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Ergonomic Chairs for Seniors – Optimal Support for Relaxation and Well-Being

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As you get older, muscles can weaken, and you tend to get tired quickly. As a result, you may start leaning to one side or sit in a slouching position. This can cause health issues like pressure sores and lung and chest infections.

A good ergonomic chair can help seniors cope with long hours of sitting by alleviating and preventing poor posture. So, it’s essential to consider the type of chair you need and the kind of support you want it to provide.

The following tips should help you choose desk chairs that can provide optimal support for relaxation and well-being for seniors.

Common problems faced by seniors

Aging comes with a whole new set of challenges. And here are the most common ones you should be aware of when looking for the best ergonomic chairs for seniors.

  • Decreased muscles. The first and most challenging aspect of aging is experiencing reduced muscle mass and bone strength. As such, seniors need ergonomically designed office chairs that adequately support weakened muscles and bones.
  • Postural issues. For the human body to maintain proper balance, the neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and sensory systems must interact and coordinate. However, aging causes these systems to deteriorate. All these factors combined lead to postural issues. Highly adjustable ergonomic chairs can help seniors manage postural issues and assume proper sitting posture.
  • Circulation problems. You have probably heard the phrase “poor circulation” used in different cases when discussing ergonomics. Certain health conditions may cause poor circulation in older adults. One of the most common circulation problems some seniors may have is poor leg circulation, which is usually caused by narrowed arteries. Seniors with such conditions can benefit from ergonomic chairs with lots of adjustments.

Tips to consider when looking for ergonomic chairs for seniors

Here’s what you should consider when looking for office ergonomic chairs for seniors:

  • Adjustability. It’s essential to have office ergonomic chairs that change with you as you grow older. This reduces the expense of having to buy a new desk chair every time there is a change in a person’s health needs. Generally, senior-friendly office chairs should be adjusted for seat pan depth, height, forward tilt, lumbar support, and armrests.
  • Seat height. The best ergonomic chair is one that provides optimal support. So, the seat height shouldn’t be too high to avoid compromising stability. If the feet are not in contact with the floor, seniors may feel pressure under the knees and discomfort under the thighs. Still, seniors can use a higher seat height along with a footrest.
  • Seat pan depth. An adjustable seat depth is a key adjustment card for seniors, especially those who experience sudden weight loss. This feature allows them to adjust the seat to support the entire length of the thighs and boost circulation in the legs.
  • Adjustable lumbar support. For seniors, adjustable lumbar support aimed at the actual curve of the lumbar spine is essential for reducing pressure on the hip and spine bones. It also prevents slouching, which can slowly cause the spine to be squashed flat.
  • Forward tilt. According to studies, a forward tilt can help relieve pressure in the back muscles. It opens the hip angle, allowing the lumbar spine to be more neutral.
  • Adjustable armrests. Adjustable Armrests are essential for providing optimal support when seniors get in and out of the chair. Even riser recliner chairs for seniors have fixed arms for getting in and out of the chair. Adjustable arms can help alleviate and prevent straining by relaxing your hands and arms. Similarly, armrests that are properly adjusted can help prevent slouching by offloading some of the pressure from your spine. Arms that are configured to the correct height, width, and angle can improve posture stabilisation by providing support for the hands, arms, upper body, and shoulders.
  • Comfort. It may seem like an obvious feature, but not all ergonomic chairs are comfortable for seniors. If an ergonomic office chair isn’t comfortable, then everything else doesn’t really matter. Chair settings can only get seniors so far. They need chairs that provide superior support for the back and comfortable seat cushions for long hours of sitting. If the seat is too hard, your hips may slide forward to relieve pressure, which will over-flex the spine. The sweet spot is padding that isn’t too soft or too firm. Similarly, the chair should have high-quality upholstery that isn’t slippery.

The bottom line

Office chairs are suitable for almost everyone who sits for lengthy hours. However, the design of desk chairs differs from one brand to another. So, make sure you look for ergonomic chairs for seniors that offer many adjustments to provide adequate support for weakened muscles and bones. They should also be super comfortable for extended periods of sitting.

Adam Mulligan, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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