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How to Properly Adjust Ergonomic Chair: No Back-Neck Pain

how-to-adjust-ergonomic-chair

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.

Contents:

N.B. If you haven’t yet bought a chair, see this ultimate guide on best office chairs.

 

 

How to Adjust Ergonomic Desk Chair

Now we will go through most frequently available adjustments that are available on ergonomic chairs:

  1. Seat Height
  2. Seat Depth
  3. Lumbar Support
  4. Tilt Lock
  5. Armrests Adjustment
  6. Tilt Tension

 

 1. Seat Height

how-to-adjust-height-ergonomic-chair
The first thing you need to consider.

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.

 

2. Seat Depth

how-to-adjust-sit-depth-ergonomic-chair
The next big thing – it can potentially resolve neck and back muscles sprain.

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.

 

3. Lumbar Support

how-to-adjust-lumbar-support-computer-chair
Lumbar support helps to reduce the stress on lower back and cervical spine.

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.

 

4. Tilt Lock

standard-ergonomic-office-chair-type
The recline angle of the chair can be altered depending on the individual requirements and the preferable working position.

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.

 

5. Armrests Adjustment

how-to-adjust-armrests-ergonomic-chair
The armrests remove the strain and the weight of the upper back and shoulder girdle.

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.

 

6. Tilt Tension

how-to-adjust-tilt-tension-on-ergonomic-office-chair
This feature is particularly important for heavier guys and gals, since it can literally impact your health and well-being.

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.

 

Ergonomic Chairs for Neck Pain

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Perfectly Adjusted Ergonomic Chair: Sum Up

  1. Seat height: legs at 90 degrees with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Seat depth: no more than 3-4 fingers should fit in the gap between the chair’s sitting edge and the back of your knees.
  3. Lumbar support: adjust based on you personal requirements.
  4. Tilt lock: if you like working in the reclined position, try 135-degree angle for better spine positioning (i.e. slightly reclined position).
  5. Armrests height: adjust to suit natural fall of the arms to reduce shoulder and neck tension.
  6. Tilt tension: adjust depending on your weight; the heavier you are, the more tension you would need for the chair not to drop you down (or break).

 

 

Sources: Ergonomic Office DesignsHon CompanyKI Network

About the Author Melanie Lawrence

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.