Did you know that back pain is the most common health issue in the USA, accounting for 264 million lost workdays each year?
It’s important to check fully adjustable chair ergonomic guidelines to ensure that your chair keeps you in a correct posture to prevent back pain.
Making my office chair taller was a simple solution to my tension headaches. If you also experience pain and strain after sitting at your work surface, check which adjustments will improve your posture.
How to Adjust Office Chair to Get the Correct Sitting Posture
Your sitting posture influences your overall health, which is why you should purchase one that supports you correctly. It is an investment in your health.
Make sure the chair provides optimum support regardless of your position. Follow the instructions below to ensure your desk chair keeps you healthy. The following steps will ensure all your parts are well adjusted for your needs.
How to Adjust the Height
Use the side lever on the chair with the up-down arrows:
- Some chairs have a knob instead of a lever.
- Ensure your elbows are at the same height as your desk.
- If you have a standing desk, adjust the height first, and then adjust the desk height accordingly. Read some Wirecutter drafting chair reviews to ensure you’re getting a good model for your needs.
- Check that the clearance between the front edge of the seat and the lower part of your calves fits a clenched fist.
Why it matters:
- You won’t lean over your keyboard.
- You won’t lean back and put unnecessary pressure on your lower back.
- Your circulation will be better.
- You won’t strain your upper body.
Summary: Adjust height to ensure you’re not straining your back and to improve blood flow. If you need ideas, Tempur Pedic and Serta adjustments allow a good height adjustment range for your needs.
Ensure Your Feet Flat is Firmly on the Floor
Sit on the chair, resting your back on the backrest and ensure that your soles are firmly on the floor. If you can’t reach the floor, consider using a footrest.
Why it matters:
- This position ensures you’re not sliding off and stressing your lumbar area.
- You’re not putting pressure on your hamstrings, so your blood circulation is optimized.
- You’re not straining your knees, so you’re avoiding pain and injuries.
Summary: Keep the soles of your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at a 90ᵒ. That way, you’re improving your blood circulation to your feet.
Adjust the Backrest Angle
Most standard models have a lever or a knob for backrest angle adjustments positioned on the right side. Adjusting the degree angle depends on your activity:
- A forward sloping offers good support when typing/ writing.
- An upright back is for working on the computer, clicking, and making phone calls.
- Keep the backrest on recline at meetings, talking on the phone, or reading.
Why it matters:
- Taking pressure off your spine is important to improve posture and prevent pain.
- The correct position keeps your spine and hips aligned to prevent lumbar pain.
- A correct position means less pain and strain on your neck and upper body.
Summary: Choose the position properly depending on your activity. Look for ergonomic chairs on trustworthy sites like Global Furniture to ensure your chair features angle adjustments.
Adjust the Chair Angle
Some ergonomic office chairs let you adjust the seat tilt. You can find the lever or knob for the job on the back right side.
- Keeping your seat parallel to the floor is comfortable for computer work.
- Tilting your seat backward is best if you have lumbar pain.
- A forward seat tilt is best to take the pressure from your hamstrings if you have poor circulation.
Why it matters:
- Your legs won’t push into the seat, which means you’ll improve your blood circulation. You’ll also avoid leg numbness and tingling as a result.
- You’ll keep your hips open at a correct position. It helps you avoid hip and lower back pain.
Summary: Seat angle adjustments reduce your lumbar and hip pain. If you have these issues, choose a chair with seat depth adjustment, such as Herman Miller’s Embody Lumbar Support Chair. Some chairs like Hon Quotient feature an advanced 2-to-1 synchro-tilt mechanism. This mechanism lifts the seat when you recline your back to ensure you’re supported in all positions.
Adjust Backrest Height
The backrest should be S-shaped to ensure your spine is kept in a neutral, anatomically correct position.
You can get either a mesh or a plush model.
Either way, make sure the protruding lumbar part fits well into your lower back. To do this, use the lever or knob at the base of your seatback.
Why it matters:
- Your lumbar area is supported by the chair to minimize lumbar pain.
- You won’t strain your upper back muscles.
- It’s better for back health.
Summary: The height is important to keep your spine in a correct position, but the back shape is also important. Choose a chair with a curved backrest that contours your back, such as Lazy Boy or Master New Roma.
