A workday may seem longer than it is if you’re counting down the minutes until you can stop. The situation becomes doubly challenging when you’re experiencing aches and pains from sitting down too much.
You can try to compensate for it by doing stretches or walking around, but if you have numerous deliverables, frequently leaving your desk isn’t something you can do all the time. Not to mention it may cause you to lose momentum, resulting in lower productivity.
You’re better off using an ergonomic chair if your job requires you to be at your desk for most of the day. Regardless of where you are — whether you’ve gone back to completing tasks on-site or are currently working from home — it’s something that could bring you a lot of benefits.
What makes an ergonomic chair so attractive? It’s simple — every person is built differently.
A chair that’s perfect for someone may be entirely wrong for you. And a seat that meets your preferences may be uncomfortable to others.
Ergonomic chairs increase the likelihood that it’ll work for a larger population because it comes with several adjustable parts. From its height to the headrest, you can make it fit your build instead of the other way around.
Each adjustable part plays a crucial role in finding the “right” office chair for you. One feature that demands attention is the chair seat because you can reposition that too.
Find out why adjusting it is crucial and how it contributes to your overall health. If your seat’s not in its optimal position, we’ll also share how you can get it there.
That’s quite a bit of information. Are you ready? Here we go!
Table of Contents
- Should You Get a Chair with an Adjustable Seat?
- The Forward Tilt
- What’s the Best Angle for Your Office Chair?
- How Do You Adjust the Angle of My Chair’s Seat?
- The Wrap Up
Should You Get a Chair with an Adjustable Seat?
As mentioned, each person’s body is different. It ranges from the length of our shins, thighs, and spines. For your upper body, you have to consider your forearms and neck, among other things.
You would think that an office chair with a seat you can tilt helps you take care of your spine. Don’t get us wrong — it does that. But it also provides health benefits to other areas such as your lungs and your heart.
When you’re standing up, your pelvis rotates forward — this position puts the least amount of pressure on your muscles and spinal discs. It causes your chest to pull out, which gives your lungs more breathing capacity. It, in turn, allows your heart to pump better for better circulation.
When your pelvis is tilted forward, you’ll notice the lower part of your spine curving naturally — and the rest of it follows suit.
Ideally, you should maintain this posture even when you’re sitting down. Unfortunately, most office chairs have seats that are parallel to the floor. Some even have a slight upward tilt to prevent you from sliding off.
Situations like these are where ergonomic office chairs with adjustable seat angles come in handy.
The Forward Tilt
Various office chair models have different tilting mechanisms.
Some have a synchronous tilt mechanism. It means that for every degree the backrest reclines, the seat tilts for half the distance. For example, if you angle your backrest 10 degrees, your seat pan moves 5 degrees.
Other chairs follow a 1:1 ratio — the backrest and the chair seat adjust the same distance. If you do your research, though, both these options make the seat tilt upward.
These have their benefits, but it doesn’t mimic the posture you carry when standing upright. The mechanism that allows this to happen is called a Forward Tilt.
As the name implies, office chairs with this feature enable the seat cushion to dip around five degrees as you lean forward. It results in better blood flow to your legs and feet while decreasing the amount of pressure on your lower back.
What’s the Best Angle for Your Office Chair?
Ideally, your office chair’s seat should tilt forward and down for about 20 to 30 degrees.
If you’re going for the ideal chair posture, your knees should be slightly lower than your hips. It’s typically referred to as a perched position.
If your chair doesn’t have this feature (or it’s not ergonomic), you can use a seat wedge to achieve the same result.
It’s not just the angle of the tilt you need to observe, though. Also, consider moving the seat pan. This way, you have around three inches of space between the edge and the back of your knees.
Adjust the seat so that it subtly slopes away from your body. The downward angle of the office chair takes the pressure off the back of your legs. Then reposition your chair’s height so that you have your feet planted on the ground.
How Do You Adjust the Angle of My Chair’s Seat?
The next time you use your office chair, observe your posture — particularly your knees. Are they at 90-degree angles?
If the answer is yes, it’s a sign that you may need to adjust your seat’s angle. Never mind that you don’t feel any adverse effects at present.
Taking advantage of your office chair’s adjustable features increases your chances of not encountering negative experiences, health-wise.
Don’t worry — you can easily adjust your seat’s tilt angle in three steps:
Step 1: Get your office chair to the appropriate height
If your seat’s too high or too low, you’re going to adjust it anyway, so it’s more efficient to get this done early.
Sit down and use your chair’s levers (or tabs) to move the seat pan (the part of the chair you sit on) up and down. You’ll know it’s at the appropriate height for you when you can place both your feet flat on the floor.
Step 2: Use your chair’s levers to change the tilt angle
Most ergonomic chairs require you to lift one of the levers to move the seat angle. If you’re not sure which one does this, it’s best to refer to your owner’s manual.
With the lever lifted, rock the seat pan back and forth. Lean forward to put it on a slight downward angle. Lower the lever to lock it in place.
Step 3: Check your knees
The best way to check if your seat pan’s at the right downward angle is by checking your knees. They should be lower than your hips.
Imagine that you have a drop of water on both knees. You would want these to roll down your legs, not back towards your torso.
If you haven’t achieved this position yet, continue adjusting the seat’s angle.
The Wrap Up
Finding the ideal posture while sitting down may not be as intuitive as you want, but it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve it. There are several features you need to consider — all of which are equally important.
Your office chair’s seat angle isn’t something you pay attention to often. But now that we’ve put the spotlight on it, it heightens your awareness — not only of how you should position it but, more importantly, the reason behind why you should adjust it a certain way.
Now can improve your quality of life, even if you spend your days in front of your desk. And all it takes are a few adjustments to your seat!