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How to Adjust Your Office Chair

How to Adjust Your Office Chair
August 5, 2014 gnuworld

Adjust office chair

Unfortunately, office chairs sometimes fall in the same category as new entertainment systems. With people’s busy lifestyles, it may be months before they take the time to figure out how to adjust and use them properly.

You may assume that back, neck, shoulder and arm strain are just normal consequences of the stress involved in an average work day – but with a properly adjusted chair, these could be things of the past.

If you’ve got a high-quality, ergonomically designed office chair, you may not realise that you can adjust it in several different ways, beyond simply changing the height of the seat. Here we provide a simple overview of how you can adjust a K-Mark office chair to suit your size, shape and work needs.

Start by getting the height right

First compress the lever that’s on the right underside of the seat and raise the seat to its maximum height. Then sit on the seat and lower it slowly until you have both your feet comfortably flat on the floor and your thighs at just a slight downward angle in front of you.

Change the position of the seat

Depending on the office chair you’ve got, you may be able to adjust the position of the seat by sliding it in or out to suit the length of your legs. Ideally, there should be a distance of roughly 2 inches between the edge of the seat and the backs of your knees. This prevents unnecessary strain on your joints.

Not all office chairs have seats you can move in or out, but this is a particularly useful feature if you’ve got legs that are either shorter or longer than average.

Reposition the lumbar support

Once you’ve corrected the position of the seat, you may be able to reposition the back of the chair to ensure that it provides optimal support for the lumbar region at the lower part of your spine.

In other office chairs, this is unnecessary because the back of the chair adjusts automatically, tilting slightly in or out as you move around to ensure that your back is properly supported.

Irrespective of the type of office chair you have, it’s vital to ensure that it provides effective lower-back support. This is the part of the back that’s most susceptible to strain due to prolonged hours of sitting.

Adjust the armrests

The seat and back of your office chair may be just right, but if the armrests aren’t at the correct height, it’s likely you’ll put strain on your wrists, arms, shoulders and upper back.

To adjust the armrests, sit at your desk, raise the armrests and then gradually lower them so that your forearms are at a 90-degree angle to your body. Once you’ve done this, it’s a good idea to use the chair for a while and then determine whether you need to fine-tune, adjusting the height of the armrests slightly so that they perfectly suit your height and provide the optimal support.

When you’re seated at your desk, you should be able to work without raising your forearms from the armrests or significantly tilting your wrists up or down. As well as preventing strain to your hands and wrists, this will reduce the strain on your shoulder muscles and help you maintain good posture throughout the day.

Tweak the tilt tension

On some office chairs, you can control the tilt tension, which determines how easily the back of the chair tilts back or forwards as you move around. It shouldn’t be too stiff or it won’t move naturally and continue to support your back as you move – and obviously it shouldn’t be too loose, or it will flap around at the slightest pressure and you won’t feel stable on your chair.

Most well-designed office chairs are already configured to provide the right tilt tension, but it’s worth noting that sometimes this is a feature you can customize, or even just fine-tune if it gets out of sync after years of use.

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