On the job : In the right chair

How important is selecting the right chair for you?

If your office is like most, you and your colleagues spend more than two-thirds of each workday in your chairs, and unless these chairs provide comfort and support, it can be a pain in the neck, back, shoulders and head for everyone — and lost productivity and greater absenteeism for your organisation. Take a look at the chairs in your office — and these criteria for high-quality seating.

Adjustable height: You should be able to position the seat so that the user’s thighs are parallel to the floor and the feet rest firmly on the floor.

Backrest: Look for good lumbar support — the lower back area — to minimise pressure on the spine. You should be able to adjust it up and down, as well as forward and backward, for individual fit and comfort.

Seat: Insist on a firm, comfortable cushion and a forward tilt for even weight distribution.

Tension control: A chair that’s loose and floppy or tight and stiff isn’t comfortable — and it isn’t healthy. With a tension control, you can adjust the seat to suit your individual preference.

Arm rests: The arm rests should be positioned — or adjustable — so that forearms are parallel to the floor when seated in a natural position.

Stability: Most high-quality chairs feature a five-point base for strength and stability.

Mobility: Chairs that swivel 360° and casters provide the freedom of movement that most users need to work more efficiently.