A good quality ergonomic office chair is undoubtedly important for the comfort and well-being of users. However, buying a high-end ergonomic chair does not automatically change your sitting experience.
You have to adjust it according to your body type for getting all the promised benefits. Now, you might be thinking “How to make office chair more comfortable”. Well, there are many ways you can do that.
First of all, adjust the seat height, lumbar support, and armrests according to your body dimensions. If the chair still feels uncomfortable, try adding cushioning to the seat, backrest, and armrests of the office chair.
All of this will help you get rid of poor posture and keep you comfortable for long sitting hours. For your ease, we have outlined five simple and practical ways to make your office chair more comfortable and supportive.
What Exactly is a Comfortable Office Chair?
Before discussing the ways of making an office chair more comfortable, it’s better to understand what exactly a comfortable office chair is:
A comfortable chair allows the user to maintain a correct sitting posture. It should have features that reduce the risk of strains or injuries and make users alert and super productive during long working hours.
Key features that make an office chair comfortable are a padded seat and backrest, adjustable height and lumbar support, fully adjustable armrests, a stable base, and a reclining mechanism. All these features collectively allow the user to sit comfortably in a proper posture throughout the day.
Why is my Office Chair so Uncomfortable?
Now, let’s take a look at what are reasons behind an uncomfortable office chair. Your office chair can be uncomfortable and unsupportive if:
- Its seat height is not adjusted to a comfortable ergonomic height.
- Its lumbar support is not adjusted appropriately or is completely missing.
- The armrests are not adjusted according to your individual needs or if the armrests have an uneven or hard surface.
- Its seat or backrest padding is not thick and firm enough to evenly distribute your body weight.
How To Make Office Chair More Comfortable?
A comfortable office chair is undoubtedly the biggest blessing for desk workers. Here are some simple ways that you can adopt to make your office chair super comfortable:
1. Add a Seat Cushion to the Chair
As discussed above, a thin, cheap chair seat cannot evenly distribute your body weight and causes pain and discomfort while sitting. Adding a nice thick cushion on the office chair’s seat can potentially resolve this problem and help you maintain proper posture.
A well-built cushion eliminates the risk of hip and back pain. It also alleviates your chair height.
However, keep in mind that too much cushioning may cause your body to sink into the chair and strain any movement. The inked body also decreases blood circulation and increases the skin temperature in affected areas. In this regard, the recommended thickness for seat cushions is 1.5 to 2″ (inches).
2. Add a Lumbar Support Cushion
A lumbar support cushion or pillow can do magic in transforming a simple office or desk chair into the most comfortable ergonomic chair. It greatly helps maintain the natural curve of your spine.
A lumbar pillow is typically in the form of a small, curved piece of memory foam designed to relieve the pressure on the lower back, specifically the lumbar area of the spine.
In this way, it avoids the risk of back pain and allows you to sit comfortably for long working hours. Place the lumbar support pillow in a way that it fits straight into the small of your back, right above your belt line.
3. Adjust the Chair According to Your Body Type
Adjusting the chair according to your body type is the first step toward making your office chair more comfortable. In this regard, adjust the following key elements:
- Adjust the height of the office chair so that your feet are balanced on the floor and your knees are bent at a right angle.
- Adjust the lumbar support of the chair in a way that it fits straight into the small of your back.
- Adjust the armrests in a position where your shoulders are completely relaxed and your elbows make an angle of 90 degrees with them.
- Adjust the backrest at a comfortable angle where it supports the natural curve of your spine.
- Adjust the recline mechanism at an angle that provides you maximum comfort by turning the knob, typically present under the office chair’s base. The optimal angle recommended by Cornell University Ergonomics Web is between 100-110 degrees.
- Keep the monitor screen right at your eye level so that you don’t have to raise or lower your neck to look at the screen.
4. Adjust the Armrests
An office chair can never achieve high levels of comfort in the absence of properly adjusted armrests. Arms constitute 9% of the entire body weight. Therefore, when trying to make your office chair more comfortable, never forget to adjust its armrests. There are four armrest adjustment options in a standard office chair: Height, width, depth, and pivot.
- Adjust the height of the armrests in a way that your elbows are bent at an angle of 90 degrees and your forearms and wrists stay in a neutral position. A neutral wrist is one in which your hands appear to be a natural extension of your forearms and you don’t have to flex up or down to reach the keyboard or mouse.
- Adjust the width of the armrests in a way that your elbows come right under the shoulder while resting on the armrests.
- Similarly, pivot adjustment allows you to rotate the arm pads in a forward or backward direction depending on your work requirements.
5. Cushion the Armrests
Armrests become a source of potential discomfort if they are too short for supporting your forearms or if it has a hard surface or sharp corners.
Replacing the armrests is not a feasible solution in every situation. For example, if you are unable to find new armrests that are compatible with the office chair or you don’t have enough budget for buying the new armrests, or if your chair has built-in armrests.
In all such conditions, adding large armrest pads with thick cushioning is the best option. Cushioned armrest pads provide additional support to your arms which is especially helpful for people who have long arms.
Memory foam is considered the best material for armrest padding as it easily fits into the shape of the arm without going flat.
6. Invest in Some Ergonomic Accessories
No matter how expensive and premium-quality office furniture you have, the importance of ergonomic accessories is always there. Ergonomic accessories refer to portable equipment that can be added to your workspace to make it more comfortable and ambient.
Some examples of ergonomic accessories that can be added to your cheap desk chair or a simple office chair to make it ergonomically fit.
- The footrest is a small raised platform or cushion typically made of plastic, wood, or foam that you can put under the desk to give support to your legs and feet. By keeping your feet flat, footrests not only increase blood circulation in the feet and legs but also reduce any risk of discomfort or injuries in these body parts.
- An ergonomic mouse is a cool ergonomic accessory that decreases any pain or discomfort on your wrist and hand by providing a more natural grip.
- An ergonomic keyboard allows you to type in a comfortable and natural position and thereby reduces the risk of strain on wrists and fingers.
- An office chair floor mat is a flat piece of material that is placed under the office chair and working desk. It increases the mobility of your office chair while working. An estimated 80% less effort is required to roll the office chair on a mat as compared to rolling it on a floor or carpet. In this way, it decreases the chances of any strain on your legs and feet.
In a nutshell, a comfortable office chair allows you to maintain a correct sitting posture for long working hours. Being comfortable and relaxed in your office chair is not completely determined by the quality of the chair. It’s about modifying it according to your needs and preferences. With a few tweaks and turns, you can get high levels of comfort from your simple uncomfortable chair.