How to Make Your Cheap Office chair More Comfortable
How to Make Your Cheap Office chair More Comfortable
Remember, it’s not just about the chair

How to Make Your Cheap Office chair More Comfortable

In most cases, all you need are a couple of inexpensive cushions to create a more supportive and comfortable seating position—and possibly a few tweaks to your keyboard and monitor so that your other gear sits ergonomically in line with your “new” office chair.

Getting the right ergonomic fit while sitting at your desk requires balancing a lot of different factors. The height of your chair has to be just right to match the height of your desk and keyboard, and the height of your monitor has to be set so that you’re not craning your neck. If one thing is off, your workstation—and, by extension, your entire body—is out of alignment. Even though it seems like the process should be simple, it’s surprisingly hard to know how to sit in a chair so that it doesn’t break your back after a few hours.

The biggest problem is that most office furniture is advertised as one-size-fits-all, whereas in reality designs are skewed heavily toward people of taller stature. The average 29-inch-high desk, for example, is designed to best fit a 6-foot-tall person. Similarly, many of the modern desk chairs we’ve tested don’t lower enough to let people under 5-foot-6 sit comfortably, with their feet on the floor. After years of testing and interviews with ergonomic experts, we’ve realized that the solution to such problems can be surprisingly straightforward and cost-effective.

Adjust your seating position 
The ErgoFoam adjustable footrest is shown next to an office chair. 
To begin, use your chair’s built-in adjustments (if it has any) to lower or raise your seat so that your feet are flat on the floor, your knees are level with your hips or slightly below, and you can sit comfortably against the back of the chair. If you can’t achieve an ideal sitting position, you can try some modifications:

If your feet are dangling even at the lowest chair height, a footrest will work wonders. Anything will do, including a foam roller or a cardboard box, but it’s worth investing about $30 to $40 in something that’s soft, stable, and designed to encourage your feet to move. 
If you find that your knees are resting higher than your thighs even at the chair’s highest setting, a seat cushion can help by raising your butt an extra inch or two. Some of my long-legged friends stretch their feet out under their desks because many chairs are too short for them, but that isn’t the best position to keep for hours at a time.

And if you’re not able to sit comfortably against the back of your chair, get a lumbar support pillow. I’m 5-foot-2, and most chairs have seat depths that are too long for me, so I tend to perch at the edge of the seat. A lumbar support pillow gently encourages me to lean back and maintain proper posture at my keyboard.

Besides providing a better fit, cushions can make sitting on a  gaming office chair more pleasant. A great ergonomic seat cushion, for example, not only lifts you up but can also compensate for a saggy or too-stiff seat.

Pillows can’t make cheap office chairs less squeaky, wobbly, or unattractive—and they can’t help with major flaws such as an inability to recline—but they are an inexpensive option for making even a cheap office chair fit just right. Pillows are your body’s best friend.

Next, look at your keyboard and desk 
The best position for your forearms and wrists is parallel to the ground or angled down as if you were typing with the keyboard on your lap. For many people with fixed-height desks, this isn’t possible when you’re also striving to keep your feet flat on the floor.

If your keyboard is too high, the solution is once again to raise your leather task chair and get a footrest. An under-desk keyboard tray can also lower the keyboard so that you’re not straining your arms or shoulders.I have yet to encounter a desk that’s so low, people have to strain or hunch over when they type. But if you find yourself in this situation, it’s not your chair's fault. You just need a taller desk.

Finally, check the height of your monitor or laptop screen 
Another great pick for the best 24-inch monitor, the Dell UltraSharp U2415. The screen is on and displaying a photo of a beach. Position your monitor such that eye level is about 2 to 3 inches below the top of the monitor, so you’re not craning your neck either up or down.

If the monitor causes you to bend your head down, which is common if you work on a laptop, you have a few options: Laptop owners can get a laptop stand or a height-adjustable external monitor, while desktop computer owners who find that their external monitor’s adjustment range isn’t flexible enough for comfortable viewing can try a monitor arm.

If your monitor is so high that you feel like you’re craning your neck to see it clearly, try arranging your application windows so that they’re more centered in your direct sightline. And here’s a bonus productivity tip: Put the distracting windows (such as Slack or Twitter) outside that central zone.

One day, a better-quality office chair may be in your future. But until then, these tips should help you make do with whatever you already have.