Last Updated on by Artem
I bet you know what prolonged sitting feels like.
Tight hips, tense shoulders and strained back…and that’s only in best case scenario!
The worst case scenario includes the so-called square bum syndrome and I will avoid describing it this time (I think, you know what it is).
Instead I want to draw your attention to something of use. Something that you can employ and reduce or completely resolve your pain and discomfort.
I am going to teach you how to sit in an office chair…even if it’s a cheap ergonomic chair!
How To Adjust Ergonomic Chair So It Doesn’t Hurt
The very first thing to remember when you are looking to sit properly, is to adjust your chair according to your physical characteristics. It goes without saying that a small person would have very different settings when compared to a big guy.
This is why it’s important to choose ergonomic chair wisely, so it includes a variety of controls and adjustment options.
Ready to sit properly? Let’s see what we need for it.
See also: Why Does My Back Hurt When I Sit In An Office 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.
Having trouble with regular ergonomic design? Try kneeling chair.
See also – How Should I Sit if My Lower Back Hurts?
The next big thing. The depth of the seat also should be adjusted properly. 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 (aka lumbar support)
This part is important and must be adjusted correctly. Once you have it put right, it will help you reduce the stress on lower back and cervical spine – just what we are looking for.
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.
Once you are done adjusting sit and feel what it’s like. Is there too much pressure ‘into’ your lower back? Too little and your spine is not even close to it? Then adjust seat depth once again, since that’s what you should do if your back rest is only adjusted vertically (some models may include horizontal adjustment, but this feature doesn’t make much sense, if seat depth adjustment is also present).
The Back Angle
Nice to have feature. The back angle of the chair can be altered depending on the individual requirements and the preferable working position. However recent research shows that ideal ‘working angle’ is somewhat around 135 degrees. It helps to reduce extensive disk movement, which may cause protrusions and eventually herniated disks. Learn more about how to reduce back pain from sitting.
This is great news for anyone working in a semi-lying (aka semi-supine) position! 😉
The Arm Rest
Proper adjustment of this feature is critical to healthy upper back and shoulder girdle muscles. The arm rest of the chair are necessary to remove the strain and the weight of the upper back. The lack of armrests or their incorrect setting can lead to serious problems with the upper back (e.g. kyphosis) and shoulders (e.g. impingement syndrome). The presence of height adjustable armrests is a feature that best office chairs for neck pain share in common.
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.
When the arm is ”too low”, that forces the end user to move the arm down and that pulls the shoulder down, putting an additional strain on the shoulders’ area.
Remember that it’s not just the chair you need to tune. Both, the chair and the desk, should be adjusted correctly, so there is a proper relation of the first to the second. For example, if your chair is perfectly set, but your desk is too low, you will develop neck pain in a very short period of time.
These adjustments will be depending on the height of the end user.
If an end user is quite short, they could use a foot rest, if the end user is tall, they could raise the desk in case it is adjustable (a proper office desk should be).
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. So pay attention.
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. Adjusting an ergonomic chair is easy but it takes a bit of time.
If for any reason you don’t want to use chair tension controller, there is a tilt lock available. It will completely stop any backward/forward movements.
Learned how to sit on ergonomic chair? Check out the types of ergonomic chairs.
Find more about ergonomic chairs.