For many office workers, a reclining office chair is more than just a place to sit. It's a place to relax as a reward to yourself after finishing a big task or completing a particularly challenging piece of work. It can even by something of a status symbol - luxurious reclining chairs are usually associated with big executives.
But buying a reclining office chair isn't just about glitz and glamor - you need to put some thought into ergonomics, pricing and simply whether or not a chair is a good 'fit' for you. After all, if you're going to be spending upwards of $100 on a chair and you'll be sitting in it for several hours every day, you want to make sure you're getting a product you're happy with. Below you'll find our tips for making sure your reclining office chair purchase goes according to plan.
There's one immediately obvious benefit to having a chair that reclines: relaxation. We all get stressed out from time to time at the office, so it can be really handy to take five minutes here and there to recharge. Having a reclining chair makes it easier to do this. While some might say this is lazy behavior, the reality is that taking regular 'recharge' breaks actually makes you even more productive during the time you do spend working.
But there's another big plus that comes with a reclining chair: taking pressure off your back. When you sit in a normal chair with a fixed back, your spine is often 'crammed' into an unnatural position. When you're stuck in this position for eight hours a day, it can wreak havoc on your back health. With a reclining chair, you can stretch out and lie back regularly throughout the day to take pressure off your spine and joints.
Now let's get into the details of how to actually make a buying decision.
One important factor when looking at reclining office chairs is how sturdy the product is. Because the chair is going to go through a lot of movement, you don't want it falling apart on your after six months because it's not built to last. If a chair seems wobbly or made of flimsy materials, don't buy it.
You also need to think about the actual range of motion and balance of the chair. Let me explain these words. When we say 'range of motion,' we're basically talking about how far back the chair goes when it reclines. Does it only recline a little, to a 45 degree angle? Or can you recline until you're lying down flat?
When we talk about balance, that's simply a matter of how far you need to lean back to get the chair to hold itself in a reclined position. There's no point buying a reclining chair if you have to constantly flex your abs to hold it back in a reclined position. The chair should balance comfortable at any level when you lean back, without you having to apply pressure to hold it in position.
Do you need a foot rest? It's a question worth asking yourself, as the most basic reclining chairs don't have them. You can always save money by buying a basic chair without a built-in footrest and simply using a stool, but there's a problem with this idea. If the extra foot rest you use doesn't fit well with your body and the height of the chair, it can force your knees into a locked position when you put your feet up. This puts pressure on your knee joints that can cause damage over time, so it may be better to simply buy a chair with a built-in footrest which provides proper leg and knee support.
Let's turn our attention now to a couple of the top brands in the reclining chair market.
Mac Motion is one of those top brands - their Pinnacle offer chair is particularly popular. It's a two-piece set made up of the chair itself and a separate footrest. Some people may think this chair doesn't look professional enough for an executive suite, but it fits in quite nicely in a home office.
The OFM Power Rest is another chair which has plenty of rave reviews from satisfied buyers. The Power Rest is a single-piece chair with a built-in footrest and leather padding. It has wheels on the base and looks like a typical computer chair, making it a little more portable than the Mac Motion Pinnacle and more at home in an environment with cubicles - although it would also fit well in a private office. The Power Rest is also slightly cheaper than the Pinnacle - you can find a good Power Rest for under $300, whereas the Pinnacle tends to be closer to $400.
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