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Office Chair Selection: 9 Ergonomic Tips from Relax The Back

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Look for these ergonomic features as you compare office chairs.

1. Height Adjustment
Easily raises or lowers the seat to bring your hips and torso to the correct 90 degree sitting position appropriate for the level of your work area. With both feet flat on the floor and knees bent at a comfortable angle, your lower legs are supported without putting pressure on your thighs.

chair height adjustment
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2. Angle Adjustment
Can be at the back, seat or both, and allows you to change the angle between your torso and thighs. Puts you in the correct neutral position to support and maintain the natural curve of your spine.

chair angle adjustment
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3. Seat Pan
The seat pan should be at least once inch wider than your hips and thighs on either side, and should not be too long for your legs. Chairs with seat slider adjustments can accommodate users of almost any side. A contour seat is highly recommended for proper distribution of weight over the seat's surface to reduce fatigue and leg pain and allow you to sit for extended periods.

chair seat pan, adjustable tilt, tension control
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4. Adjustable Tilt and Tension Control
Allows you to regulate the angle support, from locked in place to free floating. Especially useful for multi-tasking, and to help maintain support as you lean into/away from your desk throughout the day.

5. Backrest
Proper support can be achieved by height adjustment to the backrest of your chair, or the backrest can be adjusted to support the contour of your back as well as your neck and shoulders.

chair backrest
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6. Memory Foam
Energy absorbent memory foam (including LIFE-Foam® and WonderFoam®) conforms to your body's contours providing gentle, virtually pressure-free support, thereby improving posture and reducing stress.

7. Adjustable Armrests
To achieve the proper neutral position for wrists and arms, consider these 3 factors: Height Adjustment helps relieve fatigue in neck and shoulders; Width Adjustment increases support in coordination with your shoulder span and the task at hand; Pivoting/Articulating armrests rotate or swivel, allowing you to maintain a relaxed position despite your movements.

chair armrest adjustment
Image courtesy of www.relaxtheback.com

8. Lumbar Support
Provides support to the lower back (lumbar region) which encourages correct sitting posture to reduce strain on the vertebral disks. Improves relaxation and prevents back pain.

chair lumbar and cervical support
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9. Cervical Support
Offers support and relieves pressure on your neck and shoulder (cervical region) especially when leaning back. Support is provided by either an attached headrest or high back chair.

Updated on: 02/01/10