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A photo of a black office chair
A black chair

A good chair is a key factor in setting up an ergonomically correct work area. Since ergonomics is the study of adapting the workplace to fit the worker and the tasks involved, it is very important to choose a chair that fits you well and provides the necessary support to maintain good posture for extended periods of time at work.

It’s not always necessary to spend a lot of money on a chair but it is important to find a chair with the most adjustability in your price range. The most important adjustable features are:

  1. Seat Height: even the most basic chair can usually be adjusted up and down to accommodate for the various heights of the user and the work area. It’s something to consider for home if extended periods of time are spent at a computer instead of using a nonadjustable chair such as a kitchen chair.
  2. Seat Depth: Seat depth is considered appropriate if the seat fully supports the legs but ends about 2 to 3 inches behind the bend in the knee. This adjustment is especially important for people with longer or shorter than average legs.
  3. Lumbar Support:Having an adjustable lumbar support ensures that the lower back is properly supported in order to maintain good posture. If the lumbar support is not positioned correctly by being either too high or too low, it can actually cause bad posture. The lumbar support can be adjusted independently on some chairs and on others it is adjusted by moving the height of the chair back up or down.
  4. Adjustable arms: Chair arms should be adjusted to allow for a 90 degree bend in the elbows. They should be high enough to avoid having to lean forward but not so high that they cause the shoulders to elevate. Being able to lower the arms can also make it easier to move the chair closer to the desk to avoid excessive reaching.

Other features that allow for even more adjustability are seat tilt and back tilt. While these features may give even more options for adjusting the chair they are not as critical in maintaining good posture as the ones listed above.

Remember, no matter how well your chair fits you, it’s still a good idea to get up and move around throughout the day!