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Dorm Desks & Chairs

How to Choose a Desk Chair for Your Dorm Room

As a student, you'll likely spend a lot of time sitting at your desk, so it's important to choose a chair that supports your lower back and promotes proper posture. To help you choose a good ergonomic chair for your dorm room, we at PBteen have created this handy chair buying guide. Here's what you should be looking for when shopping for a desk chair for your dorm room.

Armrests

If you're purchasing a chair with armrests, make sure the armrests are adjustable. Armrests that are too high can restrict the chair's movement and armrests that are too low provide inadequate support, resulting in elbow, shoulder and wrist pain. As a general rule of thumb, the armrests should be adjustable to a height that allows you to rest your arms at your sides without shrugging or hunching.

Back Rest

A good ergonomic chair will have a backrest measuring 12 to 19 inches wide. The backrest should be contoured to support the natural curve of the spine. Another thing you'll want to consider is the chair's design. A chair with an all-in-one design, where the backrest and seat are one piece, should have a backrest that can be adjusted in forward and backward angles. It should also have a locking feature to prevent the backrest from moving once the desired angle has been set. A chair consisting of a separate backrest and seat should be adjustable in both angle and height.

Lumbar Support

Adequate lumbar support is essential when sitting for long periods of time. The lumbar region of the spine curves inward naturally and prolonged sitting without the proper support can flatten this curve and lead to lower back strain. When shopping for a desk chair, look for one that can be adjusted to properly fit the curve of your lower back.

Seat Height

A chair that is too high or too low for you will force you to lean forward and bend your joints at unnatural angles. At the right seat height, your feet will rest comfortably on the floor and your hips, knees and ankles will bend at 90-degree angles.

Seat Material

The upholstery used on the chair seat will determine the chair's comfort and quality. Ideally, the fabric will be breathable, durable and comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. Woven fabric is the most common fabric used on desk chair seats. Other popular desk chair fabrics are mesh, vinyl and synthetic leather. If your budget allows it, a genuine leather chair is a classic option that will add a touch of sophistication to your dorm room.

Seat Width and Seat Depth

Standard desk chairs have seat widths between 17 and 20 inches, but wider seats are also available. The seat should be deep enough that you can sit comfortably with your back against the backrest and your feet flat on the floor. As a general rule of thumb, there should be two to four inches of space between the chair seat and the back of your knees. If possible, choose a chair that allows you to adjust the tilt of the seat forward or backward.

Swivel

The best desk chairs not only provide your back with the support it needs but also let you move around easily. A chair that swivels will make reaching different areas of your workspace easier and help prevent arm and shoulder strain.

Wheels

If your dorm room is carpeted, consider buying a chair with casters. This way you'll be able to glide easily from one area of your workspace to another without stretching or straining. To avoid accidents and injuries, it's important to choose the right type of casters for your dorm room's flooring type. Urethane casters are recommended for hard floor surfaces and nylon casters are generally intended for use on carpeted floors. As an alternative, you can purchase a chair with glides, which are metal or plastic discs attached to the bottom of the chair legs that allow the chair to slide over hard floors and carpeted surfaces.

A desk chair is more than a functional piece of furniture. It's also an investment in your health and well-being. Buying the right chair for your dorm room will not only prevent injury, but it will also help you create a more comfortable, productive workspace. Keep the above buying tips in mind when considering which ergonomic chair is best for your needs.

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