Why You Need A Proper Office Chair Once You Reach Fifty

In this article we're going to examine why people over fifty need to take a different approach to their office chair. We are taking a look at the following 3 points:

  1. What changes once you reach fifty?
  2. Why are some chairs not suitable for people of fifty or over?
  3. What must you have on your office chair?


So let's begin by considering what's different about your needs at fifty.

What changes once you're in your fifties?
If you have spent most of your working life in an office it's likely you have spent at least 25 years sitting in office chairs. That's an awful lot of sitting. During this time your body will almost certainly have adopted some bad postural habits, especially if you haven't always had a good chair. Maybe you're starting to notice some aches and pains? And even if you're not it's likely you will in the next few years.

Could be you're a fitness fanatic however it still makes sense to minimize any damage caused by having the wrong chair. And if you don't do regular exercise you definitely need an ergonomic office chair designed to take the daily strain sitting inflicts on the body as it ages.

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking all office chairs are the same. They're not, and the wrong one can cause long term damage.

Why are some chairs not suitable for people of fifty or over?
When you were in your twenties pretty much any office chair probably seemed OK. Back then you just needed somewhere to park your butt and because your body was young enough to take the strain it likely wasn't a major problem.

Over time what was once acceptable becomes something to avoid. What do you need to steer clear of? Pretty much all cheap office chairs should be avoided because quality always comes last.

Things like the foam padding, it's usually little better than packing foam grade and after a couple of months goes flat and brittle.

Chairs that don't let you adjust the tension for your body weight. Without it you'll always find yourself fighting to get your chair to do what you want and as soon as you relax it starts working against you again.

Chairs with fixed arms particularly ones having fancy curved shapes. Unless you're very lucky all they do is push your arm and shoulder muscles into the wrong position. Not to mention the discomfort to the underside of your arms from the hard plastic.

So much for what is unsuitable, what should you be looking for?

What must you have on your office chair?
The most important feature is the ability to adjust the depth of the seat. Why? Because it allows you to set the correct distance between back and seat for your leg length. With a fixed seat you will end up with what the manufacturer thinks is right for you and usually it's anything but.

Adjustable arms are essential to properly support your arm and shoulder muscles. Padded tops will make them a lot more comfortable too, so go for this if it's available.

Highly adjustable arms often include extra features like:

  • The ability to swivel the arm pads inwards and outwards to fine tune support
  • Being able to alter the side to side width, this can really help to line them up to match your shoulder width
  • Front to back movement for more accurate positioning of the arm pads

Tilt tension adjustment lets you set the chair to recline with the right pressure for your body weight. So when you lean back the chair moves safely and smoothly with you.

An ergonomically shaped chair back that either adjusts or has some form of independent lumbar adjustment to ensure your spine is properly supported.

All these essential features will help to take the pressure and strain off your body

Won't all these features cost a fortune?
It's likely that a chair with all the right features will set you back at least $400 so there is a significant cost involved. However when you look at the alternative of continuing with poor quality chairs which may save you money in the short term, what will the long term cost be?

Imagine you require medical help from say a chiropractor, you could soon end up having to spend an awful lot more. Is it really worth the risk?

Let's quickly recap on the 3 things we've covered here:

  1. Once you reach your fifties things start to change as your body ages
  2. Cheap chairs that seemed fine in your twenties no longer cut the mustard
  3. A properly featured chair provides the correct support you need

Here's where you can find a summary of the right sort of office chairs for the over fifties.


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2 Responses to “Why You Need A Proper Office Chair Once You Reach Fifty”

  1. 400+ is not too much to spend if it means you can live without chronic back pain when you eventually retire. Not a bad investment at all.


  2. I agree it’s a small price to pay when you look at the big picture.

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