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Ergonomic Chair Adjustment

Seven Easy Steps of Ergonomic Chair Adjustment. How to adjust your office chair for ergonomic benefit

Different office tasks require different equipment, accessories and layouts.

Nonetheless, the chair and its adjustment remain constant for the majority of setups in a typical office environment.

How To Adjust Your Chair For Ergonomic Benefit

ergonomic chair adjustment
Image via OSH Canada

1. Stand in front of the chair. .Adjust the height so the highest point of the seat, (when in the horizontal position), is just below the knee cap.

This will ensure that your feet is on the ground when sitting in your chair, and that your knee will make a somewhat 90 degree angle in sitting position.

IMPORTANT P.s. In later adjustments, you may be required to alter the height of the chair - i.e. change what you've now done in this first step. To ensure that your feet are still touching the ground, you may require an additional footstool. Read on.

2. Sit on the chair and keep your feet flat on the floor.

Check that the clearance between the front edge of the seat and the lower part of the legs (your calves) fits a clenched fist (about 2 inches).

3. Adjust the back rest forwards and backwards as well as up and down so that it fits the hollow in your lower back.

4. Adjusting Your Armrests.

Sit upright with your arms hanging loosely by your sides. Bend your elbows at about a right angle (90 degrees) and adjust the armrest(s) height until they barely touch the undersides of the elbows.

Remove the armrests from the chair if this level can not be achieved or if armrests, in their lowest adjustment, elevate your elbows even slightly.

5..Re-adjusting the height of your chair or height of your desk.

This is necessary for a complete ergonomic chair adjustment. See Ergonomic pictures to get a better visual understanding.

When you bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle, check to see if you can maintain that angle when you place your arms on the desk (like to work on your computer, on the keyboard).

ergonomic chair adjustmentImage via OSH Canada

If your elbows are not at a somewhat 90 degree angle, you either lower the height of your desk or raise the height of your chair.

6..When (or if) you raise the height of your chair, be sure that your feet are flat on a footstool.

Most likely your feet will no longer be flat on the ground when you raise the height of your chair, so be sure to get a footstool that enables you to get the 90 degree angle of your knees when you are working at your desk.

7. Tilt the seat itself forwards or backwards if you prefer. Or adjust the locking mechanism of the chair (if your chair has one).

See also Posture At A Computer (and the pictures that come with it).

Top Two Chair Adjustment 'Issues'

Similarly, these are the most common questions people ask when it comes to ergonomic chair adjustment.

Though the above 7 steps will solve these problems, reading about these 'issues' will also give you a greater understanding on how to adjust your chair ergonomically.

What adjustments should I make if the workstation (desk) is at a fixed height?

Once your chair is properly adjusted for your height, check if you can sit at the workstation comfortably with your legs crossed underneath.

If you cannot fit your legs under the workstation or there is not enough space to move them freely, your workstation is too low for you and you should not use such a workstation on a regular basis!

If you can sit comfortably but need to elevate your arms in order to place them over the work surface:

Your workstation is too high. Adjust the chair height so your elbows are about the same height as the work surface. Use a footrest if you cannot place your feet flat on the floor.

The footrest should be adjustable and support both feet. Keep feet flat and firm on the footrest.

This page is adapted and modified from OHS answers.

Thank you for reading 'Ergonomic Chair Adjustment'!

Go back to Workstation Ergonomics.

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