Wooden chairs have a certain kind of timeless elegance that will never go out of style. On the other hand, sitting in a wooden chair can be painful. In fact, one study shows that long-term use of a traditional wooden chair can lead to back problems.
Before you throw away your wooden chair, we have good news for you!
If you follow the ideas in this article, you can improve your wooden chair and get to enjoy the best of both worlds – a chair with great looks and comfort. At the same time, you can reduce your risk of developing back problems.
Now, no one can say you can’t have your cake and eat it too!
So if you are tired of your wooden chair giving you a stiff behind, you came to the right place.
In this article, we look at:
- Reasons why you should make a wooden chair comfortable
- How to make a wooden chair comfortable
- Pros and cons of making a wooden chair comfortable
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- Why Should You Make Your Wooden Chair More Comfortable?
- 5 Methods to Make a Wooden Chair More Comfortable
- Pros and Cons for Making a Wooden Chair Comfortable
Why Should You Make Your Wooden Chair More Comfortable?
Wouldn’t it be great if sitting in a comfortable chair was a basic human right? No one deserves to feel like sitting is a punishment. Sometimes sitting in an uncomfortable chair for long periods feels like it should be a punishment reserved only for the worst of criminals.
But in all seriousness, making your wooden chair more comfortable has many benefits and helps avoid painful outcomes.
Here is why you should level up your wooden chair’s comfort:
- It Boosts Your Comfort: Prolonged sitting on any chair causes discomfort. And it is even worse on wooden chairs. Therefore, making your wooden chair comfortable is vital for your well-being.
- Improves Your Concentration and Productivity: A comfortable chair significantly boosts your work productivity and concentration. On the other hand, it’s no secret that an uncomfortable chair causes fidgeting, making it easier to distract or lower your productivity and concentration on tasks.
- Enhances Posture: Many studies are now linking bad sitting or standing posture to future back, limb, and neck problems. In addition, improving your posture can relieve some musculoskeletal pain (e.g., back pain). Hence, a pro-posture chair reduces your risks of back pain and can also provide pain relief.
- Affordable: Modifying your wooden chair to become more comfortable is often cheaper and more enjoyable than buying an ergonomic office chair. You can easily amp up your chair’s comfort by using things like spare blankets or pillows around your home.
- Improves Your Health: Making your chair comfortable can alleviate back problems, ease pressure on the back of your thighs, and reduce or prevent your feet from swelling.
5 Methods to Make a Wooden Chair More Comfortable
Now that you know why you should improve your chair’s comfort, let’s look at how you can go about it.
1. Get a Lumbar Support Cushion
A lumbar support cushion is typically a fluffy cushion placed behind your lower back when sitting. It’s easy to buy these cushions as they are widely available in most stores or online.
Alternatively, you can roll up a towel and use it as a substitute for a store-bought lumbar cushion. You can also try using similar methods if buying a proper cushion is not an option.
So what does a lumbar cushion do?
The main function of a lumbar cushion is to provide lower-back support by filling in the gap between your backrest and the curve of your spine. Without this support, your spinal curve is under more compacting pressure.
This is why you might feel some pain and discomfort if your wooden chair doesn’t have a lumbar cushion.
Benefits of a lumbar support cushion:
- Reduces the wear and tear damage on your spine from extended sitting.
- Enables the proper distribution of your weight down the spine.
- Reduces back pain and improves blood circulation.
To enjoy the full benefits of a lumbar support cushion, consider placing a cushion behind your lower back and another behind your knees. The ideal lumbar cushion should be firm but comfortable, easy to wash and fit the height and width of your back.
2. Buy a Footrest
A footrest is a small piece of furniture you place on the floor or under your desk so your feet can rest comfortably on it.
Footrests are ideal for use in many situations, including:
- When your chair is too high and your feet can not comfortably rest on the floor.
- When you suffer from leg and foot swelling. An adjustable footrest set at 15 degrees can ease your swelling.
- When you need to increase leg activity while sitting to improve blood flow and reduce foot swelling.
- When you need to make sitting more comfortable.
Contrary to popular belief, footrests are not just for shorter people. So buying a footrest is a wise move if you want to level up your chair’s comfort. However, if you’re going to enjoy the best results, you should buy a footrest that matches your ergonomic goals.
Benefits of using a footrest:
- It improves blood circulation and leg activity which lowers your risk of developing sitting-related vascular problems.
- It helps to get into a good posture and maintain it.
- It provides a surface to rest your feet on if you are short or sitting in a tall chair.
Check out the following 5 min Youtube video on footrests by Olivier Girard – The Posture Guru:
3. Prioritize Good Sitting Posture
As I mentioned before, bad posture is now linked to an increasing number of conditions and musculoskeletal disorders. In fact, it’s one of the most often talked about topics in ergonomics.
So, I’ll stress this point at the risk of beating a dead horse. Train yourself to always sit correctly using the proper posture. Doing so will minimize the discomfort and damage you will experience.
I know sitting correctly may seem more trouble than it’s worth. But I can assure you that the benefits of good sitting posture far outweigh its hassles.
Here’s how to get and keep the correct sitting posture.
- Sit straight with your back resting on the back of the chair. Ensure that as much of your back as possible is in contact with your chair’s backrest.
- Add a lumbar cushion to increase your back area that’s in contact with the backrest. A lumbar cushion provides much-needed support to your lower back.
- Rest your feet flat on the floor or similar surface. Ensure that your whole foot is in solid contact with the resting surface. In addition, your thighs, leg, and feet should ideally be at 90 degrees to each other.
- Your forearms should be at a 90-degree angle to your upper arms and torso.
For a demonstration on how to sit properly, here’s a youtube video by physical therapists Bob and Brad on sitting posture.
4. Use a Chair That’s Right for You (or make it right)
Modern chairs boast more adjustment options than you need. Hence, almost anyone can use any modern ergonomic chair.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for wooden chairs. Wooden chairs are rarely adjustable. So if you have a wooden chair that doesn’t closely match your stature, you will have to jump through more hoops to sit comfortably.
On the bright side, if your chair is less than ideal, you can make some simple DIY fixes to solve the problem.
For instance, if your chair is too high, you can cut its legs to a suitable height for you after some measurements.
Secondly, if your chair is too short, consider adding chair casters or raisers that will make it just right.
5. Add a Seat Cushion
A seat cushion is the most common method used to make chairs comfortable. To do so, most people simply use one from their couch or a pillow.
However, you should consider using a wedge cushion with a U-shaped cut out for the best results.
A wedge-shaped seat cushion helps you get into a better sitting posture by aligning your body into a better sitting position. This reduces back pains and is also a better option for prolonged sitting.
The benefits of a seat cushion are:
- It makes it easy to maintain an upright position hence enabling better posture.
- It offers better shock absorbency and weight accommodation, and stability.
- It reduces the pressure put on your hips, back, and the back of your thighs.
- It eases or eliminates lower back pains.
- It aligns your body into a comfortable position and better sitting posture.
Pros and Cons for Making a Wooden Chair Comfortable
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments or get in touch with us.
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.