Office Chair Posture: How to Adjust and Sit Correctly

6th March 2018

The importance of desk posture

When it comes to having a desk job, your office chair is one of the biggest factors in a good working environment. Bad posture and an uncomfortable office chair can result in injury, general bad mood and low employee morale. If a worker is constantly uncomfortable, their work will reflect this. Of course, aches and pains can also result in days off - not good for office productivity! This is why it's so important to make sure your chair is adjusted correctly. Not only that, but checking your posture and seating position is also key. There are several factors you can run through to ensure your office chair is working for you! In this blog post, we'll discuss these points so hopefully by the end you'll feel a little more prepared to tackle your desk discomfort.

How you should be sitting at your desk

First things first, we need to run through the correct posture. Bear in mind, there is no one 'perfect' position that will allow you to sit comfortably all day long. It is important to get up and move around at least every hour to reduce muscle fatigue and improve circulation. However, that said, there is an 'ideal' position that minimises pressure on your joints. Of course, this is what we want to achieve! Follow these steps to ensure you're sitting comfortably for long periods of time:

  • Make sure your thighs are parallel to the floor
  • Correct any position that puts too much pressure on joints or pressure points
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor (on similarly, on a footrest)
  • Ensure your angles aren't too firm - 90 degrees isn't always the most comfortable! (Keep your joints at just over 90 degrees for a natural position).
  • Continually adjust your chair or posture to suit you throughout the day

Once you have mastered the correct way to sit, you can start to adjust your chair's starting position to attain your most ideal posture.

Adjusting your office chair

All office chairs might be slightly different but our guide is a general overview of adjusting the average chair. We'll run through several pointers to cover all bases but of course, you might have to pick and choose which ones you can use depending on your individual office chair. Here are the ways you can adjust your chair to get the most out of your posture:

  • Clear the path between your desk and chair - ensure there are no obstacles that might prevent your wheels rolling smoothly or stop you positioning your chair in front of your computer
  • Ensure that the seat height is correct - it's easier to start at the highest and work downwards so that your feet are on the floor and your knees are at a (roughly) 90-degree angle
  • Adjust the lumbar support so your lower back is as comfortable as possible
  • Unlock the recline feature every now and then to allow the chair to move with your body, a slight recline is always better than a pencil-straight position
  • Adjust the armrest so that your arms are in the most comfortable position for your particular working style. It may be beneficial, if possible, to lower or move armrests when not in use to give arms more freedom.

If your office chair is not adjustable, there are a few ways you can achieve your ideal posture. Perhaps your chair is too low - try sitting on a soft cushion to give you more height if you can't adjust this easily. You could also use a footrest if your chair is too high and your feet don't rest on the floor. There are other alternatives for this; perhaps use a firm, level book. If there is too much pressure on your knees due to a deep seat width, place a pillow between your back and the chair's backrest. This can force your posture into a more comfortable position.

Overview

Generally, you need to ensure that there is minimal pressure on any of your joints for the optimum posture. Keeping your feet flat on the floor and thighs parallel to the ground is also paramount to a comfortable position. As we have discussed, there are many ways to adjust your chair and seating position! It may be a case of trial and error, but once you have mastered the correct posture, you will likely see a great increase in your morale and attitude towards work.

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