How to Adjust Your Work Chair - Independent Living Centre WA

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
• 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
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
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.