Setting up your task chair
Set up your task chair to ensure it is a suitable fit and provides optimal comfort and support by following these steps:
- Set your backrest. You should do this while seated in your chair. If you are not able to reach the lever without awkwardly twisting, ask a colleague to assist.
- Set your backrest height. The pronounced, outward curve of the back support should sit firmly in the inward lumbar curve of your lower back, centered about navel height. There should be a gap, approximately the size of your fist, between the seat pan and the backrest.
- Set the backrest angle. The recommended backrest angle is approximately 100°. That is, a slight recline position, allowing an open angle at the hips.
- Adjust your seat pan. The seat pan should be relatively flat, or horizontal. The depth should accommodate the length of your thighs, with only 1-3 fingers' width clearance between the front edge of the seat and the back of your knees when sitting right back into the chair.
- Set your seat height. The seat height should allow your shoulders to adopt a relaxed, symmetrical position and allow your elbows to be positioned slightly higher than the desk height. Generally, the desk height should be level with your navel.
Use the task seating sizing guide for more information on choosing the correct chair.
Office chair problems and solutions
Common problems with desk chair set up include:
- Problem: the seat depth is inadequate and does not provide adequate support for your thigh length.
Solution: your seat depth should accommodate your thigh length. If you have longer thighs, you may need a deeper seat pan. If you have shorter thighs, you may need a shallower seat.
- Problem: you sit forward in your seat because the seat puts pressure behind your knees.
Solution: your seat is too deep. You should have approximately 1-3 fingers' width between the back of your knees and the front of the chair when sitting back.
- Problem: your seat is not wide enough.
Solution: choose a chair with a seat that extends approximately 2cm either side of your hips.
- Problem: your seat is not padded enough, has bottomed out, or does not provide enough cushioning.
Solution: choose a new office chair with adequate cushioning.
- Problem: you chair rolls away when used on non-carpeted floors.
Solution: fit your chair with glides of pressure lock castors, instead of standard castors.
- Problem: your chair is the wrong height.
Solution: adjust your chair so that your feet are firmly placed on the ground, and not tucked back onto the chair base.
- Problem: your chair has faulty adjustment mechanisms.
Solution: ensure chairs are inspected periodically.
- Problem: your backrest is in the incorrect position.
Solution: position your backrest so that it is firmly positioned in the inward curved section of your lower back.
- Problem: armrests interfere with your access to the workstation.
Solution: remove the armrests.
Please note: If anything is hung (coat, scarf, bag, etc) over the back of your task chair, please ensure that it does not interfere with the mechanics of the chair or impede your posture in any way.