The single most used piece of furniture in almost any business is an office chair with most of us clocking around 8 hours everyday sitting in one. If you will be spending the majority of your day sitting in an office chair, it is best to familiari
ze yourself with the functions and capabilities to ensure you are maximizing your chair’s usage. Knowing how to properly adjust your chair can also save you from unnecessary work related pains that can occur from sitting in a chair that is not properly adjusted to your body. It can also provide you with insight as to why your current office chair may not be the best fit for your needs, especially if you are experiencing any pain during the day while sitting in it. While some features of a chair may seem relatively self-explanatory, it is best to get fully acquainted to understand the benefits of having your chair properly adjusted and what features your current chair may be lacking that you may need.
Seat Height Adjustment – Perhaps the most basic adjustment of all, the seat height should be adjustable on almost every office chair. This adjustment can typically be found on the right hand side of the chair, located just to the right underneath the seat. To ensure your chair’s seat height is properly adjusted, make sure that your chair is lowered enough for you to place your feet flat and firmly against the floor. Your legs should form a 90° angle. You may need to adjust your chair’s seat height periodically if you wear heels while you are working as this will add height and cause your legs to not form that necessary 90° angle.
Tilt Tension – Tilt tension is a great feature most office chairs possess that allows the user to control the rate and ease with which the chair reclines for different weights and strengths of users. This adjustment always comes in the form of a knob that is located directly underneath the seat. By twisting the knob one direction it will allow the user to lean back in the chair much easier and without much pressure. By twisting the knob the opposite direction, the user will have to exert more pressure into reclining back in their chair.
Back Height Adjustment – Back height adjustment allows positioning of lumbar support(if your chair has built-in lumbar support) within a fixed range to alleviate back stress. If your chair comes with an “S” shaped back or has built-in lumbar support you will want to adjust your chair’s back to have the curved protruding portion align with the curve in your lower back. This allows you to feel the full advantages of having a back rest with lumbar support especially if you suffer from lower back pain. Back height adjustment is usually a knob located near the bottom of the back rest that can be loosened to move the back bar up or down, ad then tightened once the desired height is reached.
Tilt Lock – A tilt lock control locks out the tilt function when the chair is in the upright position. This feature is advantageous if you want the ability to recline in your chair for a few minutes but want to return it to lock in place in the upright position while tasking. Most office chairs that have tilt tension control will have tilt lock control as well. Tilt lock control is a lever on the chair that when pushed down allows you to recline in the chair, and when the lever is pulled up when your chair is in the upright position you are locked in place.
Adjustable Armrests – If an office chair comes with arms, most of the time they will be height adjustable armrests which is your standard up and down adjustment. More advanced arm adjustments include width adjustability, pivoting, and sliding forward and backward. Proper ergonomic thought deems your arms should not be resting when typing, as that slows the blood flow to an area that requires it because of the movement. However, having the ability to adjust arms up and down can help prevent this. Most armrests that are adjustable have a button on the side of the arms that allows you to either pull the arms up or push them down depending on your needs. While arms are not an essential feature to have on an office chair, they can come in handy when your arms need a break from continuous typing.
Having an office chair with basic adjustability is crucial as not every person can conform to a standard office chair. If your current office chair does not contain the above adjustments(excluding adjustable armrests) it may be time to start searching for a more ergonomically correct office chair. In the long run an adjustable chair can save you from back pain and other work related ailments that can occur from sitting for long periods of time in an awkward position. The aforementioned adjustments are the bare minimum that every office chair should contain, however, there are many more adjustments available for an even more ergonomic sitting experience.
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