It is extremely important that you choose the right ergonomic computer chair since the wrong choice could result in back pain and even repetitive strain injury (RSI). Whether you sit at your computer desk all day or just occasionally, it is important for your muscles, tendons and posture that you select the chair best for you.

As computers become more popular, we are tending to spend more time sitting in front of them! That likely won't surprise you, but you might be surprised at what can happen to you if don't have the appropriate type of chair to sit on. Comfy and cozy are not relevant features - You must select an ergonomic computer chair offering back support and also that prevents you from overstretching or sitting hunched too close to the desk.

Here is some advice on selecting the right ergonomic computer chair, because if you get it wrong it can cause your back and neck a great deal of damage and pain:

Seat Height

The height should be adjustable, preferably using a pneumatic lever since then you can adjust it to the optimum height while sitting on it. The ideal height is when your feet are flat on the floor without stretching and your thighs are horizontal. If the seat has arms, these should lie even with the height of the keyboard.

Seat Width and Depth

The width of the seat should fit you without squeezing, and the depth should be enough so that your back rests against the back of the chair and the back of your knees are away from its edge. Nothing annoys people more than trying to sit comfortably and finding the edge of the seat rubbing and chaffing their legs. Although the back should be able to tilt, it is better straight up than fixed and permanently tilted.

Back Support

The support offered to your back is very important in an ergonomic chair. When you are not sitting correctly in a chair it is the lower (lumbar) region of your back that is most likely to give you pain - from the coccyx up to just under your ribs. Because this is a curved part of your spine, it is the part likely to give you severe pain if it is forced into a more straight position by a chair back that offers no proper support. An ergonomic computer chair should offer you support for your curved lower back that can be adjusted to suit the natural shape of your spine.

The back should also be able to be adjusted up and down - it's pretty obvious that if your seat can be moved up and down, then the back should likewise because we are not all the same size and taller people will need more distance between the seat and the back than smaller people. If it is also adjustable with respect to the angle of the back, then all the better, particularly if the back is separate from the seat.

Arm Support

You should also be able to adjust the arm supports. Arms adjustable for height are also necessary, because the arms would otherwise move in height as you adjusted your seat height, so adjustable arms are an essential feature of a truly ergonomic computer chair. When typing your elbows should be resting on the armrest with your forearms just above it.

Head Support

Many people don't like head-rests, but they should be available and adjustable so that you can support your head while typing. This can help prevent neck pain.

Rotation or Swivel

Any good office chair can swivel these days, so that you can reach anywhere on your desk without stretching. Castors may also be an advantage in reaching various parts of your desk, but not so easily moved so that you are continually moving or straining your feet to keep still.

Leather or Fabric?

A leather or vinyl covering for your chair might seem best, but it isn't really. A breathable fabric is significantly better than a material that will cause you sweat. If you find it necessary to use a cushion to be comfortable, then you haven't set the computer chair up properly.

Much depends on your budget, because every individual feature on an ergonomic computer chair is liable to add to the cost. For example, are you better purchasing a cheap chair that offers all of these or an expensive make that offers only a few? That is a difficult decision to make, but in general you should be fine with a middle-of-the-range model that offers as many of these as you can afford.

When buying the best make, you are also paying for the name, and if you purchase a cheap unknown then it is likely to last just a day over the warranty and then break down, meaning that the adjustments will stop adjusting and the fabric or vinyl will rip. If you can't have every feature, then the adjustable height and back are both essentials since these are the factors that will most help to avoid back pain.

There is a large number of factors to keep in mind when deciding on the best ergonomic computer chair for you, but you will have a good chance of doing that and finding the chair that best fits your frame if you take all of the above into account.