Outfitting your office with chairs that are both comfortable and affordable can require quite a bit of research and legwork. In the end, though, the task shouldn’t prove too difficult. Take into consideration the advice below and the office will be sitting pretty (and comfortably) in no time at all.
While price is a major deciding factor in choosing the right chair, you should resist the urge to make it your first criteria. Comfort should be your top priority. The average office worker spends seven to eight hours a day, five days a week, sitting and working at a computer. This type of near-constant sitting has led to a sharp increase in neck and back pain among many people in today’s workforce. In selecting office chairs (for yourself or an entire office), you’re profoundly affecting the quality of the day-to-day work routine — and this is why you should focus on buying an ergonomic chair.
Ergonomic chairs are designed to prevent desk workers and computer users from developing repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). An ergonomic chair will have an adjustable back (one that can easily switch to low, mid-level, and high back positions), seat, and armrests, as well as the swivel feature, to allow the person to fine-tune alignment and support for arms, legs, neck, and back.
All ergonomic chairs are not the same — it’s important to test different chairs to see which model works best for a particular body and the office setup. Head to an office superstore like OfficeMax or Staples and try out the different chairs on the showroom floor. Be sure to pull each one up to a desk that has an adjustable keyboard tray to see how the chair might work with a computer setup.
Now it’s time to talk price. A good ergonomic chair can be quite expensive — for instance, the renowned Herman Miller Aeron chair can sell for close to one thousand dollars. But thanks to the wonders of the Internet (particularly, e-commerce sites such as Amazon and eBay), you can find both new and used ergonomic chairs at some amazing prices.
After testing chairs in the stores, jot down the name and model number of a particular chair that’s comfy and suits your needs. If the price of the chair in the store is astronomical, you can search for sales online. In addition to the previously mentioned sites, you can also conduct searches through Google or Yahoo! Use search terms like “ergonomic chairs,” “used ergonomic chair,” or “ergonomic chair sales” to find appropriate results.
When you’re shopping online, be sure to thoroughly inspect the provided photograph of the chair to be sure it’s the one you want, and also read about its features and functions. If you’re buying used, check out comments from other shoppers about the seller, and be sure they are fair and dependable (on Amazon, for instance, shoppers can see negative and positive ratings on frequent sellers). If you buy online, keep in mind that you’ll also have to pay for shipping.
Another good resource for finding an affordable ergonomic chair is the classifieds section of your local newspaper, as well as the popular online classifieds section of Craigslist. Don’t forget the Yellow Pages, either. In many major U.S. cities you can find warehouse stores that specialize in selling liquidated office furniture from businesses that have shuttered. Look in your Yellow Pages under “office furniture” to see if this kind of warehouse store is close to you.
You can read more about the options for furnishing an office at a deep discount in Buying Budget Office Furniture. Also check out Buying Recycled Office Furniture to learn about the range of options in the used marketplace.