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Chair Buying Guide

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The choice of office chairs is huge, which makes it all the more difficult to find the right model for your own needs and requirements. One of the most important reasons to find the right chair is to prevent back pain. This office chair guide provides you with some essential tips about office chairs to help you find the right chair for you.

Before you decide on an office chair, consider the following questions:

› In what kind of environment will the office chair be used?
› Which time period of sitting will the office chair be used?
› What adjustment options should the office chair have?
› What mechanisms should the office chair be equipped with?
› What material should the chair be covered with?
› How much should the office chair cost?

Categories

At Viking, we offer a variety of office chairs that are tailored to the widest range of needs and requirements. Discover our large selection of brands and own brand chairs with a wide variety of designs and our extensive range of visitor, conference and work chairs.

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Office chairs

People whose work makes them spend hours sitting at a desk for several hours need a good office chair with high comfort levels. In addition to an attractive design, the chair should help achieve an ergonomically correct seating posture to minimise work-related stress. Our office chairs are designed for long-term, seated work. The recommended seating time can vary from chair to chair, but should not exceed eight hours a day. The adjustment options can also vary greatly between the different models for additional comfort. The lower-priced models often have fixed armrests, a plastic cross-base and a permanent contact mechanism. The high-quality office chairs on the other hand are usually equipped with height-adjustable armrests, a chrome-plated steel cross-base and a synchronous mechanism.

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Ergonomic office chairs

For long days at the desk, choosing the right office chair is crucial to your health. This is why Viking offers a wide range of ergonomic and high-quality office chairs. Ergonomic office chairs are designed for long hours of daily work where the recommended seated time frame go beyond the normal eight hours. In addition to their ergonomic design, what really sets these office chairs apart is a high number of adjustment functions such as backrest adjustment, adjustment of the seat depth and tilt, various armrest adjustment options and lumbar support. Viking's ergonomically recommended office chairs conform to strict testing levels for a robust and sturdy construction.

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Executive chairs

The executive chair is usually made from high-quality leather or imitation leather, but may also have a cover made from micro-fabrics or a fabric and leather combination. The advantage of leather or imitation leather is that it is such a durable and long-life material that gives the chair an elegant and prestigious look. Unlike the classic or ergonomic office chair, the executive chair is designed for shorter periods of time of zero to five hours a day, and often comes with fewer adjustment options. The executive chair is particularly suitable for workplaces where there is a lot of contact with customers or business partners.

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Work chairs

Work chairs are particularly suitable for people who often have to switch between seating and standing or who need to move a lot during their work. Our high quality and robust work chairs are suitable for work in warehouses, laboratories, medical practices or production facilities.

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Conference and visitor chairs

Visitor and conference chairs are needed in virtually all companies, from practice rooms and conference rooms to reception rooms. As the areas of use are so different, each chair should be comfortable and robust enough to cope with the daily requirements. However, requirements differ depending on the area of application. For example, cantilever chairs are a popular choice for waiting areas in office practices or as a visitor chair in a manager’s office. Stackable or even folding chairs are a great way to save space and are particularly suitable for large rooms at trade fairs or big conferences.

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Functions

Avoiding back pain: correctly adjusting the office chair

Everyone has their own seating habits and a unique physical build. A good office chair should therefore have a wide range of adjustment options so that it can be individually tailored to the physical dimensions of its occupant and help to prevent back pain.

Seat height: The seat height should be set so that the soles of both feet are flat and in complete contact with the floor. Also, the thighs and lower legs should form a right-angle when seated.
Backrest The form and size of the backrest should match the back of the user and at the very least be height-adjustable. However, it is also vital that the backrest supports the lumbar region in the lower back. All of our ergonomic office chairs have lumbar support.
Seat depth and area: Use the entire sitting area of the chair. You can achieve this by sitting far enough back in the chair to ensure your back is in full contact with the backrest and there is a approximately a hand’s width between the back of your knee and the front of the seat.
Armrests: Armrests should help relieve the burden on the shoulders and neck. Ideally, they should be height-adjustable so that when moving forward toward the desk, the abdomen touches the desk first, and not the armrests. To achieve the correct setting, the armrests should preferably be height-adjustable.
Neck and head support: The neck and head support should be adjusted to the height of the neck in order to help relieve the stress on the neck. This must at the very least be height-adjustable. However, in terms of ergonomics, a headrest is not strictly necessary.
Castors: These should not only be robust and of high quality to withstand intensive daily use, but they should also match the type of floor. Our chairs are fitted with castors for carpet flooring as standard. However, castors for hard floors can also be bought for any chair.

In addition to the various adjustment options, the mechanisms of the chair also play a key role in any office chair purchase.

Synchronous mechanism: Most ergonomic office chairs are fitted with this mechanism. With a synchronous mechanism, the seat area and the backrest are linked, although when the backrest is tilted back, the seat area is tilted slightly less than the backrest, usually at a ratio of 2:1. In other words, if the backrest is tilted back by 10 degrees for example, the seat is normally tilted down by 5 degrees. This movement stretches the body, which stimulates blood flow.
Permanent contact: Unlike the synchronous mechanism, with a permanent contact mechanism, only the backrest moves when tilted back, while the seat area remains in its horizontal position. Sometimes, the strength of the backrest’s spring force can also be adjusted on some office chairs.
Rocking mechanism: The backrest and seat area are connected at a fixed angle so that when the backrest is tilted back, the seat area also tilts with it.
Knee rocking mechanism: Once again, the backrest and seat area are connected at a fixed angle, but in this case, the tilt angle is close to the knee joints.

The right cover material

While the seats and backrests of most chairs are cushioned with a thick foam filling, there is a large selection of materials for the seat covers. While the type of cover greatly influences the appearance of the chair, it should also increase the comfort of the occupant.

Fabric
Probably the most popular cover material for office chairs is a fabric covering. Not only is it particularly durable and long-lasting, it is also available in the widest range of colours. Unlike leather, fabric is a warm material and breathable at the same time.

Mesh
A mesh cover is an extremely breathable and flexible fabric, and is often used to span across backrests, helping to ensure good air circulation around the body.

Leather & imitation leather
"Chairs with leather covers lend an air of elegance and exclusivity. Leather is a natural product with unique properties. Not only is it particularly durable and long-lasting, but it is also simple to clean. To remove spots, the leather simply needs to be wiped with a damp cloth.
For those with a lower budget, chairs are also available with an imitation leather cover. These are just as easy to clean, and unlike natural leather, do not show any irregularities, but have a uniform, consistent surface."

Quality demands

Viking places great value in offering high-quality, excellent products. This is our top priority when it comes to office chairs, which is why all models in our Niceday, Realspace and WorkPro ranges are subject to intensive tests and are required to meet a wide range of European standards. These standards comprise of various factors including the seating time, load-bearing capacity, and roller capabilities. This overview provides a summary of the standards that the different chairs are required to meet before they can be included in our range:

ChairsStandards
Office chairsEN 1335-1, EN 1335-2, EN 1335-3 (incl. EN 1022)
Heavy-load chairsBS 5459-2
Chairs for professional useEN 16139 (incl. EN 1728 and EN 1022)
Chairs for domestic useEN 12520 (incl. EN 1728 and EN 1022)
Chairs for outdoor useEN 581-1, EN 581-2 (incl. EN 1728 and EN 1022)

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