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How to Make Your Desk Chair Ergonomic for Less than $1

Make your back happy at work for less than the price of a hot dog.


  • Step 1: Adjust seat height Place your hands and forearms on your desk. If your elbows are not level with your workspace, raise or lower your chair until they are even.
  • TIP: If your chair is too low and you can’t move it any higher, sit on a folded towel or pillow.
  • Step 2: Check your feet Now that your chair is at the optimum height, check your feet. If they cannot be placed firmly on the floor, create a footrest with telephone books. This will remove stress from the shoulders and neck.
  • Step 3: Make a backrest Sit up straight, leaning slightly back, with your feet on the ground or footrest. If there’s a large gap between your back and the chair, tuck a roll of paper towels behind your lower back. Remove towels until it fits perfectly, then tape it so the roll won’t unravel.
  • TIP: An empty, one-liter soda bottle can be used in place of the paper towel roll.
  • Step 4: Don’t cross your legs Keep both feet on the floor as you work; crossing your legs puts stress on both your back and neck.
  • FACT: In many countries in Asia, workers sit on a cushion on the floor.

You Will Need

  • A paper towel roll or empty one-liter soda bottle
  • A towel or pillow
  • Telephone books
  • Tape

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