Adjusting your office furniture chairs is not always easy, especially if it has multiple levers that different things. Here is a quick look on how to adjust an office chair to best suit you for comfort and productivity.
We have three office furniture chairs in our home, and they are all used since it is where we work. Recently, a friend was over who commented on the comfort of one of our chairs. He said his wasn't bad, but that he really liked this chair. Later, my husband wondered if he was hoping for a swap and I just laughed. I told my husband that I had sat in this friends' chair, and that it was terrible! It almost threw me backwards. Now, that chair that he liked is the one the kids use, and is not a very expensive chair, but it is ergonomic so it offers some great adjustability.
This got me thinking, I also have an adjustable, ergonomic chair, but I have no idea how to adjust it. I sit in it every day, it feels fine and I figure it must be ok because I do not have any back issues after a long day. However, I know that there must be things that I can do to make my chair better suited for me. So I did a bit of research, and this is what I discovered.
The first and main adjustment, which is available on all office furniture chairs, is the height. Your chair should be adjusted so that your feet rest flat on the floor, or comfortably on a footrest if you happen to be a bit shorter than average.
I read that the best position for the seat should be such that your thighs are pointing slightly downwards. If you feel like you are being tipped out of your chair, then it is too much. The angle between your legs and hips should be just over 90 degrees. You have to remember that everybody needs their chair adjusted differently to fit them. I am content with the angle of my seat, but my spouse has that "being tipped out of the chair" feeling when he sits in it. So it is a good thing that he has his own chair!
Some office furniture chairs have an adjustable back rest or lumbar support. Your lower back should be in contact with the back of the chair, this gives your lumbar region good support. Besides adjusting the lumbar support, others will also have (or offer instead) the ability to adjust the height of the back of the chair. I wasn't sure if mine had this, but when I took a second look, I realized that the knob I was messing with a few minutes ago (and couldn't figure out) loosened the back of the chair so that it could be raised. I had it in the lowest possible position, so nothing happened before when I loosened it. The raising and lowering of the back allows you to place the lumbar area of the chair in the correct position, therby allowing you to maintain the natural curve of your spine.
Some office furniture chairs also allow you to adjust the seat depth. I was just looking at my chair and realized that I can do this. This lever is placed in the front of the chair so that I can just reach under, give it a little pull and the seat will slide back and forth. If you are sitting on your chair properly, with your back against the backrest and your feet on the floor, you should be able to place a fist between the back of your legs and the front of the chair. I had to push my seat back a bit to achieve this spacing and it will take a little bit to get used to, but it does feel better overall.
If you have arm rests, which I don't, they should be placed so that your arms are at a right angle or slightly more when at rest.
Some adjustments seem so obvious, because a chair just isn't comfortable when the position is wrong. But other adjustments are more subtle and you may not notice a real difference until you have to sit all day. So, we have now readjusted the office furniture chairs in our house. Hopefully it will make us more productive and comfortable, and hopefully this information will help you too.