Whether it’s by changing the height of your chair or adding pillows for back support, it’s important to know how to make your workplace chair more comfortable for the sake of your health and productivity.
For starters, make sure your desk chair is properly adjusted to your body’s needs in terms of ergonomics. Some mass-market desk chairs may claim to be universally comfortable, but there are still a number of aspects to think about before purchasing such a product.
Read on to learn how to optimize your workspace and comfort with the right desk and chair for you. If you already have a desk chair at hand, carry on reading until the end to see if there is any way to improve its fit to satisfy your needs.
Importance of Making Desk Chairs Comfortable
The typical office worker spends 15 hours per day sitting. Most people sit in a chair for the better part of the day. When more than half of your day is spent seated, it’s important to take care of your body by making it as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
Unfortunately, many workplaces only have “one size fits all” desk chairs, which aren’t great for people of varying heights, weights, and body types. Moreover, the pandemic has led to an increase in the number of individuals working from home, which means that many people are spending their workdays sitting on chairs that were not originally intended for such use. If you sit on a chair that wasn’t made for that purpose for any period of time, you’re probably going to feel the effects of it.
Back pain, particularly in the lower back, and repetitive stress injuries in the arms and hands might result, for example, from prolonged sitting on chairs that aren’t designed for the task.
One of the worst things that could happen during a day spent working hard to get everything done that needed to be done is to have that day interrupted by something that wasn’t necessary.
Types Of Desk Chairs
Desk chairs come in a wide variety of styles. If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, try one of the following models.
Big and tall chairs
Big and tall chairs are made specifically for people who are on the larger end of the size spectrum. These chairs have a thicker frame, bigger and deeper seats, and longer and wider backs and arms. The typical weight limit for this chair is from three hundred to one thousand pounds.
People who need to stand and sit alternately without noticeable interruptions to their work are the target audience for drafting chairs. It only makes sense to pair drafting chairs with drawing tables and standing workstations. It’s common for them to have a foot ring and to be height adjustable.
If preventing neck, shoulder, and back pain from prolonged sitting is a top priority of yours, then ergonomic chairs are what you need. If you sit in one of these chairs with your feet flat on the floor and your shoulders relaxed, your posture will be neutral. Ergonomic chairs are typically more expensive than other varieties because of the positive role they play.
Executive office chairs
Higher-ups in an organization tend to like the more luxurious executive office chairs. Those in need of chairs with leather cushions built in or extra padding at the head, back, and armrests may also find this style to be a good option. Reclining and massaging options are included on some models.
Intensive use chairs
Intense use chairs, sometimes known as all-day chairs, are designed to withstand heavy use. For those whose jobs don’t end when the sun goes down, this ergonomic chair is a necessity. The quality of these chairs was ensured by a number of checks and balances, and as a result, they were promoted as being more conducive to good health in terms of ergonomics.
Mesh office chairs
Mesh office chairs are ideal for those who work in warmer environments or who simply have a higher body temperature and sweat more easily than average. The mesh-like fabric on the back makes it airy and comfortable. There are also well-thought-out ergonomic details to ease any strain on the lower back.
Petite and small chairs
In contrast to big and tall chairs, which are intended for people with average or above-average height, petite and small chairs are made for people with shorter statures. There is less height and a smaller frame to make sure the sitter’s feet can be flat on the floor.
Tips To Make Desk Chairs More Comfortable
You may already have a chair for use at your workplace, but we’ll give you some pointers on how to make it more cozy below. Here are a few things to think about if you haven’t yet purchased an office chair.
1. Adjust the chair’s height
You can easily restore your chair’s original level of comfort by by adjusting its shape. Both new and well-worn office chairs suffer from this problem.
Your chair’s height and tilt angle may have changed somewhat over time. Keep adjusting your position, especially if you find that a once-comfortable chair is now too hard or too soft.
While seated, adjust the seat’s height so that both feet rest flat on the floor. Your knees should be at a right angle to your hips or slightly lower.
2. Insert support for the lower back
You need a chair that conforms to the natural curve of your spine. If a chair is excessively deep, you’ll have to perch on the edge, which isn’t comfortable for long amounts of time.
Pillows, and especially lumbar support pillows, can help alleviate back pain when using this type of chair. Fits perfectly in a desk chair if you slide it under your lower back.
3. Add a seat cushion
If your knees are higher than your hips when you sit at your desk, you may want to consider purchasing a seat cushion to bring the height of the chair up to where your hips would be comfortable. When you utilize a seat cushion, your weight is distributed more evenly throughout your lower body, helping you develop healthier sitting habits.
If the surface you are sitting on is too hard and uncomfortable, a seat cushion is a smart investment. They make sitting for extended periods more bearable by adding a layer of cushioning.
