You may already know that you need an adjustable office chair for proper posture. But do you know how to adjust your chair for optimal ergonomics? For example, do you know at which height to place the armrest, or how to fit your adjustable chair under a fixed workstation? The answer might surprise you. Fortunately, we have already done the research for you. The good news is that adjusting your chair can be accomplished in 5 easy steps.
You Should Always Use a Fully Adjustable Chair
Most office chairs are built to fit the average person. The truth is that few people are truly average when it comes to their body dimensions. Unfortunately, it’s simply not practical to measure every employee and purchase a chair that fits them exactly. Instead, it makes more sense to purchase fully adjustable chairs for every employee. Adjustable chairs can accommodate a wide range of people, and only very short or very tall people may require a chair that’s truly custom-made for them.
Adjustable chairs should be easy to operate from a sitting position. They must come with a stable base, a backrest, and a swivel mechanism. The seat should be adjustable for height and tilt, and the front edge of the seat should curve towards the floor. If the office chair has armrests, then they should also be adjustable. But it may be better to skip the armrests altogether.
Why You May Want to Skip the Armrest
The problem with armrests is that they prevent you from sitting close enough to the desk. The armrests are usually too high and prevent you from scooting the chair where you need it to be. However, office chairs with armrests that extend 10 inches or less from the back of the seat can be appropriate. These armrests must be adjusted to be at elbow height, but they shouldn’t interfere with your ability to move around freely at your workstation. If your armrests can be adjusted to the proper position, then they can take some of the load off your shoulder and neck. However, improperly positioned armrests are worse than not having any armrests at all.
How to Adjust Your Office Chair in 5 Easy Steps
Now that you have a fully adjustable chair, it’s time to get it properly positioned for you. This task must be performed by the person who’ll be sitting in the chair. While you can help your neighbor adjust their chair, you can’t do it for them, unless you are identical twins with the same body build. Fortunately, adjusting your chair shouldn’t take more than a few minutes of your time, and it only has to be done once.
Step 1: First, you want to stand in front of the chair with the seat facing you. Adjust the height of the chair so that the highest point of the seat is located just below your knee cap. You can use a mirror or ask someone to check the height for you if you have trouble with this step. You may also need to sit down to adjust the chair height and then stand up again to ensure that it’s in the proper position.
Step 2: Now it’s time to sit down and put your feet flat on the floor. You’ll want to make sure that the clearance between the front edge of your seat and the lower part of your legs fits a clenched fist. You can test this by bending forward to check the distance between your inner knee and the chair. If your fist fits there, then you’re sitting just right. If not, try adjusting the seat depth.
Step 3: Next, you need to adjust the backrest to fit the hollow in your lower back. You may have to move the backrest forward, backward, up, or down to get into the desired position. This will ensure that your back is properly supported and you’re sitting upright when you work.
Step 4: It’s time to adjust your armrests if your chair has them. To do that, you need to sit upright and have your arms hang loosely by your sides. Next, bend your elbows at a right angle and adjust the armrests until they barely touch the undersides of your elbows. If your armrests elevate your elbows even in their lowest position, then you should remove the armrests entirely to ensure proper posture.
Step 5: If you prefer, you can tilt the seat itself forward or backward. You want to make sure that your feet and back are still positioned properly and that you can reach your workstation easily.
When to Make Adjustments to Your Office Chair
Adjustable chairs can be used for almost anyone. However, if you are unusually short or tall, then you may require a custom chair to ensure proper posture at your workstation. Once you have adjusted your chair as described above, you shouldn’t have to make any changes to it, unless someone else has changed your settings. You may also need to adjust your chair anew if you are wearing shoes with significantly higher or lower heels than normal, because this will change the position of your knees. Similarly, if you decide to take off your shoes at work, then you may need to lower your seat.
How to Fit Your Office Chair under Your Workstation
Sit-stand desk are ideal for office workers, because they discourage you from remaining in the same position all day. If your office has adjustable chairs but fixed desks, then you may have to take additional steps to ensure proper posture. After you have adjusted your chair for your height, you should find out if you can sit at the desk while putting your legs comfortably underneath. If your legs don’t fit under the desk, then it’s too low for you. You may need to ask for a taller desk or find a way to elevate it safely.
On the other hand, if you need to elevate your arms to place them over the work surface, then your desk is too high. Fortunately, you can still make this work without compromising good posture. First, you’ll want to adjust your chair height to ensure that your elbows are at the height of your desk. Then, you’ll want to get a footrest, unless your feet can comfortably reach the floor without it. An adjustable footrest is best. The goal is for you to place both feet firmly on the footrest to ensure proper posture.
Are you looking for an adjustable chair for your office? Browse our selection to find the adjustable office chair that’s right for you. We also offer fully adjustable sit-stand desks to accommodate your daily workstation needs. You can also give us a call to discuss your new office setup.