How to Choose the Best Office Chair for Extended Comfort During Long Work Hours

How to Choose the Best Office Chair for Extended Comfort During Long Work Hours
By Paulina Wegrzyn.
Paulina Wegrzyn is a physiotherapist residing and practicing in British Columbia, Canada. She completed her Master’s in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada. She currently treats a large persistent pain population. Paulina is a certified pelvic floor physiotherapist, and takes a biopsychosocial approach to treatment. She uses a combination of education, manual therapy, soft tissue release, and exercise prescription with her clients. She is interested in educating others regarding the benefits of physiotherapy in order for them to feel empowered to take control of their health. She enjoys writing content related to this field of study as she believes that physiotherapy should be accessible to all.
Pauline - Masters Qualified Physiotherapist


There is a lot to consider when purchasing an office chair. Along with your desk, office chairs are typically the most expensive item in your office.

The most important element of an office chair is its adjustability. Office chairs are not “one size fits all.” Here are the most important things to consider when purchasing an office chair.

Key Aspects of an Office Chair

An effective office chair should have an adjustable reclining angle of its backrest. This is to ensure that you can sit in the optimal sitting posture, instead of being pushed too far forward or reclining too far backwards.

A chair’s backrest height should be adjustable so that your head can be supported by the headrest and your chair can be properly positioned at the small of your back.

The height of your chair should be adjusted so that your feet are positioned flat on the floor.

The chair’s armrest should be at a level where your elbows can be bent and your shoulders can stay relaxed.

Things to Look for in a Chair When Working Long Hours

When working long hours, the above recommendations still apply, however, there are other things to also consider.

The material from which your office chair is made will impact how comfortable you will be during your work day. Mesh, or another breathable material will allow better air circulation to your back, which may keep you cooler during the day. While leather or synthetic plastics may look stylish and sleek, they can be less comfortable over time. Mesh is also more adaptable to the shape of your body, allowing you to contour the chair rather than having to conform to its shape.

Another consideration for an office chair is adequate padding or cushioning. An office chair that is too hard or too soft can cause back pain and discomfort after sitting in it for many hours a day. Mesh chairs may not have padding or cushioning, but the tension of the mesh allows you to sit comfortably without cushioning since it adapts to the shape of your body. Ideally, look for a chair with padding for your bottom, but largely mesh on the backrest. This will allow your buttocks to be supported, while your back can enjoy the breathability of the mesh material.

Another important aspect of a comfortable office chair is its mobility. Office chairs should have caster wheels that allow you to roll forward, backwards, and side to side with ease. Increased mobility means that it is easy for you to maneuver in and out of your chair, and you are not pulling and pushing on your heavy chair to move it multiple times a day when you are getting up from your desk. This can lead to straining your neck or back if your chair is too heavy or the surface of the floor on which you work makes it hard for you to move it from place to place.

Other Considerations for Working Long Hours

Despite having a comfortable and ergonomic office chair, you still may be experiencing neck pain, back pain, or discomfort during your work day. Although chairs can be optimized to ensure your comfort, the best option is to spend some time of your day standing rather than sitting. Consider purchasing a sit stand desk to reduce the amount of time that you spend sitting at work.

Numerous studies have shown that decreasing your sitting time can be beneficial for your health. Standing can improve your insulin levels, decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, and reduce your symptoms of persistent pain.

Sit stand desks are easily adjustable with many office chairs when you are spending time sitting, and can actually improve your ergonomics while sitting at your chair. This is due to the fact that your working surface is easily adjustable in height, making sitting more comfortable. 


Ergonomic office chairs should be adjustable to your size. Look for chairs that can be personalized to suit your needs. Remember, the more you can modify the chair, the more comfortable you will find it. 

Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking:

    Standing Desks for Kids and Teenagers: A Physiotherapist's Perspective
    How to Sit With Correct Posture in the Office Chair & Prevent Back Problems