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HealthSheets™

Ergonomics: Adjust Your Chair

If you sit much of the day, your chair is your main support. A well-adjusted chair improves your circulation. It also helps prevent backaches and fatigue. You can increase your comfort by adjusting the chair's backrest position and height to fit your body.

Backrest

  • Sit at your workstation, leaning back slightly with your back firmly against the chair. The backrest should fit snugly against your lower back.

  • If it doesn't, adjust the backrest until your lower back is fully supported.

  • If you can't adjust the backrest, use a small, thin, firm pillow or rolled-up towel to support your lower back.

Chair height

Arm Position

  • Place your fingers on the keyboard's middle row of letters. Your upper arms should hang comfortably at your sides. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor.

  • If they are not, adjust your chair height until your forearms are parallel to the floor.

Leg position

  • Keep your knees at or below the level of your hips. It may help to slide your feet forward until your knees are at a 90- to 110-degree angle. Your feet should rest firmly on the floor. There should be 3 to 6 inches of legroom between your lap and desk or keyboard tray.

  • If you have less than 3 inches of legroom, try to raise your desk or keyboard tray height.

  • If you can't adjust your chair height and your feet don't reach the floor, use something as a foot rest. A box or binder can work. If you wear flat shoes, a level surface works best. If you wear heels, a slanted surface is better.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.