First, realize that the chair is the most adjustable part of the desk set up. Usually the height of the desk is somewhat fixed. For this reason, it is very important to select a chair that can be adjusted to your specific body type and home office setup.
What Are Your Goals When Selecting a Chair?
Goal 1– Stability Of Trunk: Pelvis (hips) should be stable in the chair with hips at a little less then 90 degrees of flexion (Bend). Knees should be lower than hips by a little(10 degrees or so). Feet should be flat on floor.
Goal 2– Upper Arm Support: The shoulder blades support the weight of the arms by attaching the arms to the trunk. A lumbar support helps with keeping the shoulder blades down and in place to hold the weight of the arms by the trunk; however, the lumbar support must hit your body at the waist. You can add this to the chair afterwards. The forearms should be supported either on the desk or on the arm rests. We do not want to rest on the elbow, due to a nerve at the elbow being quite superficial.
Checklist For Home Office Chair
- Adjustable height
- Seat pan should fit under thighs to 3 fingers back from bent knees
- Seat pan should not have excessive space on either side of the pelvis.
- Lumbar support if reaches at waist, can be add on if the chair does not fit you like that.
- Back of chair should come up past shoulder blades, so upper back is supported when you lean back.
- Arm rests should be adjustable up and down and swivel in and out. This is so you can use them for forearm support. If they don’t, make sure that they will fit under your desk or that you can take them off so that they do not hit the desk.
Get a Workplace Ergonomics Assessment
Home office ergonomics and computer ergonomics can be complicated. You may want help choosing the products that are best for you. An ergonomic workplace assessment can be helpful in identifying not only the best products for you, but also the best set-up for reducing pain and injury.
If you are interested in a workplace ergonomics assessment from LB Hand Therapy more information on this service can be found here.