A quick guide to selecting an office chair

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Few office furniture decisions are as personal as your chair. When people visit our showroom, they can get excited about a lot of different things – but it is seating that seems to inspire the strongest thumbs-up/thumbs-down reactions.

With that in mind, I offer this simple guide to selecting an office chair – whether you’re selecting one for yourself or a model for the entire office. I’ll use Haworth’s Zody to illustrate my points, simply because I think it is perhaps the nicest task chair they’ve ever made.

Style – Aesthetics matter.

The idea that we make all office furniture purchase decisions based on price and other common-sense considerations is simply an illusion. Let’s face it, we all spend quite a bit of time in the office and that time is more enjoyable if the office looks good. So, my step #1 for selecting a chair is simply to start with something that looks good to you and fits within your office’s décor.

To my eye, Haworth’s Zody just looks nice. It has a simple elegance and style that is modern without appearing like it was crafted from the scraps of your kid’s Fisher-Price collection. (Frankly, I find some of the new-fangled chairs look a tad too futuristic and plastic for my taste.) And with a plethora of fabric / colour options, it is easy to make Zody fit into most any office environment.

Ergonomics – It has to be comfortable.

If you’re buying a chair for yourself, find one in the showroom that feels right and test it out for a few days in the office before you buy. A comfy chair in the showroom can sometimes loose its lustre after a long day at the office, so it’s best to try before you buy. And look for a wide range of adjustability to help ensure you can fit the chair to your body.

If you’re selecting seating for your entire workforce, a wide range of adjustability is absolutely critical and is perhaps your only route towards finding a chair that can accommodate the wide variety of people at your office.

In this department, the Zody is extremely good. You can learn more about the Zody’s ergonomic prowess in this article from FX Magazine by Ergonomist Levent Çaglar.

Sustainability

Find a chair that can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way when you’re finally done with it.

All leading office furniture manufacturers have turned their attention in recent years towards innovating task chair design to be more environmentally friendly. So, with a competitive selection of options, I don’t think there is any excuse for not selecting a chair that is as good for the environment as it is for your back.

Zody was the first MBDC Cradle-to-Cradle, gold-certified office chair. This article from Metropolis Magazine helps decipher what this certification means while also looking at some of Zody’s competitors.

And what about price? Well, with chairs like Haworth’s Zody built to stand up to 12 years of continuous, 24-hour use, it strikes me that they’re quite a bargain at today’s prices. With this kind of longevity, your perfect chair costs just under a penny an hour – a truly tiny price to pay for comfort during your workday, and probably less than what you contribute to the office coffee fund.