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Proper sitting position when working in the office is surprisingly important; sitting incorrectly can cause long-term problems with your spine, wrists, and muscles throughout your body, as well as affecting blood pressure and other health indicators. The best office chair under $200 can help.
Check out more office chair reviews to learn all about them and find the best one for you.
So, if you spend several hours or more working at a desk during the day, you need to know how to sit correctly. You also need to know how to adjust your office chair. The best office chairs can help with your posture, but they can only do so much. So let us help out with a guide on how to sit correctly in an office chair. And to that end, never discount a standing desk, as it can bring not only physical but mental wellness that extends far beyond the workplace. If you want your office chair to be more comfortable, you might be interested in our guide to the Darma smart cushion.
It’s okay if not all these measurements pan out precisely. A lot depends on your body type, and if you’re the type of person who prefers measurements to all this body-to-desk stuff, here are some figures for you. The seat of the chair should be around 16-21 inches off the floor. The seat should be between 17 to 20 inches wide, and there should be around one inch between the back of your knees and the edge of the seat in most positions. The backrest should be 12 to 19 inches wide. Tilt, height, and angles should be adjustable wherever possible.
Our advice on a healthy chair position is general on purpose so that it can apply to most people. However, not everyone has a “general” body shape. Particularly tall or short people may have more unique problems as they try to follow this advice. So if your height has you saying, “Wait, this tip just doesn’t work for me,” we have some more particular advice on how to select an office chair.
Taller people: If your knees are scraping the desk surface, it’s time to find a new desk: your knees are worth it, and choosing a higher desk is by far the most effective way to solve your position problems. Chair adjustments can only do so much. We also suggest you look in particular for chairs that have high backs with extra neck support, which is often more important for taller people. Pay attention, however, to how high you can adjust the seat height, as this can vary between chairs.
Shorter people: Focus first on matching the height of the chair to the height of the desk with all desk-related tips – keeping your wrists straight, elbows at 90 degrees, lining your eyes up with the middle of the monitor, etc. Learn how to raise an office chair higher and meet these posture goals. Then take a look at your legs and see what you can do. A footrest will probably be required to avoid knee problems and a hunched-over stance. If you find that the chair is too deep for you even with a footrest, you may want to consider switching to a different office chair.
Your office chair seat height is also important, no matter which of these categories you fall into. You want to make sure your legs are comfortable and that your chair doesn’t impede blood flow. To learn more, read about how your office chair can affect your blood flow.
What material is best for your health and safety? Fortunately, there’s a lot of room to pick your favorite material here: the important thing is that the chair has at least some padding.
Of course, there are pros and cons to every option. Foam and pleather are common, but they can also be sweaty on hot days and may start cracking or tearing as time goes by (this is even more true of more delicate real leather). Fabric weaves and mesh are more durable and breathable, but they aren’t usually as comfortable and tend to be harder to clean. Generally, the contours and learning how to adjust an office chair are more important than padding material. Additionally, there are seats like the one in our Jaxx Pivot bean bag chair review that has different pros and cons on the material used.
If you have a specific spine problem or other issues related to posture, absolutely and always follow your doctor’s recommendation first. There are a variety of pads, footrests, and other accessories that can help you deal with a specific issue or injury, and it’s a good idea to add these supports if you sit down on the job (or while gaming) for long periods. Some chairs come with optional or built-in support for your neck and lumbar region if you’re interested in making a new purchase. If you have a particular condition or spine issue, then find out exactly what shape of chair offers the best support for you. If you have hip problems, check out the best office chairs for hip pain. Alternatively, for chairs that are well known and designed to be highly adjustable and ergonomic, check out the top Herman Miller office chairs.
It’s also considered a smart idea to get up and move around frequently when you have a chance – preferably a couple of times an hour. If sitting is a serious issue for you, consider getting a standing desk and with it a standing desk mat that allows you to work while standing during your job, while still moving back to a traditional height if someone else needs to use the desk or your legs get tired halfway through the day.