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These days, there is a lot of emphasis on making our chairs more ergonomic. But then, how exactly can you get this done? Our editorial team wanted to give our readers accurate guidelines on how you can make your chairs more ergonomic. So, we set out to study chair ergonomics. You are welcome to read the report of our findings and the guidelines for chair ergonomics in this post.
How can I make my chair more ergonomic? Make sure you are using the right size of chair for your body. Then, adjust the chair height to fit your height. The backrest should be upright, and the armrests placed at elbow height. You may also use seat cushions, lumbar pillows, and other chair accessories for better chair ergonomics.
Studies show that present-day Americans are likely to spend as much as 90,000 hours on an office chair in their lifetime. That is a lot of time, not minding other things you do while seating. How do you make this sitting time more productive, healthy, and risk-free for yourself? Find out as you read on.
How To Make Office Chair More Comfortable And Ergonomic?
You can use chair accessories to make your office chair more comfortable and ergonomic. Once you have a chair with the appropriate size, height, and settings, you can enhance its ergonomics by using support items. Examples of support items to consider are a lumbar pillow, footrest, armrest pads, and external seat cushions.
✅ Video – How To Make a Cheap Office Chair Comfortable and Ergonomic
This video shows that You don’t have to choose between a cheap chair and an ergonomic chair. You don’t have to spend a fortune to purchase a comfortable chair. Watch the video to see what you can do to make your cheap office chair more comfortable and ergonomic.
You may consider getting the following accessories for better chair ergonomics and comfort:
External Lumbar Pillow For Better Ergonomics
Lumbar pillows help support the back. If you experience back pain or discomfort while sitting on your chair, a lumbar support pillow may be the solution. According to studies, an external lumbar support pillow can effectively end lower back pain.
A good lumbar pillow is portable and affordable. It is soft enough to cushion your back and hard enough to support it. According to experts, lumbar pillows that have a cut-out offer the best results.
External Seat Cushion Can Improve Chair Ergonomics
If the seat of your chair is too firm, too soft, or too thin, you may experience discomfort. Some seats lack proper contours, so they cause an uneven distribution of body weight. You can solve these problems by adding an external seat cushion to your chair.
A good seat cushion will stabilize your pelvic joint when you sit. It will also relieve your coccyx area from undue pressure. If you are suffering from hip pain, sciatica, or a herniated disc, you will benefit greatly from using an external seat cushion.
Armrest Pads Can Make Your Chair More Ergonomic
Plastic or metal armrests are often uncomfortable. Your arms should never rest on a hard surface while you are sitting. If your chair has a hard armrest or its armrest cushion is already worn out, you may need an external armrest pad.
The common armrest pads simply make the armrest more comfortable and plusher for your arms. Some special types also elongate the armrest to support the entire forearm in diverse positions. The latter is usually better and more ergonomic. They may, however, cost more than the common type.
What Makes A Chair Ergonomic?
The size, height, and settings of a chair are the main factors that make it ergonomic. An ergonomic chair has the right size and height for your body. It is a chair with proper, customized settings to promote your comfort and health. What’s more, the accessories you use with a chair can also contribute significantly to its ergonomics. Support items, like lumber pillows and footrests, make chairs more ergonomic.
The three main factors for chair ergonomics are as follows:
Always use a chair that can conveniently accommodate your body size. Do not use a chair that you have to squeeze yourself inside. If a chair is not the right fit for your body, no accessory can make it ergonomic for you.
Also, make sure your chair is strong enough to bear your weight. You don’t want a chair that can break anytime under your weight.
If your chair is too small for your body size, your body will not get adequate support. That can, in turn, cause discomfort, health risks, and posture problems. It can also reduce your productivity at work.
Your chair should be tall enough to support your shoulders. Do not use a chair that leaves your shoulders hanging above the backrest with no support.
What’s more, your legs should conveniently touch the ground while sitting. A chair that leaves your leg dangling in the space is not ergonomic for you.
The armrest should also be at your elbow level. That is, your elbows should rest on the armrest at right angles while you are sitting upright. Make sure also that your desk height is ergonomic.
You can adjust some settings on your chair. Familiarize yourself with these settings. Know the location and functions of the different knobs on your chair. Some of the settings you can adjust include:
- Seat height
- The arms
- Seat pan depth
- Seat tilt
- Seat tilt tension
A poorly set chair has several adverse effects on ergonomics. Appropriate settings customized for your need per time are, on the other hand, essential for optimum chair ergonomics.
What Is The Proper Sitting Posture For Workplace Ergonomics?
The proper posture for workplace ergonomics is to sit straight and upright. Your back should be resting upright on the chair and your feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms close to your sides while sitting and rest your elbow on the armrest if you are working on the desk.
Without the proper posture, the right chair will still not be ergonomic. Further, no external accessory can compensate for wrong sitting posture. Proper sitting posture is a very important part of chair ergonomics and overall workplace productivity.
Checklist For Ergonomic Sitting Posture
You can use this checklist to assess your sitting posture:
- Feet – Soles must be resting on the floor
- Knees – Bent at right angles (90 degrees)
- Upper and lower back – Straight and upright, not slumped or hunched
- Chest – Slightly elevated
- Neck – Straight, such that you are looking straight
It is impossible to keep this posture throughout the day. However, make sure it is your default posture. You may stretch and move around as your work requires, but make sure to return to this ergonomic sitting posture.
What Is The Best Chair For Sitting At A Computer All Day?
The best chair for sitting at a computer all day is one that is specially designed to promote back health. The chair should have an ergonomic design that promotes proper sitting posture. What’s more, all of its support features should be adjustable. That way, you can customize its settings to give you optimum comfort and support.
A top-notch ergonomic chair would make long hours of sitting more comfortable. It will also reduce the risks of health and posture problems. However, sitting all day at a computer is not advisable. Even if you have to sit at a computer for long hours, make sure to take short breaks to stand and move around.
Do Mesh Chairs Sag Over Time?
Mesh chairs could lose their electricity and sag with time. When this happens, it makes sitting uncomfortable. You will also not get adequate support from a sagging mesh chair. However, this is a natural result of wear and tear after several months or years of use.
How long it takes before a mesh chair saga depends on the quality of the mesh chair. So, make sure to buy a top-quality product if you are buying a mesh chair.
Are Ergonomic Chairs Worth It?
Ergonomic chairs are worth it. They offer spine support and help relieve back pain. They also protect joint health and alleviate shoulder and neck pains. In the long run, your health, posture, comfort, and workplace productivity will improve when you use an ergonomic chair.
So far, we have shown you all you need to know about making your chair more ergonomic. Apply these tips and get all the necessary accessories. Then, you can begin to enjoy maximum comfort and productivity while sitting on your chair.