Ergonomics Self-Help for your chair

Help yourself immediately with these chair topics.

If you are unfamiliar with all the functions of your chair, now is a good time to experiment.

Or finally read the owner's manual!

Topic Description
Adjust chair height

First adjust the height of your chair so your feet are on the floor or on a footrest.

Then fine tune the height so your hips are slightly higher than your knees. At this height, can you comfortably reach your keyboard and mouse and also see your monitor?

If not, then additional changes will be necessary to remedy your ergonomic issues. See other topics for additional information.

Seat pan depth

Next, sit all the way back in your chair. Does the front of the chair contact the back of your knees? If so, then adjust the seat pan depth of your chair to create a 2-4 inch gap between your knees and the chair.

If the seat pan is not adjustable and the front of you chair contacts the back of your knees, then consider replacing the chair. If you keep using this chair, then it is likely that you will scoot forward on the seat pan to create the necessary gap. However, by doing that you loose back support and have a higher risk of a slouching posture as well as less support for your legs.

Arm rests

Some armrests are adjustable and some are not. What about your chair? Do you know how to adjust them? If they are adjustable, then relax your shoulders, and move them so they are slightly below your elbows. Also, check if that height interferes with using your keyboard and mouse. If it does, then additional changes will be necessary to remedy your ergonomic issues.

Lumbar support

After completing the previous steps, now you can adjust your chair's lumbar support. Do you know how to do this with your chair? Lumbar support is how your chair support the curve of your lower back.

Determine how the lumbar adjusts and move it so it fits the curve of your lower back. If you chair does not have an adjustable lumbar support it may still fit you. With your hand, feel your low back and see if the lumbar of your chair supports that area. If not, then consider replacing your chair with one providing more appropriate lumbar support.

Chair Evaluation Form

Quantify how your current chair works with your body using this Chair Evaluation Form. This is very helpful in justifying a safer chair for your anthropometry (size and shape) and types of tasks you are required to perform at your workstation.

Get up!

Several times an hour, get up out of your chair. Changing your posture and moving around a bit can help you feel better.

However, this can be hard to do once you are fully engaged in your tasks. Setting an alarm can help you remember to get up.

Try it and see!

Return the to Self-Help topics page

For more information

Call 540-231-3600.