4. Consider using a footrest
There has been much emphasis placed on the importance of keeping one’s feet on the floor and away from any distractions. When even the lowest setting on your chair doesn’t keep your feet from hanging, it’s probably time to invest in a footrest to avoid unnecessary agony.
A cardboard box can be used as a footrest; that much is true. An genuine, cushioned, and well-supported footrest is still the way to go. Check that your knees won’t go higher than your hips when resting on the footrest.
How to Clean and Maintain an Office Chair
Vacuum Dust and Debris
It’s recommended that you use the wand attachment of your vacuum cleaner on your office chair once every few weeks. With any luck, the wand attachment won’t scratch your office chair while sucking up dust and dirt. To clean the chair, back, and armrests, simply use the vacuum’s wand attachment and set it to the lowest suction level.
Vacuuming your office chair on a regular basis will help it last longer and keep it looking like new, no matter what kind of chair you have. Using the wand attachment, you may remove embedded dirt and debris that might otherwise deteriorate your office chair and hasten its demise.
Look for an Upholstery Tag
Check the tag sewn into the fabric of your office chair if you haven’t already done so. Many, but not all, office chairs will have a tag sewn into the upholstery. The manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining the office chair are included on this label, which is also called a “care tag” or “care label.” In order to identify the safest and most efficient method of cleaning your office chair, see the upholstery tag.
The upholstery label is typically located behind the seat of an office chair. Find out whether there’s a code for a deep clean once you’ve identified it. The office chair’s fabric can include a cleaning code of one or two letters that indicate how to clean it.
An explanation of the various cleaning codes found on furniture tags is provided below.
- The most frequent cleaning code seen on furniture tags is “W,” which indicates that water or a water-based product should be used to clean the chair.
- If the cleaning code on the upholstery tag is “S,” then a water-free solvent should be used to clean the chair. Manufacturers of chairs upholstered in natural fibers like cotton, wool, or rayon often advise against using water as a cleaning solvent.
- Office chairs with the W/S cleaning code can be cleaned with either a water-based or solvent-based cleaning solution.
- Cleaning code X indicates that the office chair should be cleaned exclusively by vacuuming or brushing. If your office chair has this code, you shouldn’t clean it with water or a solvent.
If your chair doesn’t have an upholstery tag, the owner’s handbook should provide information on how to clean it. If a desk chair doesn’t have an upholstery tag, it should include care recommendations in the owner’s manual.
Spot Clean Using Soap and Warm Water
Spot clean your office chair with soap and warm water unless the upholstery tag or owner’s handbook says otherwise. A spot or smudge on your office chair can be easily removed by blotting the damaged area with a damp washcloth and a drop or two of liquid soap.
Cleaning your desk chair won’t require any special detergent. Simply use a dish soap with a mild composition. Put a few drops of dish soap on a clean washcloth, then run it under running water. Next, wipe the discolored area or areas instead of scrubbing your office chair. The substances that produce stains can be removed from the fabric by blotting. Scrubbing the stain will just spread the dyes or proteins that caused the stain further into the fibers of the garment. When cleaning a spill on your office chair, remember to blot it.
Test Stain-Removing Products in a Discreet Area
Soap and warm water should work well for cleaning most office chairs, but for more serious stains, you’ll need something stronger. Many of the commercially available stain removal treatments have potent cleaning ingredients. You should do a test on the underside of your office chair before utilizing any of these products.
Don’t just slather the entire seat of your office chair in stain remover. Instead, try it out in a hidden spot where no one will be looking. When you do this, you can observe the product’s effect on your desk chair. In order to see how well a stain remover works, for instance, you can put a piece of paper underneath the seat of your office chair and see whether any stains show through. Even if the substance does leave a permanent stain, it will be invisible to the naked eye.
You should always perform a spot test before using any stain remover, whether it be commercially available or homemade (like vinegar) on your office chair. If the fabric of your office chair is not damaged or altered in any way, you can move on to the next step.
Apply Conditioner to Leather
Having a leather office chair means you need to condition it at least once every few months to keep it from cracking and drying out. Full grain leather, rectified grain leather, and split leather are just a few of the varieties available. The greatest quality leather is full grain, and the next best is rectified grain. However, the porous surface of all varieties of natural leather means that it absorbs and retains moisture.
Natural leather has millions of tiny holes that only become visible under a microscope. These openings, or pores, are what maintain the leather’s moisture level. A leather office chair will not dry out since moisture will absorb into the material from the surface. However, after time, the pores will dry out and the fluid will be gone. With further neglect, the leather may eventually fracture or peel.
