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Last Saturday I received a chair that is very very similar to this one (it's funny - I can't find the one I bought and this was just a few days ago).

I've been sitting on it ever since and it feels comfortable most of the time, but when I try to stand up or stretch, the back of my legs feels painful.

Here's a picture:
Picture of a person sitting in a chair, with their feet resting on box underneath a desk. The hamstrings are marked in red.

The part in red is where it hurts when I try to stretch.

I contacted customer support and this is what they said:

This is the first time we are hearing this but please be assured that I will do my best to assist and advise accordingly. While we are not certified doctors/health professionals, I can only advise that this might have occurred due to sitting habits such as leaning forward against their desks when seated, hence placing more pressure onto the underside of the thighs. ​Comfort is subjective and you may be facing this because you were transitioning from a softer chair to a firmer one. Please rest assured that as our chairs are designed to promote ergonomic health, and it will take some time to get used to.

I used to have a Herman Miller Celle chair and I've never had this problem, nor do I believe I had bad posture before. Could this really be a matter of getting used to it?? It's the third day in a row that I wake up feeling pain on my legs...

  • The seat may press more on your thighs than you expect. That may cut off blod supply and press nerves. Would that explain what you feel? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Apr 14 at 17:30
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen i don't know, maybe. The only way I can explain it is that I can't stretch my legs as far as I used to. – maria Apr 14 at 17:38
  • Can you ask to get a chair like your old one instead? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Apr 14 at 18:07
  • @ThorbjørnRavnAndersen no, I bought this on my own. The old one is at the office. – maria Apr 14 at 18:21
  • Like mechanical keyboards, people buy racing/gaming chairs because they're popular, not because they're comfortable or better... These style chairs are designed to keep you in position while driving a car. Sitting on them for a long time at a PC is uncomfortable. You will get used to it over time, but really any any other office chair will be more comfortable than this. – flexi Apr 14 at 19:35
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I think resting your feet on a box is not the best thing. You may subconsciously be firing your leg muscles continuously because your body is aware that your feet are not on a stable surface.

You should try lowering your chair so that your feet are on the ground.

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    Yeah the box is temporary until I get a proper footrest. If I lower the chair, then my arms won't be lined up with my desk :(. But i'll try this to see what happens, thanks. – maria Apr 14 at 16:45
  • @MariaInesParnisari - Before you pack the chair to return it I would use an actual object designed to be a footrest. I suspect that is indeed your problem. – Donald Apr 14 at 17:00
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    as an interim solution you could try moving the box back so that it's supporting your heels instead of the front half of your foot. The weight of your lower legs is going down to your heel; and with it unsupported other muscles have to tension to support the load and keep your feet level. – Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight Apr 14 at 18:21
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    I agree with this answer, I was actually having pretty similar ergonomic issues. I since got a variable height desk and am able to lower it so that my feet are now firmly on the ground. Ergo issues have disappeared – ocean800 Apr 14 at 22:28
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    Foot rests are generally angled rather than flat. That would be a better solution. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/… – AdzzzUK Apr 15 at 10:55
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If your legs hurt then something is very wrong. It's most likely not your legs - seems unlikely that they would hurt - and more likely referred pain from your back, where your nerves are getting hurt.

So first off, if you end up needing to, then return the chair. Or throw it out - back pain is not worth 500 bucks.

Next up your posture is terrible - you should be sitting with far less hard right angles - your legs (thigh/shin) should be at ~100 degrees, and your torso/thigh should also be at ~100 degrees. This implies that you would be sitting with your thigh not perpendicular to the ground, but a line from your buttock to knee should be at a ten degree angle to the ground. You shouldn't feel like you are falling out the seat, but it should be a slight sensation of.

This puts more pressure on your feet, and reduces pressure on your low back.

Next, your feet should be totally, 100% supported - heels included. Just get some books and stack them up. Use something that can bear your whole weight - that looks like a tissue box! Your feet should feel like they can be at rest.

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Chair is uncomfortable, do I just have to get used to it?

I would say no. While some ergonomic chairs take some time getting used to, because your muscles need to adjust to more "active" sitting, this does not seem to be the case here.

Your current chair consist basically of two fixed, straight planes. For longer periods of sitting, your chair should adjust to and support slight changes in your posture. This will prevent you getting constant pressure on any one specific spot, like stopping blood flow to your legs and keep your intervertebral disks engaged.

Your photo also shows an incorrect setup. Your feet should firmly touch the ground and your elbows should be able to rest comfortably on the desk surface. So you should probably also think about lowering your desk.

See this link for an example of a good setup and notice especially the difference in the lower spine.

Your Celle chair at work had a mechanism that changes the angle of the seat relative to the angle of the backrest. This way, when you lean forward the seat tilts forward also, relieving pressure on the underside of your thighs. It also had a somewhat flexible backrest to enable you to shift your weight and actively engage your back muscles while still supporting your back with an adjustable pressure.

This video also gives some good tips

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