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Is Your Office Chair Bad for Your Health?

02 November 2022

Research suggests that poor posture can lead to a number of health problems. If you work at a desk all day, chances are your posture isn’t ideal. Your back may hurt from slouching, your shoulders may be aching, and your jaw muscles may be sore. As part of your work lifestyle, it’s important to take measures to improve your posture. Not only will this help your body feel better, but it can also help you avoid long-term health problems.

Sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day is no joke. If you've been there, you know it—you feel stiff, sore, and old by the time you get home. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to feel better—as long as you're willing to put in the effort.

Here are some signs your current chair is doing you more harm than good.

Stress and anxiety

Many of the health problems associated with bad posture result from chronic stress. That's because your body stores a lot of excess stress in your muscles and joints. When you're sitting all day, you end up holding tension in your back, neck and shoulders. Over time, this can cause repetitive strain injury (RSI), which is essentially a stress-induced condition that results in painful muscle spasms.

If you frequently experience discomfort in your shoulders and neck, you might have a bad chair. If this is the case, try standing up or walking around a little more often—even for just a few minutes at a time.

Bad for your posture

Bad posture can lead to other health problems, including headaches and neck pain. If you develop any of these, it's a sign that your chair might be contributing to your pain. Look at the types of postures each of the chairs in your office have. If they all encourage the same bad posture, then it might be time to get another one.

Repetitive stress injuries

Along with causing back pain and chronic neck and shoulder strain, bad posture can make you more susceptible to other conditions that stem from repetitive stress injury (RSI). RSI refers to an overuse injury caused by an excessive workload. It’s often associated with athletes and manual labor, but your job might put you at risk as well.

If you’re constantly sitting in the same position, your body may not get enough blood circulation. This is bad news for your nerves because they depend on blood flow to function correctly. If they don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients, they can become damaged—and RSI can set in.

Unhealthy aging

If your body can’t stay healthy because of a bad chair, it may not stand up to the long-term effects of aging as well. As you get older, you lose muscle elasticity and strength, making it harder for your body to maintain good posture. If you always sit in the same position, you’re likely to have weaker muscles than people who have strong muscles in multiple positions. Over time, this could lead to severe health problems that can’t be reversed.

Lack of activity

A good chair encourages movement. If you’re sitting down all day, you probably aren’t moving as much as you should. This can lead to muscle atrophy, where your muscles break down and become smaller because they aren’t being used regularly. As mentioned above, this can make it harder to keep good posture when you get older. Not to mention that muscle atrophy can lead to weight gain in the long run—a very unhealthy problem for your physique and your health overall.

Excess weight gain

If you're sitting down all day and not exercising, it's easy for a few pounds to sneak on over time. We already know that muscle atrophy can make it harder for you to keep good posture when you get older. If you have a bad chair, it might also be making it more likely for you to put on weight. If this is the case, make sure to get rid of your bad chair now before things go downhill.

Poor support

The most common type of office chair is the recliner chair. These chairs are designed to put you in the most comfortable position possible for your body, but they’re often less than ideal for posture. An expensive executive chair may be more supportive and comfortable, but it's not necessarily healthier. If you spend all day sitting in a recliner, it may be time to get a new one.

It's also worth mentioning that old-school office chairs are less supportive. The design may be good for comfort, but they're likely to put you at risk for developing bad posture over time. If your chair's built from an inferior material and has poor construction, you might want to rethink your seating arrangement.

In conclusion

If you've been sitting in a mediocre chair for a long time and want to fix your posture, this can be a lot easier said than done. Sitting in front of the computer in a poorly designed chair can be detrimental to your health. The human body was designed to move, and any position we occupy for most of the day should be in a good posture. Make sure you're supporting your most valuable possession with an ergonomically designed chair!