Work in the contemporary context involves more sitting, unlike the gone days of literal running and walking errands. As a result, most health experts have attributed this to some emerging lifestyle diseases and conditions. To some, having a standing desk is safer for the body than sitting. Even so, you can have the right chair by distinguishing task chair vs. office chair.
Therefore, we have prepared this informative guide on the key differences between a task chair and a regular office chair. Different chairs used in the office environment suit various tasks, while some can be multi-purpose. So, as you seek the right chairs for your workspace, it's important to understand their features to match them to their suitability.
Distinction by Definition
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A task chair is a functional type of furniture used for different body types and activities. Such a definition might sound vague and inconclusive, especially when distinguishing it from an ordinary office chair. Even so, a task chair is more versatile in functionality.
Historically, the first chair to be designed for office use by Charles Darwin was a task chair. It was simple in construction since only two wooden wheels were added to the chair's legs for easy mobility. However, research has continually improved operator-style chairs to include adaptive features for versatile task seating in the last few decades. As such, most modern offices use task chairs to support professionalism, productivity, and efficiency.
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Also known as a desk chair, it can be described as any chair that one can sit on to work from a desk. In most cases, the term 'office chair' can be used to describe different types, including a task chair. Nonetheless, a standard office chair or a desk chair comes with distinct features that you won't find in a task chair.
Traditionally, desk chairs were made from metal and wood. However, office chairs have evolved to incorporate convenience features depending on their purpose. For instance, you can find an executive office chair with leather upholstery for increased comfort.
Primarily, a desk chair is for comfort and easy mobility around an office. If you plan on sitting in the same position for continuous hours, you can invest in an executive office chair with lumbar support. Therefore, just like the case of executive chairs, you can have office/desk chairs with different names depending on their use.
Additional Features for Distinguishing Task Chair Vs. Office Chair
Definition for either a task chair or a desk chair provides a hint for the differences between these working chair types. Even so, there are more differentiating features that can be used while buying a new chair. Therefore, the features in this sub-section will add more meat to the bone as we seek to guide different chair users.
1. Ergonomics Features
While using working chairs, ergonomic features are important in preventing hip pain, shoulder pain, sore neck, and back pain. Accordingly, different parts of a task or desk chair support different body parts as a chair carries your weight. For instance, the most common body supports include the lumbar (lower back) support, arm support, should support, and neck support. As such, these supporting features vary in the comparison of task chair vs. office chair.
Ergonomic Office Chairs
Office/desk chairs are built for comfort while working. Ideally, the rationale behind such a build is guided by the fact that contemporary office workers sit more than they walk around or stand. Therefore, they are equipped with ergonomic features to enable users to sit comfortably without causing harm to their bodies. Examples of office chair ergonomic features include lumbar (lower back) support, adjustable headrests, armrests, synchro tilting, and headrests.
However, office chairs aren't created equally. For instance, there is an ergonomic difference between Steelcase Gesture Vs. Herman Miller Embody. Moreover, you might find office chairs with a fixed height, without wheels and arms; but this is common with cheap models. On this account, ergonomic chairs for office use should come with adjustable features for customizable comfort.
Ideally, an ergonomic chair in this category should at least have lumbar support or a pillow for the same purpose. Additionally, armrests are worth having on an office chair, even though some models don't have them. Still, armrests are crucial in pivoting your arms, neck, and shoulders as the lumbar curvature helps disperse the bodyweight for optimal comfort.
Therefore, for ergonomic office models, avoid cheap office chairs to avoid risking your welfare. According to research, some ergonomic chairs come packed with many ergonomic features, but most users only use seat height adjustment. Eventually, despite the ergonomic features of most office chairs, the adjustments are made manually, depending on the different users.
Ergonomic Task Chairs
Furthermore, task chairs come with their fair share of ergonomic features. On this note, task chairs are built to facilitate long hours of sitting. As such, they come with designs that are meant to fit a user's sitting position and body type. Subsequently, some of the ergonomic characteristics of task chairs include adjustable lumbar support, adjustable depth/height, adjustable arms, tilt and swivel capabilities.
As earlier noted, the task models aim to improve productivity and efficiency while working. As a result, most task chairs come with the highlighted adjustable features for such purposes. Nonetheless, you can also find task chairs with fixed elements such as fixed armrests, lumbar support, and height. Consequently, a good task chair should have dynamic lumbar and arm supports to suit versatile needs.
In most cases, task chairs are preferred since they require minimal customizations. In addition, most task models are ready to use for long working hours with self-adjusting features. Also, a task chair provides most comprehensive support than a basic chair with a high back. Eventually, task chairs are more ergonomic to almost any office space, including an office executive chair.
2. Size & Design
Closely related to the ergonomic features of either chair in context are size and design. Starting on size, task chairs are smaller than office chairs. Practically, the dimensions of task chairs are smaller and lower for modern office space ergonomics. Therefore, the size of task chairs allows for the maximization of small modern office spaces.
