Does your back hurt more after you leave the office than before you came in?? Has your chair seen a few too many days?? Spending time sitting down, especially in an older chair that no longer supports your body as well as it used to, has been shown by health experts to cause and worsen back pain.
A simple fix would be to buy a new office chair. One of the best office chairs out there is an ergonomic Herman Miller or Aeron chair. These chairs have a number of advantages, including but not limited to: support for the lower back, providing healthy and flexible sitting, evoking good posture, and a great time value.
Ergonomic chairs can last years and still offer the same benefits as when you first bought it, allowing you to work effectively while seated for hours on end without becoming overtired. By alleviating stress on your lumbar spine, ergonomic chairs are a huge upgrade that will not only benefit your back but can help promote active sitting, meaning fewer sick days and improved performance at work.
If you think your office chair has reached the end of its life, here are some tips to see if it's time for an upgrade:
#1 Physically Uncomfortable
Test and see how long it takes for you to feel uncomfortable sitting in your chair. If it only takes 1-2 hours, this is a sign it's time for a new chair. One culprit is thinning in the padding, or the chair design itself might just not work well for your body. If the chair lacks a good back support, and you find yourself in pain early on in the day, the time for an upgrade is here.
#2 Mechanical and Functional Problems
Have squeaks and cracks become your daily soundtrack?? Are the armrests or wheels broken?? Take time to inspect each part of the chair to make sure that all the comfort and features are still functional. A squeak from time to time may seem fine, but if a quick fix doesn't do the job then the situation could unravel surprisingly quickly. A squeak could lead to a crack, which could lead to collapse. If your chair has broken parts or is missing multiple pieces, it may be worth buying a new chair.
#3 A Chair with Only Four Arms
Whether the base of your chair has four or five arms has a large impact on its stability. If your chair only has four arms instead of five, there is a higher chance for your chair to tip. For a higher degree of safety, buying a five-arm chair would be the best bet.
#4 Less than Appealing Appearance
When your office chair has gotten a worn and torn look, it's time for a replacement. The appearance generally won't affect the comfort of the chair, but it has an effect not only on the appearance of your office in your eyes but on the image you project of yourself to others. If you're looking to project a professional image, or if you just want to change your chair to fit your newly redecorated office, appearance can be enough of a reason for an upgrade.
#5 More than 10 Years Old
A good quality office chair will last for an average of 10 years. This time span assumes the chair has regular care and is used eight hours a day for five days a week. After 10 years, problems may need more than just a quick fix, making an investment in a higher quality chair not just necessary for your health but for your wallet.