Office chairs... office chairs... office chairs.. *sigh*
So many 'ergonomic' chairs advertised, so many ergonomic horrors in reality!
Here are some tips in choosing a chair that is good for you:
Above all else, the chair should be comfortable for you, with enough padding to stop you from feeling the base or backrest frame.
Look for adjustment mechanisms for chair height, backrest height and backrest tilt. The more adjustments possible, the easier it'll be to fit the chair to you (although having more than 5 adjustment options just becomes confusing).
Similar to car seats, some office chairs have a nicely defined lumbar support, and some have none at all. Find a chair that has a gentle lumbar support within the backrest - it's important to be supported, but not be pushed out of the chair by a massive bump on the backrest! A medium back chair usually suffices for most people, unless they are very tall, in which case a high back chair could be more beneficial.
THE ISSUE OF ARMRESTS:
Some people can't live without them, whilst others can't stand them. I tend to fall into the latter group. Armrests = leaning, and leaning = poor spinal alignment and increased pressure through elbow and shoulder. For those armrests lovers out there.. as a compromise, find a chair with height adjustable armrests, and position them to the lowest setting. This will enable the armrests to be there for assisting you to get on and off the chair, but will be too low for leaning easily and won't hinder the chair seat's ability to get under the desk properly.
Got any office chair related questions?