The right office chairs make all the differnce, in terms of productivity and comfort. Here are a few things to look for in a good chair.
The right office chairs in your office makes a world of difference in productivity and satisfaction. The wrong chairs also have a big impact, but not the in the right direction. We spend a tremendous amount of time in our chairs, at our desks, and with hardly a thought about it. It only makes sense to put a little time into considering office chairs and what features the good ones have.
By way of contrast, bad office chairs that are no frills, bare bones type chairs only invite disaster. If you've ever sat for very long in one of these little wonders you know what I mean. Hard (or not enough cushioning) seats that make you want to stand up almost as soon as you sit down, backs that are angled so far back so that it forces you to strain your neck to see what is in front of you, arm rests that are not adjustable, materials that are scratchy or otherwise uncomfortable, and heights that are set too low or too high. I am sure that this list could be expanded but you get the idea.
On the other hand, good office chairs provide a comfortable seat that cushions your weight. I don't know what the actual physiology of this is, but I think it probably has to do with allowing blood flow. The comfort of where we sit for hour upon hour is critical, and a well padded seat makes all the difference. Nobody wants to be fidgeting and complaining all day of a sore rear end and back.
As far as materials go, leather is probably one of the most comfortable and durable options, and is very popular. Leather office chairs resist punctures, stains from spills, and are generally better at holding up to hours and hours of wear and tear. Of course, cloth is another good option that many people like because of it's warm and inviting texture, but doesn't have the inherent durability of leather. As long as it is something that isn't too rough it's probably okay, and of course it is an individual preference anyway that matters most. If you like your chair you are more likely to be found in it, doing what you need to do.
As for adjustability, office chairs that offer multiple options for changing heights and angles are definitely superior to those that don't. The value of being able to customize the settings on an adjustable chair cannot be overstated. For example, I can't stand the way my wife's chair seat tilts forward. She has it set how she likes it, but it makes me feel like I'm going to tip out of it. Whenever I adjust it to how I prefer it, she growls at me a little bit and puts it back. The backs of most chairs can be brought forward and back as well, and I've found that this is the most useful adjustment on my chair. When I want to recline back and relax just a moment then this feature is really nice to have. If you've ever tried to recline back in office chairs that don't allow it, it can be really frustrating. I also like adjustable arms. Working with arms that are too high or too low can really irritate one's back. Finally, being able to raise and lower the height of your chair is an obvious advantage.
Office chairs come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and with a variety of varying features. Put out the money for a good chair and you'll be more productive and happier as a result. Stay away from cheap chairs that will only cause pain and frustration. You'll be glad you heeded this advice when you are sitting comfortably in your chair while others are fidgety and antsy in their office chairs.