How to Make a Desk Chair More Comfortable
How to Make an Office Chair More Comfortable
Sitting at a desk for long periods can have a profound effect on your body — as well as your efficiency in the office. But if you don’t know how to make an office chair more comfortable, the effects can be compounded. Sitting in a bad position with poor posture can have detrimental effects on your joints and muscles. And over time, the situation can become a contributing factor to serious illnesses such as heart disease and depression.
Making an office chair more comfortable isn’t difficult, but it requires a specific approach. Here are some tips and guidelines on how to make an office chair more comfortable. Adapt them all to your specific circumstances, and you should see an improvement in your general wellbeing relatively quickly.
Factors That Affect Comfort Levels
Although you may not realise it, there could be several issues affecting how comfortable you are at your desk. If you address each one in turn, you should become less susceptible to pain and significantly more productive at work.
The chair material you choose can affect your personal comfort levels. Some people prefer the rigidity of plastic, wood or metal. Others, however, prefer a combination of natural fibres and padding. This is something that’s personal to you, so try out a few options before settling on a particular material. But remember: the softer the material, the easier it is to slouch. You’ll also need to know how to clean a desk chair before you make a decision. Leather and faux leather, for example, are much easier to maintain.
Desk & Keyboard
Your seated posture while you’re working can have a huge impact on your overall comfort level. Ideally, your keyboard should be directly in front of you. And there should be a gap of around four to six inches between the bottom of the keyboard and the edge of your desk. When you’re typing, your arms should form an ‘L’ shape and your elbows should be by your side. If they aren’t, you might need to consider changing your desk.
Head & Neck Support
Not everyone requires head and neck support. But if you suffer from chronic back and neck pain, this additional support might take some of the strain. If you start to suffer pain while working at your desk, simply lie back and let the head and neck support features of your chair take the weight.
Tips to Make Your Chair More Comfortable
Once you know how to make a desk chair more comfortable, you can ensure you’ve chosen the right chair for your particular needs. The ability to change various aspects of your desk chair is a crucial part of creating a more comfortable seated position. Research the meaning of an ergonomic desk chair for tips on what to look for. In the meantime, here are a few tips to get you started.
Adjust the Height of Your Chair
Sit at your desk and place your arms on the surface as if you’re typing on your keyboard. Your arms should be bent in a perfect ‘L’ shape; if they aren’t, you may need to adjust the height of your desk chair until they are. This can usually be done with the use of a lever under your seat.
Adjust Recline Settings of Your Chair
Ideally, you should be sitting in an upright position with your back straight at all times. If you’re too far away from your desk because you’re over-reclined, you’ll need to stretch to reach your keyboard. If you’re too close, however, you’ll be hunched over your keyboard — putting strain on your shoulders and back.
Find the tilt adjustment knob underneath your seat, and find the reclining position that suits you. If you like to recline while you take a break from your computer screen, you’ll need to loosen the tilt lock a little.
Adjust Your Monitor or Laptop
Once you’ve found the perfect sitting position, you should adjust your monitor or laptop accordingly. The screen should sit directly in front of you — at eye level. And for most people, it should be around an arm’s length away from your eyes. You may need to invest in a monitor or laptop stand to achieve the ideal screen position.
Add a Footrest
Most people don’t require a footrest to be comfortable at their desk. However, if you can’t sit in the optimum position while your feet are flat on the floor, adding a footrest may help. If you’re suffering from pain or discomfort in your thighs, knees, ankles or feet, the addition of a footrest might allow you to shift your weight while seated — relieving strain on problem areas.
Add Arms to Your Chair
If you’re struggling to keep your arms bent at an angle of 90 degrees while working at your computer, the addition of armrests might help — particularly if your desk doesn’t allow your keyboard to sit six inches away from the edge. Try to ensure the height of your chair’s arms is the same as the height of your desk.
H3: Add Lower Back Support or a Cushion
You may struggle to sit in an upright position while working. Or you may suffer from pain in your lower back if you do. To alleviate your pain and discomfort, choose a desk chair that includes lumbar support. Alternatively, place a cushion between your lower back and the backrest of your chair.
