Quick Tip: Finding the Ideal Height For Your Task Chair

That lever on the bottom of your adjustable task chair at your desk? Despite what your childish intuitions will tell you, it's not just for pranks. Take a moment to step away from your chair and make this one easy adjustment to improve your workspace ergonomics.According to the American Chiropractic Association, giving your chair the proper height adjustment can spare you from a load of problems. A chair that's too low can cause lower-back pain, carpal-tunnel syndrome and rotator-cuff strain in the shoulder. A chair that's too high can lead to what's called Golfer's Elbow—pain and inflammation on the inner side of the elbow.

So if you're going to do just one thing to imrpove your office chair ergnomics, make it a height adjustment. It's as easy as standing up.

As you stand in front of your chair, adjust the height so the highest point of the seat (when in the horizontal position) is just below the knee cap. When you sit down, your feet should be flat on the floor, with your knees at a 90° angle, the ideal lower body position for sitting down at a desk.

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Adjusting your chair height is also a great way to check up on the ergonomics of the rest of your workstation.

If you can't fit your legs under the desktop (you should have enough room to comfortably cross your legs at the knees) or there is not enough space to move them freely, your desk is too low for you. Put it on risers, or invest in a desk that's the proper height.

If you can sit comfortably but you have to raise your arms to reach the keyboard or work surface, your workstation is too high. Find a way to lower your worksurface (a keyboard tray might help). Alternatively, you can adjust the chair height so your elbows are the same height as your desk and use a footrest high enough so you can lay your feet flat.

(Images: Shutterstock, Taryn Fiol)

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