How to choose the right office chair? Purchase guide
A qualitative chair is necessary for your own comfort. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to make the right choice : which type is the best and how can you adapt its settings ?
Next, you will find an overview of all the specific characteristics and some advice for use
1 Help with the choice: find the seat you need2 The duration of use and the suited mechanism3 The different types of arm supports4 A good posture
5 The right settings6 Advice for the maintenance7 Labels and norms8 Terminology
1 - Help with the choice: find the seat you need
How many hours a day do you sit on a seat?
Choose your comfort
Allowing you to lay your head to relieve your cervical
Allowing for improved posture which considerably reduces back strain
Permettant de poser sa tête afin de soulager ses cervicales
I start the search
2 - Duration of use and adequate mechanism
Prolonged sitting position, immobility, office work in front of a screen can cause low back pain and back pain. This is why the more time you spend sitting during the day, the more ergonomic the mechanism of your seat or chair must be.
If you choose a seat and your use is:
Standard (≤ À 4H)
Standard ≤ À 4H : Conult all the chairs with a « standard » mechanism. The back support is fixed, the seat is adjustable in height. This model is extremely inadequate for longer work on a chair.
Frequent< À 7H : In this case, you better choose for a chair with « permanent contact ». The back support follows always exactly your movements, there is a « permanent » contact with the back. Furthermore, you can block the back support in the desired position. The pressure can be adapted, in accordance with your own body shape and weight. The seat is not adaptable. This type of chair is perfect for daily office work.
Intense ≥ 7H : We recommend you a chair with a « synchronous » mechanism.
The back support and the seat bend together with your body, in order to maintain a comfortable posture. The pressure on the back support can be adapted, in accordance with your own body shape and weight. Thanks to the anti-kickback system, every possible shock upon the vertebral column is diminished. The synchronous mechanism is the most ergonomic. This type of chair is a good choice for computer work.
Basculant centré < = 4H : We recommend you an armchair with a « centered axis ». The back and the seat rotate together with your body, in a constant angle, in order to guide and attenuate your movements. This mechanism is very popular for direction models.
Eccentric axis 7H : We recommend you an armchair with an « eccentric axis ». This model has the same characteristics as an armchair with centered axis, added up with some extra ergonomic trumps: it is equipped with a rotating axis that bends to the front, in order to keep your feet on the ground, independent from the size of the angle. This mechanism is also very popular for direction models.
For optimal support of the forearms and shoulders, below is a summary table of the different types of armrests.
FIXED ARM SUPPORTS :
to adapt the position
1D ARM SUPPORTS:
2D ARM SUPPORTS:
3D ARM SUPPORTS:
and in width
4D ARM SUPPORTS:
in depth, in width
4 - A good posture
As mentioned before, a qualitative chair is necessary for your own comfort. However, this is not enough : at any time, you need to maintain a good posture ! Sometimes, it is already enough just to think of it. Some simple reflexes can help you to avoid back problems, a bad blood circulation and stress.
It is always important to straigthen your back. That’s why your back support has to be high enough, in order to support your pelvis and loins. Try to keep a permanent contact between your back and the support. On the other hand, your shoulders should not be sticked to the back support : a forced straight back is as unhealthy as a rounded back. At the same time, you can also use a supplementary support that follows perfectly the shape of your body, for an maximum comfort.
Your feet must always be flat on the ground. Don’t cross your legs under your seat and don’t stretch them: a good posture is one with a straight back, that improves the blood circulation and doesn’t cause pressure on your knees.
THE INDISPENSABLE FOOTSTOOL
It is often forgotten on the workplace, but a footstool is indispensable for your comfort, especially when you are wearing heels. It is strongly recommended by the occupational medicine and it guarantees a better posture. The footstool helps to keep your spine straight and extra pressure on your knees will be avoided.
You put your forearms horizontally, parallel with the surface of your desktop. Try to maintain your elbows in a right angle and move your wrists in line with your elbows. In this way, you don’t pinch off your median nerv when your wrists rest on your desktop or your keyboard.
Don’t forget to let your eyes rest from time to time. Therefore, it is advised to put your screen at an adequate distance and height. Choose for a distance of at least 40 cm and be sure that the upper border of your screen is at eye level, or a little bit lower.
