Benefits Bulletin

Chair Ergonomics

June 19, 2018

Benefits Team

Good computer posture is important and your chair plays a major role.  Sitting is actually harder on your back than standing.  You should be able to adjust your chair height, seat pan depth, and tilt.  Follow these simple steps to adjust your chair.

  1. Adjust the seat pan height so that your feet rest comfortably flat on the floor or use a footrest and your knees are slightly lower than your hips.

  2. Adjust the seat pan depth so that there is a 2-4 inch gap between the back of your knees and the front edge of the chair when you back is against the chair.

  3. Adjust the height of the back of the chair so that the curve of the chair back fits into the deepest part of the curve in your lower back. You may need a lumbar back support.

  4. Adjust the tilt of the back of the chair so that the back of the chair is upright or tilted back for comfort.

  5. Adjust the armrests so that they are slightly below your elbows when your shoulders are relaxed, your arms hang comfortably at your sides and armrests do not interfere with access to keying, the mouse, or writing surfaces.

You may need to adjust the height of your chair every day, depending upon the job task, and the shoes you are wearing (the higher the heels, the higher the chair will be raised).  If the seat pan height is changed, the keyboard and monitor will need to be adjusted as well.

Follow the “20/20/20 Rule”

  • Work for 20 minutes.

  • Take a 20 second break.

  • Look away from your work – at last 20 feet away.

Department of Industrial Relations
Cal/OSHA Consultation Service

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