaming chairs
  • ergonomic swivel chairs / swivel stools

Bürostuhl-1

Whether relaxing or working, office chairs accompany us through our daily lives.
(Image source: Kunle Atekoja / Unsplash)

Executive chair

The executive chair impresses with the size of its backrest and seat. It is often covered in leather or imitation leather and well upholstered. This chair is a testament to quality and fine materials.

An executive chair is visually very appealing and stands for a certain standard. The design is classic and fits into any office. Comfort and convenience are at a high level.

It is more resilient than other office chairs. Mobility is somewhat limited.

Gaming armchair

As the name suggests, this chair is suitable for gamers. It combines comfort when sitting for hours in front of the computer with back-friendly ergonomics.

The gaming armchair offers many adjustment possibilities to adapt it perfectly to the body. Thanks to these options, it resembles an ergonomic office chair, but still retains a sporty, elegant design.

To ensure that comfort is not neglected, it is sufficiently upholstered but still flexible. In contrast to the executive chair, it is somewhat smaller, but more flexible.

Ergonomic swivel chairs / swivel stools

An ergonomic office chair is the epitome of optimal adaptation to the body. It offers you maximum flexibility and mobility.

The ergonomic swivel chair can be adjusted in many ways and thus adapts perfectly to your sitting position. The features allow numerous adjustments. The backrest and armrest are in the ideal position for working at the computer for a longer period of time without any discomfort.

Advantages
  • Optimal adjustment to the body
  • Promotes healthy sitting
  • Prevents back pain
Disadvantages
  • Expensive to buy
  • Not suitable for everyone

If you want to prevent back problems, an ergonomic swivel stool is an alternative. The swivel stool has no backrest and thus promotes muscular development through active sitting.

Active sitting means that the stool keeps moving while you are sitting on it. This forces the body to move with you and thus trains it. Especially the back is trained in this way. The health benefits are increased blood circulation and thus improved concentration.

How long should I sit on an office chair?

This information can vary and depends on the chair. Basically, you should orientate yourself on the manufacturer's value. With some office chairs this can be 8 hours, with others only 2.

Sitting for too long is bad for your health. Make sure you get enough exercise.

Sitting in an office chair for too long is unhealthy. We therefore recommend that you get up whenever possible and loosen up or do stretching exercises. If you stand up once an hour, this already has a preventive effect and considerably reduces the health risk.

Otherwise, health problems such as back pain can occur. In the worst case, it can lead to cardiovascular disease.

If you sit for 8 hours without a break, make sure you use an ergonomic office chair.

Bürostuhl-2

At work or in the home office, it is important to get up from your chair and move around every now and then.
(Image source: Matt Wojtaś / Unsplash)

When is an office chair ergonomic?

An office chair is ergonomic when it is height-adjustable and the seat can be tilted forwards. It should also have a lumbar support that supports the lumbar spine. From a physiotherapeutic point of view, these are the minimum requirements for ergonomics.

However, an ergonomic office chair is not enough to have an ergonomic workplace. This includes the height of your desk and how far the screen is from your eyes. More and more companies are focusing on ergonomics in the workplace to preserve the health of their employees.

The correct adjustment of the office chair is crucial. But you won't get a back problem under control with just an ergonomic office chair. Sufficient movement is the key to staying healthy.

Who is an ergonomic office chair suitable for?

An ergonomic office chair is particularly suitable for people who spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer at work. We also recommend ergonomic office chairs to people with health problems, such as back pain. However, this does not replace active movement of the body.

Movable stools create a swinging effect through moving elements. This constant rocking movement of the chair can be counterproductive, especially for children. It prevents them from staying still and working in a concentrated manner.

For children, we therefore recommend immovable stools. These do not tempt children to move around unnecessarily, thus breaking their concentration.

What does an office chair cost?

The prices for an office chair vary. Depending on the features, the price can range from medium to high. The simplest models start at 50 € upwards.

Type price range
simple ergonomic swivel chair approx. 80-150 €
ergonomic executive chair approx.200-500 €
quality executive chair (real leather) from 500 €

In the cheapest price range, the office chair is equipped with a swivel thread and possibly a gas pressure spring. Height adjustment is thus possible. The seat of the chair can also be padded.

The first ergonomic office chairs are priced at 80 - 150 €. The structure of the chair, as well as the shape of the seat and backrest, are adapted to correct sitting. However, savings are made in the workmanship of the parts.

For 200 - 500 € you get a good and healthy office chair. The seat, back and armrests are ergonomic and the components are of high quality. In this price range you will find good executive chairs, but also ergonomic swivel stools without armrests. A good office chair has its price.

Top models are available from 500 € upwards. These are upholstered in real leather and have a very good finish in addition to their design. At this price, you can expect sturdy components that guarantee perfect adjustment of the chair and promote good health.

What are the alternatives to an office chair?

There are also some alternatives to office chairs that support healthy posture and reduce stress. Each of these seating options has its advantages and disadvantages. Here we give you a brief overview of the alternatives.

Type Description
Stool without backrest A stool without backrest that allows freedom of movement. By means of movable elements on the floor.
Exercise ball These are large exercise balls or medicine balls that you can sit on. Balancing on the ball forces you to adjust your posture. This helps you maintain the correct sitting posture.
Humanscale saddle A stool with a modified seat so that the legs hang in a natural position.
Kneeling Chair / Kneeling Stool The kneeling chair allows you to work in an upright upper body position. The back and shoulders are noticeably relieved.

Picture source: Postnikov/ 123rf.com

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