If there’s one thing that can make or break your office experience, it’s a good chair — and by “good,” we mean “ergonomic.” That’s because working in a traditional chair is not only uncomfortable but can actually lead to serious health problems.
On the other hand, a comfortable, mesh office chair will drastically improve your posture, reduce back and neck pain and ultimately increase your productivity.
Mesh office chairs have become all the rage in the past few years, thus leading to a very successful ergonomic chair marketplace. But, with so many options nowadays, finding the best one for your needs can be quite a complicated task.
That’s why we’re diving deeper into the mesh office chairs. We’ll talk about why owning one may be the best investment you’ll make, while also taking a closer look at the top ones to buy.
What is an Ergonomic Office Chair?
An ergonomic or mesh office chair is the type of chair commonly found in (home) offices. What separates them from others are the adjustable features that allow better control and customized settings. This will provide workers with the right posture, all while feeling comfortable through the eight-hour workday. The end goal of an ergonomic chair is the elimination of work-related discomfort and injury risk while providing support, comfort and health for your body.
What Are the Features of a Good Mesh Office Chair?
Ergonomic office chairs have a number of features designed to offer correct support. The features you should consider include height, width, lumbar support, backrest, armrest and headrest, plus the materials.
Most office chairs control their height with a pneumatic seat height adjustment feature. That means mesh office chair seat height should be easily adjustable with the appropriate height, about 16 to 21 inches off the floor. This allows you to keep your feet flat on the floor, your thighs horizontal and your arms even with the height of the desk or table in front of you.
The seat width, alongside its height, is vital for your comfort. An office chair’s standard width is between 17 and 20 inches. Proper seat depth should leave two to four inches between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees so that you can sit comfortably with your back against the backrest of the office chair. If the seat is too far forward, it may put undue pressure on the back of the knees.
A lower back support or lumbar support is crucial in an ergonomic office chair. It provides a great amount of support for your lower back. But if you don’t have this feature, you’re at greater risk of weakening the lower spine structures.
The backrest of your office chair should be able to support the natural curve of your spine and it should be between 12 and 19 inches wide. Office chair armrests should be adjustable since they support your elbow and forearms, reduce tension in the upper body and allow the shoulders to relax. Without them, you would be adding more weight and stress to your shoulders and arms. An ergonomic office chair should also have a good headrest since it supports the back of the head and the upper neck, reducing tension in the shoulders and upper torso.
The material on the office chair seat and back should have enough padding to be comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time, yet it should not cause your back to sweat. So having a cloth fabric that breathes is preferable. In that sense, a mesh chair is lightweight, highly breathable, and easy to clean. Ultimately, the material used will depend on the budget. High-end ergonomic chairs will, for the most part, use leather or velvet.
Since good mesh chairs don’t come cheap, regularly cleaning yours will help it maintain its quality.
What Are the Benefits of an Ergonomic Office Chair?
Besides all the features we listed above, there are several good benefits that’ll help you make your decision about investing in an ergonomic chair. Here are some of them.
Reduced Neck and Back Pain
You’ve heard the complaints at least once in your workplace: the chair is causing the pain. This is usually because budget, non-ergonomic office chairs don’t provide the best support for long periods of time. On the other side, ergonomic chairs have a headrest that supports your head and neck, leading to less body discomfort and more comfort while working.
If you’re sitting awkwardly or slouching over your desk, it is likely that your chair may be one of the reasons why. With an ergonomic chair you can adjust the height to sit with your feet flat on the floor, knees at an angle of 90 degrees to the floor, and parallel to the hips. These corrections automatically help you to improve your posture.
Reduced Hip Pressure
A traditional office chair with a hard surface brings a lot of pressure on our hips with the weight of our legs not being supported properly. An ergonomic chair helps to reduce hip pressure by providing suitable seat depth to support the hips.
Owning an ergonomic chair is a win-win situation. Not only will it help alleviate you from all the pain, but it’ll also allow you to focus on work more efficiently without being distracted by the discomfort.
The Best Mesh Office Chairs
If you’re trying to sort through the options on the market, we’ve put some of the chairs to the test. Here are some of our favorites.
The Herman Miller Aeron chair is known for its exceptional quality and is one of the pricier chairs on the market. The highlight of this chair is the Posture Fit SL feature. It consists of two adjustable pads positioned at the rear of the backrest. These flex separately from one another and adjust to perfectly fit the curve of your spine. The seat also has a very prominent waterfall edge which helps the blood to keep flowing down to your legs while the mesh padding provides both suspension and breathability. The Aeron chair also comes with adjustable armrests that give you complete freedom to customize your armrest position. But if you prefer a chair with adjustable depth, you may want to look elsewhere.
The Modway Articulate Mesh Office Chair has plush, cushy seat padding, comes in different colors and won’t take up a ton of space at your desk or in your office. This chair possesses the integrated lumbar support that promotes a healthy spine. Unlike the Herman Miller chair, the Modway chair has an adjustable seat depth. Yet, the weight capacity on this chair is only 250 pounds, so it may not be ideal for someone who is big and tall.
The Furmax Office Chair has a special cushion that uses a high-density elastic sponge, which is softer, thicker, more comfortable and covered by breathable mesh cloth. The height of the seat can be adjusted and you can tilt backward to relax or switch your sitting posture.
The Sihoo Ergonomic Office Chair has a classic office chair shape with an interesting flair. The seat cushion has a flowing design, meaning that the mesh covering the cushion is breathable and will allow for your thighs to move comfortably. The headrest on the Sihoo chair is a separate component to the rest of the back of the chair, attached with an adjustable mechanism. It also has adjustable lumbar support and a tilt lock function so that you don’t risk leaning too far back and falling.
Whether you’re looking to improve the comfort of your DIY desk setup or revamp a professional workspace, replacing your conventional office chair with an ergonomic one will offer a remarkable set of physical and mental health benefits. With our top picks by your side, we’re sure you’ll choose a chair that is best suited for your work situation. In the end, it’s a small price to pay for your wellness.