When sitting at your desk all day, your office chair can quickly become the most uncomfortable place to sit. You could have the best office chair on the market, but if you don’t have it adjusted properly, you’re likely to end up with headaches, poor posture, and less productivity. To help combat this, here is a list of ways to make your office chair more comfortable.
Start with Proper Posture
When sitting in your chair, you’ll want to be sure you’re always using proper posture. Push your hips as far back as they go in the chair, have your feet flat on the floor, and your knees equal to, or slightly lower than your hips. If you can’t achieve the proper posture, keep reading for some accessories you can buy to achieve the proper posture.
Have Your Chair Properly Adjusted to the Right Height
If you don’t want to break out the measuring tape to figure out how to properly set up your office chair, the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety suggests that you can find the right height by standing in front of the chair and adjusting its height so that the highest point of the seat is just below your knee cap.
Consider Adding a Lumbar Support Pillow
If your chair lacks lumbar support or the ability to adjust the lumbar support that it has, consider adding one of these, as research has proven that lumbar support has benefits if you're suffering from lower back pain, and even if you are completely healthy.
When I had to use an old office chair in my office I used this lumbar support pillow and highly recommend it.
Get a Footrest (if needed)
Adjust the Arms on Your Chair
Start Using an Adjustable Monitor Mount
Using a multi monitor setup with the best monitor mounts will also keep your head moving from side to side instead of staring at one position for too long. If you are already using more than one monitor at work, consider upgrading to a new monitor desk mount to get your setup dialed in ergonomically, and if you are still just using a single monitor, it might be time to upgrade. Multiple displays can increase productivity by 42%, according to Jon Peddie Research.
Either way, consult our in-depth guide on the subject to find the best setup for your needs.
Don't Underestimate The Importance of Taking Regular Breaks
No matter how comfortable your chair has now become with these tips, be sure to take a 1-2 minute break to stretch every 20-30 minutes. This will help relieve the tension that has built up in your muscles while sitting at your desk, can help reduce static postures, and will break up any repetitive movements you’ve been doing. To be the most productive, you really should be taking a 5 minute break every 25 minutes anyways. This is a time management method called the Pomodoro Technique.
Even with these tips, some people may still struggle with lower back pain from sitting too much. If that sounds like you, you may benefit from switching to a standing desk or standing desk riser (here's a review of my favorite).
If you do decide to make the switch to a more active workstation, check out our standing desk posture tips & best practices article so you can have a happy, healthy, and successful transition and avoid the common mistakes people make when transitioning to a standing desk at work.