How Do You Choose an Office Chair?

September 11, 2017

The other day I received this email from a client:

Hi Sandra!
I have an opportunity at work to pick out a desk chair. Can you provide any tips on what to look for when purchasing a chair? It's a desk job, so I'm sitting most of the day.
Thanks a million.
Office chairs!!! Whew, that’s an issue and there is no easy answer.
The fact is, our bodies were not designed for sitting for extended periods of time, but the fact is we do sit on them for long hours. So no matter what chair you decide to buy you will still have to look at ways to make sure you don’t develop back/hip/neck problems from sitting for too long.
The best advice I can give you regarding your purchase is to “test drive” many different makes and models to find the one that is the best fit for you. Lots of chairs now have built in lumbar support, height adjustments, side to side movement, and the list goes on.  Once you’ve decided on the chair the most important thing to do is develop an office movement program that allows your body a few minutes of “time out” every hour to participate in activities that will rejuvenate you and correct habits that may lead to postural problems.
Here are a few quick tips:

* Learn to sit in a supported fashion. External support helps but also learn to find support from your bones—that’s what they’re designed for!

* Get up and move periodically. This will give your back and your eyes a rest from the intensity of computing all day.

* Sit on an exercise disc. It’s function is similar to a therapy ball but is smaller and more portable so you can put it on the seat of your office chair or on any other chair you’re going to be sitting on while your work. (See photo of my exercise disc). The disc tends to magnify even the slightest movement so even when you’re sitting for an extended period of time your body is getting some movement. 

 As I write this blog I’m sitting on my disc with my feet firmly planted on the floor and my back away from the back of the chair. In this position my body can easily adjust to my movements. As I type, I’m moving forward and back, side to side and making pelvic circles to allow my whole body to participate even as I’m sitting. At the same time my torso, shoulders, neck and head also have to adjust to the small but dynamic movements of the pelvis. Also, while I’m thinking about what I’ll say next I turn my gaze from the computer screen to my garden to give my eyes a much needed break. I can guarantee you, if you adopt these movements, your whole body will feel comfortable and happy even after sitting for an hour or two of office work.  

Related video:

Watch the video I produced for you on how to on how to be comfortable sitting at the computer. There are lots of effective ideas for making your workstation more functional, especially if you have stiff neck, sore back, chronic tension. Do you have a litany of chronic physical problems that you may be blaming on aging? Know it or not, many of them spring from the countless hours we spend at the computer. Since computers are here to stay, it’s up to you to find ways to use technology without compromising the most important piece of technology of all—your body.  

Related articles:

Hug Away Discomfort in the Shoulder Blades 

How to Release Shoulder Tension in Less Than Five Minutes

Foot Position Determines Body Tension

Wake Up Your Body and Brain by Sandra Bradshaw

My book, Wake Up Your Body and Brain is not meant as a “cure all”. It is a place to start a process for physical and mental improvement and give you a taste of what’s possible. It’s now your job to pursue this work and embrace it as part of your daily routine. The Feldenkrais lexicon contains thousands of Awareness Through Movement® lessons addressing every conceivable aspect of movement and improvement. Many of these lessons are available via the internet as on-line classes or prerecorded audio and video lessons. I invite you to explore and experience the possibilities. You will be glad you did! Buy your copy of "Wake Up Your Body and Brain" from Amazon, or download it today.

Sandra Bradshaw, Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner Functional Movement Specialist will help you to boost your capacity to move effortlessly. With a background in special education, yoga, functional movement, and music, Sandra integrates this knowledge with the latest brain research to help you find solutions to your personal needs that are effective and long lasting. If you are interested in more information or would like to make an appointment, call Sandra today at 250 862 8489. 

The Feldenkrais Method® created by physicist Moshe Feldenkrais, PhD., combines precisely structured movement sequences with the latest advances in brain research; it will help you recover from specific areas of injury such as the neck and shoulders or to improve fluidity and ease in sports, recreational activities or life. Join the ranks of such notables as actress Whoopi Goldberg, cellist YoYo Ma and the members of the Canadian Men’s Alpine Ski Team.

Tags: Feldenkrais, computer chairs, sit proper at desk, Wake Up Your Body and Brain, Awareness Through Movement, neck, neck muscles, Awareness Through Movement® lessons, brain capacity, Feldenkrais lessons, limited mobility, limited range


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Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, and Functional Integration® are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner ™ and Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher ™ are certification marks of the Feldenkrais Guild®.