When choosing a chair to work at home we find two scenarios. On the one hand, that our work area is part of a living room, a bedroom, a transit area or a multipurpose space. On the other, that we have a room that functions as an office. “Choosing a model that is integrated into the home, both formally and because of its finishes (materials, colors and fabrics), is a very important aspect. We don't want to see a machine seat in our home, but a chair that helps create a friendly atmosphere”, explains designer Jeannette Altherr, from the Lievore + Altherr Désile Park studio. "The model we choose should be a piece that connects with the rest of the decoration of the room," adds Manuel Delgado, head of interior design at Ikea Spain.When we think of a chair to work with, we tend to visualize those used to equip offices, that “machine seat” that Jeannette Altherr refers to. This type of technical model can fit in a domestic office, but is out of place in any other part of the house.
The home office chair
"At home we do not want an office chair, but a good one, in which we can work," says Jon Gasca, from the Stua firm.
If our work area is going to be integrated into a living room, a bedroom or a multipurpose space, it is convenient to look at home office models, designed with an aesthetic that fits in the home and with the ergonomics that an office chair requires, such as the Viccarbe Cup, the Inclass Dune or the Ikea Alefjäll.
“There are two types of comfort: physical and visual. The first is more obvious: you sit down and see if it is what you expected. The look is just as important because, if we don't like the chair when we get home, we'll end up not using it”, reflects Víctor Carrasco, founder of the Viccarbe office furniture company. "We pay a lot of attention to logic when it is emotion that decides most of our actions," he concludes. In this sense, Diego Vicedo, from the firm Inclass, goes even further: "In a domestic environment, the design of the office chair must be integrated with the decoration because a space with a careful and harmonious aesthetic improves the feeling of well-being and concentration". And that's where the thrill factor comes in. So much so that finding the balanced model is usually what makes its acquisition eternal.Some examples of home office chairs with a contemporary and versatile style are the Gas by Stua or the Kinesit by Arper (the latter, designed by the Jeannette Altherr studio).
intensity of use
Apart from aesthetics, another issue that must be assessed is the intensity of use that the chair will have.
“For sporadic use, you can opt for a model with simpler aesthetics and features.
But, if you are going to work on it for many hours, it is essential that stability and mechanical performance are guaranteed, with mechanisms that allow its regulation, advanced materials such as aluminum and technical plastics, as well as highly wear-resistant fabrics. ”, advises the designer specializing in office chairs Marcelo Alegre.
Soledat Berbegal, counselor and head of brand reputation at the office furniture firm Actiu, agrees on this same question: "The first thing to do is define the use of the chair, because depending on that you can play with its characteristics and technical performance.
Taking into account the number of hours that we are going to spend in it will help us choose the right one.”
If the intensity of use is going to be full-time, some technical models that fit very well in a home office are the TNK Flex and Trim, designs by Marcelo Alegre for Actiu, and those from the Ikea Gaming collection.
Regardless of the daily time of use, the most important features that a chair must have to work are that the seat and backrest are adjustable, that it be an upholstered model that breathes for greater comfort, that it has wheels and that it is swivel to favor dynamism. “We are not all the same height or the same team. Working with a laptop is not the same as working with a desktop computer”, warns Jeannette Altherr.
The ideal is to choose a chair with adjustable height and inclination, which allows us to adapt the seat to our height and achieve greater stability with the upper part of the body: the optimal thing is that our legs, from the knees, form an angle of 90 degrees and that our back is straight.
It is also important that it be a chair that allows a certain inclination, as it favors both forward dynamism, to reach all the objects on the table well, and relaxation backwards, when taking breaks.
In addition, having a lumbar support and, additionally, headrests and armrests, if they are comfortable, will help us improve our posture and relieve tension in the shoulders and back.
Even with everything, and despite the fact that work chairs are designed in an exhaustive way in terms of ergonomics, it should be borne in mind that “there is a model for each person, not a standard chair for everyone”, says Marcelo Alegre.
“Every body and every postural tendency is different.
For this reason, we have to try different chairs until we find the right one”, adds Jon Gasca.
And in conclusion, Soledat Berbegal summarizes: "The best chair will be the one that adapts to our body and our circumstances, since all of this influences our efficiency and creativity and, at the same time, our well-being and health."
The home office chair, if there is no space for an office, should try to integrate into the decoration of the space, without obviously giving up comfort.Silvia García Camps
In the living room: technique and aesthetics
The objective must be that it provides the essential features to work and that, at the same time, its style fits in with the environment.
Its design has to be light and adjusted to the space, so that it does not pose a visual obstacle and integrates better into the environment.
The seat must be upholstered.
A model that is not, at least slightly, is not suitable.
Although the use will be occasional, it provides essential comfort.
The front part of the seat must have a rounded design so that we do not feel pressure on the legs and on the back of the knees.
It must have the minimum mechanisms that allow adjusting the height of the seat and the support of the lumbar area.
It is always essential that a chair that is going to be used for work has wheels.
It is recommended that they be soft rolling so as not to damage the floor of the house.
Double fabric: one that breathes in the seat and back area, and another in leather or a more homey finish for the back that matches the decoration of the chosen room.
The chair in the home office can be more technical and somewhat less aesthetic.Silvia García Camps
In the office: performance
If you have a room with an office function, you can be less demanding with aesthetics and more with technical features.
The chairs that offer the best performance and ergonomics are those that allow the arms, seat and back to be adjustable.
The backrest, in addition to being enveloping to support the lower back, should also be tiltable, to relax the back when we talk on the phone or take breaks.
Armrests: a matter of taste, but they are recommended.
They should allow the arms to form a 90-degree angle while using the keyboard.
Headrests: this is also a personal decision, but they help relieve tension in the shoulders and neck.
In cold environments it is advisable to opt for fabrics with a wool load to improve the thermal sensation.
In hot climates, on the other hand, by technical fabrics that perspire.
The chair should be swivel to facilitate dynamism and mobility.
The base must have five wheels and an automatic brake to be able to adopt a static position from time to time.