Find Your Perfect Easy Chair!

Here's how you can make sure your favorite seat is joint-friendly.

Health Monitor Staff
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That big, soft chair you sink into to watch your favorite shows or read the Sunday paper? It might not be doing your joints any favors. Here’s how to make sure your easy chair really is easy on your arthritis

Seat depth: The seat should accommodate about three-quarters of your thighs. You’ll want a little air between your knees and the chair to keep blood flowing!

Seat height: Pick the highest seat that will still enable you to place your bare feet on the floor. That will prevent your feet from dangling (and getting pins and needles) and, more important, make it easier for you to get up.

Backrest: Ideally, the backrest should cover your whole back so it can support all the curves of your spine.

Armrest height: If your shoulders are hunched when you rest your arms, the armrests are too high. Can’t place your elbows squarely on top of them? They’re too low.

Armrest style: When it’s difficult to get up, the right armrest can give you a boost. Look for armrests in easy-to-grip wood that protrude a few inches forward. The part of the armrest you’ll be leaning on should be padded.

Seat cushion: If your butt sinks below your knees when you sit, the cushion is too soft. What’s worse, you’ll have a heck of a time getting up, putting undue stress on your joints. Try a multi-density foam cushion: It’s firmer at the bottom for support, and softer toward the top for comfort.


February 2014