How to Adjust Your Work Chair The following can assist you to correctly adjust your work chair for the home or office. Most office chairs have a number of adjustment levers located under the seat, some examples are: • Seat height • Seat tilt • Backrest recline • Lumbar support height As well as having these adjustment features, it is important to adjust your chair in the following sequence: • Correct seat depth • Correct seat height • Adequate foot support • Back support Correct Seat Depth • • • Place your bottom well back into the chair. Correct seat depth should allow space for approximately two fingers between the top of your calves (behind your knee) and the front of the seat. If the depth is not adjustable, then choose a chair with the correct seat depth for you. Correct Seat Height Most tasks should be completed at elbow height when seated. • For writing, this is at table height. • For typing, this is at the height of the home row keys. • For fine precision tasks, your elbows should be a little below table height. • For tasks requiring strength, your elbows should be above table height. Adequate Foot Support • Your feet should be well supported by the floor or a footrest. When your feet are supported, your thighs are parallel to the floor. • Choose an angled footrest if your shoes have high heels. Back Support • • Adjust the height of the backrest so that it gives firm support to the lumbar curve of the lower back. Angle of backrest should be between 90 and 105 degrees. How to adjust your work chair The Independent Living Centre provides a free and impartial information and advisory service to help you choose the right product for you Supported Sitting Remember • • • Your trunk should be fully supported by the chair’s backrest. A supported relaxed posture prevents static muscle contractions. This type of contraction causes pain and stiffness in muscles due to the build up of toxins and lack of oxygen. Sit as close to your work as you can. Take a Break • Take a short break at least every 30 minutes. This allows fresh oxygen and nutrients to enter your muscles and intervertebral discs. Your spine and muscles need to move. Other Options • • Stools or seat bases which promote a forward tilt of the pelvis may assist in relieving back pain. Height adjustable armrests may be suitable if you spend a significant amount of time away from the desk while in your chair, however armrests are not normally recommended as they can restrict access to your desk and promote leaning to one side. • • Experiment with different positions and be prepared to adjust every chair you use. Be aware of your work position and your comfort levels. Change your work position before you become uncomfortable.
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