So often at Ergoprise we are asked to help recommend a chair for an individual. The request is usually followed with the statement, “I can only spend between $200-$499” so I doubt that the chair will be ergonomic. I quickly reassure the person that we carry affordable, true ergonomic chairs.
The term ergonomic is not regulated and is often listed on a label so the user thinks it is valid. Here is an easy understanding for the definition of the phrase ergonomic; the equipment works for the person, as opposed to the person contorting their body to fit the equipment. In other words, the chair needs to fit the user, not the other way around.
How to choose a good, affordable ergonomic chair
The chair may well be the most important part of an office setup as the wrong chair can cause serious pain and injury. In order for a chair to qualify as an ergonomic chair, it is important to have a minimum level of adjustment specific features. I consider the decision of choosing options for the chair similar to the experience of visiting a car or home showroom. Would it be nice to have all the bells & whistles; most definitely, yes. However, are all of the options necessary? The answer is no.
When considering what to opt for in a chair, one must if the individual you are buying the chair for is uncomfortable or in pain. If so we recommend that the person seeks an examination from a health care provider (physician, chiropractor, physical or occupational therapist) before replacing their chair.
There are six specific features I always recommend for a chair, regardless of the budget.
- An Adjustable Back, this can be achieved by either a mechanism that has a ratchet back or an independent lever or paddle that allows the back to be adjusted. It is quite important to have the back supported (this includes the cervical, thoracic & lumbar regions).
- Height adjustable arms, often on many chairs the arms do not go low enough.
- Width Adjustable Arms, on many chairs (both inexpensive & expensive) the arms do not have the ability to be width adjustable. It is really important that arms are as close to body. Specifically for petite individuals, since most arms are too wide for their frame.
- Seat Depth Adjustment (also referred to as a seat slider). If one has the back of their knees pressed against the front edge of the chair it can cause pain and restrict circulation. Conversely if the knees are several inches away from the edge of the seat, the lower back is not being supported. The seat depth adjuster/seat slider allows the individual to adjust the seat to his or her correct location. A good rule to measure if the seat depth is correct, an individual should have 2-4 fingers spaced from the front edge of the chair to the back of the knees.
- The Weight Limit of the chair. If you weigh more than 250 lbs. this should be dispelled when deciding upon the chair. Most chairs are weight rated to 250 lbs. If one purchases a chair that is not equipped to hold their weight, the chair can break and the individual can become hurt. The warranty of the chair will be voided should the user weigh more than what it is rated.
Here are five chairs that meet basic ergonomic requirements and are under $500
Seating with a mission… breathable black mesh synchro-tilt backrest, molded foam waterfall seat are combined with adjustability for out-of-this-world comfort and state-of-the-art control. Tilt Tension Control, Center Tilt, Tilt Lock, Back-Angle Adjustment, Seat Height Adjustment, Waterfall Seat, Forward Seat Tilt, Back Height Adjustment, Seat Depth Adjustment, Width Adjustable Arms and Height Adjustment Arms. Weight Capacity 250 lbs. The chair costs $353.10 (shipping waived in the 48 continuations states).
Allseating Presto High-back With its rugged construction, contoured back and 4” thick seat, the Presto delivers the magic combination of versatility, durability and functionality. The Value Plus Mechanism includes seat height adjustment, forward seat angle adjustment, seat depth adjustment, tension control, back height adjustment, infinite tilt lock, back angle adjustment. We recommend the height & width adjustable T-arm. In a grade 1 fabric this chair costs $400 (shipping waived in the 48 continuations states to a business. There is a residential fee. We suggest if you if you want to ship to your residence, you instead find a local UPS store to ship it to. This will save you any additional residential fees).
Allseating Chiroform Chair: This is a chair with strength that lasts the tests of time. Ergonomic, durable and comfortable. Made with multiple users in mind. Available with several control options, a double curve back rest for additional lumbar support. This durable chair offers a 325lb max weight. This seat starts at $385.00 (shipping waived in the 48 continuations states to a business. There is a residential fee. We suggest if you if you want to ship to your residence, you instead find a local UPS store to ship it to. This will save you any additional residential fees).
RFM Rainer 3600 Series Medium Back Chair This chair looks basic but has features rarely found at this price point. Optional arms (included in this price) are height and width adjustable. It includes all the basic adjustments required to make a chair fit the user. What makes the Rainer unique is that you can add a tractor shaped seat. A tractor seat spreads your weight more evenly, easing the stress on your back. You can also select the seat size you need so this will fit petite and not so petite people better than so called “average” sized chairs. If you have a bad back and a tight budget, this is the chair for you. Like most of the chairs we recommend, you have a selection of fabrics to choose from so it looks great in your office. $367 and it ships free.
Raynor Apollo Mesh Back Task Chair MT9400 This task chair is a favorite of ours as it offers comfort and above average adjustability at an extremely value minded price. The lumbar support competes with more expensive chairs and the thickly padded seat can handle all day use. The Apollo MT9400 is part of the Raynor Apollo series, featuring chairs that suit different ergonomic needs for most users. The Apollo offers Synchro-tilt mechanism, height adjustable back, superior lumbar support, height adjustable seat pan (seat offers limited depth adjustment at the time of assembly), back tilt and tensions control and the arms are height and width adjustable with soft polyurethane arm rests. This chair costs $302.50 (shipping waived in the 48 continuations states).
Vera Mesh Executive Office Chair: The Vera ergonomic seating collection by Eurotech Seating are the ideal seat for executive interiors and on the office floor. This high back office chair solution offers height adjustable seat pan adjustment, natural lumbar support, 6 way adjustable arms, and user friendly controls. The Vera chair line offers incredible comfort throughout the day. This chair costs: $406.00 (shipping waived in the 48 continuations states).
Should you have questions about chairs please do not hesitate to contact us at 877-907-8688, or via live chat. Please feel free to complete our chair questionnaire and we can help take the guess work out of searching for the chair that fits your requirements.
Ergoprise: is a certified, woman-owned, multi-brand provider of high quality office, mobile, and industrial ergonomic tools located in Austin, Texas. Through our showroom, website, and sales team we offer a broad range of ergonomic products that have been selected to provide individuals with a comfortable working environment that delivers an excellent return on investment.