Using a leather conditioner is an easy way to keep your office chair’s leather in pristine condition. Mink oil and saddle soap are just two examples of leather conditioners that can help keep the material supple and hydrated. They are formulated with water and other substances that keep leather supple and prevent it from cracking due to dehydration. Applying a leather conditioner will help keep your office chair’s leather from cracking and drying out.
Extra care instructions for a leather desk chair are as follows:
- Care should be taken to avoid getting any liquids on your leather office chair.
- The ideal humidity level for your office is between 40 and 55 percent. Your leather office chair could crack if the relative humidity is below 40%. But if it’s over 55%, it could get too wet and rot.
- Leather furniture in the workplace shouldn’t be conditioned more frequently than once every several months. When leather is over-conditioned, it becomes overly soaked with water.
- Protecting leather with a special product is a good idea. Instead of conditioning the leather, protectants aim to provide a barrier to keep the elements out.
- Place your leather office chair away from any heat sources like vents and heaters.
Clean and Lubricate Casters
The wheels on an office chair require regular maintenance to ensure smooth operation. A chair’s wheels are attached on casters, which are housing units. Materials such as plastic, rubber, steel, aluminum, cast iron, and polyurethane are used to create the wheels. In contrast, the actual dwelling units are typically metal constructions.
Most modern office chairs roll with minimal effort and ease. However, if you’ve been sitting in the same office chair for a year or more, the casters may get clogged with dirt and dust, making movement across the floor difficult.
Cleaning the casters is as simple as turning your chair upside down and removing any lint, hair, or dirt from the wheel housing units. A vacuum cleaner can be used to remove any excess debris from the wheels, and canned air can be used to blow the particles away from the wheels.
Apply some WD-40 or other lubrication to the casters of your office chair after you’ve cleaned them properly. To make your office chair glide more easily, simply spray some lubricant into each housing unit. The casters on your office chair should be cleaned and lubricated regularly (at least once every six months).
Naturally, you should also check the bolts on your office chair and make sure they are secure. Whether your office chair is held together with screws, bolts, or both, it’s a good idea to tighten them up every so often. If a screw or bolt is missing, for example, your office chair will wobble.
For a complete list of fasteners and their locations, consult the handbook. Fasteners vary widely in number from chair to chair, with some having as few as two and others having over a hundred. Using a screwdriver, secure your chair’s fasteners when you’ve located them.
If you want to tighten a screw, you should rotate the screwdriver clockwise. However, if you turn a fastener to the left, you will loosen it. Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey is a handy mnemonic for remembering which way to turn a fastener.
Replace Gas Cylinder
Is there a noticeable lag between raising your chair and it returning to the floor? If that’s the case, it sounds like the gas cylinder needs to be swapped out. In most models, a gas cylinder is used to generate pneumatic lift for height-adjustable office chairs. This cylinder contains pressurized nitrogen gas that is capable of lifting and maintaining the raised position of the office chair.
Your office chair’s gas cylinder won’t work properly or at all if it’s leaking. In a positive turn of events, most gas cylinders are readily available and inexpensive to replace. Just turn your chair over on its back, unscrew the gas cylinder with a screwdriver, and replace it with a new one of the same size and type. After the new gas cylinder has been placed, you can test it by lifting your desk chair.
Keep Away From Direct Sunlight
Avoid having your office chair in the middle of the day. The majority of fabrics and materials, including those used to make office chairs, degrade when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) sunlight. It is not an instantaneous process. However, an office chair left in the sun for too long might discolor and dry out.
A completely dark workspace is not required to shield your chair from the sun’s harmful rays. Put your desk chair somewhere that will be primarily shaded during the day. Your office chair will be exposed to less sunlight if you partially close the blinds or drapes. By following these guidelines, you can avoid damaging your office chair from sun exposure.
Replace When Necessary
Your office chair may need to be replaced no matter how often you clean and repair it. It has been estimated that an office chair will last between seven and fifteen years on the whole. In the event that your office chair is broken or worn out beyond repair, you should get a new one.
When purchasing a high-quality office chair, make sure the manufacturer offers some sort of guarantee. Within the specified time frame, the manufacturer will fix or replace any defective parts at no cost to the customer. When shopping for a new office chair, it’s important to find one whose maker stands behind its quality with a warranty.
Keep these cleaning and upkeep guidelines in mind after purchasing a new office chair. It will be protected from early failure if you do this. A well-cared-for office chair will also greatly enhance your productivity.
The topic of our conversation was how to improve the comfort of a standard office chair. Let’s say you’ve tried everything to make yourself more comfortable in your chair, but it still isn’t working. If that doesn’t work, you should probably look into replacing it with a brand new one.