What’s Special about an Office Chair?

Office Chairs are pretty great. Their like the Ferrari to the horse-drawn carriage. The two items share the same in function, you sit in them, you go places, you park it, you get out. The devil is in the details though.

A regular chair does precisely what it is designed to do, and it does a fine job of it. You sit in it, and that’s your activity. No problem. That’s not what you’re doing in an office chair though.

When you go to your office, the point is to work, and if you’ve ever tried sitting in a regular chair after using even a low quality office chair for an extended period of time, you’ll notice some significant downsides.

A regular chair doesn’t move, so you are CONSTANTLY adjusting your position.

To work on your desk, or even to reach across it, you need the chair scooted in all the way. This means you can’t get up without scooting backward, so you’re doing that awkward little dance every time you need to stand or sit back down.

If the chair is the wrong height, then that’s just tough for you. If it’s too high, then you won’t be able to scoot in properly, and you’ll be bending forward past your knees to do anything. If it’s too low, then you have to raise your arms to an awkwardly high position that will cause your shoulders, upper back, and neck to seize into tight and painful knots, all just so you can use the desk.

You cannot turn left or right, and have a hard time leaning either way, making it difficult to reach the sides of your desk.

The inevitable consequence of this is that you simply will not adjust your chair for every movement you need to make, and so you will instead compensate with your body, by leaning forward in a way that compromises your posture and causes short term pain and long term medical problems.

That’s why office desk chairs come with wheels and swivels. Being able to scoot out and in and side to side, and being able to turn your chair to face different directions without having to engage in seriously awkward movements has a significant impact on your willingness to make those adjustments.

That is very important, because those minor adjustments are the things that allow you to maintain proper good posture and avoid the painful consequences to come from your body’s natural compensation for bad posture, which is mostly seized up muscles and a bent spine.

It also helps that you can raise and lower the chair. While an adjustable desk might also be necessary for very tall or short people, the height adjustable office chair allows most people to use the standard height desk in a way that doesn’t hurt them.

The moral of the story? Appreciate your desk chair. There is a lot of thought and engineering put into those things, to make sure that you can have a tolerable, pain-free work experience.

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