Robert De Niro once said, “If it is the right chair, it doesn’t take too long to get comfortable in it.”
Your office chair can impact your attitude, health, and work. It’s one of the reasons why office chairs are ergonomically designed.
Adults in the US spend about 6.5 hours a day sitting down. People who work in offices usually spend most of their day in front of their desks and computers with their bottoms comfortably nestled in office chairs.
If you’re adjusting to a new office chair or entertaining the prospect of getting a new one, let us make the transition easier. In the following sections, we talk about the adjustment ahead of you and how you can quickly make your new chair the “right chair.”
Table of Contents
- Factors That Lead You To Spend More Time in Your Chair
- Does It Take Time To Get Used to a New Office Chair?
- How Long Does It Take To Get Used to a New Office Chair?
- How Do You Break Into a New Chair?
- Conclusion: A Newer Office Chair Can Provide You With More Features and Comfort
Factors That Lead You To Spend More Time in Your Chair
As more companies adopt a work-from-home setup, you might be sitting longer than usual. With the rise of swivel chairs and other chair features, you can easily wheel yourself around and only get up when necessary.
After spending a lot of our time in office chairs, it’s not unusual to find ourselves attached to them. Even if we work in an office where almost everything is owned by our employer, we tend to get attached to the chair we’ve been issued and find ourselves wanting to sit only in the chair that we’ve designated for ourselves.
After all, we’ve adjusted our special chair to have the right seat height, lumbar support, and other small but important configurations.
If for any reason, you find yourself with a new chair, it can take some time to get used to it.
Adjusting to a new office chair can take some time because your level of comfort is subjective. You can be transitioning from a soft and used chair to a newer and firmer one. It’s natural for your body to look for what it’s become accustomed to. Transitioning to something new – even if it’s seemingly minor like a new chair – can take some time, but it is something that you can adapt to and get used to in no time.
This is normal behavior. Separation anxiety is nothing new and you are not the first one to feel attached to something that seems of minor importance.
Does It Take Time To Get Used to a New Office Chair?
It takes time to get used to anything new and that includes your office chair. Nothing will feel identical to your previous office chair, especially if your new one has an entirely different design and features.
Give yourself time to get used to your new office chair, but don’t fret because you will eventually get used to it. Also, there are things that you can do and adjustments that you can make to feel more at home in it.
Who knows? Before long, you may become just as or even more attached to your new chair. Sometimes, psychological factors like a chair’s sentimental value and the memories it represents can hold you back from using a chair that has better features or gives you better support.
Like many things in life, getting used to a new office chair can take time.
How Long Does It Take To Get Used to a New Office Chair?
According to Behavioral Psychology, it takes 66 days for a person to get used to new activities and incorporate them as automatic behaviors without resistance or hesitation.
When it comes to a new office chair, two to six weeks should be enough time for you to get used to your new office furniture. By the end of the period, you’ll have tweaked and explored your chair’s new features to your liking.
However, some factors can help you have an easier transition. Ergonomic chairs and chairs with multiple adjustable features will be easier to get used to since you can make necessary adjustments according to your size and posture.
How Do You Break Into a New Chair?
Your office chair and its features are important because they are an integral part of your workspace. You’ll be spending a lot of time in it.
It’s therefore important to break it in over a period of time, as you get used to it. This will help you achieve the comfort level that you need. Ideally, you should be able to make enough adjustments to support your back and posture.
There are ways to make the most of your new ergonomic office chair while promoting good support for your frame.
Provide Additional Back Support
While we all know that remaining seated for long hours isn’t healthy, work sometimes demands it, and we can’t always avoid it. This can lead us to feel sore and stiff by the end of the day.
The next best thing is to make sure that our body is well supported with an ergonomic office chair or a lumbar support pillow like these highly recommended memory foam pillows from ComfiLife and Xtreme Comforts . You can place your lumbar support pillow towards the lower back of your chair to help ease lower back pain and provide your posture with greater support.
Doing so can make you feel uncomfortable the first few days, especially if you aren’t used to it, but you’ll adapt and eventually suffer less or even no pain.
Consider a Seat Cushion
If you find yourself needing more support, you can add a seat cushion to your office chair.
There are plenty of seat cushions on the market today. Many have been designed to alleviate sciatica and back pain.
Another advantage of adding a seat cushion to your chair is it can improve your posture and help distribute weight to your lower body more evenly.
A seat cushion can also prevent you from straining your neck and shoulders so you can see your computer screen more comfortably. This is particularly helpful for those with a desk that is of a fixed height.
Adjust and Tweak Your Chair
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to office chairs. The good thing about ergonomic office chairs today is that you can adjust almost all aspects to your liking.
Depending on the manufacturer and model, most office chairs let you:
Set the Seat Height
The height of your seat is a top priority and the easiest to adjust. To adjust it to the right height, stand in front of your office chair with the seat facing you. Adjust the height until the seat rests just below your knee caps
Modify the Seat Depth
Most office chairs have an adjustable seat pan that slides forwards and backward against the backrest. If yours can be modified, adjust it until your back can lay flat against your chair’s backrest.
Note that you should have at least an inch of space between the back of your knees and the edge of the seat.
Adjust the Backrest
Backrest adjustments are a common feature among today’s ergonomic office chairs. If your chair’s backrest can be adjusted, make sure to move the backrest height until you have adequate lumbar support for your lower back.
Why is this important? Getting the backrest right will provide you with better support and give you greater freedom of movement while sitting down.
Tweak the Lumbar Depth
Some office chairs have an integrated yet fixed lumbar, while some models allow you to modify them. This is typically a piece of plastic behind your chair’s backrest that can be slid up and down to adjust to your body.
Note that your chair’s lumbar support should be in close contact with your lower back. You can experiment with the placement until you find a setting that provides you with proper support and comfort.
Adjust the Armrests
Your armrests on the left and right sides should always be the same height. They should be close to the height of your elbow when you bend your forearms.
If your new office chair has armrests that can pivot, move them until you find a comfortable fit.
Position the Headrest
This is particularly important if you suffer from neck pain.
Adjust your chair’s headrest, so it adequately supports the base of your head. You shouldn’t feel like your head is being pushed down or forward.
Use the Tilt Lock
If your chair comes with a tilt lock, then you can use it as necessary. While some will use this feature more than others, reclining your chair can lessen the load on your spine while opening up the space between your torso and thighs.
Some authorities in human ergonomics recommend reclining your chair throughout the day.
Some chairs come with a tilt-limiter that allows you to set how far back you want your chair to go and lock in that setting.
According to Cornell University, an angle of around 110 degrees is ideal for operating a computer. Shifting your weight around while sitting for long periods can also help redistribute pressure from your body and improve circulation, so don’t be afraid to recline once in a while.
Conclusion: A Newer Office Chair Can Provide You With More Features and Comfort
If you spend a lot of time in the office, a good office chair will greatly impact your ability to work and your comfort level. While it can be difficult to transition from one chair to another, it’s often necessary and even beneficial.
A newer chair with more features that allow for more adjustments will not only make your work life better but will also give you fewer aches and pains at the end of the day.
Some things to look for in an ergonomic chair are its overall form, the adjustments you can make, and how well it molds to your body and supports you.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.