Can A Bad Office Chair Cause Hip Pain? Guide 2023

Reviewed By Chiropractic Specialist

My patients had aching backs and stiff necks from working at my desk all day, but did you know that your office chair may bring on your hip pain?

Long periods spent sitting on an uncomfortable chair can lead to significant health problems, including hip discomfort.

While it may initially seem like a minor annoyance, poor posture and an uncomfortable chair can adversely affect your health and well-being.

Understanding how a poor office chair might result in hip pain and what efforts you can take to ensure that you’re sitting comfortably will help you avoid this from happening.

My Experience

As a medical professional, it is not uncommon for patients to present with complaints of hip pain stemming from prolonged sitting in an office chair. In many cases, this pain is the result of poor posture. It is essential for individuals to maintain a neutral spinal position while sitting, with a slight inward curve in the lower back and shoulder blades pulled back and down. However, extended periods spent sitting in an office chair can lead to slouching and rounding of the shoulders, resulting in hip pain.

To prevent this, I recommend patients evaluate their office chair to ensure it is adjustable to fit their body type and offer proper lumbar support. Additionally, taking regular breaks throughout the day to stand and move around can aid in maintaining proper posture.

For patients already experiencing hip pain, I suggest utilizing heat or ice therapy to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to the affected area. Stretching exercises targeting the muscles surrounding the hip can also provide relief. Proper sleep posture is also crucial, as a supportive mattress can assist in maintaining proper alignment throughout the night.

What is hip pain?

What is hip pain?

The majority of patients experience hip discomfort at some point during their lives. Femoral head pain, acetabular pain, and adjacent soft tissue pain are examples of hip pain.

Knee arthritis, osteoarthritis, autoimmune arthritis, strains of the hip flexors, gluteal tendinopathy, and traumatic injuries such as fractures and labral tears are the reasons for hip discomfort. It is extremely important to remember that these causes are not exhaustive.

Hip pain can vary from a dull ache to sharp and excruciating pain. The intensity of the pain fluctuates based on the cause of the problem.

For example, a sports injury may lead to a sudden and intense burning sensation that radiates throughout the leg. Meanwhile, arthritis and other joint issues commonly manifest as a dull ache that might worsen with activity.

Causes of hip pain

Causes of hip pain

Hip pain is a common concern that can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of the most frequent causes include arthritis, sports injuries, trauma, overuse, and prolonged sitting in an uncomfortable chair.

Arthritis, which can affect millions of people globally, is a condition characterized by inflammation of the joints, loss of cartilage, and accumulation of calcium deposits. It can lead to pain and stiffness in the hip joint. Other joint issues such as a torn ligament or cartilage damage may also cause hip pain.

Participating in certain sports like badminton, basketball, baseball, football, hockey, and running, as well as repetitive motions in sports like tennis and golf, can increase the risk of a sports injury that can lead to hip pain. Tennis elbow, for example, is an injury caused by inflammation of a tendon near the elbow and can also cause pain in the hip region.

Trauma, such as a car accident or fall, can cause long-term damage to the soft tissues in the hip resulting in chronic pain. Unlike a sports injury, which is usually a one-time event, trauma can cause long-lasting pain.

Prolonged sitting, as in the case of having a sedentary job, may also lead to overuse of the hip joint and result in pain. In general, it’s important to identify the underlying cause of hip pain and treat it accordingly in order to alleviate the symptoms and prevent any further damage.

How can a bad office chair contribute to hip pain?

If you’re sitting in an uncomfortable chair, you’ll probably want to get up as soon as possible.

However, if you’re in a rush or the seat is difficult to get out of, you might stay sitting for longer than necessary, causing long-term damage to your body.

How can a bad office chair contribute to hip pain?

Bad posture is a major cause of hip pain in office chairs. Sitting in an uncomfortable chair for long periods of time can cause your hips and lower back to round forward, leading to bad postures such as rounded shoulders and a forward head posture.

Poor posture can lead to a variety of health issues and diseases, including neck pain, back pain, headaches, and hip pain.

Bad posture changes the way you carry your weight, putting more pressure on certain muscles and joints and less pressure on others.

