How to Adjust Ergonomic Office Chair in 7 Steps

Last Updated on by Artem

Here we show how to properly adjust your ergonomic office chair using its features.

This knowledge will help you get the most comfortable setup…even from the best value office chairs.

Let’s get right to it!

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
  7. Adjust The Backrest

However, before we actually get to adjusting the office chair, we need to make sure you aware about the best sitting position and how to sit in an office chair properly. Here are the posture guidelines provided by Grand Valley State University and here is what it all looks like:

1. Neck is in a neutral position with the screen being right in front of the face (rather than at the bottom).
2. Elbows are bent at 90-110 degree angle and are resting on the table (or on the armrests).
3. Knees are bent at 90-110 degrees with the back of knees 2-4 finger widths away from the office chair’s edge
4. Feet are flat on the floor.

And now let’s get to the actual process of adjusting your ergonomic chair.

See also: Why Does My Back Hurt When I Sit In An Office Chair?


 1. Adjust The Height


This is the first step you want to start with to adjust your office chair or other office chairs. Seat height adjustment is one of the more basic features every office chair in our best desk chair under 100 dollars has.

In order to make sure that the office 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.

How to adjust the height to perfection? The ideal position is when your feet are flat on the floor with your legs at a 90-degree angle. At the same time, the back of your knees should be 2-4 finger widths away from the chair’s edge. This measure will help to get the best seat depth range as well.

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.

See also – How Should I Sit if My Lower Back Hurts?

2. Seat Depth


Seat depth is the next big thing to adjust in your office chair. It can potentially resolve neck and lower back pain. However, not all ergonomic office chairs have this feature.

As I already mentioned, you should never have more than two to four fingers’ gap between your knee and the edge of the seat.

Too much space will signify that the seat 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 and cause back pain. You don’t need that.

3. Lumbar Support


Lumbar support helps to reduce the stress on lower back and cervical spine.

The back rest of the office 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 low back carefully and readjust if necessary.

4. Tilt Lock


The recline angle of the office 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.

Make sure to confirm that your office chair comes equipped with tilt lock because that’s not a basic feature like chair seat height adjustment.

5. Armrests Adjustment


The armrests remove the strain and the weight of the upper back, neck 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).

The arms of an office 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.

Adjust the height of the armrests to make sure they fit your elbow height. Your elbows, when everything is set correctly, should be bent between 90 and 110-degree angle.

Ideally the width of the arms should also be adjustable; the proper way to adjust them is where the natural fall of the arms is – there is no need to go extra-wide so you wouldn’t need to extend to reach for the armrests.

If your office 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


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 office chair tension controller, there is a tilt lock available (above). It will completely stop any backward/forward movements.

7. Adjust The Backrest

Just like the seat depth adjustment, this feature is not present on all office chairs out there. Those that have it, need to be taken care of.

Adjust the seat by bringing backrest up or down, depending on your height. At times, there is a simple lever you can pull to set that up. On other occasions you may need to unscrew a bolt, adjust the chair seat backrest and tie it up again.

Make sure that the backrest fits your entire back. That way you are guaranteed full back support.


Adjust Your Office 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 office chair not to drop you down (or break).