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How to Use an Ergonomic Chair Correctly

C.M. Mackenzie

Black, leather ergonomic chair

Ergonomic chairs support the back and legs for optimal posture. Sitting improperly for long hours places strain on the spine and legs, which can cause pain. Ergonomic chairs are designed to minimize strain and prevent pain and other health problems associated with poor sitting posture. The chairs work best when they are adjusted and used correctly. Improper use of even the best ergonomic chairs mitigates their effectiveness. You'll see and feel the best results only if you use your ergonomic chair correctly.

Using an Ergonomic Chair:

  1. Familiarize yourself with all the special features of your ergonomic chair. Most chairs have several levers or buttons that adjust features such as chair height and lumbar support.

  2. Place a floor mat on carpeted floors so the chair moves easily. Dragging or pushing the chair across carpet while sitting in the chair can produce unnecessary strain on the chair and your body.

  3. Adjust the seat height, using the appropriate lever or button. You should adjust the height to allow your feet to rest flat on the floor without any strain on your legs. Take time to find the optimum height.

  4. Align the lumbar support to the position of most comfort for you. For most chairs, this means raising or lowering the backrest. Many ergonomic chairs also have a lever or button which will press the lumbar support slightly forward for those who sit closer to the edge of the seat.

  5. Make other adjustments, if necessary. What feels good at first may not feel right later. Also, keep the chair well-maintained. Check the bolts and screws occasionally to make sure they have not loosened. Check casters and clean them when necessary; casters may collect debris that will prevent them from moving smoothly.

Tips and warnings:

  1. If your office chair has armrests, adjust these as well. Poorly positioned armrests can cause arm and shoulder strain.

  2. The chair seat should not press uncomfortably against the backs of your knees. If this occurs, you need to adjust the seat differently.

  3. Avoid adjusting the height of chairs, including pneumatic chairs, too frequently. Frequent adjustments wear out the chairs more quickly. For the same reason, and for safety reasons, do not let children play on these chairs.

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