How To Adjust Your Office Chair

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Updated November 29, 2022

No matter how much you spend on your office chair, $2000. or $50., or if you get the best office chair under $300, if you don’t properly set up your chair by adjusting it, it isn’t helping your body. For your next chair, you might also want to consider PU leather vs bonded leather when making your selection. Adjusting your chair to perfection is important for your posture when sitting in it for hours while working. Any decent office chair will let you adjust the height, armrests, seat depth, and recline to your body so that you’re comfortable, such as the top-rated office chair. So let’s look at how to adjust your office chair. If this guide still doesn’t work, take a look at how to fix an office chair that won’t stay up. If your heart is set on a recliner, take a look at this list to find the best reclining office chair for your space. Alternatively, if you have ever wondered if gaming chairs are good for your back, we have an excellent article for that as well.

How To Adjust Your Office Chair

The first thing you should do is to look at your chair’s instruction manual or find the office chair adjustment guide online. Because adjusting an office chair isn’t as straightforward as using an adjustable desk. Many adjustable office chairs are different. Once you find this information, read on to learn how to make adjustments to get the most from your chair ergonomics. If ergonomics are important to you, consider the Smugdesk 5579 ergonomic office chair or perhaps the Ticova ergonomic office chair instead. Or, if you’d rather stand, take a look at our Ergotron Workfit Sit and Stand workstation review.

Adjust Your Office Chair Height

It’s easy to adjust your ergonomic office chair’s height. While sitting on the chair adjust the height of the chair so that you keep your feet flat on the ground and your legs are positioned at a 90-degree angle. Your knees should line up with or be lower than your hips. After using it for a time, you can decide if you need any other small backrest height adjustments or seat height tweaks. This is just a small part of proper workplace ergonomics. Once you’ve got your chair at the right height, you’ll need to know how to sit correctly in an office chair.

Adjust Seat Depth

Some ergonomic chairs let you adjust the seat depth. If you have a chair like this, it works similarly to how it works in your car. There’s typically a button or switch underneath the seat. Just sit and keep your feet flat on the floor, making sure that the distance between the front edge of the seat and your calves is the size of your fist. The front of the seat should not be pushed against the back of your knees. If that happens, slide the seat back. If you have too much room and there is more than a fist full of space, slide the seat forward. If you have had your chair for a while and the seat is losing some cushion, you can check out the best office chair cushion, to add some more comfort.

Adjust Your Arm Rests

The armrests are just as important as the other adjustments on your office chair. They should be adjusted so that they are at elbow height while your shoulders are relaxed. Your arms should also be at a 90-degree angle for proper posture. If your armrests are too high, you will be uncomfortable, but if they are too low, it causes you to slouch. If the arms on your chair are able to slide in or out, you want to move them so they support you. You may prefer one position when typing on the keyboard, but another when you’re working with a mouse more.

Tilt Tension And Recline Are Important

Properly reclining in a chair can take the pressure off of your body, especially your spine, helping relieve any back, neck, shoulder, hip, and leg pain. If your adjustable chair has a tilt-limiter adjuster, or tension knob, lean back to the desired position and lock it in place with the tilt lock. True recline can range from as little as 20 to as much as 180 degrees. It is generally thought that around 110 degrees are a good rule of thumb for regular mouse and keyboard tasks. Shifting positions through the days helps as well. And if you ever run into the problem of your chair feeling like it is leaning, we have a great guide on how to fix an office chair that leans forward.

Lumbar Support

Your chair may have lumbar support, though not every model does. The lumbar support is usually a plastic piece on the back of the chair that can be adjusted up and down to fit into the natural curve of your spine. You can adjust the amount of pressure it puts on your spine, so move it until it is comfortable so that you don’t have too much pressure.

Now that you know how to adjust your office chair, over time, you may have to adjust these things again if your comfort level changes. This chair adjustment guide will let you get things adjusted quickly so you can have the proper office chair adjustment and enjoy your office chair as comfortably as possible, knowing that you have the best chair for lower back pain.

How to Adjust Your Office Chair FAQ

What should I consider when selecting a chair?

First, consider your height and the height of your desk since not all office chairs offer the same height adjustment range. Also, look for good lumbar support and a waterfall seat edge to prevent pressure on the back of your legs.

How do I adjust a chair for my height?

Ideally, when seated at your desk your chair should be at a height that your feet can comfortably rest flat on the floor and your arms are just above the height of your desk.

How do I know if my chair is adjusted properly?

If your chair is adjusted properly, you shouldn’t experience premature fatigue throughout your neck, back, shoulders, hips, and legs. But most importantly, you should be able to maintain the natural curve in your spine, and have your feet rest flat on the floor.