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Chair guide

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Before you buy a chair, consider the points listed below:

Buying a comfortable chair is not as easy as it sounds. When sitting centrally in a chair that is the right size for you, your weight should be evenly distributed through your feet, thighs, bottom, back, and forearms.

To find the right size chair for you:

  • Feet should be flat on the floor
  • Your bottom should reach back of seat with spine in its natural line
  • Ankles, hips, and knees should be at 90°
  • Buttocks and thighs should be supported by the length of the seat, with a space behind knees of just 2cm – 2.5cm
  • Top of thighs should be parallel to the floor
  • Your bottom and thighs should fit the width of the chair with approximately 2.5cm each side for comfort
  • Forearms should rest on both the armrests without hunching or dropping your shoulder

If a chair is too high: You will tend to slide your bottom forward to get your feet on the floor. This slide puts your spine into a ‘C’ shape with weight taken through the base of the spine

If seat is too low:  When seated in a low chair your knees will be higher than your pelvis, your pelvis will tilt backwards and spine will again take on a ‘C’ shape

If the seat is too deep: You tend to slide forward to get your feet on the floor. This slide tilts your pelvis backwards, your spine forms a ‘C’ shape and weight is taken through the base of the spine

If seat too wide:  You will tend to slump to one side or the other when seated to reach the armrests leading to uneven pressure on your buttocks

If armrests are too low: You lose your forearm support when seated, and get less support when standing up.

To make it easier to stand from a chair, armrests should extend to the front edge of the seat cushion, and wooden ends are easier to grip

Other features to consider:

Cover: do you need wipe clean for convenience? Stretch cover for comfort or textured cover for grip?

Backrest style: button back for firmer support, waterfall cushion for a softer feel lumbar support curve or flat backrest, upright back or raked back?

Extra support: Head or neck support cushion, lumbar support for comfort, lateral inserts for postural support, footstool for leg support.

Expect to pay from £500