This extra pressure can cause long-term damage to your body and lead to serious health issues such as hip pain.

Symptoms of hip pain can include

Signs of hip pain caused by a bad office chair

Hip pain can manifest in various ways, and the type of pain you are experiencing can indicate the underlying cause. Some signs of hip pain caused by a lousy office chair include:

A dull ache in the hip area may indicate arthritis or joint problems. Many ways to treat this pain include medication and lifestyle changes. You should seek medical attention if the pain is moderate or severe to rule out any serious underlying condition.
An injury to the hip area may cause sharp and stabbing pains. After an injury, the pain usually occurs when you put weight on the leg, such as during a sporting event.
Muscle spasms and torn rotator cuffs can also cause a sudden and intense burning sensation in the hip area. When you sit down, the pain may be induced by the improper workplace chair.
Paresthesia (tingling and numbness) in the hip area can occur as a result of chronic sitting and inadequate circulation in the hip area. Moving, taking breaks, and using footrests can help alleviate this issue.
Underlying problems such as deep vein thrombosis or joint infection can cause hip edoema. Seek medical assistance right once if the pain and swelling linger after a few days.

How to choose the right office chair

When choosing an office chair, there are several important factors to consider, including seat material, height, and weight capacity, and the type of backrest.

How to choose the right office chair

The seat is usually constructed of leather, cloth, or plastic, but it can also be made of a combination of materials.

A leather seat is a fantastic choice for a traditional aesthetic. Generally, this material is more expensive and more challenging to clean than fabric. Leather seats can become blistering and uncomfortable in hot situations.
Fabric seats are more breathable and comfy than leather seats, making them a popular choice for office chairs. Because the material is more challenging to clean than leather, choose a stain-resistant fabric.
Plastic seats are an excellent alternative for people on a tight budget because they are the least expensive option. Plastic is uncomfortable and lacks padding, making it unsuitable for prolonged sitting. An excellent solution for those who sit in front of a computer for extended periods.

Important features to consider when shopping for an office chair

When preventing or reducing hip pain, choosing an office chair with lumbar support is crucial. Sitting on a chair that doesn’t support the lumbar region of the spine adequately can lead to lower back pain and injuries. Lower back stress can be eased and posture enhanced by lumbar support.
Another aspect to consider is the existence and capability of modifying armrests. Armrests are available to increase comfort and support when typing or using a computer mouse. Furthermore, they can reduce the likelihood of back and hip pain by distributing the weight evenly.
It is also crucial to evaluate the chair’s seat depth or the distance between the seat and the backrest. People with shorter legs might benefit from a deep seat, which provides extra support and comfort to the hips and legs. However, shallow seats are recommended for shorter people.
A swivel feature is also a crucial component of an office chair. It makes movement simple and eliminates the need to rotate the torso, which can strain and hurt the lower back. Additionally, this feature makes it possible to communicate easily with coworkers while maintaining a clear line of sight and avoiding mishaps.


What are the Tips for sitting comfortably in an office chair?

Before you settle in for a long day at work, adjust your chair to fit your unique body shape. Your body can suffer long-term damage from a poorly adjusted chair.
Every 30 minutes, change your sitting position: Moving around every 30 minutes will help prevent fatigue and muscle stiffness. It prevents long-term damage to your body by allowing blood flow to return to muscles.

What parts of the body are affected by a poorly adjusted chair?

The neck, upper back, lower back, shoulders, hips, fingers, wrists, and other body parts can all experience pain and discomfort as a result of improperly set chairs. Along with spinal misalignment, poor blood flow, elevated blood pressure, edoema, inflammation, stiffness, and hunching over the computer, they can also produce these side effects.

Ron Mason
I, Ron Mason, am a retired forestry professional. My previous profession was that of an environmental educator, specifically as a Forester, with the USDA Forest Service. Additionally, I have worked as a contract forester in the private sector. With a strong background in science and engineering, my expertise lies in timber stand management, forest ecology, and wildlife biology. I am a dedicated woodworker and take pleasure in crafting furniture, tables, cabinets and other wooden items as a hobby.