Do you find yourself constantly yearning a better and more comfortable chair at home or at the office? This article will not grant you that favour but we can give you several tips on how to significantly improve the comfort of your work place or chill area in a short amount of time.
Below are FIVE things you can to do your adjustable chair to transform it into a comfortable ergonomic place to sit in.
Step 1: Adjust Your Chair to the Appropriate Height
A guideline to follow to adjusting your chair height is by observing at which height your feet are not dangling or pressed too hard against the ground. They should be resting flat on the ground with knees bent at a 90 degree angle and ideally the knees should be level with your hip.
It is important that you do not shrug off or underestimate the potential consequences of not having a properly placed office chair. With a chair that is too high, your feet would not be able to fully touch the ground, meaning extra pressure on the back of your thigh, disallowing proper circulation throughout your thigh.
Whereas a chair too low places unnecessary stress on the hip flexors as the knee will naturally be in a resting position above the level of the hip, forcing aforementioned hip flexors to be in constant contraction to maintain that level. Over time, this can lead to back pain.
The information in the table below should well inform you of the suitable chair height according to your own height. The chair height is measured from the top of the seat cushion to the ground.
Proper Office Chair Height Table
|Your Height (feet)||Ideal Chair Height (inches)||Your Height (cm)||Ideal Chair Height (cm)|
|4’11”||15.9 inches||149 cm||40.2 cm|
|5’0″||16.2 inches||151.5 cm||40.9 cm|
|5’1″||16.4 inches||154 cm||41.5 cm|
|5’2″||16.7 inches||156.5 cm||42.2 cm|
|5’3″||17 inches||159 cm||42.9 cm|
|5’4″||17.2 inches||161.5 cm||43.6 cm|
|5’5″||17.5 inches||164 cm||44.2 cm|
|5’6″||17.8 inches||166.5 cm||44.9 cm|
|5’7″||18 inches||169 cm||45.6 cm|
|5’8″||18.3 inches||171.5 cm||46.3 cm|
|5’9″||18.6 inches||174 cm||46.9 cm|
|5’10”||18.9 inches||176.5 cm||47.6 cm|
|5’11”||19.1 inches||179 cm||48.3 cm|
|6’0″||19.4 inches||181.5 cm||49 cm|
|6’1″||19.7 inches||184 cm||49.6 cm|
|6’2″||19.9 inches||186.5 cm||50.3 cm|
|6’3″||20.2 inches||189 cm||51 cm|
|6’4″||20.5 inches||191.5 cm||51.7 cm|
|6’5″||20.7 inches||194 cm||52.3 cm|
|6’6″||21 inches||196.5 cm||53 cm|
|6’7″||21.3 inches||199 cm||53.7 cm|
|6’8″||21.6 inches||201.5 cm||54.4 cm|
|6’9″||21.8 inches||204 cm||55 cm|
|6’10”||22.1 inches||206.5 cm||55.7 cm|
|6’11”||22.4 inches||209 cm||56.4 cm|
|7’0″||22.6 inches||211.5 cm||57.1 cm|
|7’1″||22.9 inches||214 cm||57.7 cm|
|7’2″||23.2 inches||216.5 cm||58.4 cm|
Step 2: Experiment and Understand All Features and Settings of the Chair
Chairs nowadays come with all these features in the form of little knobs and levers and my advice to you is to try each and every one of them out to determine what is most suitable for your body. Don’t hesitate explore everything because it can take days to find the perfect combination where your body feels at its utmost comfort.
The diagram below demonstrates the amount of force upon your spine when you lean forward or backward. This goes to show how little the reclining of your chair can relieve massive loads of stress on your back.
If you have done everything according to the book and it just doesn’t feel right, the first thing to do would be to take a look at the lumbar(low back) support. Most office chairs do not provide adequate lumbar support, and even if they do, it is not adjustable. This is not always a good thing because not everyone would be the exact height or have the curve of their lower back perfectly match the chair’s lumbar support. It is no wonder many people feel back soreness or ache after a long day of work.
What you all are asking now is the solution for this problem. A simple quick fix is by getting an external lumbar pillow. That way you can adjust and mould it into a comfortable position to support your back. Do not worry as it is portable, inexpensive and easy to find.
Studies show that owners of office chairs with an external lumbar pillow report increased comfort, especially those with low back pain conditions. It is highly advisable to get the ones with a cut out at the bottom for proper ventilation.
Step 4: Get an External Seat Cushion
A common complain of chair discomfort is the seat cushion. Many are too firm or soft, unequipped with adequate cushioning, or lacking the proper contours to evenly distribute your body weight upon.
As mentioned above, you can get an external seat cushion, just as you can get an external lumbar support.
The reason why having an elevated center and a cut out at the bottom of your seat cushion is the best idea, is because they can stabilize your pelvis especially over long durations and also relieve pressure off the coccyx region which is always placed under exorbitant amount of pressure and it goes unnoticed. For those of you suffering from sciatica, hip pain, herniated discs etc, please do incorporate these simple but life changing cushions into your workplace.
Step 5: Add Armrest Pads
Finally, the last trick to top it all off is by installing cushions on your armrests if you find yourself complaining about your forearms’ discomfort. These armchairs are usually made of plastic and inadequate length-wise to support the entire weight of your forearm.
Our arms, including the hands, make up approximately 10% of our body weight. Having that amount of unsupported weight puts into account how much it contributes to your discomfort.
You can easily find armrest cushions anywhere but most of them serve the same purpose, which is to plush up or elongate the existing armrests to accommodate the weight and length of your forearm.
On another note, if you would like to aim for higher comfort, finding a good armrest cushion can turn your uncomfortable office chair’s arm rest to premium excecutive chairs.