Adjusting a Work Chair
How many hours in a day do you sit?
If you spend a good portion of your day sitting, your chair is the main support for your body. The key to adjusting your chair is to position your body in a posture where the body is well supported and comfortable. By removing potential causes of your pain you open the doors to a lifetime of reduced pain.
Evaluate your chair by checking for the following:
- Is the seat height easily adjustable?
- Does the back rest have an adjustable lumbar support? (Either the entire back rest may adjust in height or a mechanism inside the back rest may adjust.)
- If you are sitting and keying 4 or more hours per day, do you have armrests that can support your arms?
There are many adjustments available on chairs but the three most critical are the seat height, the lumbar support and the arm rests.
If your chair is missing any of these features, you may need to contact your manager to see about getting a different chair. It is important to adjust your chair to fit you and not just use what is available.
Five Steps to Adjusting Your Chair
1. Adjust your chair height so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor. There should be 5-8cm (a fist width) of space between the back of your knees and the edge of the seat. If the seat is too deep, add a cushion; if it is too shallow, see if you can angle the seat backward and move back on the seat.
2. Adjust the back support so that your low back feels well supported. If you cannot get good support, you may need a lumbar roll or pillow.
3. Adjust the armrest up and down/in and out (if they have this feature) to support your forearms/elbows, while your elbows are by your sides at an 80°-100° angle, and your shoulders are relaxed and level (Neutral Posture). If your chair has fixed armrests and do not allow for this posture, do not use them while keying or using the mouse. If they are too high or too low and restrict your neutral posture, have them removed.
4. If you have an adjustable keyboard tray, set it so that you can key with your arms in a neutral posture. If you have to reach up or down, raise or lower the chair to position yourself in a neutral posture. You may need to place a telephone book or a large 3 ring binder underneath your feet.
5. If you have any other chair features such as tilt, tilt tension, seat depth adjustment, experiment with these features to see what feels the most comfortable.
If you are still in pain why not consider The City of London Chiropractor Back Pain Clinic. Phone Now on 0800 043 7105.
NOTE: It is a good idea to make minor changes in your chair adjustments periodically. If you change chairs or workstations, re-adjust your chair. Make this a regular habit.