Pain using a non-adjustable chair is a common problem. Are you using a fixed chair working at home? Does you working day require you to sit  most of the day?

people using meeting room chairsPain using a non-adjustable chair  with few or no adjustments can occur in meeting and conference locations.  Working from home on a fixed chair can be uncomfortable.

Healthywork provide a DSE Risk Assessment to assess your work seating, prevent discomfort and ease minor aches and pains. This fulfils responsibilities under the DSE Regulations 1992.  Or a more in-depth  Ergonomic Assessment to further review the seating you use and ensure you have the correct chair for your health needs, to fulfil Reasonable Adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. 

Contact Us today.

Problems & Solutions to ease pain using a non-adjustable chair:

Seat featureProblemSolutions
Seat height:

 

Fixed, so it may be too low (knees higher than hips)

and/or

Too low for the arms to be at the correct height for keyboarding on the table

and /or

Too high (feet cannot touch floor).

Sit on a cushion if the seat is too low, so the seat and hips are higher until the hip to knee is horizontal or the knee is slightly lower than the hip.

Also for the elbows to be horizontal to the keyboard, if mobile device use is required.

Any cushion from home or a wedge cushion (thick end of wedge at the rear of the seat) can help to achieve this.

Use a book/bag/box/small footrest under the feet if the seat is too high for the feet to touch the floor.

Seat depth:

 

Fixed depth – so it may be too short or too long for individual’s upper leg length. If the seat touches the back of the knee, it can lead to pins and needles in the legs, if the circulation is affected.

(The seat should be as long as possible, with only a small 2-3 finger gap behind the knee).

It is difficult to add any depth to the seat, if it is too short,

but if it is too deep, use a cushion behind, to shorten the seat depth, such as a back rest cushion or even a cushion from home could help.

 

Seat or back rest fixed and no movement options:

 

Fixed, a slight reclined angle of back rest or seat may be present, but no back or seat pad movement.

 

A slightly reclined backrest angle is better than upright, as this can ease the hip to back angle a little. Movement is more ideal when seated for some time, so use of a gel type cushion eg Sitfit gel cushion, to achieve some movement may help or trial a rocking type of cushion eg Back Joy on a hard chair.

 

Seat angle:Slightly lower at the rear? (this may not ease hip or low back pain…)

 

Use a wedge cushion to reduce any backward tilt of the seat or use a wedge to achieve some forward tilt on the seat as this can be more comfortable for low back and hip pain.

 

Arm rests often not present or fixed in height:Could be less comfortable for those with neck, shoulder or arm issues.Small cushions or folding up items of clothing can temporarily provide some arm rest support and ease the lack of suitable arm support.

Mainly keeping the elbow under the shoulder should allow the arm and shoulder to be is its most rested position possible. Ensure sitting at the correct height to the table, depending on the task being performed. Handwriting notes, sit lower than the table, and angle the paperwork towards you.

Laptop use, Sit so that the elbow is horizontal with the keyboard (raise the laptop screen using a Laptop/tablet riser and use a separate keyboard and mouse.

Upper back and neck support

 

None usually availableIf there is no upper back support, this may be an issue for some, so try to ensure whatever back support is being used, (fully lean against it) and ensure the head it upright upon the shoulders and not bent forwards, to reduce neck strain as much as possible. A small cushion in the upper back area may be possible to provide some support.

 

Back rest small or non-supportive, lacking lumbar support

 

None built into the low back area of the seat and there may be only a small narrow piece of back rest to lean against. 

If there is a sufficient sized back rest but lacking specific lumbar support in the low back region, use of a small lumbar ‘D’ shaped roll, such as a slimline model may be sufficient, if the seats have firm support (so only a small amount of lumbar support is likely to be required, also a smaller cushion to ensure the seat depth is maximised).

To widen the overall area of support for the back, consider a Backfriend cushion or Posture curve cushion.

 

Seat comfortWooden or firm seating may not be very comfortable.If you experience coccyx pain or pain in other areas of the bottom or hips/upper legs, a seat cushion with a coccyx cut out, or central cut out can also ease discomfort. This cushion could be wedge shaped or more of a flat style cushion, with memory foam used for added comfort.

 

We hope this information is useful and practical advice to ease pain using a non-adjustable chair and review its suitability for your needs.

If possible, use a suitable Ergonomic office type chair with suitable support for your needs. Especially for long durations and in meetings & conference situations.

Inform others and plan ahead, as you may need to stand up and/or take breaks. Vary your posture and pace yourself to achieve more comfort.

Office chairs can also be uncomfortable and unsuitable. The article Pain using an Office Chair: 7 Top Tips is helpful to review your office chair and its suitability for your needs.

