Adjust your office chair

Do you spend your time in an office on a chair? Do you work from home on an office chair? Does your city have an office chair-based transit system?

Adjusting the ergonomics of your office chair keeps you comfortable throughout the day, and reduces the likelihood of you giving up work because the shape of your skeleton is all wrong.

Objectively bad line drawing of person hunched up on a chair

How to adjust your office chair

The following advice is copied and pasted directly from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. It applies solely to adjustable office chairs. Do not attempt to adjust non-adjustable chairs without the relevant woodworking knowledge and resources.

  1. Stand in front of the chair. Adjust the height so the highest point of the seat, (when in the horizontal position), is just below the knee cap.

  2. Sit on the chair and keep your feet flat on the floor.

  3. Check that the clearance between the front edge of the seat and the lower part of the legs (your calves) fits a clenched fist (about 5 cm or 2 inches).

  4. Adjust the back rest forwards and backwards as well as up and down so that it fits the hollow in your lower back.

  5. Sit upright with your arms hanging loosely by your sides. Bend your elbows at about a right angle (90 degrees) and adjust the armrest(s) height until they barely touch the undersides of the elbows.

  6. Remove the armrests from the chair if this level can not be achieved or if armrests, in their lowest adjustment, elevate your elbows even slightly.

  7. Tilt the seat itself forwards or backwards if you prefer.