Our forefathers were a breed of man little seen today. They forged homes and families literally out of nothing, and made their way across an inhospitable landscape on their way to settling new lands and building a new world. They were tough, they were dependable, and they were scrappy.
And they must have had bottoms made of cast iron, because their chairs were really, really uncomfortable.
Thank goodness we don’t have to deal with hardships like that these days. Today’s modern chairs are just one of the things we have to be thankful for – and boy, are we thankful. The right chair can make you more productive, and decrease problems like a sore neck and back, circulation problems, and numbness, to name a few. The fact is, we spend a lot more time in chairs at a desk today than we ever have, so why not make it as comfortable as possible.
What to Look For
So, what to look for when shopping for one of today’s modern chairs? A few things to look for:
- Ability to recline – Reclining is a key feature, because it can make sitting for a while more comfortable, because it reduces pressure on areas of your body, like your back. Some questions to ask are – Does the chair recline properly? Is there a way to set reclining limits, or is just an ‘on/off’ setting? Also, how does the chair feel when you recline? Does the rest of the chair support reclining, or does it feel weird?
- Seat Depth – Also key to supporting your body for a long period of time is the depth of the seat itself. If the seat is too long, it can cause strain on your back and legs. If it’s too short, it can be hard on circulation. Some questions to ask are – How does the chair feel when you sit normally? Does make you feel like you want to scoot forward, or will it let you comfortably rest against the backrest.
- Seat Height – Height in critical as well, and directly affects both posture and circulation. If the seat is too low, it puts a strain on the lower body. If it’s too high, it affects circulation. The nice thing about modern chairs is, they typically have adjustment levers to address this very problem. But some questions to ask are – How easily does that lever work? Is it simple to reach the lever and adjust the height, or is it a major undertaking? How sturdy does the chair feel when it raises and lowers?
- Armrests – The armrests can be a major factor when selecting your chair. They’re key to supporting your arms and forearms, and a bad fit for your armrests can affect everything from your neck and shoulders to leading to carpal tunnel issues in your wrists. Some questions to ask include – Can you adjust the armrests, both in terms of height and width relative to the seat? How comfortable and padded are the armrests?
There’s no doubt that modern chairs are a significant improvement over the past. And, as long as you take time to choose the right one for you, you’ll be very glad you did.