If your chair does not suit you, is causing discomfort or pain, you may need an assessment and advice about your seating needs. Eg. Taller people may need a longer seat depth OR a longer back rest with higher arm rests and lumbar support. Your build, dimensions and health needs can be reviewed so you know what your seating requirements are. This can prevent issues in the future or resolve issues you are currently experiencing.

See our Services related to this topic:

A prevention assessment for no symptoms or minor/occasional symptoms, see DSE Risk Assessment. to fulfil the HSE DSE Regulations 1992 (Face to face or via Video call)

If you have ongoing health needs, you may need a more in depth review,  see Ergonomic Assessment. to also advise on reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010. (Face to face or via Video call)

See our Case Studies:

Ergonomic Assessment in an Office Role Case Study

Ergonomic Assessment of a Teacher Case Study

Ergonomic Assessment & Return-to-Work Case Study

See our blog articles related to this topic:

Contact Us for further advice and a quotation.

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regime, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Healthywork Ltd does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this website. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is solely at your own risk.

Pain using a non-adjustable Chair

Interested in working together?

If you would like to work with us, or find out more about what we do, get in touch!

Contact Us

Recent Posts

Testimonials

GMG Color Ltd

Ergonomic Assessment Functional Capacity Assessment Evaluation DSE Assessment Workstation Milton Keynes Cambridge Oxford North London - gmg

‘I contacted Alison a couple of months ago and she came up to see me and my team quite recently, Alison was very thorough with everyone, some people needed an hour with her others just 10 minutes, however everybody got something out of her visit, the visit was informative but not long winded and not rushed.

I was also very impressed with the level of information supplied for each individual after the visit, which has enabled me to order what was needed (however I could have done without the cost this involved!!).

Overall I would highly recommend Alison and Healthywork Ltd’. (June 2017)

Ian Probert
GMG Color Ltd

HEFCE

Healthywork Ltd have been extremely helpful over the last year and provided us with a very good service at very short notice.

The quality of their work place assessment reports and recommendations are extremely high. In addition, the employees involved have commented on the extremely helpful knowledge and support provided by the work place assessor.

(Assessments provided in Bristol and Central London).

Sarah de Vere, HR Manager, Higher Education Funding Council for England, based in Bristol
HEFCE

Ergonomic Assessment testimonial by Capita

Ergonomic Assessment testimonial by Capita

Ergonomic Assessment testimonial by Capita

I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Alison Biggs from Healthywork Ltd. The reason is simple: she will provide the service that you require.

Healthywork delivered approx 750 Ergonomic Assessment to the customer Royal Bank of Scotland, and other companies in the RBS group such as Direct Line, NIG Insurance, Churchill Insurance, Coutts & Drummonds. Assessments were conducted all over the UK as bank branch and regional office assessments were required.

Fiona Colegrave

Survey feedback following a DSE Assessment

Well worth having a trained professional actually observe you at your workspace as small adjustments can improve comfort and health.

Sept 2017

Anonymous

OTAL Ltd

An Ergonomic Assessment provided by Healthywork was well worth the money. The chair has been set up correctly, and is now more comfortable for the user and we have purchased the desktop equipment they suggested and this along with correct layout and improved positioning has really helped towards resolving the discomfort experienced.

Linda Marston Human Resource Manager OTAL Limited - HO Birmingham Innovative solutions to and from West Africa

Viridor Ltd

I found today’s assessment very helpful indeed, and am trying my best to keep my keyboard as close to me as possible – makes a big difference when I do, it’s even increased my speed and accuracy, lol.

Also, and more to the point, the pain in my back hasn’t got any worse today, and I haven’t used the wrist support, so having my arms supported (on arm rests) is clearly doing something for them already.

V. Jones Viridor Ltd

Basetek Ltd

The feedback from the staff is very positive and they all found it very interesting. (DSE Risk Assessments and Ergonomics Education sessions).

Françoise Ashfield BaseTek Ltd

Qualification Curriculum Authority

Friendly, helpful and informative, since Healthywork assessed my workstation and advised me, my bad back is better. What more do I need to say?

Mr Sam Morris, Qualification Curriculum Authority, Central london

CHP Consulting

When standard instructions on worstation ergonomics didn’t result in any improvement in back pain, Alison provided expert professional guidance. This was constructive, practical and demonstrated the value of experience in this area.

Mr Antony Moss

AME

Alison has carried out 100s of assessments for AME some of which have involved multi disciplinary work with other stakeholders such as physiotherapists, computer technicians. Her work with the NHS and medical knowledge has brought an enhanced level of credibility to the work based employment assessment that she undertakes.

Clients trust her, she is diplomatic and highly professional at all times even when placed under considerable pressure to meet tight deadlines and juggle conflicting priorities.

Andy Taylor, Access Made Easy