At the end of a long day at work, do you find yourself reaching for painkillers to soothe your aching back? Do your hips hurt when you get up to go on your lunch break? Do you struggle to make it through a workday thanks to pain from osteoporosis or arthritis?
If any of this sounds familiar, you could benefit from having an office chair cushion. Read on to learn more about these cushions and why you need one in your workspace.
Why Do You Need a Chair Cushion?
Before we talk about the best office chair cushion for you, let’s talk some about why you need a cushion in the first place. After all, your chair has plenty of padding on its own, right? Why do you need a separate cushion to stay comfortable throughout your workday?
The right office chair cushion can help relieve pressure on your hips and back, as well as improving your posture. It can help reduce pain and make even your longest days at work healthier and more comfortable. A good chair cushion can also raise you a little higher in your chair, which can be helpful for getting a good ergonomic setup.
Importance of Good Posture
We all have a general idea that we should maintain good posture, but do you know why it’s actually important? Beyond helping you to stand taller and make a better impression, good posture can have a huge impact on your overall health and wellness. If you’re living with back or joint pain, bad posture could be the culprit.
When you practice bad posture, it places strain on your back and your joints, which causes pain. You may start to have even worse posture in order to compensate for the pain, and the cycle continues. Over time, your muscles can weaken in critical areas, making it impossible to practice good posture without pain.
Impact of Back Pain
Back pain is one of those things many of us accept that we’re going to live with at some point. And while the occasional backache may not be a huge deal, chronic back pain is a different story. Over time, this sort of ongoing pain can impact nearly every area of your life, from your work to your mental health.
When your back hurts, you may find that you don’t want to go out and do the things you used to love. You may have trouble keeping up at work, and you may begin to feel isolated from your friends and family. This sort of loneliness and inactivity can increase your risk of anxiety and depression, robbing you of the joy you once took in your life.
How a Cushion Helps
Having the right office chair cushion can help to restore your posture, reduce your pain, and get you back to your old life. For starters, a chair cushion pulls your hips back into the proper position. This restores your spine’s natural curves, which makes it easier for you to maintain proper posture.
An office chair cushion can also help to reduce pressure on your hips and spine. Pressure points can be sources of intense pain, especially if you have osteoporosis or arthritis. The right chair cushions can redistribute your weight more evenly and give injured bone time to heal.
Who Should Use a Cushion
Nearly anyone who works a desk job can benefit from having a proper office chair cushion. You spend more time sitting in your office chair than in any other single location except your bed. You need your chair to be comfortable and to promote good posture.
A chair cushion may be especially important for people living with osteoporosis, arthritis, or chronic back pain. Extended pressure on your joints can cause osteoporosis and arthritis to progress faster or to become more severe. A chair cushion can slow the progress of these conditions and give you more active, healthy years.
What to Look for in a Cushion
When you’re shopping for a chair cushion, there are a few things you should look for. First of all, look for an option that has a removable, washable cover to make laundering your pillow simple. You may also want to look for a cushion with a no-slip base to help hold it in the proper position in your chair.
Most of all, you need to look for a seat cushion that’s made from memory foam. As we’ll discuss in a moment, memory foam can help give you better health benefits from your seat cushion. It can also make every workday feel like you’re sitting on a cloud, making your job much more enjoyable.
What Is Memory Foam?
Most of us have heard of memory foam before, but what is it anyway? Memory foam is a dense polymer foam that can be molded into a variety of different shapes. You may also hear it referred to as “viscoelastic foam,” though that’s really just a fancy way of saying, “memory foam.”
The term “viscoelastic” refers to memory foam’s remarkable ability to both change shape (elastic) and hold that shape for a time after pressure is released (visco). And one of the cooler features of memory foam – no pun intended – is that it softens with exposure to heat. As it absorbs warmth from your body, memory foam gives way under high-pressure points without collapsing under lower-pressure areas.
Benefits of Memory Foam
Memory foam can provide a variety of health benefits, especially when used in chair cushions. For one thing, the pressure sensitivity we just mentioned makes it great for redistributing your weight more evenly across your entire seat. This can remove pressure from your hips and tailbone, areas that tend to come under more strain.
Memory foam can also help to improve your circulation thanks to its weight redistributing powers. When your weight is more evenly spread out, it prevents blood vessels from getting compressed or blocked off entirely. This can help reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis, a dangerous clotting condition that can lead to a stroke or even pulmonary embolism.
