Why are office chairs so uncomfortable? 3 Tweaks To Extend Your Chairs Life

No, you didn't gain too much weight the office chair just lost its comfort. Wondering how your chair got this way?
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So How did my office chair get uncomfortable?

You probably did not gain too much weight, your chair just lost its comfort.
If you purchased an office chair using vain metrics such as color or aesthetics over dimensions and build quality - there might be some pain, starting from your bottom to the ear.

Below are actionable advice to transform any uncomfortable office chair into a piece of furniture that is a much more ergonomic and enjoyable to sit in.

What to do when my office chair is unbearable to sit in long periods of time?

Three Things to Do to Make an Uncomfortable Office Chair More Bearable

Adding On Extra Lumbar Support Via External back pad

Before adding back-pad pillow support, check if you have adjustable lumbar feature. Budget office chairs might not have this feature all together.

If your lower back starts to ache from extended sitting, lack of proper lumbar support is the usual culprit.

For the DIY types, you can make your own lumbar support pad using household items like a tempurpedic pillow, bungee cords, and a pillowcase.

Adjust the Height Between Desk or Chair

Whether it be over extending your arms or cramping them together like a T-Rex, it’s bad ergonomics!

If your chair is too low from the desired workstation. Back pain may peek its ugly head as more tension gets put on it. This is from hip joints staying in flex to keep the knees above the hips. Key Features Within Ergonomic Office Chairs

When your chair is too high, you might only touch the floor with your tippy-toes or your feet will hover off the floor. When feet are groundless and constantly dangling where you’re sitting. It leads to less than ideal circulation in the back of the thighs which causes discomfort and even numbness.

Sitting in a chair that’s too little or big can lead to an array of aches and pains. Below is a chart which properly assigns a personas height with an office chair.

Don’t Sit Through The Pain, Plop down a seat cushion

Whether you’re in a car, at the sporting event, or sitting in the coveted office chair. A good seat cushion should contour with your bum and distribute weight evenly around for pain free sitting and optimal posture.

If your hips and or tailbone hurt, look for a seat cushion with its back center cut out. As someone who has injured their tailbone, I prefer a seated doughnut because it causes less sweat on the bum and is more forgiving. ( Call Me Old-school ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

Chart Matching Ideal Height For Office Chair

Maybe it’s your height? When it comes to Ergonomics.. Size does matter.
Perhaps the chair you claim that’s uncomfortable is actually plenty comfortable, just not for someone of your stature. Here is a nifty table to better calculate the ideal height ratio of an office chair to its sitter.
How Tall Are You? (ft) Ideal Chair Height (inches) How Tall are You? (cm) Ideal Chair Height (cm)
4’11” 15.9 in 149 cm 40.2 cm
5’0″ 16.2 in 151.5 cm 40.9 cm
5’1″ 16.4 in 154 cm 41.5 cm
5’2″ 16.7 in 156.5 cm 42.2 cm
5’3″ 17.0 in 159 cm 42.9 cm
5’4″ 17.2 in 161.5 cm 43.6 cm
5’5″ 17.5 in 164 cm 44.2 cm
5’6″ 17.8 in 166.5 cm 44.9 cm
5’7″ 18.0 in 169 cm 45.6 cm
5’8″ 18.3 in 171.5 cm 46.3 cm
5’9″ 18.6 in 174 cm 46.9 cm
5’10” 18.9 in 176.5 cm 47.6 cm
5’11” 19.1 in 179 cm 48.3 cm
6’0″ 19.4 in 181.5 cm 49 cm
6’1″ 19.7 in 184 cm 49.6 cm
6’2″ 19.9 in 186.5 cm 50.3 cm
6’3″ 20.2 in 189 cm 51 cm
6’4″ 20.5 in 191.5 cm 51.7 cm
6’5″ 20.7 in 194 cm 52.3 cm
6’6″ 21.0 in 196.5 cm 53 cm
6’7″ 21.3 in 199 cm 53.7 cm
6’8″ 21.6 in 201.5 cm 54.4 cm
6’9″ 21.8 in 204 cm 55 cm
6’10” 22.1 in 206.5 cm 55.7 cm
6’11” 22.4 in 209 cm 56.4 cm
7’0″ 22.6 in 211.5 cm 57.1 cm
7’1″ 22.9 in 214 cm 57.7 cm
7’2″ 23.2 in 216.5 cm 58.4 cm

Should you Replace the Chair Entirely?

Is it that time again? The end of your office chairs life-cycle.

Have you started to notice whenever seated your quickly start repositioning yourself? After prolonged sitting the feeling travels up your back and gets so intense it’s hard to focus. This is a sign your seat pad has been squished down to its plywood base.

Office chairs last on average 7-9 years and upwards of a decade with a warranty.

As your chair gets older, you will encounter wear and tear on the armrest and upholstery. The seat cushion might be flattened out, or sitting is just too damn creaky!

To get the most out of your new purchase, certain measurements to be taken. Calculating the dimensions of your calf, thighs, and elbows will make office chair picking process that much easier.

When should you replace your office chair is a topic covered in a post of ChairPickr’s past if you’re interested?

Why are office chairs so uncomfortable?
Samuel Cousins 1827, CC0 Public Domain Designation

Related Questions

Helpful Info About Office Chair & Some F.A.Q. Answered

Office chairs have a wide range of prices, the majority being under $100.
There are three main reasons why ergonomic office chairs cost more.

 

Firstly the cost of research and development can be upwards of $35 million dollars, like the Steelcase Leap Chair. They use better materials on average and have an extended warranty compared to standard office chairs.

 

We dedicated a whole post answering why professional ergonomic office chairs cost more if you want to dig deeper into this subject.

Basically, More Optimizations To Promote Healthy Posture
Compared to regular office chairs, ergonomic chairs are equipped with features ease sedentary sitting. They offer better customization that makes it easier to get dialed in at just the right posture.

 

Here are the 5 most important features that make a premium ergonomic chair.

  1. Adjustable or Removable Lumbar Support
  2. 3D, 4D Armrest Opposed To 2D
  3. Thick High Quality Memory Foam Seat Cushions
  4. Tilt-Lock-Control
  5. Multi-Surface Dual Wheel Casters

These features prevent our bodies from slumping forward (unhealthy posture) and eases tension, which tends to build up from long periods of sitting.

SOURCES

Asher CPT, Anne. “Understand Why Your Office Chair Is Causing You Back Pain.” Verywell Health, 8 Dec. 2019, www.verywellhealth.com/office-chair-height-and-hip-joint-angle-296775.

MAYO, CLINIC. “How to Keep Your Desk Chair from Killing You.” YouTube, 12 Feb. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR7O5t3vRvw.
ChairPickr

Claude

ChairPickr | "Writer"

Hello, My name is Claude and I enjoy sitting comfortable. Research into what separates the good from the bad, in the matter of chairs started when I made a new years resolution to have better posture.

You clicked here to find that first-rate chair, why not stay and learn some self care?

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