Choosing a computer chair

A comfortable, supportive chair is a good investment if you spend a long time at your computer.
 
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  • Updated:6 Apr 2005
 

01 .Buying tips

Chairs

Furnishing your study or office may seem trivial in comparison to deciding on a computer processor or RAM but a hasty decision can lead to long-term physical problems. When it comes to choosing a chair, comfort and proper support are key.

Types of chairs

There are hundreds of computer chairs on the market. They come in a wide variety of styles such as:

  • fixed height
  • adjustable height
  • low backrest
  • tall backrest
  • with arms
  • without arms

There are also non-standard designs such as:

  • kneeling chairs
  • sit-stand stools
  • 'saddle' seats

These tend to be more practical for short periods of use. We recommend trying any chair before buying.

Many chairs are labelled 'ergonomic', which should indicate that the model has been specifically designed to support correct posture. However, some manufacturers use the term too freely. Separate Australian Standards apply to ergonomic fixed height chairs (AS/NZS 4468) and height-adjustable swivel chairs (AS/NZS 4438). Ask if the chair conforms to the relevant Standard to be sure of the validity of any claim. Standards also cover strength, durability, stability and safety.

You can buy computer chairs from specialist stores, furniture shops, department stores, computer stores and office suppliers. We found products ranging in price from less than $70 to more than $500.

Tip

Learn how to adjust your chair properly:

  • Adjust the height so that your shoulders are relaxed in the working position and your feet rest flat on the floor. You may need to lower your desk, if possible, or use a footrest to support your feet and legs.
  • Adjust the backrest so that it sits in the small of your back.
  • No matter how comfortable your chair is, you should always take regular breaks and vary your activities to relieve tension in your muscles.

Please note: this information was current as of April 2005 but is still a useful guide to today's market.


 
 

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Katie's opinion:

  • Member since: 15 Jan 11
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1 MONTH AGO | We purchased a Breville Seal and Cut last year, and it also works really well for small ham and cheese croissants if you don't clip it shut, but just lower the lid until it rests on the top of the closed croissant.

 

 
 

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NaGromOne's opinion:

  • Member since: 16 Apr 13
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1 MONTH AGO | Forget sandwiches, I use my sandwich press almost exclusively to reheat slices of pizza. The top plate is "locked" just above the topping, otherwise the ingredients get toasted. Easy to add extra grated cheese if desired, and the base doesn't get soggy as when I used to microwave the slices.

 

 
 

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Fussy Bunyip's opinion:

  • Member since: 29 Jan 13
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1 YEAR AGO | My Breville SG600B 2 slice sandwich press has died after 10 years or so. The part where the power cable goes into the bottom of the unit shorted out, popped, and left a sooty mark on my bench top, and tripped the fuse in the meter box. Fortunately nothing else bad happened.

The non stick suface died after about 2 years of use (mainly lunch in winter), but I just used baking paper instead which worked well on the flat surface.

I also found that I could use the sandwich press to heat frozen fat potato chips that I'd saved from takeaway. Minimum chips is too much for me to eat in one meal. They're delicious and crispy heated up for 5 to 7 minutes in the sandwich press (between sheets of baking paper).

Might try the sunbeam this time, but I've had these die of old age too. Tho my grandmother's sunbeam mixer is still going strong. It must be one of the originals.

 

 
 

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Bronwyn's opinion:

  • Member since: 07 Jan 08
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1 YEAR AGO | I am just trying to make up my mind on which model to get.

I do know however how to keep them clean, as I use one at work and there I use Glad bake, which is a baking paper that can withstand high heat. When using this I pull off enough Glad bake to be able to sit my uncooked toastie on, with enough to fold over the top. It doesn't seem to effect the browning of the toastie that I cook and there is absolutly no cleaning, as any dribbles or leaks are caught on the baking paper.

 

 
 

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Leah's opinion:

  • Member since: 14 Jan 13
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2 YEARS AGO | Are there any sandwiches presses available that do not have a non-stick cooking surface? I'd like to see if I can get a stainless steel plate? Appreciate any pointers. Thanks.

 

 
 

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Stirling Libraries's opinion:

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2 YEARS AGO | An important differentiation: in Western Australia sandwiches have always been nicknamed Sammys, and never sangers. This obviously comes from childrens grasping of a newly learned word, in this case samwiches: sammys/sammies.

Staunch Sandgroper !

 

 
 

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Peter Milne's opinion:

  • Member since: 08 Jul 03
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4 YEARS AGO | The Breville SG 820 has a design fault in that the two appliances I have owned the sliding control to regulate height of the top plate often falls back and jams and also the securing screw falls out and needs constant reattaching

 

 
 

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