Having a chair that feels comfortable to you is essential for your health, productivity and focus. It should support your back, bottom and overall posture.
Normal wearing out, damage or poor design can make a chair uncomfortable. You may also have bought a chair that is too big or too small for your body size. Getting an under-size chair is a common problem for large and tall individuals.
How To Make A Chair More Comfortable
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a new chair, here are some tips on how you can make your current chair more comfortable.
1. Make Sure Your Chair Is Set To The Proper Height
There are two main things that you should consider when adjusting the height of your chair.
- Your feet should be touching the floor, and your knees bent at a 90° If you are shorter use a footstool to rest your legs.
- Your hips and thighs should also be at a 90° angle when you sit. Make sure your body weight is distributed evenly across your hips
You can use an online height calculator or height chart to determine the ideal height your chair. The calculator uses your height to recommend the best height for you.
By the way, here’s how to fix an office chair that won’t stay up.
2. Use A Lumbar Pillow
If you struggle with lower back pain, use a lumbar support pillow. It will improve the chair’s curvature to better fit your back.
If you don’t want to buy a new pillow, a quicker and cheaper solution is to roll up a towel and place it against your lower back.
3. Adjust The Backrest Angle
If you have soreness or aches in your back and shoulders, the problem could be the angle of your chair. If you have a reclining chair, try adjusting the backrest a little further back from the usual 90 degrees.
An angled backrest may provide better upper body and back support. It’ll allow your back muscles to relax and relieve pressure from your spine.
4. Support Your Arms
Arm support is very crucial when you are working. A chair with armrests minimizes strain on your neck and shoulders.
Your forearms should be at the same height as your desk. This makes you less likely to slouch forward.
If your chair doesn’t have armrests, you can add a pair yourself. There are plenty of DIY guides like this one.
If your chair already has armrest but they feel uncomfortable, use armrest pads to cushion your elbows and forearms.
5. Put A Pillow On The Chair
Long hours of sitting expose your spine and tailbone to stress especially if the chair doesn’t have adequate padding, or if the padding is too firm.
Place a pillow or cushion on the chair to relieve pressure from your spine and tailbone. You can also try re-upholstering the chair and adding more padding to make it more comfortable.
6. Get Moving
A proper office or gaming chair should be able to swivel and roll to minimize strain to your upper body.
A stationary chair is likely to prompt additional movements that twist your spine. This is potentially harmful and might cause repetitive motion injuries to your back.
Short of buying a new wheeled chair, the only thing you can do is move about more often.
- Take regular breaks. Prolonged static posture is not good for your back.
- Move about and stretch on a regular basis. This will help keep your muscles and joints relaxed.
If you already have a chair with casters but they are broken, take the chair for repair.
7. Buy A New Chair
As you try to make your chair more comfortable, it is important to know when to give up and get a new chair altogether.
If the chair is really wobbly or broken in multiple places, it is better for your back to get a new comfortable chair.
This time, get a high quality chair with adjustable features including;
- Adjustable seat height
- Adjustable armrests (for gaming chairs)
- Adjustable neck and lumbar support
- Reclining backrest
Also, make sure you buy the right match for your body size. If you are a big guy, look for a chair that is extra-wide, extra-deep and extra-tall. Here’s my selection of gaming chairs for big and tall guys.