High Back vs Mid Back Computer Chair
We use the office chairs every day at work, at home, in the study, the home office, maybe the library – the list goes on.
Office chairs are great because they not only provide comfort, but they also allow for more mobility. You need never get up ever again (until it’s home-time, at least). And not to mention moving the chair around is a great way to exercise your legs and core – and fun too! Some chairs can also rotate a full 360 degrees. You do know how much fun it is to spin around for hours in an office chair, right?
But not all office chairs are the same. They come in a variety of different styles, materials, build quality, and even colours – although the majority of these seem to be different shades of black or blue. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money on a chair that isn’t right for you.
Some factors to bear in mind if you’re currently debating between a high back and mid back computer chair includes:
- A midback will not only have a larger backrest that will come up to about the shoulders or the neck at most, but might also have a wider base, and more sophisticated features in addition to height adjustment, like controlling whether the chair is in a fixed position or is free floating so you can recline a bit. You might also be able to control how far forward the chair’s backrest comes.
- A highback will have all of the above but the backrest will be higher up and support the head and neck. The backrest may be in one piece or it may have a separate but connected headrest, similar in design to one of those old barber’s chairs from your youth.
Other factors to consider when choosing a high back or mid back chair include:
- The material it’s made of – is it leather, imitation leather, or a fabric of some sort? Leather might seem nice but there are some things you might want to think about. Leather is generally easier to wipe down and clean, but you will sweat a lot in Summer months sitting in them; they don’t “breathe” very well. It can also be quite costly to repair leather if it tears.
- Does it have arm rests? This is down to personal preference. Do you want arm rests or not? Armrests tend to give a chair a sense of “wholeness” or more stability. They say you shouldn’t rest your arms on the arm rests while typing at a keyboard, but we’re all probably guilty of this – the worst that can happen is you chafe your elbows – just wear a jersey or look out for a chair that has padded arm rests.
- Does it have a spine or “backbone” of sorts? You’ll see chairs that have what looks like a corrugated plastic looking “spine”, that looks like something out of an alien movie, that goes up the back of the chair and connects the base/seat to the backrest of the chair. Some of them might have a bare metal one instead. Some have hidden or internal spines that go on the inside of the backrest of the chair. Others will have a visible or external spine that you can see on the outside going from the seat and connecting to the backrest of the chair.
- Is there a feature that allows you to lock the chair in a forward position, and unlock the chair so that it is free to recline – likely underneath the seat?
- Is there a height adjustment lever? This is usually found underneath the seat, connected to the base. Pushing down on it will lower the chair when you are seated. Pulling it up towards you when you are out of your chair will raise the chair.
- Is there a feature which allows you to control how far forward the backrest of the seat is? It will either be a lever or a dial of some sort that when turned, the backrest of the chair comes forward, giving you proper back support.
- Does it have a five point base? The chair should have a five point base, each with a caster on the end, usually protected by a guard of sorts. This base can appear to be a plastic-like material, but the very expensive chairs will have metal, instead. The casters should also be big enough so they can travel across floorboards and carpets easily. Casters that are going to catch on everything, or a base that isn’t stable enough – to the extent that you fall out of your chair, or worse the chair breaks – are no good.
High Back vs Mid Back Chair – In Conclusion
In review, here are the biggest decision criteria that go into choosing a mid-back vs high back chair.
Mid back office chairs tend to be cheaper than high back office chairs.
Is your budget less than R 1 500.00? Likely Best Choice: mid back.
Less than R2 500? Best Choice: Premium mid back to mid quality high back.
Less than R3 500.00? Best Choice: You can get a high quality high back office chair in this range.
More than R3 500.00? Best Choice: You’ve got many options which also include fully ergonomic chairs.
- Desk Space
How big of a space do I have?
Did I take the proper measurements?
Do I want a minimalist look? Or do I care if there’s an oversized office chair at this desk space?
- Purpose of Chair
Prolonged periods of long-term sitting (gaming, computer-intensive jobs): High Back
Sporadic sitting of 1-2 hours at a time: Mid Back or High Back
Flex space, tight spots, conference area, meeting rooms: Mid back
High back office chairs tend to have more ergonomic features and have two critical components mid back office chairs lack: a headrest and upper back support. However, there are plenty of mid back office chairs that offer the standard ergonomic features like lumbar support, adjustability and spinal posture support.
Ergonomics are critical purchasing criteria when it comes to office chairs. Make sure you know exactly which features you need – often times, ergonomic features coincide with the purpose of your office chair (above). The longer you sit, the better quality ergonomic features you’ll need.
Source credits: https://dengarden.com/interior-design/Choosing-Office-Chair