Time and again we get asked the same question….“what is the correct ergonomic height setting for my office chair?” The answer is not that simple because it depends on two main factors, namely your height, and the type of work that you do. Because every person and their job environment is unique, the correct height for your desk, monitor and office chair will fall within a range of values.
The correct ergonomic chair, desk and monitor height for office work
If you use a desk chair doing ‘normal’ or ‘standard’ office work like writing or working on a computer, then the following guidelines are applicable for setting the correct ergonomic height for your office chair, desk and monitor.
Whether you are standing or sitting, adjust the desk, office chair and monitor so that it is at a comfortable ergonomic height. Best practices for ergonomics in the workplace.
Find out whether it is good to alternate between sitting and standing at work.
What is the correct height for your DESK, OFFICE CHAIR and MONITOR?
Every person is unique and the height ranges shown in the tables below should serve as a guide or starting point.
|Your height with shoes (cm)||Desk height -seated (cm)||Chair seat height (cm)||Monitor height – seated (cm)||Desk height – standing (cm)||Monitor height – standing (cm)|
1. Sitting at a Desk
Select your height in centimeters (cm), to determine the correct height for your DESK, CHAIR and MONITOR.
|YOUR HEIGHT WITH SHOES (CM)||DESK HEIGHT -SEATED (CM)||CHAIR SEAT HEIGHT (CM)||MONITOR HEIGHT – SEATED (CM)|
2. Standing at a Desk
Select your height with shoes in centimeters (cm), to determine the correct height for your DESK and MONITOR.
|YOUR HEIGHT WITH SHOES (CM)||DESK HEIGHT -STANDING (CM)||MONITOR HEIGHT – STANDING (CM)|
Work surface height settings for other (non-office) work
If you do non-office work at a desk or workstation, then the above height ranges may not apply.
For example, precision assembly or laboratory work typically requires a higher work surface, and heavy assembly a lower one. Industrial, Laboratory & Medical Chairs cater for this type of work.
How to correctly adjust the height of your OFFICE CHAIR, DESK and MONITOR
- The top of the armrests should be in line with the surface of the desk. In other words, just like your forearms were resting comfortably on the arm pads, they should now rest comfortably on the desk with your elbows bent at about 900.
- If your elbows are bent at an angle much greater than 900, the desk is too low. RAISE THE HEIGHT OF THE DESK.
Do not lower the chair height because you will then sit with your knees above the level of your hips which will increase the pressure in the lumbar discs and quickly result in back pain. Furthermore, you will automatically hunch your back resulting in shoulder and neck pain. This is VERY IMPORTANT. If the desk is not height adjustable, use blocks of wood, old books, reams of paper etc, to raise the height of the desk.
- If your elbows are bent at an angle much less than 900, the desk is too high. Lower the height of the desk. If the desk is not height adjustable, then RAISE THE HEIGHT OF THE CHAIR. This means that your feet will no longer be flat on the floor, so use a FOOTREST to support your feet. DO NOT let your feet dangle in the air.
- If you need to sit closer to the desk and only use the desk to support your forearms, lower the armrests so that they are under the desk when you work. Alternatively slide the arm pads backwards to allow you to sit closer to the desk.
- Adjust the height and distance of your monitor so that the top of the screen is at eye level and about an arms-length away.
- If you use 2 monitors, position them equally from you. Ergonomics in the workplace.
RELAXING IN THE CHAIR
Release the synchronous or free-float mechanism and tilt fully backwards in the chair to increase the angle between your thighs and torso. By changing this angle, you automatically stimulate, or activate numerous muscles in your lower back, core and legs. As a result, the blood flow through these muscles increases, bringing oxygen and other nutrients to the muscles and carrying away the waste products of muscle metabolism. By doing so, muscle fatigue and its associated pain is reduced, particularly in the lower back. This is known as Dynamic Sitting.