5 - Choose for the right settings
Knowing the right posture is the first step, but putting it into practice is even better! Height, back, seat: next, you fill find some tips, in order to set up your chair in the correct position.
The back support
Adjust the inclination and the height of the back support until it supports the pelvis and it follows perfectly the curves of the spinal column. It is also very important that the major part of the back touches the back support.
The arm supports
Sit up straight and bend your legs in a right angle. Adjust now the armrests in the height, so they almost touch the lower side of your elbows. But be careful: the armrests may definitely not influence the natural position of the elbows, in other words, they shall not tilt them up, not even slightly.
The depth of the seat has the perfect size when you can put four fingers between your popliteus and the border of your chair. Just make sure your back is always supported and your feet are flat on the ground.
Sit up straight on your chair, and look ahead. In this case, the heighest point of your seat must be just above your knees.
6 - Some tips for a good maintenance
The goal is to enjoy your chair as long as possible ! That’s why we recommend you to vacuum the fabric every two months, in order to remove all the dust. If this is not enough, choose another type of cleaning. There is a solution for every stain!
Grease : sprinkle the fabric with talc and wait for a reaction. Next, remove the talk and wet the stain with white spirit.
Ballpoint pen : use rubbing alcohol of 90°.
Ink : clean with rubbing alcohol of 90° and rinse with soapy water of 5%.
Chocolat : wet with indifferent water.
Chewing-gum : rub with a bag of ice cubes on the stain. You can remove the rest yourself.
Coffee, tea, milk : use soapy water of 5%.
7 - Labels and norms
When you buy furniture for your company and for your offices, you will be confronted with a lot of different labels and norms. You can find here an overview of the different norms for office chairs and armchairs.
The norm NON FLAMMABLE
In the case of office chairs, the fire safety follows 2 European norms:
EN 1021.1 : resistant against fire caused by cigarettes.
EN 1021.2 : resistant against fire caused by matches.
The only risk that normally needs to be taken into account in a “standard” office is the risk of fire caused by cigarettes, as it is forbidden by law to smoke outside the determined premises.
The M-norms apply to meeting chairs and chairs in public places.
Norme M1 : non flammable
Norme M2 : flame-retardant
Norme M3 : flammable
German label. It guarantees that the tested chairs are in accordance with the European legislation, especially the EN 1335 1-2-3 norm for office chairs.
THE NF EN 1335-norm
This is a European norm that prescribes the mechanical safety requirements for office chairs (dimensions, durability, stability of the undercarriage). The requirements are valid for a duration of use of 8 hours a day for a chair equipped with self-braking wheels, and suited for persons up to 110 kg.
The norms ISO 9001 and 14001
Most of our office chairs received the quality labels ISO 14001 (place of production needs to meet stringent environmental standards ) and ISO 9001 (furniture and manufacturers need to meet strict quality standards). This is not the case for the following chairs: Alizée, Strong, Curvy, Scotty, Gipsy, Spring and Seattle.
8 - Terminology
Some definitions of the used covering material :
Acrylic : synthetic fibre that guarantees a great resistance against chemical products. As a copy of wool, it is soft, warm and voluminous.
Wool : material of animal origin. It is used a lot in the textile industry, as it has highly isolating characteristics.
Microfibre : microfibres are artificial or synthetic textile fibres (polyester, acrylic,…), created around 1980. They are easy to clean and have a high resistance. The velvet aspect doesn’t fade and they don’t start to shine after a while.
Polyoléfine : synthetic polyester fibre.
Polyester : polyester is used in the textile industry for producing synthetic fibres, of which the most famous are Tergal and Dacron. It is the most used synthetic fabric in the world.
Polypropylene : chemical substance, made from strong acids and alkaline solutions.
Renna : mix of cotton wool (80%) and polyurethane (20%) for a high resistance against tearing and in order to conserve the matte aspect and the grain, without any gloss. This material looks like velvet leather.
Trevira CS : 100% polyester of high quality thanks to a unique chemical composition.
All prices are quoted in euro, excluding VAT. We only sell to companies, institutions and self-employed people who use our products for business related purposes.
We do not sell to private individuals.
Company registration number: 0465.015.822 / VAT number: BE0465.015.822