Body aches are endemic among people with 9 to 5 jobs. So if you find yourself wincing in pain after a long day at work, you are not alone. The important question is, what causes these menacing pains, and is there an end to it?
Well, to answer the first question—underlying conditions aside—your work chair is to blame. Understandably a rickety, sagging chair is not ideal for people in sedentary jobs with long working hours. On top of being interminably desk-bound, staying hunched over a computer all day is not doing any wonders for your body either. “Is anything?” you might ask in a fit of anger. Yes, dear reader, an ergonomic chair is where the answer to the second question—and all your postural and ache-related problems—lies.
However, If you have already invested in one of these chairs keeping in mind the buying guide, then well done! But considering that you are reading this, we reckon that the aches have reared their heads again despite the apparently comfortable—and definitely pricey—seating. Fret not! Our oncoming tips will ensure that your new, or reasonably old, ergonomic office chair gives you its money’s worth in both comfort and productivity.
Continue reading to crack the seemingly unsolvable case of uncomfortable office chairs.
8 Tips for Making Your Office Chair More Comfortable
Take a Stroll
Although an ergonomic office chair is an improvement on a dodgy chair, it cannot do much against the health concerns that stem from continual sitting. Regardless of the chair’s price point and promises of comfort, sitting in one place for abnormally long hours can lead to an inflamed pelvis and lower back pain.
Therefore, instead of blaming the chair for your bodily woes, take a short walk around the office building time after time. This walk will ensure a healthy blood and oxygen supply to your lower extremities and alleviate much of the pain. It will, moreover, keep your glutes jacked and stop those leg days at the gym from going to waste.
We advise you to take a stroll to the water dispenser every one to two hours because this will also guarantee that you stay hydrated. Killing two birds with one stone, is it not?
Allow for Maximum Backrest Tilt
If you are in an industry that requires you to be in your seat at all times, the tilt mechanism is your best friend. Nonetheless, to be able to stretch your back as far back as possible, it is essential that your backrest permits increased tilt. If it does not, then you should take to the internet for the best tilt settings immediately.
Nonetheless, if your chair does not come with the tilt mechanism, walking breaks are your only best option to avoid numbness and pain.
Regulate Chair Height
It is easy to overlook things as simple as chair height; especially when you have a heavy workload and taxing deadlines to meet. However, height adjustability can accentuate your productivity and ease pain tenfold. So if your feet do not lie firmly on the floor, this is your sign to adjust the height because otherwise, you will have an inflamed hip girdle at the end of the day.
Another thing to keep in mind is that office chairs tend to sag over time, so height adjustability is not just a one-time or a two-time thing. Thus, every time you feel like your feet do not lie parallel to the floor; we advise you to regulate the height accordingly.
Find a Foot Rest
If you have sadly invested in a chair that does not compliment your height, then you should get a footrest to avoid dangling your feet. The key is to keep your feet grounded and experience maximum comfort, so it does not matter if you do it via adjustability or an additional tool.
Adjust the Armrests
Similar to correct height adjustability, proper armrest adjustments are also imperative. If you frequently complain of a stiff neck and shoulder girdle, the chances are that your armrests need to be adjusted to align with your tabletop.
Moreover, poorly adjusted armrests can cause one to slouch and defeat the entire purpose of possessing an ergonomic chair. Thus, to avoid looking like a banana while you are busy at work and to prevent sore muscles, fix your armrest height as soon as possible.
Remember, extending your arms to type and craning your neck to see your screen is generally a bad idea no matter what the task or occasion. Hence, make sure that your chair is close to the tabletop before you get down to business.
Convert it to a Swivel Chair
As stated above, protruding your body parts to accomplish tasks can lead to exertion-induced pain. Unfortunately, a chair that is rooted in one place will either make you reach out for things repeatedly or get up a lot.
If you want to avoid this vexation, you should try converting your fixed chair to a swivel mechanism. A swivel chair will allow you to glide from one place to another easily. This smooth mobility will surely take the edge off the pain and cut down the unnecessary movements as well.
Invest in a Seat Cushion
An external seat cushion might cost you a few extra bucks, but you will thank yourself for investing in one eventually. These cushions can mitigate the pain that accrues from uneven weight distribution and improperly padded seats. They are, in fact, a must-have for people who suffer from conditions like sciatica.
But take our word for it and buy one regardless of chronic pain. It will come in handy when you are traveling long distances. Undeniably, it is a solid purchase.
Besides a seat cushion, you can also purchase external lumbar support if the one that came with the chair is not up to the mark.
Dimensions Over Design
All the eye-catching designs out there might mislead you into buying the wrong chair. Remember, an ergonomic chair is for comfort, not for showing off. Thus, only invest in a chair that fits your build if you are going to get a new one and value your comfort.
How much does an external seat cushion cost?
A first-rate seat cushion will cost you around $21-50. However, it would be best if you did not dwell on the price point while investing in a seat cushion. Instead, you should ensure that it compliments your body weight and possesses ergonomic contouring. Remember, buying cheap is buying twice. And honestly, being a cheapskate is an intelligent thing to do when you are already making an additional investment.
How can I convert my platform chair to a swivel chair?
You can do that by removing the platformed base and adding a wheeled base. There are countless YouTube tutorials out there that will help you along the way. However, you cannot upgrade every chair to a swivel chair. Therefore, if mobility between workstations is a big concern with your job, you should buy a new office chair instead.
What should I do if my armrests are not adjustable?
You can tackle this problem by adding arm pads to the armrests. These pads will not only fix your height and alignment but also make your plastic armrests more comfortable.
How much does a footrest typically cost?
Their starting prices range around $20, but the really top-notch ones can cost up to $100. If you want it to be a one-time purchase, then we suggest you buy a good quality one instead of a cheap one that is likely to break in a few months. Additionally, the costlier products usually offer more comfort than every day.
We sometimes do not pay attention to our seating because we consider them a very ordinary thing. But studies have proven that the wrong chair and incorrect posture can have harrowing consequences down the line. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for you to be anxious about your comfort levels.
While some of our tips will alleviate the pain and make your work experience better and snug; if you did not buy the chair with your dimensions in mind—they might not be that helpful. If this is the case, then we recommend that you get a new chair that was made just for your build. Such a chair, naturally, would be relatively more comfortable than an ill-suited one. However, if you do not want to part ways with your good old chair just yet, try some of our hacks and see if they help. If they do not…please, change your chair! Any second-hand store will be happy to take it off your hands, and your body will thank you.
Conversely, if you continue to experience excruciating pains even after trying some of the hacks and your chair being perfectly well-fitted, then—believe it or not—you should check in with your local or family doctor. Your pains may be caused by something other than your chair.
Lastly, here is hoping that our tips serve their purpose; and that you have painless and more productive days ahead of you. Good luck and good riddance to unprecedented pains.