How to choose the right home office chair

Your dining room chair or sofa may be fine for short spells of home working but long term you risk serious musculoskeletal issues if you are not sitting properly. To counter this, home office chairs offer a range of complicated-sounding functions to help you achieve the perfect seating position.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with the wide range of options. This guide explains exactly what is required by law, and what each of the mechanisms and adjustments actually do!

 

HSE Regulations

The Health and Safety Executive DSE regulations cover the minimum requirements of an office chair to ensure long term comfort and health. If you answer ‘No’ to any of the following questions, your home office furniture and equipment might need a review:

  • Is your chair stable?
  • Does your chair have seat back height and tilt adjustment? Seat height adjustment? Castors or glides?
  • Is the small of your back supported by the chair’s backrest?
  • Are your forearms horizontal and your eyes at roughly the same height as the top of your screen?
  • Are your feet flat on the floor, without too much pressure from the seat on the backs of your legs?

 

Office Chair Mechanisms & Adjustments

Fixed Back

The seat height is adjustable, but the angle of the back rest is fixed so the chair cannot be reclined.

Free Flow / Permanent Contact Floating Back

The seat height and angle of the backrest are adjustable – or you can enable the free-flow mechanism to ensure the back rest maintains contact with the user whilst sitting, leaning, or reaching.

Sychronised Torsion Control

The seat height, angle of the back and angle of the seat are adjustable. Depending on the chair you may be able to enable the free-flow mechanism as well. The tension of these mechanisms can be adjusted using the torsion control knob

Lock Tilt

A lock tilt mechanism allows you to recline the chair, but the seat and backrest will stay at a fixed angle that you lock into place using a lever. The recline tension can be adjusted using the torsion control knob.

 

Choose the right office chair

 

Synchro

The chair seat and back can be locked into a choice of 3-5 positions, depending on the chair. The seat angle will change in proportion to the back angle and you can adjust the recline tension with the torsion control knob.

Knee Tilt

The seat height is adjustable, and the back can be reclined and locked into a choice of 3-5 positions depending on the chair. With a front pivot point your feet can maintain contact with the floor when reclining.

Ratchet back

The seat back can be moved up and down independently. This allows the chair to be quickly adapted to different users.

Lumbar Support

To ensure comfort, a home office chair should support the small of your back to prevent slumping. Depending on the chair, lumbar support can be adjusted to suit the individual user. For adjustable lumbar support see our Scope, Impulse or Kick Task Chairs.

Sliding Seat

A seat slide mechanism helps ensure that the back rest maintains contact with your back and relieves pressure from the back of the knees. This is a particularly useful feature for taller or more petite users. For home office chairs with seat sliding mechanisms, see our Vik, Drumback, Impulse and Scope Chairs

 

The Tall and Short of it

The ergonomics of a standard home office chair will adjust to the needs of the average user but for those six feet or over, it is important to look for a chair with a higher back rest and a seat height adjustment between 48o-520mm.

With a 560mm high back, built-in headrest, and seat height adjustment from 460-555mm, the Vik Chair [LM|I1] is an ideal choice for the taller user.

For more petite users we recommend looking for a home office chair with a shallower seat depth. With an adjustable seat slide mechanism offering a depth from 400-460mm and seat height adjustment from just 400mm,  the Drumback Task Chair is an ideal choice for the more petite user.

#ergonomics