The Science of Sitting and Why Comfy Chairs Matter

Let’s face it: we’ve been desk-bound for longer than we usually should ever since the start of the pandemic. Shifting into a home-based dynamic has had both positive and negative effects on us all. On a positive note, we’ve cut down on transportation costs and have the freedom to work on our own terms so far. But the truth is, the nature of working from home has caused us to be less active and more sedentary in our activities.

On average, adults spend about 9.5 hours a day sitting, and this number only increases with age. At this point, it seems like a great investment to look into ergonomic chair benefits. Since we’re already spending this much time sitting around anyway, why not jump into the rabbit hole? If you’re looking for comfortable chairs for long sitting, you’re on the right track already!

Why Comfortable Chairs Are Important

Improper sitting can actually lead to severe health issues. Even the comfy chairs you have in your home can be offenders. The compressed position puts unnecessary strain on the body, especially the spine. This damages our nerves and metabolism over time and is a prime example of how sitting affects your body. But sitting is something we do almost instinctively and is such an intrinsic part of our lives. Is “sitting too much” even a thing, and if it is, how harmful can it be?

What sitting really does to your body

Cuts off circulation

Gravity starts to do its work when you stay seated for too long. When this happens, the blood flow throughout your body begins to slow down. This causes blood to stay in the feet and legs, making it difficult for oxygen and nutrients to circulate. When circulation reduces, it increases the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries. Issues like this can open up the door to a wide range of health complications such as blood clots or ulcers.

Leads to heart disease

How sitting affects your body includes the cardiovascular system. Physical inactivity boosts “bad” cholesterol or LDL (low-density lipoprotein) in the body. In turn, “good” cholesterol, or HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels decrease. The heart has to work against gravity to keep the blood flowing. If the arteries clog, that means that it has to work even harder to function. This makes it difficult for the body to use up stored fat, causing insulin-resistant muscle cells. These can then develop further into diabetes or obesity. Along with high blood pressure, these are the top risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Slows down metabolism

The metabolic processes in our bodies are also affected when we remain seated for too long. Due to prolonged sitting, the body fails at regulating blood sugar and breaking down fat. Sedentary lifestyles are often linked to slower metabolisms. When you are physically inactive, you burn fewer calories in a day due to limited movement. A compromised metabolism can impair the body’s ability to control digestion and fat burn. Sometimes, you might even get tired faster and experience “brain fog” if you stay upright for too long.

Damages the bones, joints, and muscles

How sitting affects your body isn’t limited to cardiovascular illness. Sitting for too long can cause premature degradation of the spine. This happens especially in the lower back and the hips with bad posture. Some people start to suffer from chronic pain, making the problem even harder to correct. Without good, comfy chairs to support you, this can create a vicious cycle that is difficult to get out of.

It’s possible to counteract the negative effects and minimize how sitting affects your body, such as pressure on the hips and back. By incorporating exercise and movement into your daily routine, you may still recover. Otherwise, choosing comfortable chairs for long sitting can promote better posture.

What is a “bad chair”, anyway?

The consequences of sitting on the wrong chair can have drastic effects on your health. You could have the best posture in the world, but if your chair isn’t right for you, it’s not going to be good enough. Spending most of the day in an uncomfortable seat will most likely distract you from your work. This only serves to waste energy that could have gone towards productivity instead.

A bad chair enables poor posture and makes your muscles stiff and tense after using it. When you factor these components in and realize how long you’re actually stuck in that chair, the ergonomic chair benefits massively outweigh the risks… of which there are basically none.

Choosing the right comfy chair

When someone brings up comfy chairs, you would think about uber-soft plush cushions you could sink into all day. This off-white boucle chair blends classic and modern styles into a lounging dream. They’re not recommended for sitting upright through long hours of office work, though. Softer seats actually tend to promote poor posture, even if they are comfortable to watch TV in. They lack the structure to support the body’s natural curvature.

So are harder chairs actually better for you in the long run? Well, the answer is, both yes and no. Hard, solid chairs are better for longer periods of sitting. They provide better support for your back and offer more ergonomic chair benefits. At the end of the day, though, comfort is subjective. So it all boils down to how you would prefer to set up your personal space to maximize your own wellbeing. If you’re looking for comfortable chairs for long sitting, always go for the firmer option. This bamboo chair is the perfect blend of comfy chairs with all the ergonomic chair benefits you could have. The right mix of comfort and utility means that it can support you all day with its strong frame.

Now that you’re aware of how sitting affects your body, investing in a good chair is a great start to prioritizing your health. If you spend a lot of time in front of a desk at home or in the office, it might be a good idea to start looking for one now. You wouldn’t buy a subpar mattress, would you? Given that you sleep on it for a large part of the day, it makes sense to get one that makes you comfortable. A good chair follows the same philosophy. It will provide all the ergonomic chair benefits you need to be productive and healthy at the same time.

Taking time to pick the best chair for you is normal, so don’t worry if you can’t find the perfect match right away! Always make sure to test out a chair in-depth while shopping. Be prepared to commit to your dream comfy chairs when you find them, too! You’ll be joined at the hip once you finally take them home.