Now that people find themselves working from home as Shelter in Place sweeps the nation; many individuals find themselves in the position of sourcing their own office equipment. They don’t have their carefully designed and hand-picked desk and chair that their company spent so much time and money on creating for their work space at the office. We’ve put our years of experience together and come up with this quick guide to the common types of office chair and help you to decide which is best for you.
This is one of the biggest terms and you may be wondering what exactly it means. Basically, it means adjustable. Highly adjustable. Ergonomic chairs encourage a natural seating position and are designed to be sat in for a longer period. They often have the following adjustments so that they can provide the ideal “natural” seating position for each person: seat height, seat depth, lumbar, height, arm height, tilt, and swivel. These aren’t all mandatory in an ergonomic chair, it’s just common types. These adjustments make it so that two different height and shapes of people can find the best setting for each, in the same chair. According to the Business Insider, the top (2) ergonomic chairs are Herman Miller’s Aeron and Steelcase’s Leap. Aeron’s offer the most in terms of adjustments and availability in that it comes in (3) different sizes. Each specifically designed for a different height and weight capacity and then offers even more adjustments on each chair.
Task chairs are the most common chair that people need in an office. Basic definition would be a swivel chair on casters. These chairs are designed to be used by a computer and meant to be sat in for a long time – but not as comfortably as the ergonomics. The best option is an ergonomic task chair. These standard adjustment functions on task chairs are seat and arm height. Can be mesh or cushion, or a combination of both. Typically, you can tell the difference between a basic task chair and an ergonomic task chair by looking at the number of paddles (levers) on the side of the chair. The more paddle the more adjustments can be made, the more ergonomic.
Conference chairs are typically designed for the average person and don't offer many adjustments. Most common in leather and do offer tilt, but not always tilt lock. Common adjustments on conference chairs is height. The key of knowing the difference between a task chair and a conference chairs are the arms. Conference chairs do not offer adjustable arm all the time. These chairs are not often designed to be sat in longer than a couple of hours. There are ergonomic conference chairs available, but you must know what you are looking for and the terms.
These are very common for those who work in a higher up position or want a certain look. Executive chairs tend to be leather and aesthetically pleasing. They have task chair adjustments, but conference chair looks. They are designed to be sat in for longer than conference chairs, but not as long as ergonomics or task. Most often people looking for executive seating find themselves in a conference chair that doesn’t provide enough support for longer days at a desk. If you don’t plan on sitting in this type of chair for very long – don’t worry about it. If you do plan on spending a full work day in this chair be sure to find one that already molds to your specific body type, or offers the correct adjustment options to make if mold to your body type.
Most task chairs have a weight capacity setting around 250 – 300 pounds. This isn’t enough for some people. Luckily, there are some specially designed chairs for all people. These can be a range of one’s we’ve already discussed. Big and tall chairs often have the stigma of looking completely different than a standard task chair – but there are so many options out there these days that you can easily find the style you want with the weight capacity you need.
Those are the top 5 types of office chair that you need to know so that you can find your ideal chair for your home office. Each person is different and unique, so where I wouldn’t tell a branch manager to get conference chairs for all of his/her staff, you might like a conference style chair to sit in. The general guidance we give people is if you are sitting in a chair for longer than a couple hours every day you need something in the ergonomic style to prevent back or neck pain.
Find a local office furniture store that specializes in commercial grade product, so not your big box stores. Try out some samples and see what works best for you!