Adjust the Armrest Height
Poorly adjusted armrests make you hunch or lean at an uncomfortable angle. Some models don’t feature armrest adjustments, so you might experience shoulder and neck strain.
In this case, it’s wise to test the chair before getting it:
- Make sure the armrests fit under your work surface so that your arms are relaxed, with your elbow height at a 90 degree angle.
- Use an armrest height extender if your armrests can’t get high enough.
Why it matters:
- You’re avoiding strain on your upper back muscles.
- You will improve circulation in your arms.
- You avoid arthritis pain.
- You decrease the risk of tension headaches caused by neck pain.
Summary: Get a right model with multiple armrest adjustments, like Steelcase Gesture. This chair moves its armrests together with your arms so that you’re supported regardless of the device you’re using.
SUMMARY: Home office chair adjustments are important to correct your posture and to alleviate pain. If you already have chronic pain, invest in a good model, such as the Embody or Gesture. Otherwise, even a cheaper ergonomic model can help you prevent pain if it has the necessary basic adjustments.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The desk chair setup is essential to keep you in an ergonomic, correct posture. But what if you can’t make these changes? Read on to find the answers to some of the most common questions.
What is the Knob on the Bottom?
The knob on the bottom of your chair is probably for tilt tension control. Some chairs recline when you push your body weight into them.
If you want recline easily, make sure this knob is loose. If you want the firm and secure in an upright position, tighten the knob.
How to Adjust Your Office Chair Height Without Lever
If your lever broke, you first have to understand what and how that lever was activating. You can check your instructions or assembly manual for that. If you don’t have it anymore, look for one online.
Once you understand how your old lever works, find a similar-looking shaft to replace your lever. Usually, the lever activates a button inside the chair, so you need something to press that button with.
The problem is you’ll need to press the button a lot, so you’re better off repairing the lever or buying a new.
Pro tip: If your computer chair won’t go down, use a footrest until you can fix it.
How to Fix an Office Chair That Leans Forward
If your chair leans forward uncomfortably, make sure the swivel casters aren’t broken or loose. If the problem is with the casters, you may either need to tighten their screws or replace damaged ones.
If that’s not what’s making your chair lean forward, check the seat pan for loose screws or damage. A bent seat plate or missing bolts might be causing your problem, so you’ll need to replace these.
How to Make Office Chair Higher
You can make your desk chair higher by using the lever on the right side. If that doesn’t work to fit your shape, here are some instructions on how to adjust office chair height:
- Take out the screws that attach your seat to the seat pan with a screwdriver.
- Place 2×2 inch wood pieces between the seat and the pan, depending on your needs. Use long screws for the job.
If your old wooden model has a threaded post for adjustments, you need to:
- Calculate the necessary height adjustment. Let’s say you need 3 inches.
- Set it upside down.
- Oil the threaded post.
- Clean the extra oil and potential debris with a clean cloth.
- Secure it by putting one foot on its base.
- Spin anti-clockwise once to increase the height by about 0.25 inches.
- Stop spinning when the chair reaches the correct. For the 3 inches, you’ll need to spin it twelve times.
How to Make Office Chair Lean Back More
First, check the official specs to ensure your chair can lean back.
Your desk chair tilt lock may be stuck in an upright position. Pull out the height adjustment lever to ensure your chair can lean back and forward.
You can also loosen the tilt tension knob to make the desk chair lean back more. Press into the backrest while doing this to create a bigger recline.
In case of your tilt lock not working, check with the manufacturer for advice.
SUMMARY: If you read your instructions manual, you’ll learn how to make all the right adjustments. If something broke and the manufacturer of your chair can’t replace it, you can try all sorts of tricks. However, these changes won’t ensure a long-term correct posture. That’s why it’s best to purchase an ergonomic budget model like Serta Executive Chair until you can fix your old model.
These adjustments are easy to make, and they ensure you will sit in a comfortable position. You should get a fully adjustable chair so that you can adjust it properly for your body.
If you keep a correct posture, you will avoid muscle strain, joint pain, and compressed discs. You will improve your blood circulation, and you will be more productive.
Read all the instructions in your user manual to ensure you’re taking advantage of all possible adjustments. Most controls have a short learning curve, so you’ll be fine. Take a few minutes each day to ensure the chair fits you properly before starting your workday.