Ergonomic chairs get hyped as highly comfortable chairs. “You’ve got to try this new ergonomic chair model by X company!” or “you should totally upgrade to an ergonomic chair, your back will thank you for it!”.
And you did just that!
You got your chair. Probably even paid a pretty penny for it. But somehow it’s not as comfortable as people hype it up to be.
You’ve ended up with even more back pain than when you were only using the “normal” office chairs.
But why is your ergonomic office chair so uncomfortable?
We’re here to answer those questions and possibly even provide a few solutions you can try.
Table of Contents
- 4 Possible Reasons for an Uncomfortable Ergonomic Chair
- 6 Tips for Staying Comfortable Sitting In an Ergonomic Chair
- 5 Benefits of Ergonomic Chairs
4 Possible Reasons for an Uncomfortable Ergonomic Chair
You read about all the hype around ergonomic chairs, so you decided to get yourself one too. But after several uses, your back pain and posture issues don’t seem to be improving.
And your experience while using your chair is downright uncomfortable. What is that?
Here are a few reasons why your ergonomic chair isn’t doing its job:
Reason #1: Your Adjustments Are Off
We mentioned above that you can adjust the orientation of certain portions in your ergonomic chair. For example, you can extend how far back your backrest leans or the height of your armrests.
If you did not make any adjustments to your chair and you decided to use it straight out of the box, that may be the cause of your discomfort.
Reason #2: It Is the Wrong Type for Your Body and Lifestyle
The ergonomic chair you bought doesn’t meet your lifestyle and your body’s needs. Perhaps there is not enough cushion, or the unit you chose has limited adjustment capabilities.
Perhaps you also bought an ergonomic chair not meant to support sitting for long hours. So if you haven’t bought yourself an ergonomic chair yet, make sure to do some research on the best types for you!
Reason #3: You Need More Lumbar Support
If your chair doesn’t have enough lumbar support, that could still lead to neck and back pain;so choose your chair wisely. Before buying a chair, try asking the staff if you can try it out for a few minutes.
Reason #4: You’re Sitting Too Much
The main purposes of ergonomic chairs are adjustability and support, not necessarily comfort. Reduced pain or soreness are just bonuses to better back support and cushioning.
Sitting in one orientation for a long period can still lead to a sore back, albeit not as bad as if you were using “regular” office chairs.
So, before you toss out that ergonomic chair, try to consider what are the reasons for your discomfort.
And don’t worry because we are not going to leave you hanging! We’re giving a few easy tips on how you can get comfortable on your ergonomic chair.
If you want to know more about it, keep scrolling!
6 Tips for Staying Comfortable Sitting In an Ergonomic Chair
Here are a few solutions worth trying out if you are not having the most comfortable sitting experience with your current ergonomic chair.
Solution #1: Add More Lumbar Support
Depending on where the soreness typically occurs, you may want to try adding a cushion to help minimize the discomfort. For example, if your main issue with your chair is the sore back you get after sitting for a few hours, then try getting a lumbar support pillow from Amazon .
- [Widening & Improvement] Feagar new lumbar support pillow extends to 18 inches' width, which gives your back a...
- [Premium Material] This large back cushion is made of high density memory foam, which makes it super high rebound....
- [Ajustable & Versatile] Packaged with 2 elastic strap extenders,this seat cushion is adjustable to fit for most...
Solution #2: Use Some Cushions
If your ergonomic chair’s seat is the one that is causing you discomfort, try using a soft, flat cushion to sit on. Some good ones to check out are the Memory Foam Seat Cushion Pillow for Office Chairs and the ComfiLife Gel Enhanced Seat Cushion – both of them are available on Amazon!
If you struggle because of a lack of lumbar support and an uncomfortable office chair seat, try solutions #1 and #2 together!
Solution #3: Adjust the Angle/Height of Your Chair, Computer Monitor, or Work Table
Even a well-made ergonomic chair can feel uncomfortable not because it’s the wrong chair for your body but because the height adjustments don’t go well with your workstation.
Try adjusting the height of your chair or table, and maybe tilt your computer’s monitor upwards, so you don’t have to keep looking down when you’re typing or reading documents.
You can also try rearranging how you position your computer monitors. If you’re using multiple screens, try arranging them in a way that requires less head-turning.
Solution #4: Move Around
While ergonomic chairs help improve lumbar support, it does not prevent the discomfort of sitting for long hours without other physical activities.
Our joints can become stiff, and muscles can be sore when we only sit in one position. So if the solutions we gave above are not working as well as you hoped, you can try getting up and doing some stretches every hour or so that you’ve spent sitting down.
Solution #5: See a Chiropractor
Your back pain and discomfort could be the cause of your spine and other joints needing professional care. Yes, even if you’re an office worker who doesn’t do any heavy lifting.
Sitting in one orientation for hours and hours every day can still harm your body. So if you are still suffering from back pain after a good night’s rest all weekend, it’s time to get an expert’s opinion.
Solution #6: Chuck the Chair
If you have tried out solutions #1 through #5 and you’re still having to squirm around in your chair to ease some of the pain, it’s time to move on and chuck the chair.
There are many other ergonomic chair options out there. So you don’t have to stick with those that don’t work for you!
5 Benefits of Ergonomic Chairs
Let’s go through the benefits that these chairs claim to have so we can better understand the almost cult-like following behind them:
1. Great Posture Support
Sitting for long hours while doing your best to maintain a good posture can be exhausting. You may start to find yourself leaning or even slouching because the “normal” office chairs don’t offer much support.
And we all know that a good sitting posture is key to avoiding back and neck pain.
This issue is something an ergonomic chair can fix. It has a full-length design and support for a more natural posture.
A great-quality ergonomic chair has adjustable features that will help in supporting your body while you sit and work.
A chair with good adjustability will allow you to do much more than the usual up-and-down adjustments. You can tweak the positioning of your backrest, armrests, and more to suit your comfort needs.
3. Reduced Discomfort
As we said, the chair can be adjusted to your desired height, backrest position, and height of your armrests as well.
Because it’s so easy to customize the chair to your body’s preference, it decreases the discomfort that may come with sitting in one position for long hours at work.
4. Everyone Can Use It
People come in all shapes and sizes, and so do these chairs. Thanks to the continuing advancement of our technology and research, more and more ergonomic chairs are created to meet the needs and demands of different customers.
There are also specialized chairs referred to as “task chairs”. These are chairs that were created to address the needs of customers with injuries, disabilities, and disorders that affect their ability to sit comfortably.
5. Longevity Ensured!
Ergonomic chairs can cost a pretty penny depending on the brand, unit, or if you need a specialized chair or not.
But don’t worry. Ergonomic chairs are built to last years of use. So you can rest assured that you’re not throwing money out the window!
Sounds good, right?
These many benefits we mentioned are only a few examples of a growing list of why people buy ergonomic chairs.
Who doesn’t want less back and neck pain after a long day at the office?
Meanwhile, despite the favorable response for ergonomic chairs, some customers still complain of discomfort, especially after using their ergonomic chairs for a certain period.
And there are possible reasons for that. So let’s talk about them!
Is it worth it to invest in an ergonomic chair for your office?
Well, that will sorely depend on your preferences, lifestyle, budget, and needs.
But we do encourage you to give ergonomic chairs a fair shot if you have not done so yet. They have research-backed benefits that you may not want to miss out on.
And if you already do have an ergonomic chair, and it feels less than pleasant sitting in, give the tips we shared above a try, too.
Let us know if your experience changed after incorporating our comfort tips. Did it make your sitting experience better? Worse? Or were there no changes?
And did this article help you to decide whether or not to give ergonomic chairs a try?
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.