Sitting in an office chair for a long period can cause pain in several parts of our body, especially in the leg. Our muscles are designed in a way that staying in a rigid position for a long period can trigger pain. This is because our muscles get tightened up with this position, resulting in cramps and pain.
The best way to prevent leg pain from sitting in office chair is by taking regular breaks and staying hydrated. Also, by observing the correct sitting posture and use of the right office chair, you can avoid leg pain.
Kindly read on to find out more proven and effective ways to prevent leg pain from sitting in an office chair.
- Leg pain can result from prolonged sitting in an office chair
- While sitting in an office chair for a prolonged period, our muscles get tighten up
- Prolonged sitting puts pressure on our legs
- One of the best ways to prevent leg pain while sitting in an office chair is by using the right office chair. Also, staying hydrated prevents leg pain from sitting in an office chair.
- Taking regular breaks while sitting in an office chair prevents leg pain. Also, observing the correct sitting posture keeps you away from leg pain.
Possible Reasons for Leg Pain While Sitting in an Office Chair
An office chair is designed to suit the activities of the office. It’s different from the comfortable sofa you have in your living room as it is designed to keep you alert and active while you work. Some of these chairs are a little bit comfortable, but the majority are less comfortable.
However, sitting in an office chair is inevitable if you work in an office. Unfortunately, many people who work in an office and sit in an office chair suffer from leg pain. Let’s look at some possible reasons why this leg pain from sitting in an office chair occurred.
One of the possible reasons for leg pain while sitting in an office chair is “Prolonged sitting.” Many people work from 8 am to 5 Pm and don’t get to leave their chairs within this period. If your situation is the same, then your muscles will become fatigued and, as a result, put pressure on the legs. This will lead to muscle cramps and, in turn, pain in the leg.
Dehydration is when your body doesn’t have as much fluid (water) as it requires. Water makes up 2/3 of the human body. It lubricates the muscles, joints, and eyes. It also helps in flushing out waste and toxins to keep the skin healthy.
When the normal water content in your body is reduced, it affects the minerals and how it functions. As mentioned above, water in the body lubricates the muscles and helps them relax. When this water is reduced and not replaced, the muscles get irritable, which leads to leg pain.
Therefore, it is advisable to drink water at intervals while sitting in your office chair as you work.
Wrong Sitting Position:
This is often inevitable as the office chair is most times uncomfortable. In our search for comfort, we often get carried away and sit wrongly. For instance, many people sit with legs crossed and just one foot touching the ground. This position can constrict the circulation of blood which aggravates the muscles and leads to cramps and leg pain.
To sit properly in an office chair, your back should rest on the chair’s backrest; this supports your Lumbar spine. Also, your arms should be parallel to your desk and your hips slightly above your knees. There should be a gap between the chair and the back of the knees. Then your feet should be kept flat on the floor.
Bad Office Chair:
An office chair should provide adequate support to the body. But when the chair is bad, automatically, it can’t give support. Rather it will promote a poor sitting posture and disrupt blood flow. This will cause the muscles to swell and eventually lead to leg pain.
How do you know when your office chair is bad? You can know that your office chair is bad if;
- Height of the chair can’t be adjusted
- Chair doesn’t offer a decent back support
- It doesn’t have good ergonomic features
- Chair is unstable
- Casters don’t move smoothly
- The chair’s weight is lower than your body weight
- It is hard without a seat padding
Best Ways to Prevent Leg Pain From Sitting In An Office Chair
It’s inevitable to do a desk job by sitting in a chair. But, there are some ways to prevent leg pain from sitting in an office chair. Some of these ways are discussed below;
1. Correct Sitting Posture
To prevent leg pain from sitting in a chair, you have to maintain the correct sitting posture. Although this could be tough tasking, achieving it impacts positively on the overall state of your health. Our bodies are not designed for prolonged sitting. Therefore, when we sit for prolonged periods, it weakens our muscles. This, in turn, leads to pain.
How can you observe the correct sitting posture? You can improve your sitting posture by the following steps;
- Your eye should align with the top of your monitor or below.
- Don’t slouch or hunch over your computer. Rather support your back by sitting straight with your shoulders relaxed at both sides.
- Relax your arms at the side with the upper and lower arm at a 90- degree angle.
- Adjust your chair’s armrest and position it under your arms.
- Keep your wrists straight and your fingers relaxed.
- Let your backrest on the chair’s backrest.
