There’s nothing worse than an uncomfortable chair, especially when you’re sit-in in it for more than 5 minutes. You can shift, you can move, you can change positions a gazillion times, but we bet there’s nothing that seems to help. It’s downright frustrating!
The truth is that there are many, many desk chairs out there, but not all are created equal. If you are wondering what to look for in an office chair, know that, though some might look super cute in your office, the real test is whether they hold up and meet the comfort criteria. Most of them probably don’t!
Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer from buyer’s remorse, even if you got a contemporary office chair that is less than comfy on impulse. There are a few things you can do to make that thing more palatable for your derriere. Keep reading for some of our best tips on upping the comfort factor of your work environment, starting with that desk chair!
Importance of Making Desk Chairs Comfortable
On average, an office worker spends around 15 hours a day sitting upright, whether it’s at an executive office desk or in the conference room. That means that most people spend the majority of their day parked in a chair of some sort. When you spend more than half of your day sitting, it’s vital that you make it as comfortable and as easy on your body as possible.
Unfortunately, many offices feature one-size-fits-all desk chairs, which most of the time are not suitable for everyone. Not only that, but due to the pandemic and more people working from home, there are plenty of folks spending their working hours sitting on chairs that probably weren’t designed for it. Sitting for any length of time in a chair that’s not designed for that purpose is hard on your body.
For instance, extended sitting in chairs that aren’t equipped to handle it can cause back pain––especially in the lower back––as well as repetitive stress injuries in your arms and hands due to unhealthy posture.
These disturbances end up disrupting your work day and compromising work efficiency, which is the last thing you want when spending an entire day trying to accomplish your goals and meet your work obligations.
How to Make a Desk Chair More Comfortable
While comfort can be somewhat subjective, there are still several things you can try in order to increase comfort levels in a chair that may be lacking.
Add a Seat Cushion
Most of the time, for a chair to be considered comfortable, it needs to have some cushioning. Adding a seat cushion can go a long way in making the worst offenders more comfortable and pleasant to sit on.
Ergonomic chair cushions in particular can help distribute your body weight evenly and take some of the pressure off of your back bone, promoting better posture and allowing you to work safely for longer periods of time. These types of cushions are especially helpful for people that suffer from hip and tailbone pain. To learn more, visit our article discussing “what is an ergonomic chair?”
Try a Lumbar Pillow
In addition to seat cushions, external lumbar pillows can be used with any desk chair. One of the biggest complaints of people is lower back pain after sitting for long periods of time.
Lumbar pillows can offer a remedy for this, as it fills the gap between the seat back and your lower back and allows you to lean gently on the lumbar support pillow instead. Lumbar pillows may feel a little odd at first, but you’ll soon get used to it and your back will thank you for it.
Get a Footrest
Good sitting posture requires you to keep your feet flat on the ground. However, for average height or short people, this may be a problem, especially with the one-size-fits-all chairs.
By getting a footrest, you can remedy this and allow your feet to lay flat and comfortably on a solid base. This can help prevent numbness and soreness in your legs and feet. A footrest can be something as simple as a cardboard box, although it’s definitely better to get something a tad sturdier!
Add Armrest Pads
Office desk chairs often come with hard armrests that are not at all gentle or comforting for your arms and elbows. An armrest pad covers the hardness and allows you to have a soft place to rest your arms on. Although it’s a small part of the chair, it can make a lot of difference in your comfort level. As they say, the devil’s in the details!
Choose the Right Type of Chair for YOU
Though making a chair more comfortable is great in a pinch, an even better strategy is to find one that’s already right for you in the first place. While the above mentioned ideas can help make any chair more appealing, if you haven’t yet bought a desk chair for yourself, why not choose one that’s actually designed for your body type and needs? Then you can save yourself the hassle of adding cushions and footstools and the like.
For example, the width of the seat, the seat height adjustment component, and the general shape and recline of a comfortable chair are a few important factors to consider before making a purchase.
Although we might be biased, we at Juniper Office love to provide you with a large variety of office chairs, with different specifications and functionalities to suit every need. Sure, there are other brands that may offer cool chairs. But are they sustainable too? Ergonomic? Eye-catching and lovely? Like we said, we might be biased.
Adjust Your Chair Height and Recline Appropriately
Another key component of a comfortable office chair is using the height adjustment and recline knobs on the chair to the best of your ability. You can tweak and adjust them to your liking.
The optimum chair recline angle to support the human spine is around 130 degrees. The height of the chair should be placed at your knees level with or a couple of inches below your hips.
And for one more shameless plug, there are a wide variety of Juniper chairs that come with knobs and levers for both recline and height adjustment. Perfect for allowing you to fiddle and tweak so that you fully customize your experience! Did we mention we might be biased?
Additional Tips to Enhance In-Office Comfort
While your chair is definitely the most important bit when it comes to sustained––and sustainable––comfort, there are other things you can do to increase the comfort levels at work, too.
Use a Wrist Rest
Your wrists and hands can get tired from all the scrolling, clicking, and typing in a day. When you’ve got sore hands, you won’t feel comfortable no matter how nice that fancy chair is. So, we highly recommend wrist rests to give your wrists the support and comfort you need to work efficiently and tirelessly, all day long.
Use a Monitor or Laptop Stand
If you need to stoop down or crane your neck to look at your monitor or laptop screen, or even to type, then your posture is completely off and will quickly become painful.
The easiest way to deal with this is to invest in a laptop stand that allows you to bring your laptop up to the height that’s comfortable for you. For monitors, you can adjust the height yourself.
Ideal positioning places the top of your screen a couple of inches above eye level. Similarly, try to view any hardcopy documents and files at eye level as well!
Invest in Proper Lighting
Proper lighting is needed to allow you to sit comfortably in your desk chair without having to crane your neck or twist around much, trying to see your computer screen. Light should fall on your desk, not reflect on your screen since that can cause a glare.
Invest in an Ergonomic Office Chair Setup
For your desk chair experience to be as comfortable as possible, try incorporating ergonomic components into your setup. From your office or task chair, to your desk, to your keyboard and mouse, everything should be designed specifically to allow you to maintain a healthy posture, especially when it comes to deciding between a task chair vs office chair.
Add Some Green
Lastly, adding some greenery into your office setup can provide you with a spot to rest sore eyes on after staring at a screen too long. Not only that, but it can also help bring some life and color into your workplace. According to research, live plants not only purify stale office air, they may also improve mood and reduce stress, allowing you to work more efficiently. Office plants for the win!
Making your desk chair more comfortable doesn’t have to be that difficult but it definitely should not be something you skip. If your chair isn’t already ergonomic, it’s wise to invest in ways to make it more ergonomic if you spend a lot of time sitting in it. After all, health is wealth!