Here we show how to properly adjust your ergonomic desk chair using its features (e.g. seat height adjustment) so that it doesn’t cause neck, back, hip, leg, coccyx or any other type of pain.
N.B. If you haven’t yet bought a chair, see this ultimate guide on best office chairs.
Now we will go through most frequently available adjustments that are available on ergonomic chairs:
In order to make sure that the chair is adjusted at the correct height, you have to sit back into the chair, with your hips higher, your knees lower and with your feet’s base on the ground.
The ideal position is when your feet are flat on the floor with your legs at a 90-degree angle.
This position is self-correcting in a way that it helps your spine to take its natural alignment and help prevent all types of pain, including knee and hip pain.
You should never have more than three to four fingers’ gap between your knee and the edge of the seat.
Too much space will signify that the seat pan is too small and the pressure is not properly distributed, thus causing you to slouch.
Too little space is likely to reduce the blood flow to your lower body. You don’t need that.
The back rest of the chair can be raised or lowered according to the individual requirements of the end user, with the most pronounced part of the chair sitting in the curve of your back.
There is no specific guideline, so you need to ‘listen’ to your back carefully and readjust if necessary.
However research shows that ideal ‘working angle’ is somewhat around 135 degrees (i.e. slightly reclined posture). It helps to reduce extensive disk movement, which may cause protrusions and eventually herniated disks.
The lack of armrests or their incorrect setting can lead to problems with the upper back (e.g. kyphosis) and shoulders (e.g. impingement syndrome).
Ideally the width of the arms should be changeable; the proper way to adjust them is where the natural fall of the arms is – there is no need to go extra-wide.
The arms of a chair serve as an extension of the desk – it is very important to have them adjusted to the right height.
Use the up and down setting to achieve the correct position.
If your chair has 3D armrests adjustment (i.e. can move up/down, backwards/forwards and pivot left/right), use it for maximum adjustment.
If chair tension is adjusted incorrectly, you are risking tripping over and injuring yourself in a bad manner.
The tension of the chair can be adjusted from the side, underneath the seat.
It should be adjusted in such a way to ensure the free-floating movement of the chair, both in the backwards and in the forward position.
If for any reason you don’t want to use chair tension controller, there is a tilt lock available (above). It will completely stop any backward/forward movements.
Melanie's passion lies in human biomechanics, movement and well-being. She strives to help people sit better and that is why she is the main editor at MyErgonomicChair.com.