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Selecting a Chair

Consider your work tasks, and your body size and shape, when choosing a chair. A single size or type of chair is not appropriate for all tasks, and cannot suit all body shapes and sizes. When you sit to perform a task, your spine is most comfortable when in "neutral posture," a slightly reclined sitting position.The following adjustment options can help you maintain neutral posture.


  • Height: Seat height should adjust to allow user to sit with their feet firmly supported on the floor, or a footrest/footring.
  • Depth: The seat should support your hips and legs, and provide a 1-2" space between the front edge of the seat and the back of your knees. Sliding seat options can help you set the proper depth position.


  • Height: The backrest should support the spinefrom the top of the hips through the bottom of the shoulder blades. Some chairs have adjustable backrest and move up and down while others have an adjustable lumbar support that can move independent of the backrest. 
  • Contour: The backrest of the chair should support your upper and lower back, while allowing free arm movement. 
  • Angle: The backrest should adjust independently from the seat tilt to provide optimal support for a variety of work positions.


When taking breaks between writing or typing armrests can provide additional upper extremity support .

  • Height: If you have armrests, they should be adjustable. Your forearms should be able to rest on the armrests with your shoulders relaxed.
  • Width: Inward and/or outward adjustment provides additional fit. This is especially important with large and small stature individuals.
  • Angle: Pivoting armrests provide additional width adjustments to match user preference.
  • Depth: Forward and backward adjustment allows users to sit closer to the desks while still providing armrest support.