When sitting on a computer for hours a day, having the right chair can make all the difference in the world. Far to often people will use an uncomfterable wooden chair, not unlike the kind you'd see accompanying a kitchen table. Computer chairs come in a wide range of styles and materials. Some more exclusive chairs utilize wood as a base, while others use plastic, and even metal in some instances.
Developing computer chairs is an exact science. Researches have been studying posture and seating for decades, trying to find the perfect chair for every single body type. All purpose-build computer chairs share a common feature however; They must be comfterable to sit on for long periods of time, and they must be sturdy enough to work flawlessly for at least a year. For people who spend eight of more hours a day on a computer, a high quality computer chair is an absolute must. Inproper seating for such a length of time can lead to all types of problems, from minor lower and upper back pain, as well as neck pain (one of the most prevelant problems).
Chosing a computer chair can be a difficult task; There's literally thousands of different designs and styles to chose from. Computer chair shopping can be intimidating for those who aren't sure what to look for. This small guide will show you how to find your ideal chair for your body type, budget (which should be seen as a non-issue), and "sitting style".
Remember to always listen to what a proffesional has to say before you chose which chair to purchase. They really DO now what they're talking about!
Before we start discussing the various types of chairs available, lets talk about one of the most important factors of buying a computer chair. The budget for a chair should not be an issue. Lets put it this way: If a travelling salesman buys a $50,000 car because they spend six hours a day driving and they needed to have a comfterable luxury car, that's considered a worthwile expense. If a computer user who spends six hours a day on a computer needs a comfterable chair, then that computer user will have to accept that much like the travelling salesman, they're going to need to be willing to pay more than a few dollars for a chair that will be comfterable from the time they sit down until the time they stand up.
Sure, you could buy a computer chair for one or two hundred dollars, and save some money. Maybe the chair is even comfterable and supportive. Six hours later, that may no longer be the case. For occasional computer users, a cheaper chair is fine, as they're not going to be sitting on it all the time. For someone who uses computers a lot, the chair can be the defining factor in how well they work as time passes. It's hard to concentrate when your neck is stiff, your back is sore, and your rear feels like it's been sitting on a brick all day. The travelling salesman knew that their back would hurt after two hours in a small, inexpensive car. So they bit the bullet and accepted that they'd need to pay more to be as efficient as possible while working.
Never let a budget prevent you from buying a computer chair. If the chair you know will be comfterable will cost $600.00, and the one that won't be comfterable will cost $200.00, you should try your best to find a way to buy the better chair. Allowing budget to determine which chair you will buy will only lead to a sore neck and back in the future.
Proper Sitting Position And Ergonomics
When sitting for long periods of time, it is neccesary to sit in the proper position to reduce strain on certain muscle groups. Many people slouch somewhat when sitting in front of a computer, which is one of the reasons many people find they become sore.
When the person who designed your computer chair decided on the ergonomics, they designed the ergonomics to work when someone is sitting in the chair properly. Sitting with your body at a fourty five degree angle in a six hundred dollar chair will lead to back pain just as easily as it would with you sitting in a twenty dollar chair. The most important thing to take into consideration while in your chair is to maintain a constantly straight back. You can cheat on some of the other body positions, but not on the back part. Keeping your back straight will prevent you from putting more strain on certain muscles than others. With a straight back, the pressures and forces are distributed evenly throughout the supporting muscles, which leads to a sort of "harmony". Sit straight up, with your lower back and buttox tightly against the chair backing. Keep your upper back and shoulders in line with your lower back, maintaining a "straight line" from your rear all the back to your upper back. Avoid slouching your shoulders. Try to keep the tops of your shoulders level with one another. This reduces strain on your upper arms and shoulders.
When sitting in a computer chair, keep your legs straight out in front of you. Avoid crossing your upper or lower legs. It may be comfterable for short periods of time, but can lead to strain over long periods. Bend your knee's ninety degrees around the end of the chair and keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. Make sure you dont only use your toes to hold your legs up. Many people are amazed at how much more comfterable they are when they first try out the "ideal" seating condition. It's common for the whole body to suddenly feel "relaxed" as all the proper parts are now in contact with the proper parts of the chair.
The ideal sitting position is the only position you should use when computer chair shopping. Don't slouch or sit cross legged. Sit appopriately to determine which chair feels most supportive in the proper positions. It's fine to periodically shift into a more relaxed slouching position, if not to just keep your muscles moving occasionally. Always remember to return to the proper position after a few minutes, or you might throw your body "out of whack".
Most computer chairs will feel comfterable initially when sitting properly in them. The chairs that remain comfterable over time will determine whether or not the chair was developed by "incredibly overpaid chair makers" or "Tom from 12th Street". Idealy, you should sit in each chair for a few minutes, maintaining the proper seating position, constantly focusing on all parts of your body to determine how they are feeling as time passes. Don't just sit in a chair for ten seconds and fall in love. It can be tempting, especially with a superbly soft chair, but it can also lead to aches and pains down the road. Buy only after you've spent a good day sitting on every chair you can find, from the incredibly cheap to the rediculously expensive. Expensive isn't always better, however. A chair may cost $900.00, but only because it's made of Teak, and had no research put into its ergonomics design what-so-ever. Always look for a manual or writeup, and if you can't find one, ask a sales person.
A great way to find the ideal chair is to go chair shopping for a day, and take down the names from the ones you liked the most that were comfterable and supportive. The next time you find yourself on the computer, look for reviews on the internet. Someone, somewhere, will have bought the chair and written a review about its long term effectiveness.