Ergonomics: Adjust Your Chair

If you sit much of the day, your chair is your main support. A well-adjusted chair improves your circulation. It also helps prevent backaches and fatigue. You can increase your comfort by adjusting the chair's backrest position and height to fit your body.

Side view of woman sitting at ergonomically correct computer workstation.


  • Sit at your workstation, leaning back slightly with your back firmly against the chair. The backrest should fit snugly against your lower back.

  • If it doesn't, adjust the backrest until your lower back is fully supported.

  • If you can't adjust the backrest, use a small, thin, firm pillow or rolled-up towel to support your lower back.

Chair height

Arm position

  • Place your fingers on the keyboard's middle row of letters. Your upper arms should hang comfortably at your sides. Your forearms should be parallel to the floor.

  • If they are not, adjust your chair height until your forearms are parallel to the floor.

Leg position

  • Keep your knees at or below the level of your hips. It may help to slide your feet forward until your knees are at a 90- to 110-degree angle. Your feet should rest firmly on the floor. There should be 1 to 2 inches of legroom between your lap and desk or keyboard tray.

  • If you have less than 2 inches of legroom, try to raise your desk or keyboard tray height.

  • If you can't adjust your chair height and your feet don't reach the floor, use something as a footrest. A box or binder can work. If you wear flat shoes, a level surface works best. If you wear heels, a slanted surface is better.

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