How Should You Split A Tight Budget When Buying A Desk And Office Chair?

When buying hi-fi equipment the specialist I use advises to make sure to allocate a good portion of your budget for the speakers. His reasoning makes sense because the speakers are the final link in the chain. You could have the most fantastic amplifier, however if you play it through low quality speakers you will never hear its true potential.

Setting up your office follows similar principles, especially when your budget is limited.

In this article we’re going to look at the relationship between your desk and office chair and how to apportion a tight budget.

We’re covering the following 3 areas:

  • What is the function a desk?
  • What is the function of an office chair?
  • Which should you spend more on, desk or chair?

Let’s start by looking at the purpose of a desk
Essentially a desk is a convenient work surface that forms a key part of your office setup. In human terms it represents the body’s trunk and it is what your equipment rests on.

It holds the stuff you need to interact with to complete your work. A desk is a fixture for holding your key equipment like your computer, keyboard, mouse, files etc. This is its function.

It’s obviously desirable for it to look good, have pleasing aesthetic lines and be able to handle cables and wires neatly. Nonetheless, its function is largely rudimentary.

If you had to, you could actually get by with a sheet of chipboard supported on a pair of oil drums provided the worktop was the right height and had no nasty sharp edges. Of course it would look awful and I don't suggest for a moment you would do this. My point is that if you are on a tight budget a very basic desk is all you need to perform your work. Where does your chair come into things?

What is the function of an office chair?
Returning to the analogy with your body, your chair represents your heart. Whereas your desk is unchanging, your chair is continually on the move as it supports your body throughout the day.

As you move it moves with you and as a result forms a much more active part of your work set up. Imagine for a moment trying to work in a chair which was bolted to the floor, set to a fixed height and had a fixed back and fixed arms. It wouldn’t be very long before you found it very uncomfortable to continue working. Consequently how you allocate your budget needs careful thought.

Which should you spend more on, desk or chair?
When you are working to a very tight budget, it’s far more important to spend the lion’s share of your money on a good ergonomic office chair. You need something that is going to support you and be comfortable when working under pressure.

Of course it’s tempting to plump for a funky looking desk with a fancy curved top and grab a cool looking chair from IKEA. Whilst it might all look great it won’t be long before you're finding it all uncomfortable to work at because of lack of support.

Much the best option is to go for the best seat you can afford, even if it does look a bit boring. If you have a serious workload to complete each day, comfort is much the best option. And that starts with getting the right chair.

So just to recap what we've covered here:

  • Your desk is a convenient surface that holds your essential work items
  • Your office chair is the heart of your work area and provides support and comfort
  • On a tight budget always allocate enough for a good ergonomic office chair

Just as with a hi-fi system the speakers deliver the end result. So too does your task chair when it comes to comfort and getting your jobs done when working long hours in the office.

Here's where you can read an article on the 5 essential features you should look for in an ergonomic office chair.

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