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Fitting People to Chairs

Chair Height:

Begin adjusting chair with feet flat on the ground so that people can easily go through all adjustments.

Feet must be flat on the ground. The feet, knees, and hips

must be slightly higher/equal to a 90-degree angle.



Proper Seat Depth:

Two to four fingers space between the back of the knee and the front of the chair provide proper thigh support and will

help to prevent varicose veins and increases blood circulation.

(A proper seat depth helps alleviate any back muscles from pulling or adding body tension to the back while seated.)

Remember to re-seat people after each adjustment. (This method will always guarantee a best fit after any adjustment.)


Back Height Adjustment:

Full contact with the low back is key to a comfortable fit. An easy way to locate the low back area is to place the palm

of your hand at your waist, fingers facing down, along the spine at the center of the back. General location is between your waist and hips.

Welcome To The Small Of Your Back!

Lower the chair back so that there is full contact and support for the lower back.

The goal of getting a chair with a higher back is to make sure that you get as much contact with the seat back as possible

for as many of your daily tasks as possible. Notice what part of your back you feel supported and at what point your back leaves the chair back.

When desiring a higher back chair, make sure the upper area of the chair provides full contact without rounding the shoulders.

To self assess the best fit, use a long mirror so that you can look at the relationship of your body to the chair including:

hips and knees, how much of the seat is being used, how high your shoulder might be from placement of arm height,

and how much of your back is being supported.

Back Angle Adjustment:

You may want the back angle to be in a more casual, open position for tasks such as meetings and telephone calls,

while computer entry and paper work may be best suited for a more "formal" or upright chair position.

Again, the goal is to get as much of the back supported during each task.

Lumbar Adjustment:

Ideally, the ability to increase or decrease the lumbar adjustment can take the chair comfort level up several notches.

If low back pain is an issue, the lumbar adjustment may be of major importance.

Seat Rocking:

Another key adjustment is the ability to rock. You want to feel safe and secure in your chair while rocking,

and at the same time it needs to be a fluid, easy movement. Tightening or loosening the tension adjustment can be the

difference between relaxing in your chair, feeling stiff in your chair and really having to work your back muscles to

get any back movement (loosen adjustment) or feeling that the chair rock is out of control and

you feel like you may keel over (tighten adjustment).


Seat Tilt:

Using the seat is a good solution to alleviate lower back discomfort, especially while doing longer stints at the

keyboard or completing paperwork. A slight angle may be all you need. This will take the pressure off the

tail bone and distribute the body weight to your sitz bones and re-align your spine from your tail bone to the top of your head.

You will notice that your shoulders relax and you may experience it easier to breathe (an important thing to do during the business of the day).

When seated with the tilt, be sure and raise your seat height one half to one inch. This will take the pressure off your thighs and then reseat yourself.

A more radical angle may work well for you, even though some people feel they are sliding out of the chair.

It's good to experiment with positioning, but above all, listen to your body. Again, when seated with the tilt,

be sure and raise your seat height one half to one inch. This will take the pressure off your thighs and then reseat yourself.

Arm Height:

The arm rest height should be set so you feel even pressure on your forearm rather than prominent pressure at the wrist area or elbow area.

The shoulder should be at a relaxed position-not too high so that it is pushed up into your ears and not too low so that it is

pulling at the muscles in your neck. Ideally, the forearm should be at a 90-degree angle from the shoulders to the chair arm.

Chair Casters:

Standard casters for chairs are carpet casters. If you are on a hardwood or cement floor, consider cement casters for the

least marking up of the wooden floor. There are also breaking casters and chair glides for special needs seating.