June 9, 2020

When its time to replace the existing desk chairs in your office you want to get it right but there are so many choices.  There can be a lot riding on your decision so let’s break it down.

Office furniture is typically purchased through local “dealers” who may represent a single, large office furniture manufacturer along with dozens of other smaller brands.  They are set up to give you full service including delivery and installation, if needed. 

When comparing chairs, there are several key features you want to consider before making a final decision:

  1. Adjustability: can the seat height and depth along with lumbar height, and arms be adjusted to fit the broadest range of body sizes?

  2. Is the chair BIFMA certified for quality, dimensional standards and environmental attributes (if desired by your company)?

  3. What is the warranty, and does it include parts and labor?

  4. What is the weight rating of the chair (the maximum weight of the user the chair is designed to support – note: industry standard is typically 300+ lbs.)

  5. Can high use parts be easily replaced if worn out (wheels, arm caps, etc)

  6. Are the chair adjustments intuitive and easy to use (note: if complicated, most users won’t take the time to learn the adjustments)

  7. Is it comfortable and can I easily move and shift my weight while seated?

  8. Does the chair have a wide range of options to fit workers in your company who may have different physical requirements than others in your workforce?

  9. What is the price?

You may have noted that I started this list with considering the range of adjustability and ended it with the price.  Selecting a chair that meets the dimensional requirements of your employees will provide a greater opportunity that the chair will fit them and be comfortable.  Always consider several different chairs when you are making an evaluation and ask that complimentary samples be provided for you to test drive first.  Its always a good idea to try out a chair for at least three days with a week or more being ideal.  Never select a chair that you sat in for a few minutes in a dealer’s showroom.  You need to really put it through its paces and make sure it works for you.  Also, if practical, get some other opinions from trusted colleagues.  A consensus decision can help avoid blind spots and you are also letting others of different body sizes weigh in on comfort.

Always keep in mind that the greatest asset a company has is not the building, the inventory, or the furniture, it’s the people.  Good desk chairs are the first line of defense in avoiding poor ergonomics and the risk of fatigue and injury which is why the factor of price is last on the list.  Your employee’s bodies are in physical contact with their chair all day so it is a big deal. You do not need to spend a fortune, however, to get a good chair but if you choose based on cost, you may end up passing over some of these important features.  Consider a good chair as an investment instead of a routine purchase as you will be able to own and enjoy them for years to come instead of replacing them every couple of years.

Be Well Ergo can help take some of the guess work out of this purchase and work with you to create a streamlined and systematic evaluation process that will cut through the confusion and break down the facts about each chair you are considering.  Contact us and we will give you a hand making a confident and thorough decision.