Don’t sit in discomfort!
No matter which way your office chair adjusts, it is important to know how to do it properly so you can find the perfect height for you. The height of your office chair is important for keeping you comfortable and preventing back, shoulder and neck pain. If the height of an office chair is too high or too low, it can cause a number of issues including:
- Muscular strain from having to reach up higher than normal while typing on the keyboard; this could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome over time.
- The inability to sit up straight in the office chair because there isn’t enough room for your legs underneath it; this could lead to poor posture which can cause lower back pain and headaches.
- Fatigue from having too much pressure on your shoulders when sitting down at work all day long without taking breaks. This leads to hunched shoulders and aching neck muscles.
How to go about adjusting your chairs height
There are a few ways to adjust the height of an office chair. The most common way is by using the lever underneath the chair. However, not all chairs are the same.
Some chairs have a knob at the base of the chair that you turn to adjust the height. Other chairs have a button on the side that you push to adjust the height. The best office chairs are those that are of an ergonomic design, which means they are manufactured with adjustable elements that can be set to fit the individual.
This flexibility can ensure the user is seated in an optimum position for comfort and to reduce the risk of fatigue.
It is important to understand how your office chair works before you begin adjusting it. If you have it, consult your owners manual to get the information to correctly adjust your model of chair.
If you don’t have it and are unsure what to do, try finding guidance on the manufacturers website.
Once you know how your office chair adjusts, follow these steps to properly adjust the height:
- Stand in front of the chair to check it’s base is approximately at your knee height.
- Sit in the office chair and make sure that your feet are flat on the ground.
- Find the lever, knob, or button on the office chair that adjusts the height.
- Push, turn, or pull the lever, knob, or button to adjust the height of the office chair.
- Make sure that you adjust the office chair to a height that is comfortable for you. You may have to experiment with a few different heights before finding the perfect one.
- The height of the chair should be such that you can comfortably view your desktop displays (monitors) without having to look down or up. Essentially you are able to view them with a straightforward view. Having to look down or up can cause undue neck strain.
- Once you have found the right height, make sure to apply a locking mechanism – if your model of office chair has one.
- Be sure to check your chair frequently – specifically if you are in an environment where someone could use your chair, and change its height. For expediency, consider marking your individual height adjustment using a marker pen, or colored tape.
It’s not just the height of your chair that you need to consider.
As well as the chairs height you also need to adjust the seat depth, backrest angle and arm support. Again, if you are unsure how to do this – consult your office chair’s owners manual or check the manufacturers website for guidance.
How to adjust your office chairs seat depth
This is adjustable on most office chairs and you should adjust it so that when your sit in the chair, there are a couple of inches between the back of your knees and front edge of the seat.
If you can slide your fingers under this gap then its perfect. If not, then adjust the depth until you achieve this distance. You should ensure that your lower back is comfortably supported and that you are not leaning too far forwards or backwards.
How to adjust your office chairs backrest angle
The backrest angle is adjustable on most office chairs, but the adjustment range may be limited. You should adjust it so that when you recline in the chair, your lower back is fully supported – without having to hunch your back. And, when you sit more forward, the backrest should be in a position to support your upper back and shoulders.
You should also adjust the fixture of the lumbar support, if your chair has one, to ensure that your lower back is comfortable. If it’s not adjustable, you may need to remove or add some padding or find an alternative way to support your lower back.
How to adjust your office chairs armrest height
The armrests on most office chairs are adjustable, but the range of adjustment may vary.
You should adjust them so that when you rest your arms on them, they are in line with your elbows and your wrists are straight. This will put less strain on your shoulders and neck.
Your hands should comfortably be able to rest on the desk. If they are too high or low, you should adjust them until they feel comfortable. That is they fall comfortably onto your keyboard, mouse or other ancillary device you frequently use.
You may also find that you need to adjust the angle of the armrests, if they are adjustable, to ensure that they support your arms comfortably.
Other considerations to compliment chair height adjustment
Once you have set these three primary adjustments – seat height, seat depth and backrest angle – you should be able to comfortably use your office chair without any problems.
Though some people, maybe those have more prolonged periods of being sat down in an office chair; can develop neck issues. Therefore, if you have a chair that has a neck support, it is advisable to adjustable this, so that when you recline back in the chair your head and neck are fully supported.
It could be you have a fixed height desk, and not a height adjustable desk. In your bid to get a comfortable chair height, you may find that either your legs are uncomfortable, or they don’t rest properly on the floor. You should look to obtain a good footrest.
If you have adjustable height footrests, you should adjust them so that your feet are fully supported – especially if you can’t comfortably rest them on the floor in front of you.
You may also find that adjustable headrests or adjustable arm pads will help improve comfort levels when working in your office chair. There are many after-market options available, should your beloved office chair not come up to scratch.
These additional adjustable features will help compliment the height of your chair, and make it more comfortable to sit on for prolonged periods of time. The downside is, it will be ‘function over form’ and may look like a mish-mash of parts.
Consider buying a newer ergonomic chair that comes with all the adjustment you need to help you stay comfy and pain free whilst working in your home office.
As you will now know, its not just the height of your office chair that is key, but is one of several factors that feed into having good posture and a comfortable working position. It is important to make the necessary adjustments to ensure you are in the best possible position for you, so that you can remain productive and pain free. Though it may take some time to get everything adjusted just how you like it, with a bit of patience, you will be sitting comfortably and able to work for long periods of time. Though, if you still have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We would be happy to help.
We have professional backgrounds in Software Testing and Business Analysis, both with extensive experience of working for commercial enterprises and as a freelancers. We toggle between working from corporate premises and our own home offices. We have a passion for home working, and for using equipment that is ergonomically functional, well designed and elegant.