There are a lot of things to consider when buying one for yourself.
Of course, a good office chair should be ergonomic with a selection of adjustments.
No question about that.
However, there is one controversial feature of an office chair – the armrest.
Some say that it’s necessary, while others say it’s useless.
If you want the best out of your office chair, this can confuse you.
Should you get an office chair with an armrest or not?
Here, we’re going to help you answer that.
To do that, we’ll first explain what the problem of an office chair without an armrest is. Then, we’ll list the pros and cons of an armrest. Finally, we’ll explain what’s the better option.
So let’s get to it!
Table of Contents
What’s the Problem of an Office Chair Without Armrest?
There are 3 major problems that you’ll face without an armrest.
The first problem is that there’s no support for your arms.
If you let your elbows hang, that adds pressure to your wrist, neck, shoulders, and spine.
After many hours in this position, you’ll feel the discomfort and strain on these areas.
Another problem is that there’s no place to rest your arms.
It’s called an armrest. This means it’ll help you relax during those short breaks from work.
If you don’t have an armrest, where are you going to rest your arms?
On your lap?
Trust us, that’s not going to be very comfortable.
Finally, you won’t be able to put your arms at the right height.
We’ll explain what we mean by this.
If you use a tablet or phone, the tendency is to look down at it, straining your neck.
But, if you have an armrest, you can use it to prop your elbows up to place the tablet or phone nearer your eyes.
So these were the 3 problems that you’ll face if your office chair doesn’t have an armrest.
The Pros and Cons of Armrests
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of office chairs with armrests.
Armrests offer a lot of ergonomic benefits.
For one thing, it helps with productivity.
If your arms don’t have support, it’ll tire out easily. This leads to taking a break now and then.
If you always take a break, no matter how short, you cut off productivity.
With your arms supported, though, you can work for long hours without feeling tired.
Another benefit is that it helps prevent back, neck, and shoulder aches.
Even if your office chair has the best lumbar support and headrest, hanging arms can counter that.
Remember, if you let your arms hang, that adds pressure to the wrist, shoulders, neck, and spine.
Of course, the result of that, plus too long in one position, will be back, neck and shoulder aches by the end of the day.
That won’t be a problem with armrests.
Armrests can support you when standing up.
You can use it to push your body upward, lessening the force on your hips by 50%.
This is especially useful if you have a particularly bad hip.
Armrests are a great part of the ergonomics of an office chair.
Sure, armrests have a lot of benefits. But it’s not without its downsides as well.
One downside is that it might only be a nuisance to you.
It’ll block you from getting close to your desk.
It’ll be annoying if you use your laptop on your lap.
It’ll make an office chair expensive because of more materials.
And the list goes on.
You might even think, “Anyway, I can rest my arms on the desk, can’t I?”
The biggest downside to armrests is that it might not be good for you at all.
Say, for example, the armrest is for a taller person. If you don’t fit the criteria, your arms will be so high that your shoulders will be in a shrugging position. It’ll cause neck and shoulder aches after a while.
Not to mention bad posture.
An armrest that doesn’t match you will get rid of all the benefits and produce discomfort and bad posture.
That’s the total opposite of what an office chair is supposed to provide.
Also, you’ll have to go around, looking for the perfect office chair armrest that fits you in every aspect. Height, width, length, etc…
This will make it a lot more difficult to find the best office chair for you.
Should You Get an Office Chair With an Armrest or Not?
So what’s the better option?
Should you get one with an armrest for the ergonomic benefits? Or would you rather not take the risk of annoyance and mismatching?
Well, it’s best to get an office chair with an armrest.
We’ll explain why.
This is because, one, the benefits outweigh the downsides, and, two, the downsides can be avoided.
Why can’t you just rest your arms on the desk?
You can, but why limit your options when armrests give you more resting positions!
Don’t want to spend hours searching for an office chair with the armrest height, width, length for you?
You can get an adjustable armrest office chair!
If you’re able to adjust the height, width, length, and all that, the biggest downside will no longer be in the picture.
Even better, why not get an office chair armrest that can adjust and flip-up.
If you don’t need it, the flip-up feature allows you to pull it all the way back, removing the armrest. You can then pull it down if you need it.
With this, you get the best of both!
So should you buy an office chair with an armrest?
Yes, you definitely should!
To make it easier and better, you should get one that has an adjustable armrest to fit you. This will remove a lot of its downsides.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.