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Office chairs glossary part 1

December 15th 2009

An explanation and review of the terms used to describe office chair on our website and others. Synchro, Synchronised mechanism, Synchro tilt. As you realease the back from the upright position the back will move at twice the rate as the seat moves, thereby increasing the angle between the torso and the upper legs.

This encourages an angle of greater than 90 degrees between the upper and lower part of the body encourages good blood flow and greater comfort Back tension adjustment, Tension control Most good office chairs will allow you to adjust the tension of the back mechanism to a rate that is proportional to your weight. In most cases this occurs via a wheel under the seat pan. In some of the more advanced chairs this is offered as a side control. Forward Tilt, Forward seat angle This is a mechanism that allows the chair to tilt forward, increasing the angle of the lower and upper part of the body. This reduces pressure on the spine in particular when leaning forwards. Tilt lock Some office chairs only lock in the upright position others lock in multiple positions and yet others lock in infinite positions. Sitting no longer means standing still and multi tasking is here to stay. A chair that locks in a number of positions will help you with the variety of your daily tasks. Providing support at different angles.

Height Adjustable arms, Height and Width adjustable arms Drop down Multipurpose arms The growth of IT was matched by the growth and the increase in sophistication of the office chair. In many cases RSI (repetitive strain injury) was brought on through endless hours on the keyboard with no support to the lower arms. Adjustable arms have the flexibility to give this support no matter the size, shape or position of the user. Height and width adjustable arms give greater flexibility while drop down arms are useful for tasks that don’t need this support and also allow the chair to be pushed under the desk at the end of the day. Whatever the choice when buying an office chair always look for flexibility. Even in a small office it is unlikely that the chair will be used by just one person over its lifetime Seat height adjustment The British Standard for VDU use requires that the office chair should have back and height adjustment as a minimum. All chairs should provide this height adjustment and this is normally via an inert gas lift and a side entry lever. The lever is almost always on the right hand side of the chair. Forward seat slide seat depth adjustment Allows the seat of the chair to change in depth to accommodate taller people. Again with flexibility in mind this is a good feature to have. Continued support along the thighs means that you are more likely to sit in the correct position with your lower back supported by the back rest. Waterfall edge At the front of the seat a waterfall edge will reduce pressure on the thighs Contoured cushions When choosing an office chair the level of comfort and support is important. Chairs which are too soft or hard will not give sufficient support. Anatomically shaped cushions will offer the correct support in the areas of the body that most need it.

Adjustable lumbar support Many chairs on the market offer this is different ways The most common is the lumbar pump this is either incorporated into the backrest as in the Erik chair or via a hand pump connected by a tube. This allows the user to pump air into a cushion within the lower pat of the back of the chair to provide greater and greater support as the chair will mimic the shape of the lower spine. A simple adjustable bar within the lower part of the back as on the Harmony chair which can be raised and lowered will provide this support in a less sophisticated but equally effective way. Uniquely the Therapod series of chairs provides a series of straps throughout the length of the back rest allowing greater and lesser support across the whole height. At the other end simplicity is the key with the Corrigo chair which limits support to just the spinal area leaving the shoulders and most of the back free to promote flexible working.

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