Having at the very least an impressive-sounding name, the executive office chair is widely considered an important accessory for any high-end office. Although they can vary a bit in style and materials, an executive office chair generally provides an office setting with class, luxury, and, at least, the appearance of comfort. For people who actually do a lot of work in their office, though, an executive office chair may not always be the best choice. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering adding an executive office chair to your work place.
An executive office chair doesn’t necessarily follow a strict set of rules or limitations. Essentially, any chair can be called an executive chair, but they do tend to share some common characteristics.
You can always expect the design of an executive office chair to place a strong emphasis on luxury. Traditional, high-end executive chairs often feature leather upholstery and have that classic look that will be familiar if you’ve ever seen the way television and movies depict the offices of lawyers or stock brokers. They may also have a wood base, or a steel base with wood caps; recently, more modern-looking executive chairs have also become common, typically with a more neutral appearance; executive chairs also almost always have low-set arms.
Executive Office Chair: Problems
Unfortunately, compared to ergonomic office chairs, most executive office chairs also tend to share the same set of drawbacks. For one thing, whereas quality ergonomic chairs have several areas of adjustability as well as additional features which automatically adjust or adapt to the user’s body and position, executive chairs usually only have one or two adjustable parts. This means that executive chairs provide a good fit to a much smaller range of body types and preferences.
Whereas an ergonomic office chair is designed to accommodate prolonged use and a variety of positions – particularly those conducive to work – executive chairs tend to be much more restrictive. They don’t allow you much room to move around, and as such they only remain comfortable for short periods of time. Also, executive chairs usually aren’t optimized for proper working postures, so if you actually need to do a lot of work at your desk, an executive chair probably isn’t the healthiest or most practical choice.
So, if an executive office chair isn’t really all that great for work purposes, what sort of chairs should you be looking at instead? There are a few different common types of ergonomic office chairs that are designed to remain comfortable over long periods and eliminate the pain and fatigue associated with poor posture or improper seating.
There’s no one chair that we know of that will be perfect for absolutely everybody, so there are always some things to take into consideration when looking for an ergonomic chair. We’ve already put many of the most popular ergonomic office chairs through their paces, and we’ve assessed how well they work in different situations and for different body types. See our reviews for more information.
In special situations, you may want to consider alternative ergonomic chair styles other than the executive chair; kneeling chairs, for example, can be a good choice for people who have experienced persistent lower back pain with other chairs, while an armless chair may be worth considering depending on the type of work you do.