Furthermore, task chairs are more stylish than office chairs despite their smaller sizes. Nevertheless, always ensure your task or office chair comes with adjustable or fixed height and depth. As part of the size, an adjustable task or office chair should be tuck neatly under a table for a productive desk posture.
Moreover, task chairs are simpler and more minimalistic in design than most basic chairs used in offices. On another hand, office chairs come with more design choices than task chairs which often come in almost similar designs. Considering that options are good in matching diverse suitabilities, the limited choice for task chairs might be a bummer to some users.
Therefore, office chairs are superior to any task chair when it comes to design. Even so, this premise on design doesn't mean task chairs look dull. On the contrary, an ergonomic task chair still looks attractive within an office space despite its monotonous design. Bottom line, functional chairs for both types may vary in size and design.
Considering that your office work will require long hours of sitting, an ergonomic chair should also be comfortable. However, while discussing task chair vs. office chair, certain key differences in each type will significantly affect comfort and productivity. Regarding ordinary office chairs, you will get comfort features such as an adjustable tilt tension, adjustable height, and a padded seat. On the other hand, task chairs offer more including adjustable lumbar support and adjustable armrests.
Moreover, task chairs come with greater weight capacities than standard office chairs. This implies that a task chair won't sink during long working hours. As a result, your attention won't be divided between work and occasional seat height adjustments.
Also, when it comes to comfort, you might be attracted to a large executive chair. Notably, high-quality materials also contribute to a comfortable chair. For instance, leather chairs or gaming chairs are built for optimal comfort. However, a comfortable gaming chair may require occasional adjustments, which affect your productivity.
Task chairs are best for productivity and efficiency. Unlike office chairs, the task type allows for instant concentration on the work at hand due to minimal or no adjustments. As a result, you will be able to get your work done quickly, unlike on an office chair which will always need adjustments. Nonetheless, some users who can fully use the ergonomic features of some office models can say the office type is more productive than the task models.
Moreover, even a fully ergonomic office chair will require proper adjustments before you start to work. This characteristic is common across different types of office chairs, including executive and drafting chairs. Fortunately, task chairs adapt quickly and self-adjust to users' needs, meaning no time is wasted on levers and adjustment knobs. Generally, task chairs are more comfortable, thus, more productive than regular office chairs.
4. Materials Used
Although both of these types may appear similar in build, there is a difference in the material used. Notably, most office chairs are made with plastic, leather, wood, and fabric. On the other hand, most task chairs are made with plastic and fabric materials. For instance, you will find a mesh fabric on the back of most task chairs.
Moreover, the wide variety of materials used on office chairs contributes to the more design options for this type. However, the task type only features monotonous mesh office chairs. By and by, the aspect of a chair's material brings us to the quality of the build and subsequently durability.
Durability & Build Quality
By all standards, the best office chair or task chair should last for a long time due to its quality build. Also, since task chairs are meant for prolonged sitting, they often wear out faster than office chairs. Similarly, if you use your office chair for long, it might wear out faster. Therefore, the short lifespan of task chairs shouldn't be confused for poor builds but instead for prolonged and intense uses.
Additionally, build quality also creates a difference across office chairs. For instance, quality leather office chairs like leather recliners will last longer than chairs with other fabrics. Therefore, premium office chairs might last longer than ordinary office chairs
Across the standout features mentioned for both task and office chairs, a higher price will often fetch you the best chair. Ideally, we recommend investing in expensive office chairs if you intend on spending more time working while sitting. Also, expensive is likely to get you more distinct and convenient features for optimal work outcomes.
While a higher price might protect your body against pain, matching a chair's features to its purpose is also important. Notably, task chairs are often cheaper than office chairs. Their low prices also support that they are most preferred in modern office spaces. Moreover, the minimalistic nature of a task chair also means that it will cost less than a bulky office chair.
Availability and Demand
As earlier noted, task chairs are more popular in offices than office chairs. As a result, their demand is higher than office chairs since they are also bought for home use on small study tables or desks. However, demand for different types of office chairs varies depending on their features and purpose.
Due to an increasingly healthy savvy working population, real task chairs and ergonomic office chairs are available with the help of quality controls. Therefore, there is no room for fake products. Ultimately, the demand and availability of task chairs are on the rise, unlike for executive office chairs.
Use of Task Chairs and Office Chairs
Alternatively, some might ask, who needs a task chair or an office chair? Task chairs are more versatile and often used by employees working on specific desk jobs like typing or operating computers. On the other hand, office chairs are used by bosses or in a conference room. Despite the somehow limited flexibility of office chairs, you can find different types that suit certain work conditions.
In closing, task chair vs. office chair is relative depending on the work or intended use. However, task chairs are best for long hours of work and are best for congested office spaces. Even so, you can find premium office or desk chairs that can be used for long hours. Overall, factoring in all the differences, the best chair is one that is matched to its purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions on Office Chairs
1. Why are mesh chairs better?
Work chairs with mesh backs allow for adequate airflow and are flexible to different sitting positions. Also, mesh chairs are lightweight and easy to maintain. Therefore, you can easily move them around an office. Overall, a task chair makes the perfect chair due to its mesh back.
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