Working in comfort
For over 20 years now I have struggled to sit for long periods or even sit comfortably at all. Following on from a horse riding accident and a tumble off a school trampoline, my neck and back were not amused.
Carrying four babies, four overdue babies, four lots of breastfeeding and 10 years of carrying children around, and it has got progressively worse.
Running marathons, lifting weights and foam rolling all help to counter the daily discomfort and a good massage helps too.
Sitting on the floor playing with the children is fine, as is standing at my laptop in the kitchen working, but sitting on any form of chair for very long is never very comfortable so it’s a good job I don’t sit very often.
The chair you work in is hugely important, whether you work from home or somewhere away from the home. Potentially you can be sat for long periods at a time depending on what you do for a job. If you can, get an assessment of your furniture at work to make sure that you are using the best type of furniture for your needs. A good chair keeps you comfortable, which in turn makes you more productive.
Over the years I have tried lots of different types of chairs and working set ups, to try to find something practical and comfortable. I’ve tried a range of chairs, trying to find one that I would work in for a short time at least.
I’ve tried hard, soft, high back, low back, swivel, fixed, the backless ones you wrap your knees around and so on. There are so many types of office chair around it can get really tricky choosing the best one for your needs. Here are a few things to consider:
- The backrest should be adjustable and follow the shape of the spine. It should also support the curve in the lower back.
- Feet should rest flat on the floor comfortably. If not, adjust the chair height or add a footrest.
- Arm rests should be close the body and allow the shoulder to relax.
- Arm height should be adjustable and match the height of the desk. This is supposed to prevent strain to the shoulders.
- In a sitting position looking forward, the center of the computer screen is what should be seen.
- The back of the chair should come to the middle of the shoulder blades in order to provide adequate support, above the shoulders is even better.
- The seat of the chair should be long enough to put two or three finger lengths between it and the knee.
- If possible, the cushion should be memory foam. Other cushions wear out quickly and can make the chair uncomfortable.
Have you found a comfortable work chair? What have you gone for?