If you spend long hours seated in your office, you need an ergonomic enough and comfortable seat to prevent joint and back pains. However, getting the right chair requires you to balance various factors, and if one thing is off, then your entire body loses alignment.
When your chair gets uncomfortable, the good news is that there are various ways to fix the issue. You probably need to give your office seat a makeover since a comfortable sitting area translates to higher productivity.
Ways to Make My Office Chair Ergonomic
If you are stuck with a fatiguing chair at work or home office, here are several adjustments that you can make to improve your comfort level.
1. Adjust The Chair To A Proper Height
It’s worth noting that an improperly positioned office chair results in the wrong sitting posture, which causes back pain. Hence, if the chair contains some inbuilt adjustment functions, you can use them to raise or lower the seat.
Ensure that your two feet lie flat on the floor with your knees bent at a right angle. While in this position, your knees should be on the same level or slightly below the hips. This posture is ideal for your back. However, if the height is too high, you will keep your feet dangling, which leads to poor blood circulation around the thighs, numbness, and discomfort.
A lower height keeps the knees way above the hips resulting in uneven weight distribution, which increases pressure on your joints. Further, you will keep bending your upper body, especially when you need to get up, causing recurrent stress and pains on the joints with time.
2. Add A Seat Cushion
Another common problem with most office chairs is that they can appear too firm and lack enough padding. Luckily you can solve this by using an external seat cushion. It’s an inexpensive solution to make saggy or stiff office chairs fit right.
Most of these pillows have a raised center and a cut-out back, stabilizing your pelvis and reducing pressure on the sitting bones. Therefore, they promote an even distribution of weight that helps alleviate back pains and problems like sciatica.
3. Support Your Lower Back
If you have been suffering from lower back pain, you might need more lumbar support. Some chairs are firmly fixed, so you have to maintain a particular position to get the desired comfort. As a result, you end up slouching or leaning forward. The solution is getting a lumbar pillow that increases your comfort level by maintaining your spine’s natural curvature as you sit.
You can get a dedicated portable lumbar pillow in the market that comes in the form of a cushion to help sustain the right posture. Remember to select the right shape and size that fits your body type. For instance, if you have some back pains, choose a pillow cut out around the pelvic tissues. It would be best for females to pick one with more pronounced support due to a larger curvature in the lower back. Alternatively, you can try rolling your towel then place it between your lower back and the chair for a home office.
4. Get A Footrest
If your feet still dangle even with the lowest seat height, then you need to get a footrest that supports your feet to avoid discomfort. It helps maintain a great posture that keeps your back aligned and allow proper blood circulation. Besides, it reduces pressure on your legs or feet to decrease pain at the end of long working days.
5. Use Armrest Pads
In some chairs, you might come across some plastic armrests while others are too short to support your arm efficiently. In this case, you can remove the components or adjust them for a better fit. Today, there are several pads in the market that you can use to cover your chair’s arm to make it more elongated to support your forearm in different positions.
When you leave the weight unsupported or on a more rigid surface, it may increase your level of discomfort. The extra pad will maintain your arm in a parallel position to the spine, bending the elbows at 90 degrees to minimize stress on your shoulders, joints, or upper back.
6. Add Wheels
Most office chairs come with wheels, but you can make some modifications if they lack or fail to work efficiently. The wheels help you move smoothly around the office to reach some necessary items. Besides, they help turn the chair rather than the user to avoid twisting during movements. This feature improves your comfort level and reduces your arms stress since you don’t have to strain to grab items placed further away. Additionally, they help widen the area you can easily reach to improve productivity.
7. Adjust The Work Surface To Match Your Height
Pull your seat away from the workstation, and sit to identify your natural seating posture. With this in mind, position your work station at a suitable height to reduce back strains. Adjusting your desk will help you raise the chair to an appropriate size for a great posture.
8. Adjust Your Chair’s Reclining Position
When you sit in an incorrectly adjusted chair, your body feels tired, just like standing an entire day. Yet, a slightly tilted position is right for your body since it relaxes your back muscles. When you get to your office, make it a habit to adjust the seat in a manner that supports gentle recline. Besides, it helps you change positions since using the same posture all day long may lead to some back and neck pain.
While we all know that sitting in an office chair for long hours may be detrimental to our health, most committed office workers lack the luxury of regular breaks. The only solution lies in making their office chair more ergonomic to minimize discomfort and keep them focused on the job. You might be planning to get a better chair in the future, but until then, the above tips on how to make my office chair ergonomic should help you improve what you have.
After all, is said and done, you shouldn’t ignore the importance of taking short breaks to walk around the office and stretch. No matter how ergonomic your sit maybe, physical activity is the only way that can help combat health issues associated with extended sitting periods effectively.