Office Chairs: How to Choose and Set Up an Office Chair

How to Choose and Set Up an Office Chair

Here is some basic advice on how to set up an office chair correctly for your needs. When choosing a chair first make all the following adjustments and then see if you find the chair comfortable.

1) Height adjustment
Stand facing the chair and adjust the height so that the seat is just below the level of your knees. When you sit on the chair your feet should be flat on the floor, your thighs sloping slightly down. If you raise the chair beyond this point for any reason (ie to reach your desk) it is important to use an appropriate foot rest.

2) Seat adjustment.
There should be a gap of at least 2" behind the knee to the front edge of the seat. The front of the seat should be such that it does not put undue pressure on the back of your legs. You may need to operate a separate seat slide mechanism to acheive this.

3) Back adjustment.
Adjust both the angle and height of the chair back until the cushion fits comfortably in the lower part of your back.

4) Arms.
The height of the arms should be such that with your elbows bent at 90 degrees (so your hands are out in front of you) the chair arms should just touch the undersides of your elbows / forearms. If the arms are too high or too low, and this cannot be corrected through adjustment, remove the arms completely or look at another chair. Check that the arms will not come into contact with the front edge of your workstation as this can prevent you from moving close enough to your work, or even damage the edge of your desk.

5) Seat tilt / free float
Most chairs are fitted with a seat tilt or syncronsised mechanism. Some may be equipped with a fully dynamic system for complete freedom of movement (HAG). Adjust to the most comfortable position. If possible avoid locking the chair in a single position or adjusting the seat so that it tilts upwards at the front.

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Information on buying Office Chairs, office chair regulations and office chair manufacturers

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