Most of us work at computer workstations today which can lead to neck and back discomfort. Having properly set up a computer task chair can go a long way in helping support a proper posture, which in turn leads to less neck and back pain. Here are some tips if you are experiencing discomfort in your work chair.
Set the proper chair height – If the seat is too high or too low, it can lead to increased pressure in the spine leading to increased back pain. Most people have the seat too high, because desk heights are designed for clearance for very tall people. So most people shorter than 6’4″, have to make some form of accommodation. The proper height encourage a 90-95 degree bend at the knee with feet flat on the floor.
Adjust Seat Pan Depth – Some chairs have a seat pan that can be adjusted to provide proper leg clearance so that the person can sit all the way back in the chair to be able to properly use the lumbar support. The proper distance between the front edge of the seat pan and back of the leg (just below the knee) should be about 2 finger widths deep. If seat pan doesn’t adjust and the clearance is not enough, purchasing a separate lumbar cushion can help make up the difference.
Adjust Lumbar Support – Most people set the lumbar support too low. The lumbar support should be high enough that you feel it just under the lower part of the rib-cage in the back. The back rest should be upright and locked to encourage about a 95 degree angle at the hip.
Adjust the Armrests – The armrests on the chair should lightly support the forearms when in proper seated posture. It is important to avoid direct contact with the elbow as this can lead to ulnar nerve irritation. Also make sure to not have to slouch or shrug your shoulders in order to use the armrests.
If you are working 80% of your day in front of a computer during the day and your chair cannot be set up to support a proper seated posture, look for a computer task chair that can be adjusted to meet your needs.