H2: Making Your Office More Comfortable
Think about the various ways in which you can make your personal space in the office more comfortable. Once you know how to make an office chair more comfortable and organise your desk space, you can start adapting your environment in a way that maximises your comfort levels at work. Here are some simple suggestions for ways to do just that.
Add Wrist Support
If you type with your wrists resting on your desk, you may need to lift up your hands to hit the keys. As well as putting strain on your wrists, this can exert strain on your forearms, shoulder and back. By adding wrist supports to your desk — directly underneath your keyboard — you raise your wrists’ resting position to create a more comfortable typing position. And there’s evidence that doing this can reduce the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injuries.
Adjust the Lighting in Your Office
Insuffient lighting at your desk may be forcing you to adopt unhealthy sitting postures without you realising it. That’s why a desk lamp is always a good item to have — regardless of the lighting quality in your office. Conversely, too much light can bring on eye strain an headaches. Experiment with differing lighting options until you have an environment that’s conducive to comfortable and productive working.
Consider Investing in a New Desk Chair
If you’ve implemented all the tips listed above and you still can’t get comfortable at your desk, it might be time for a new desk chair. Once you know how to make an office chair more comfortable, you can look or the features and benefits that suit you. Thankfully, choosing an office chair that’s right for your isn’t difficult, as there are many options and features to choose from.
Ergonomic Desk Chairs
Ergonomic desk chairs are designed to deliver the optimum seating position while relieving strain from key pressure points in your body, including your lower back and shoulders. Sometimes referred to as orthopaedic office chairs, these well-designed items of office furniture have been shown to significantly increase productivity levels in busy working environments.
The Calypso Ergonomic Office Chair, for example, was tested and approved by physiotherapists. Featuring an inflatable lumbar support function, this office chair allows you to create a fully customised seating position with the minimum of fuss.
Mesh Desk Desk Chairs
Mesh desk chairs prioritise comfort and manoeurability. Lightweight and well-ventilated, they are ergonomically designed to facilitate the optimum seating position for the user. The Marlos Mesh Back Office Chair features ergonomic armrests, a lock-tilt mechanism, fixed lumbar support and padded support for both your legs and arms. If you require all of these features as well as support for your head and neck, take a look at the Chachi Mesh Office Chair.
Heavy Duty Desk Chairs
Heavy duty office chairs are designed for people who spend many hours at their desk. Featuring lumbar support, armrests, headrests, multiple reclining options, and extra-strong frames, these desk chairs deliver maximum support for the most vulnerable pressure points of your body. A fine example of this kind of product is the Fonz Mesh 24 Hours Heavy Duty Posture Chair, which can take weights of up to 24 stones.
Desk Chairs for Bad Backs
If you already suffer from a bad back, knowing how to make an office chair more comfortable is essential. Equally as important is choosing the perfect office chairs for back pain. Fortunately, there are some fantastic products designed for people like you. These orthopaedic office chairs are designed to minimise the strain on your back while you’re working at a desk. The Lumbar Massage Faux Leather Office Chair is ideal, as it features a mains operated massage function that delivers soothing relief during long periods at your desk.
How should you sit comfortably in an office chair?
Your back should be at an angle of 90 degrees to both the floor and your upper legs. You should also have your feet firmly planted on the floor. When you’re typing on a keyboard, your desk chair should allow you to rest your lower arms on the desk to create a perfect right angle with your upper arms.
How do you put padding on a desk chair?
Depending on the design of the office chair, you might be able to remove or add to the padding to increase your comfort levels. This might involve removing the seat cover and adding an extra layer of foam. However, the simplest option is to use a cushion or seating topper.
What is the purpose of a footrest?
When you’re trying to decide how to make your office chair more comfortable, it’s important not to forget the accessories and additional items that can make a difference. Take the footrest, for example, which makes improves your posture when you’re leaning forward. This happens when more of your weight is offloaded onto your legs and feet — providing relief for your back.
How should I sit at my desk for good posture?
Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your legs are roughly in line with your hips. Keep your back straight, and sit as far back into your chair as possible.