For those of us who work in offices, the office chair is the most used, and often most undervalued item in our day to day life. While office chairs can range hugely in price and quality, your comfort in any chair can often be vastly improved if you spend the time to properly set up your chair to suit your body. Why are workplace ergonomics important? The Government Health and Safety Executive suggest that a lack of consideration of Ergonomics can result in a number of problems. These include injuries, illness, fatigue and discomfort. As a result, something as simple as a well-configured office chair can have a significant impact on the quality and quantity of work completed. How adjustable is my chair? The number of available adjustments varies from chair to chair, but can largely be grouped into three categories; proportional, arm and posture. Proportional adjustments Proportional adjustments are the most important ones to ensure that your chair is set up for your body proportions. Seat Height Adjustment – Moves the seat up and down to suit different lengths of lower leg. Seat Depth Adjustment / Seat Glide – Moves either the back cushion (seat depth) or seat cushion (seat glide) forward or backward to suit different lengths of upper leg. Back Height Adjustment – Moves the back cushion up and down to suit different back lengths. Arm adjustments Arm adjustments allow for the arms to be positioned to ensure maximum comfort. While many office chairs feature fixed arms, some offer one or more of the following: Arm Height – Adjusts the height of the armrests. Arm Width – Adjusts the width of the armrests. Arm depth – Adjusts the depth of the armrests, this is particularly useful if you need to get close to a desk while working. Arm Pivot – Adjusts the angle of the armrest. Posture adjustments Posture adjustments allow for the seat and back to be tilted and angled to ensure comfort for a variety of tasks. These adjustments can vary hugely from chair to chair, but can largely be categorised as follows: Tilt – Tilt adjusts the angle of the full seating unit, both seat base and back together. Different office chairs offer different pivot points based on the intended usage. Some tilt mechanisms also adjust the back and seat tilt at different rates. Angle – Angle adjustments allow for independent angling of both the seat base and back. Now that we’ve gone over the basics of chair adjustability, it’s time to get your chair properly set up for your body! How do I set up my office chair? How high should my office chair seat be? Proper seat height should allow you to place your feet flat on the floor, with your knees between a 90 and 110-degree angle. To set this up, raise your chair to its highest level. You should then sit fully on the seat while slowly lowering the chair until your legs are in the correct position. How high should my office chair back be? You should adjust the height of your chair back so that it supports your lower back. To do this, slide it up and down until it fits comfortably into the curve of your spine. How far back should I sit in my chair? You should sit with your back resting comfortably against the back cushion. There should be a gap of around 5cm between the edge of the seat and you calves. If this gap is too large or small, adjust the seat depth or glide of your chair to properly position yourself in the chair. How high should my office chair armrests be? Your armrests should sit so that they just touch your elbow when your arm hangs by your side with a 90-degree angle at the elbow. To set this up, drop your armrests to their lowest level. You should then sit with your arms hanging loosely by your sides, before bending your elbows to a 90-degree angle. You should then raise the chair arms so that they just make contact with your elbows. How should I set up my office chair posture settings? Posture settings typically vary depending on the task being performed in the chair. You should typically set posture settings to ensure maximum comfort during your day to day tasks while ensuring that your proportional adjustments are still effective. How else can I make my workday more comfortable? While a well-adjusted office chair can make a massive difference to your working day, it is also important to keep moving through the day. It can be a good idea to perform some office chair workouts, for example. Another alternative is to look into height-adjustable desks!