Lets get that chair more comfortable!
Your back is aching, your arms are sore, your neck hurts… and you cannot seem to get comfortable while working at your office desk. Not being able to sit comfortably in your chair is an all-too-common problem, but there are ways to correct it, and we’re here to give you some pointers.
If your office chair is not comfortable, and if you are like most people, then it is likely that your office chair is old, or simply not set correctly. Over time it can become uncomfortable and lead to several different types of health problems.
There are several possible reasons as to why you are sitting uncomfortably:
- You are using an old-style chair, not a modern ergonomic office chair.
- Your office chair is too small for you. If you have wide shoulders and hips, this may cause discomfort by making it difficult for you to use a standard-style office chair properly; instead, consider investing in an adjustable model (which will also help with back support).
- You are using the chair improperly. This can be due to poor posture and/or bad ergonomics in general.
You are not using a good office chair.
Whether you work from a home office, or work in a corporate one, a good chair is a must!
Not all home workers invest into the purchase of a good chair, but ‘make-do’ with an old dining chair, or something else that’s just inappropriate. If you really are spending a lot of time working from home, then you need to invest in good tools for your trade. A good quality ergonomic chair is one.
A good employer, if they perform adequate risk assessments in their workplace, should provide their staff with suitable office chairs. If you are not one of them – you maybe should speak to your boss. Comfortable and healthy employees will simply be more productive ones. And, less likely to sue for workplace injuries!
If we assume you have a decent ergonomic chair, it is of a suitable size, then let’s look at how you are using it in a bit more detail…
Your chair is incorrectly sized.
Not all people are equal! Thats goes for wealth, health, social standing, luck as well as physical stature. Even if you do have an ergonomic chair, it’s ergonomic advantage will be lost if it is simply overwhelmed by its occupant. There are ergonomic chairs that are sized and will cater for those with larger frames.
You are not using good posture when sitting in the chair.
Good posture is important because it helps you feel more comfortable, relaxed, and confident. When your body is aligned correctly with respect to gravity and with the implements you use at your desk, there will be less stress on joints, muscles and ligaments which can lead to pain or injury.
It’s also easier for your brain to focus on what it needs when we’re upright rather than slouched or slumped down low like an old man who has been sitting at his desk all day long!
A proper ergonomic chair can help you avoid a lot of long-term pain and discomfort by encouraging good posture and proper body mechanics while you sit. But just have a great chair, fresh from the factory, may not be the answer – the chair must be set correctly to suit your frame, to ensure you have good posture.
How to Get Comfortable in Your Office Chair
If you can’t achieve good posture, then follow the steps below to look at your chair by its individual ergonomic components…
Seat height adjustment –
This allows you to adjust the height of your seat base from the floor, to ensure your feet are stationed correctly to support your lower legs.
- When adjusting your office chair’s height, think about how much weight you put on your feet when standing up from sitting down in a normal position (like when using a computer). If they feel uncomfortable or cramped during this process then consider raising them slightly higher up on their feet – this will help alleviate any soreness caused by having too much pressure placed upon them for too long at once!
Seat depth adjustment –
This adjusts the amount of seat pan that extends beyond the back of your knees, which reduces pressure on the backs of your thighs.
- Seat depth adjustment is an important feature because it helps you to sit in a more natural position to support enough of the upper legs to prevent discomfort.
Adjustable armrests –
These let you place your arms parallel to the floor, reducing shoulder strain.
- If you spend a lot of time typing or using a mouse, adjustable armrests are important for keeping your forearms parallel to the floor. This helps reduce shoulder strain and can help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), which is characterized by pain in the hands, arms and/or shoulders as well as numbness in any part of the body from repetitive motion.
Lumbar curve support –
Many chairs have a Lumbar support area that is curved inwards or contoured.
The inward curve supports the natural curve of your lower back and keeps it from slouching forward into poor posture while sitting.
- Lumbar support can be adjusted to fit your individual needs, but some people find their chairs do not provide enough support for their backs, so they purchase an additional cushion for this purpose.
- Some office chairs have built-in lumbar support as well; these are often called “lumbar pillows.”
Back height adjustment –
This primarily allows you to adjust the height of the support area to the upper back for comfort and ergonomic alignment with your Lumbar region.
- Seats with higher backs also offer increased support to the upper back and to the shoulders.
Chair Headrest –
This will enable you to support the head, preventing strain on your neck.
- Believe it or not, not all ergonomic chairs come with headrests. Probably because they are not strictly necessary but, are a great aid for those that maybe spend an excessive amount of time in their office chair. Given the option, we would recommend choosing a chair with one. Ensure yours is set to support the base of your head/ upper neck.
Overall Positioning –
Think about where your chair is and how easy it is for you to interact with your desk, and the peripheral devices you may use.
- Having the most comfortable chair is pointless, if it means having to change position to access implements you need or use. Make sure your work environment is set up correctly.
To Wrap Up…
Sitting in an ergonomic chair is important for both your comfort and productivity. If you are one of those wondering why my office chair is not comfortable, then consider the above tips. Prolonged misuse can lead to physical injuries, not just discomfort.
We have professional backgrounds in Software Testing and Business Analysis, both with extensive experience of working for commercial enterprises and as a freelancers. We toggle between working from corporate premises and our own home offices. We have a passion for home working, and for using equipment that is ergonomically functional, well designed and elegant.