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Choosing the Right Chair

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As writers, we can’t avoid spending time sitting in a chair, and this can lead to both bad posture and pain. This pain is often, although not exclusively, in the back, neck, and shoulders. When it’s time to think about a new work chair, you need to find one that meets all your needs.


For most of us, budget will be our first consideration, and like most things, the cost of an office chair varies widely. It pays to shop around for deals both online and off, as you can often pick up a practical chair for around eighty dollars. At the other end of the scale, a state-of-the-art chair could cost upwards of a thousand dollars. 


A chair with the needed support promotes correct posture. When typing or writing, your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle to your desk or table, and your knees should be at the same level as your hips, according to Work Design Magazine, whose article on workstation ergonomics includes several tips on how to set up your workstation to improve your health, wellness, and productivity. When you are sitting as far back in your chair as you can, it should also provide adequate lumbar support. A bolster cushion is a great alternative here if your budget becomes stretched.

Comfort and Adjustability

The key to both correct support and comfort is adjustability. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your chair, and you won’t be able to produce your best work if you’re uncomfortable. 

Chairs can be adjusted to suit your needs in a number of ways. Height, seat, back, arms, and neck rests can all be raised and/or tilted, but apart from height, these do not come as standard features. Before you start looking, ask yourself what you need most.

If at all possible, do try before you buy—like a close friend, your chair will support both you and your writing. Some online companies allow returns for purchases that don’t meet expectations, but do check the small print as you’ll probably need the original packaging and be expected to cover the cost of the outbound freight. 

And always remember: However great your chair, you still need to build in those all-important rest breaks. 

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