How to Clean Memory Foam
Although it’s a good idea to buy a chair cushion with a washable cover, you’ll still need to wash your memory foam pillow from time to time. Start by running a sink or bathtub full of lukewarm – not hot – water. Pour in a little bit of gentle soap or laundry detergent and swirl it to mix it into the water.
Immerse your pillow in the soapy water, squeezing it to make sure it gets entirely soaked. Then drain the sink or tub and run it full of clean, cold water, rinsing your pillow until the water runs clear. Roll your pillow in a towel and squeeze it to remove as much moisture as possible and then let it dry for at least twenty-four hours.
Basic Seat Cushion
So now that you know why you should get a memory foam seat cushion, which type is best for you? If you have general aches and pains, but no specific conditions you’re needing to treat, a basic seat cushion can work well for you. These are also a good option if you don’t have pain, but you work a desk job and want to head off any potential future problems.
A basic seat cushion will align your hips properly with your back and give you the support you need. These cushions are generally somewhat horseshoe-shaped, with a ridge in the middle to separate your thighs. Memory foam models will conform perfectly to your shape to give you the custom cushion you’ve always needed.
A coccyx cushion is a great option for people who have experienced injury or strain to their tailbones. Your coccyx is the last bone at the bottom of your spine, and it can be easy to strain or bruise it sitting in unergonomic chairs all day. Once it’s injured, it can be difficult for your tailbone to heal, since it gets re-exposed to pressure and strain every time you sit down.
A coccyx cushion has a cutout at the back of the seat where your tailbone sits. This removes all pressure from your tailbone, giving it a chance to heal without further injury. These cushions also come with the right structure to support the rest of your seat so you can live your best pain-free life.
Leg Support Cushion
If you find that your hips cause you more trouble than your back does, you may want to look into getting a leg support cushion. These cushions are designed with a little more support for your thighs to keep your hips aligned properly. They can also be helpful for amputees who need a little extra support for their amputated limb.
A leg support cushion has separate sections to support each of your thighs individually. This can help keep them in proper line with your hips, as well as providing a little support to your knees, too. You can even get leg support cushions with a coccyx cutout for maximum support and healing in your workplace setup.
Combo Seat Cushion Lumbar Support
Supporting your back and hips from the seat down is fantastic. But oftentimes, poor posture can place a tremendous amount of strain on your lumbar region in your low back. Some of the best office chair cushions come with attached lumbar support for the ultimate ergonomic setup.
A lumbar support cushion sits in the curve of your low back to maintain the natural shape of your spine and support the muscles throughout your back. In combination with a memory foam seat cushion, this can help to keep your entire spine aligned and supported properly. Many of these cushions also have leg support to ensure that you’re healthy and aligned from tip to toe.
Additional Support Cushions
A seat cushion is a great first step towards an ergonomic work setup. But if you want to make the most of your workspace, there are a few other support cushions you should look into getting.
A footrest can be an important investment, especially if you’re on the shorter side. Once you get your seat cushion in place, you may sit higher in your chair, and making sure your feet aren’t dangling will keep your knees in better health.
You might also want to look into getting a neck pillow, especially if you have upper back or neck strain. These cushion your neck and support your head to reduce the amount of pain and headaches you deal with every day.
Setting Up Your Cushion
When you get your seat cushion, check if it has a no-slip base or if it has an attached strap to hold it in place. Set the back of it against the back of your office chair so you’re sitting all the way back in the chair. If your seat cushion or lumbar support has straps to hold it in place, secure those at the appropriate spot.
You may need to experiment some with the placement of your seat cushion to get it in the right spot for you. You want to be sitting straight up in your chair with every part of your back touching the back of your chair. If you have lumbar support, it should sit comfortably in the curve of your low spine, and your hips should be parallel with the floor.
Get the Best Office Chair Cushion
Having an office chair cushion can help you reduce pain and mitigate symptoms of arthritis and osteoporosis. You want to look for a memory foam cushion with a washable cover and a no-slip base. Whether you choose a basic shape, a coccyx cushion, a leg support cushion, or a combo option depends on your specific needs and work setup.
If you’d like to find the best tools to live a pain-free life, check out the rest of our site at Everlasting Comfort. We offer everything from memory foam pillows and cushions to humidifiers and essential oil diffusers. Shop our collections today and discover what a life of comfort can truly look like for you.