Officemaster Paramount Office Chair Review
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One of the most practical ergonomic chairs we’ve seen. The Officemaster Paramount is affordable, comfortable, and very, very adjustable. Those levers aren’t just for decoration – the Paramount is among the most customizable thrones our rears have ever graced. Once past the learning curve (three or four accidental reclinings are normal) users will find they have an unprecedented degree of control over their working posture. Always a good thing, if you ask us.
|MSRP / List Price||$415|
12 year limited
Seat width: 20.5″
|Where to buy||
Buy on Amazon
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||Incredibly adjustable, more so than any other chair we’ve seen. Gives users an extremely wide degree of choice in terms of working posture. Lumbar support resistance adjustment, a unique feature.|
|Negatives||Forest of levers may make for some profanity-laced, experimental tugs. Seat tilt lever can only be worked when a user is leaning back, and only allows two positions of adjustment.|
So, why are we reviewing ergonomic office chairs?
Fact is, even the most conscientious treadmill desker spends a decent part of their day sitting. Getting off your butt can add years to your life, but staying off it for too long at a stretch can have some serious consequences. So what happens when the belt stops? A stationary treadmill desk is, by definition, a standing desk. We’re fans of adjustable height desks as well, but standing for too long isn’t necessarily great for you either. While getting upright does help combat sitting disease, it places your body under a cardiovascular and postural load that can prove damaging if kept up for too long. This is why we say the best position is your next one.
So, what if there were a third position? One that allowed relaxation after a walk, and also took pressure off your back and legs? Looks like it’s probably time to take a seat.
Not for too long though. Don’t get us wrong, we’re anti-chair evangelists to the core. But there’s no getting around the fact that a healthy workday calls for some time on your butt. So you’re going to sit – and we’re going to help make sure you do it right.
Adjustability is Paramount
Adjustability is widely acknowledged as one of the most important features of any decent ergonomic office chair. As of now there are a couple of schools of thought on how best to achieve it. Some seats adjust passively, relying on soft-resistance backs and tensioned tilt features to conform to a user’s body without input. Others – the vast majority – are active adjustment, and a user must make their own tweaks to find their perfect position.
One glance at the Paramount should be enough to tell you that it falls into the second category. A dense forest of knobs and levers sprouts from the underside of this Officemaster product. Intimidating? Yep. But also incredibly helpful for the ergonomically concerned. Devote a few minutes to learning the functions of every lever (helpfully labelled), and you’ll save yourself some frustration later.
Essentially every component of the Paramount is adjustable. Nearly all office chairs are adjustable-height. Most modern office chairs can tilt as well. This opens the angle between the hips and upper body, which decreases the weight supported by your feet, legs, and back to form a reclined position perfect for resting or light tasks. But tilting and adjusting height is just scratching the surface of what the Paramount can do.
A sliding seat pan helps accommodate different leg lengths and workstyles – pressure on the back of the legs from an out-of-place cushion can easily constrict blood flow to the legs. A vertically adjustable backrest helps position the chair’s lumbar support properly which – and we haven’t seen this feature on many chairs at this price level – offers adjustable resistance, just another helpful tweak to keep your back healthy. Consequently the Paramount is spectacularly easy on the back. A proper positioned lumbar support keeps stress off the flexible, injury prone lower vertebrae.
Finally, Officemaster also offers optional, fully adjustable armrests. All of these may sound like minor factors but – we’ve said it before – the devil’s in the details. Even small degrees of adjustment can make enormous ergonomic differences. Moving an armrest just a couple of inches up or down can bring your arms to a proper (90 degrees or greater) working angle, and nip a developing RSI in the bud.
The Paramount quickly found a place at the WorkWhileWalking offices thanks to adjustability, but held it thanks to comfort. A dense foam build manages to be comfortable without reaching cushy levels, so you won’t find yourself sinking into your seat. Officemaster’s sturdy, no nonsense build firmly places function over form.
High-end chairs like the Ergohuman brand or the vaunted Aeron from Herman Miller blend functionality and art. The Paramount blends functionality with more functionality, so don’t expect an office conversation piece when you grab one of these. On the other hand, the finance plan for a Herman Miller chair usually involves selling a kidney, whereas you can take a Paramount home without any organ investments.
The Paramount comes with a standard Officemaster 12-year limited warranty.
A basic version of the Officemaster Paramount will run you $438. Accessories such as adjustable armrests (heavily recommended) and hardwood-friendly casters can increase the price. The Paramount is also available in a higher-backed version for taller users.