The ability to adjust your chair in various ways allows you to customize your seating experience. Every body is different. Some bodies are tall; some are short. Some are well-padded; others are bony. Some bodies have short legs and tall torsos; some have short torsos and long legs. Some bodies have previous injuries which still cause pain.
Just as every body is different, every job is different. Some people need to move around a lot while they are working from their office chair; others remain mostly stationary throughout their day. Many people switch between different types of tasks throughout their day. They may spend an hour typing, a half of an hour speaking on the phone, an hour rolling back and forth throughout their space to file away paperwork. The ability to adjust your office chair into different positions helps you accommodate the dimensions of your body and alter your chair according to your current work task.
The Range of Adjustments
Most of us know that office chairs are usually adjustable in seat height. However, many people are unaware of the breadth of adjustments available. I believe it is important to learn about these adjustments before purchasing an office chair so that you can select one which is customizable to your needs. Did you know that some office chairs allow you to adjust their seats, arm rests, back rest, and lumbar support? On some chairs you can even adjust each of these parts in more than one way.
Seats can be adjusted in height, allowing you to move them up or down to match the height of your desk. They can also be adjusted in tilt. By adjusting the tilt of a chair’s seat, you can slope yourself forward or backward to reduce pressure on certain parts of your body. Sloping your chair slightly forward reduces pressure on the back of your legs, thereby increasing blood flow and reducing the likelihood of pinching nerves. Sloping your chair forward also promotes better posture by properly aligning your spine. Some chairs even allow you to slide the seat forward or backward to adjust its depth according to the length of your upper legs.
Adjustable Arm Rests
If you are planning to purchase a chair with arm rests, you may want to be sure that those arm rests are adjustable. Stationary arm rests pose multiple problems. First, they can prevent you from pulling your chair beneath your desk. If you are not able to pull your chair beneath your desk, you will likely find yourself hunching over your work and placing strain on your neck, shoulders and back. For this reason, it is best to find a chair which features arm rests adjustable in depth (by sliding forward and backward), height (sliding up and down), or capable of folding up beside the back rest.
Stationary arm rests also limit the width of the chair’s seat. If you have a smaller-than-average body frame, a larger-than-average body frame, or intend to allow many different people to use the chair you are purchasing, it may be a good idea to purchase one with arm rests which can be adjusted from side to side.