Correct Height for Your Chair

   This post has been quality checked in line with our Editorial and Research Policy.

Correct Height for Your Chair

As I teach ergonomics at companies, I am surprised to find out that the question of ‘ideal’ chair height is always brought up.  What is the ideal office chair height? Is there even one? Well, I’ve conducted a very in-depth study on this topic by testing over a hundred clients, and I’ll share with you what I found.

As a general rule, the highest point of your chair should allow your feet to rest flat on the floor, and your seat height at a level where your hips are above your knees.  Your knees should not be bent beyond 90 degrees. 

It turns out that from an ergonomic viewpoint, there is an ideal chair height that minimizes the negative effects on your thighs, shoulders, neck and even arms as you are working.

The 5 Basics on Getting Seat Height Right

ideal seat height

  1. Your two feet are effortlessly touching the floor 
  2. Feet should be directly under or ahead of your knees
  3. If you’re working on the computer, your forearms should be 2-3cm higher than the desk, with your elbows assuming a 90 degrees angle at the side of your trunk.
  4. The backrest of your seat should have a 5cm gap between the edge of your leg and the edge of your seat pan with your back firmly against the backrest.
  5. Your seat angle should have a forward tilt option. A 110-degree angle is best.  As such, your hips should be 8-10cm higher than your knees. If your chair does not tilt forward, sit on a seat wedge with the thicker part toward the back of the chair.

Office Chair Tips

Where to Place Feet

It’s straightforward if you’re already seated in your chair. Make sure your two feet touch the floor completely and your knees are directly over or in front of your feet by adjusting the height lever. 

  • Seats that are too low create pressure points because they reduce the surface area
  • Seats that are too high can cause problems with circulation.

You can additionally figure out the best seat height if you stand in front of the chair and adjust the height until the top of the seat is just below your knee.

How to Set Seat Angle 

You should be able to tilt your chair forward. Most decent ergonomic office chairs have this feature. If your chair doesn’t have this, use a seat wedge.  Why do I recommend this?  

seat angle adjustment office chair

  • Your body slumps backwards when your knees are at a 90-degree angle or higher and makes your thoracic and spinal pressure worse and you can’t breathe as easily.
  • Sitting with your hips above your knees relieves back strain and allows your body to relax by rotating your pelvis forward, thus restoring the normal curves in your spine. Remember, in a slumped position, your natural spinal curves will be reversed.

Here’s what you need to know:

Where to Place Arms

You also need to make sure your forearms are at the right height when sitting at a desk since forearms are the last part of the equation to get the perfect seat height.

where to place arms

Raise your seat height so your elbows form a 90-degree open-angle with elbows at your side. Just raise the height of your desk so your forearms are 2-3cm higher and parallel with the desk.

You will be less likely to suffer a breakdown if your shoulders and wrists are relaxed with the appropriate seat height. Therefore, arm fatigue is reduced greatly and breakdowns are decreased as well.

How to Make Your Chair Higher

adjustable seat height

There are 2 simple ways:

  1. The simplest and safest solution for increasing the seat height of the chair may be to add a seat cushion. I would suggest using a good quality latex cushion, which provides both a cushion and resiliency.
  2. Your office chair can be adjusted to your perfect height by replacing the gas cylinder.  These cylinders come in various sizes and are simple to install.

What Is the Standard Desk Chair Height?

A seat height that is 43 to 56cm off the ground is ideal for most people. You can find out what works best for you by setting your chair just below your knee when you are standing. This will allow your feet to be on the floor with them under or in front of your knees.

standard desk height

If you do not fall in the 43-56cm range, simply replace your gas cylinder.  These cylinders come in various sizes and they are really easy to install.

What Is the Standard Chair Height?

A good distance between tabletop and chair is about 30cm. Standard Height Chairs – A standard table is 75cm tall, so the standard chair seat is about 45cm off the ground. 

What Should Armrests Height Be?

  • While sitting, the armrest is at the right height when your elbows are resting so that your upper, middle and lower arms form a right angle. 
  • Armrests should be two to three centimeters higher than the desk. 
  • You can control your desk’s height with adjustable desks. 
  • Alternatively, something can be placed under a low table. 
  • It will be necessary to adjust the seat height if the table is too high. 
  • The use of a footrest can be helpful if none of the advice above works.

Table Height Guideline

The correct height of the table should incorporate the following:

  • Your table should be elevated so that your elbows and upper arms hang loosely on the table.
  • When the tabletop is too low, the spine is forced into an incorrect curvature. 
  • When the table is set too high, the shoulders are pushed upwards and the neck and neck muscles become tense.

Sitting Can Hurt Your Health?

Almost every day people sit, leading to an excessive one-sided strain on their backs, inconvenient pain and difficulties in concentrating.  There is an alternative that allows you to adjust the height of your desk. By using this office furniture, you may work alternately while sitting or standing, which improves your overall health.

woman with low back pain

In general, the best advice is to keep moving. Remember, movement is medicine!  The best posture is a moving posture.  Get a timer that goes off every 20 minutes to remind you to stand and stretch.

Get Working Environment Right

As the workspace is already created, you can take care of the surroundings. In this case, tiny changes can make a big difference. 

get work station right

  • Sufficient fresh air 
  • Natural lighting increases the concentration capacity. 
  • The walls should be decorated in soothing earth tone colors.
  • The furniture arrangement, including a standing workstation, encourages movement throughout the day.
  • Personal objects and plants give the room its own touch.
  • Green plants also contribute to better air quality and add life to your workstation.
  • Comfortable room climate in the office.
  • Install a blue blocker on all of your monitor screens.

Takeaway

When it comes to office chairs, the height of your seat is important for both comfort and productivity. To help you find that sweet spot between being too low or too high, I’ve provided some guidelines in this blog post on proper chair heights. For more information (and a helpful infographic), visit  my blog at www.axialchairs.com

  1. Demura, S. and Yamada, T., 2007. Height of chair seat and movement characteristics in sit-to-stand by young and elderly adults. Perceptual and motor skills, 104(1), pp.21-31.  
  2. Kuo, Y.L., 2013. The influence of chair seat height on the performance of community-dwelling older adults’ 30-second chair stand test. Ageing clinical and experimental research, 25(3), pp.305-309.    
  3. Mazzà, C., Benvenuti, F., Bimbi, C. and Stanhope, S.J., 2004. Association between subject functional status, seat height, and movement strategy in sit‐to‐stand performance. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52(10), pp.1750-1754.
**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

 

Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Share This