Working from home may afford you the luxury of propping yourself up in bed with your laptop or stretching out on the sofa as you finish the quarterly report, but while both can feel comfortable they’re not great for your back, neck or hands. Poor seating positions can lead to carpel tunnel syndrome, headaches and other unwanted afflictions. To protect yourself these possibilities it’s well worth creating a workspace in your home with a makeshift desk and somewhere to sit.
If you've already tried your dining table and one of its chairs, you'll no doubt have already discovered that they're not built for comfortable 8-hour working days.
An office chair is the solution. They come in a variety of designs and in a huge range of prices, but there are a few things that you should look for when choosing your temporary throne.
The NHS recommends that any office chairs should be adjustable so it can support your lower back. This means that you should be able to change the height, tilt, and back position. Another reason for height adjustment is that you ideally want your knees to be slightly higher than your hips, while also having your feet on the floor. If your desk doesn’t allow for this, then a footrest would be a wise investment.
The height of your chair and desk combination should also mean that your arms are by your side and your forearms parallel to the floor. If you’re reaching out to the side to use a mouse or find that your hands are elevated slightly, then your posture is wrong and it can lead towards RSI injuries. Finally, don’t cross your legs as this is another way to cause yourself harm.
Here’s a selection of the best office chairs that can help you remain productive and keep your body healthy. Another option is to buy a gaming chair. These aren't technically office chairs, but in reality they are pretty much the same thing with (usually) an automotive design influence. They, too, can be very comfortable to work - and game - for long periods.
Office Hippo Essentials Mesh-back swivel chair
You don’t have to spend loads to get a decent chair, as this Office Hippo models proves. A mesh-back allows for airflow while you work and there are adjustments for height, tilt and something called torsion which means that ‘the user can adjust the tension of the free-floating tilt to match their body weight’.
It’s not the most padded or aesthetically elegant option, but for a very small amount of money you’ll get a perfectly usable chair that will be a marked improvement over your dining or kitchen variants.
Swedish furniture giant IKEA has a range of office chairs, but the Markus seems to be the best blend of style, features and price.
It has a fully adjustable seat angle and height, the mesh-back should prevent things getting too hot on a warm spring day, and the castors have brakes built-in so that the chair doesn’t roll back when you get up. Add to this a 10-year guarantee and Markus should have you sitting pretty.
Farnham Executive Cream Leather Manager Chair
For those who want a little more luxury without adding a hefty price tag, the Farnham Executive chair comes with a deep, padded leather seat that promises plenty of comfort. As you’d expect it’s adjustable so that you can match the tilt and seat angle to suit your particular frame, plus there are also armrests where you can, well, rest your arms.
The 2-year guarantee (for up to eight hours use per day) doesn’t quite match that of the Markus, but the design seems sturdy enough to withstand the rigours of being sat in for long periods. The price is for the flat-packed version, but if you’re willing to pay £20 more then the seat will arrive fully assembled.
Secretlab Omega 2020 Dark Knight
A chair doesn’t have to be just perfunctory. As they are a large, reasonably permanent fixture in your home office you’ll want one that also reflects your personality. There are various themed options available, but our favourite has to be the Secretlab Omega 2020 Dark Knight. As the name suggests, this full-leather seat is discreetly adorned by the emblem of Batman. It’s not just a vanity piece for fans of the caped crusader though, as its sturdy construction features adjustable angles for the seat as well as the armrests.
The chair also comes with Memory Foam pillows for both your head and lumber regions, adding to the support and comfort. In truth it’s really a gaming chair, but as those are built to withstand long play sessions and the occasional beverage spillage, they also make for ideal office use as well.
Herman Miller Aeron office chair
If money is no object then the Herman Miller Aeron is one of the finest office chairs available. The design pays incredible attention to every detail. Its 8Z Pellicle suspension material (or posh mesh to you and me) allows air movement around the entire body to prevent any build of excessive heat, plus ‘eight latitudinal zones of varying tension’ to provide comfort and support for both the sacrum and lumbar regions. Everything is adjustable and built to hold in position once you find the perfect mixture of angles and height.
It’s not cheap by any means, but considering how much time you may spend sitting in it each day, the Aeron could be an investment that repays itself again and again.