Are You Relying On Luck When Buying An Office Chair?

People take chances when selecting a new office chair, they see a post on a forum or somewhere like Twitter or Facebook, where a poster says something like:

“I just got a new leather chair for my office from Staples, it only cost $79 and it's brilliant.”

A lot of the time the chairs being endorsed by people are poor quality, basic models with some flashy trimmings to make it look good.

So why do people sing the praises of these sorts of chair?

Probably the  2 main reasons, are first might be their existing chair was dropping apart so anything was going to be an improvement. Or it could be they had previously worked at their computer on a dining room chair or a stool and naturally any swivel chair is likely to seem like a major improvement.

The truth is that an office chair is a very important piece of working equipment and needs to be well designed and have a good range of adjustment flexibility covering the users height, weight, leg length and sitting preferences.

Often these vital adjustments simply aren't included on budget priced chairs made to fit a price band rather than their user and so only cover very basic things like height adjustment.

The person posting about how wonderful the chair they just bought is may just be lucky it was a very good match to their size, height and leg length.

Such a chair may very well be totally unsuitable for someone else of a different build, height or weight and who could well be bitterly disappointed with the poster's recommendation.

Remember too, if someone had been using a worn out or static chair, virtually any new swivel chair is going to seem great at first.

It would be interesting to ask their opinion 6 months on, when maybe the cheap foams typically used in these sorts of chair have flattened out and become uncomfortable, or the lack of adjustment options have started to affect their comfort and posture.

By all means look at the chairs others post about, then check the specification closely to see if they include the essential features any good office chair needs.

Read product reviews, look at users comments on shopping sites like Amazon and remember sub $100 chairs are highly unlikely to provide a lasting solution for your working comfort and needs.

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The Leather Office Chair Myth

People's desire to own a Leather Office Chair seems to be as strong as ever, regardless of the quality or lack of it, in the chair they buy.

They rationalize that as long as its leather it must be good.

I was reminded of this the other day when I visited the local supermarket where the weekly promotion was a Leather Office Chair.

In talking with the manager he told me how they had sold out in barely half an hour of opening with only the display model left and that would be gone soon too.

A quick look at it confirmed what I expected, it was a poorly constructed seat and the quality of the leather was questionable to say the least.

The 12 month limited warranty only served to confirm the supplier's opinion of its quality.

People allow themselves to be blinded by the fact that because a chair is leather it must be good. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You can find out how to successfully select the right leather chair by reading my article on the benefits and drawbacks of leather office chairs and avoid making costly mistakes.

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Cheap office chairs costly mistake – 2

In my last post we looked at seven key questions you need to ask to establish how important the quality and level of seating is to you.

Let's let's take each point and look at it in more detail.

How long is spent each day in an office chair?

Nowadays, office workers are spending more and more time in an office chair and as a consequence the need for something better than a close out deal bargain at the local office furniture warehouse is required.

These really cheap products just aren't designed to be comfortable or long lasting. They're mostly made from off the shelf plastic moldings that are cobbled together to produce a seat to a price, with a minimal warranty as they aren't intended to last.

Of course, if the way you work only involves being seated for a short period each day a cheap chair may be all you need, only you can assess this.

So, on to question two.

How long is spent each day working at a computer in an office chair?

This may at first sight seem to be a very similar question to our first one and although they appear similar there is a very important distinction between them.

Working for extended periods of time at a computer is likely to put a lot of stress and strain on your body. If this is the way that you or your staff works then I'm afraid a cheap budget chair should never be considered.

When you are working at a computer for any length of time it potentially places your body under a lot of pressure, particularly if the chair you're sat in doesn't support you correctly and comfortably.

It's not surprising when you think about it, your eyes are focused on your screen, or worse, flicking between keyboard and screen if you can't touch type and that includes a lot of people.

Then, there's your hands, typing and mousing and needing to be properly supported

So, having the right type of chair becomes essential when working like this and I'm afraid a cheap chair isn't the answer.

We'll continue with the remaining questions in my next post.

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Cheap office chairs costly mistake – 1

Why is it that companies and individuals buy cheap, poorly designed office chairs?

There are, of course many reasons why this happens and the fact that a low cost seating product is most likely not in their best interests.

Chief among these is that it never occurs to them that there was any reason to spend any more than the bare minimum. After all, a chair is a chair isn't it?

Well no it isn't as simple as that and the process requires a bit more research instead of blindly going out and spending as little as possible on cheap imported office seating.

Here are seven important questions that a business manager or individual needs to ask prior to buying new seating.

  1. How long is spent each day in an office chair?

  2. How long is spent each day working at a computer in an office chair?

  3. Do I or my staff suffer from aches and back pain as a result of sitting for extended periods of time?

  4. Is it likely that time will be spent working for long periods in an office chair for the foreseeable future?

  5. Do I or my staff feel uncomfortable in the present office seats?

  6. How do I or my staff feel about a cheap seat? Is it affecting productivity?

  7. What's important to me of my staff about my/our office chair?

Once you have the answer to these key questions you'll then be in a far better position to make a balanced decision about the importance of the quality of office chairs to you and your staff. We'll return to each question in detail in my next post.

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Miracle Sciatica cure – not!

Miracle Sciatica cure – not!

Dr Graham Teague a New Zealand based back specialist, points out that there are a lot of sites in the Internet that promise miracle cures for sciatica and back pain that mostly just don't work – or at best give some relief.

Well, Graham does have the answer to sciatica and back pain problems, I know because I have tried and continue to use his simple methods for these conditions. And they work!

Graham has developed some simple techniques to relieve back related problems which I can highly recommend.

Here's where you can find more about Dr Graham Teague and his back pain relief methods.

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Welcome to the New OfficeChairAdvice.com Blog

I decided to add a Blog as I frequently come across useful tips, ideas and information that either aren't related to existing areas of the site or may not have sufficient detail for an individual page on the site.

You can expect at least one post a week, probably more and as well as covering office seating products, you will find useful information on topics such as office related health issues, industry trends, workstation issues, working from home etc.

Please feel free to comment via the link in posts, I've had to set it up for registered users due to spammers, but I'll due my best to approve you promptly.

Alternatively, if you prefer just use the contact form to submit any questions or comments.

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