The Effects of Bad Work Chairs


Office employees sit in work chairs for at least one-third of the day. It is important to be comfortable in your chair, but the chair also needs to support good posture and reduce back and body pain. Poorly-constructed chairs lead to injury, emotional stress, breathing problems, insomnia and lack of productivity in the workplace. Uncomfortable workers are likely to fidget, walk around and, in general, be unhappy with their work environment. Bad work chairs might also cause long-term medical problems.


  • The most common reason people replace bad work chairs is physical pain. Unsupportive chairs or non-adjustable chairs put stress on the body. You need to twist, turn and shift your body more than necessary. The chair might also force you to sit in an awkward or unhealthy position to reach your keyboard or writing surface. This leads to pain in the back, neck, shoulders and legs, and may even cause headaches and eye-strain.

    If your chair is adjustable, you can alter the height of the seat, backrest or armrest to achieve a healthy position. If adjustments do not alleviate the pain or your chair is not adjustable, you have a bad chair that needs replacing.

Poor Posture

  • Bad work chairs cause poor posture. Your body has to compensate for the lack of support from the chair, which means bending and hunching or stretching and leaning to reach your keyboard. Over time, poor posture leads to more than just back or neck pain. When your shoulders are rounded and your mid-section bent, your rib cage, diaphragm and lungs are restricted. This reduces the amount of oxygen taken into the lungs, which affects your muscles, brain and internal organs. Sitting in a bad work chair also leads to joint pain and stiffness, muscle cramps and spasms, swayback and upset stomach. The effects of poor posture might also include depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and fatigue.

Reduced Productivity

  • Sitting in a bad work chair all day reduces your productivity. The pain it causes reduces your motivation and distracts you. Fidgeting and walking around to reduce the pain decreases the amount of work you get done in a day. Your work chair should not be something you think about once it is adjusted and in use. In an ideal work environment, you should be able to focus on your tasks without worrying about your physical discomfort or pain.


  • Working in an office environment that is physically uncomfortable is unprofessional. If your job requires you to sit at a desk, you should be pain-free and relaxed, not stressed and injured. Bad work chairs cause poor posture and an employee slouching over her desk looks lazy and uncomfortable. Back and body pain lead to absenteeism, furthering the perception of an employee being unhealthy, lazy or incapable of performing work duties. Sitting comfortably in a quality chair helps a person feel like a confident, motivated professional.

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