Office Ergonomics – Adjusting Your Chair
One of the most important things when you are working in the office is to actually have your chair set up properly. Most comfortable chairs today actually have a lot of adjustability in them. First thing that you want to do is adjust the chair for the height.
Ergonomic Chair Height adjustment
You do that by sitting in the chair to lower it and stand away from the chair in order to raise it. Once you have set up yourself properly at the desk with your keyboard and everything is in the correct neutral posture then you want to look down and see at that point if your feet are actually flat on the floor. If they’re not then what you can do is simply introduce a foot rest, otherwise if your feet are flat on the floor that is just as high as the knees need to be. You do not want the knees to be raised on the footrest higher than the hips because that can increase the load of the spine. So height it is the first thing that you take care with the chair.
Chair Backrest adjustment
The other thing you want to ensure is that the backrest is supportive of your spine when you’re typing, reading and writing. During times when you’re actually conversing with someone or on the phone, for a change of posture, most chairs now have a switch (lever) at the back or under the chair that allows you to lean back into the chair. You can change how much force it requires (tension) to do that by simply turning the knob if present, to a clockwise or anticlockwise position. Sometimes that knob is present in the front of the chair so look for any the knobs on your chair and make sure that you change it so that it is easy to lean back into the seat. Once you’re working again you can flip that switch and make sure that you’ve got good supported posture into the back of the chair and then continue to work.
Armrest height and width adjustment
The other thing that can be adjusted on most chairs is the height of the armrests. This should be used as much as you can throughout the day. By virtue of using the armrests, the trapezius muscles located on the back of your neck / shoulders are actually in a relaxed posture, and there’s less work required. By not having the arm-resting place, often people tend to shrug the shoulders, which means that these muscles are starting to work statically which is more difficult. So adjust the armrest and most armrests have adjustments for the width where you can move the armrests in or out. The armrests should be set in a position so that when you place the arms in a neutral hanging posture on the side your body then there the armrest should meet the forearm. You should not bend on the side while resting your forearm on the armrest.
Reduce stress on your back by swinging
Most chairs also have a rocking motion that creates what is called dynamic movement when you are sitting. Therefore, rather than sitting statically all day this allows nourishment, blood flow etc. to the muscles and it allows for change of posture throughout the day. To make sure you get to know all of the different adjustments in your chair you should try the different adjustments and you should be making these adjustments through the day. This isn’t just find the one adjustment and stay like that forever. It should be that you adjust your chair for example when you are going to make a phone call and be on the phone for a while or when you have a meeting with someone. Just quickly flip the switches and then change your posture.
Generally, through the day you also want to make sure you reach your behind into the back of the chair so that you are well supported. Most people tend to perch on a front of their chairs to work which creates a static load on the spine. Therefore, you want this spine to always be supported into the back the chair. Let the chair do the work for you.