Ergonomic Seating in the Workplace

Tips on Adjusting Your Chair

Stand in front of the chair and adjust the height so that the highest point of the seat is just below your knee.

Sit upright and all the way to the back of the chair.

Sit on the chair and make sure that your knees are bent at approximately a 90-degree angle when your feet are flat on the floor.

Adjust the backrest forward and backwards as well as up and down until it fits the hollow in your lower back.

Sit upright with your arms hanging by your sides. Bend your elbows at about a right angle and adjust the armrest height until they barely touch the undersides of the elbows. Remove the armrests from the chair if the right level cannot be achieved.

Lastly, don't forget to take a quick stretch break or change position every 30 to 45 minutes. Your back, neck and shoulders will thank you for it!

A few things to consider when choosing ergonomic seating:

Seat Height Adjustability is a must - Feet should rest comfortably on the floor without pressure on the back of the thighs. The angle between the thigh and torso should not be less than 90°.
Seat Depth The seat should have a waterfall edge and be the right depth. Too short, and pressure will result on the back of the thighs, too long and the seat edge will press into the back of the knee. A seat slider is a good option to provide adjustable depth.
Seat Pan Angle Should allow the user to keep the feet flat on floor and should move proportionally to backrest angle.
Lumbar Support The backrest curve should follow the natural curve of the spine. So when purchasing, always look for an adjustable lumbar support.
Backrest Height The backrest needs to adequately support the back. Mid-back chairs are most popular since they allow for upper torso movement, while high-back chairs support the shoulder blades as well. Low-back chairs (<45 cm tall) are not recommended.
Backrest Angle A great adjustable feature to allow for the recommended 93°‑113° torso-to-thigh angle, plus provide a changing posture throughout the day.
Armrests Should be height adjustable between 19 & 24 cm and should naturally support the arms at the elbow and forearm with a padded surface, without the user leaning or elevating the shoulder. They should not interfere with computer work or positioning of the chair, so should be set back from the front edge of the chair 15 cm.

Find out more about Ergonomics in workplace from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: OSH Answers Fact Sheets