- Make sure your upper thighs are resting evenly on the chair.
- Make sure the back of your legs is not touching the seat. Rather they should be at 90- 110 degrees from your thighs.
2. The Right Chair
Using the right chair is mandatory if you’re suffering from leg pain or back pain. For example, if you are suffering pain in your lower back and buttock you have to go for a dedicated chair for SI joint pain similarly if you’re suffering from leg pain you must go for a specialized chair for leg pain.
The right office chair should have the following features;
- Adjustable Height: Any chair whose height is not adjustable is not fit for an office chair. A good office chair should have an adjustable height. This will help you adjust the chair to your height and enable your thighs to stay horizontal to the floor.
- Adjustable Backrests: A good office chair should have an adjustable backrest. This helps you move forward and backward at intervals. Enabling you to relax stressed-out joints and muscles.
- Lumbar Support: An office chair with this support will give your back the adequate support it needs. It will also support your lower back in a way that it’s slightly arched.
- Sufficient Seat Depth and Width: The right office chair should be wide and deep as well. If you’re tall, you should go for a deeper one, and if you are short or average in height, a shallower depth will soothe just fine. This chair should also allow you to tilt forward and backward at will.
- Sufficient Padding: A good office chair shouldn’t be too hard or too soft. If it’s too soft, it won’t offer adequate support. On the other hand, if it’s too hard, it will become painful. The padding should be moderate.
- Armrests: This enables you to rest your arms at intervals while working. It also takes away the strain from your neck and shoulders.
- Swivel and Casters: This is found below the office chair in the form of a small wheel. It enables you to move around easily without having to leave your chair. You can get to different spots in your work area and remain in your chair. Caster comes in different designs based on floor type like carpet, hard surface, etc. It’s advisable to choose a chair with a caster designed for your floor type.
3. Take Breaks
Sitting in the same position for prolonged hours can tighten your muscles. This can cause pain in the leg. It is advisable to take regular breaks while working. This will prevent the muscles from tightening up and reduce pressure on the legs.
Besides, this is one of the best and proven ways to prevent leg pain from sitting in an office chair. Also, regular breaks help the brain to relax.
4. Stay Hydrated
Another wonderful way to prevent leg pain is by staying hydrated. There is a popular adage that says, “water is life.” It can be proven to be right because water plays a vital role in the general well-being of every single individual. It helps the muscles to relax and keep the body in good condition.
When you take enough water while sitting for prolonged hours in your office chair, it lubricates the muscles. This helps the muscles to relax and prevents cramps and leg pain. Also, regular intake of water while sitting in an office chair will encourage you to stand up. This is because you may have to be visiting the bathroom often.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
After reading the article, if there are still many questions remaining in your mind about the leg pain from sitting in an office chair, read the below FAQ section and get most of the answers to your queries.
Why Do My legs ache when I sit On A Chair?
This can be a result of prolonged sitting, which causes a buildup of fluid in the leg veins (chronic venous). It occurs when the valves in your leg vein don’t work properly to allow the efficient flow of blood. Rather the blood pools up in your legs and feet, resulting in pain and swelling.
Why Does My Office Chair Make My Knees Hurt?
It could be a result of your workspace. If the workspace is limited, you may have to fix yourself in an awkward position. Staying in this position for a long period can result in knee pain. Also, your knees hurting can result from if your chair is too low or rather too high.
Can Office chairs cause Leg Pain?
Office chairs can cause leg pain, especially when using the wrong chairs. It puts pressure on your thighs and reduces the backflow of blood. This, in turn, puts pressure on the sciatic nerve and causes pain. To avoid leg pain while using an office chair, try to get the right chair.
How Do I Adjust My Office Chair For Knee Pain?
You can adjust your office chair easily by standing and adjusting the height of your chair. Adjust it so that the highest point of your chair is just below your kneecap. This will allow your feet to rest firmly on the floor. In addition, if you feel pressure close to the back of the seat, raise your chair. If the pressure is at the front, lower your chair.
Leg pain is inevitable if you sit for a prolonged period. This is because this position tightens the muscles and puts pressure on the leg. The muscle cramp and pressure on the leg cause leg pain but the good news is that it can be avoided.
Some of the best ways to prevent leg pain from sitting in office chair include using the right chair and maintaining a good posture, as we have discussed above. Kindly follow the above-mentioned steps and enjoy your office chair without developing leg pain.