When looking to purchase a new office chair, one of the most important aspects to consider is the seating height it provides. Whilst most office chairs come equipped with a gas stem - the mechanism which allows height adjustments - it’s important to ensure that the one you choose not only fits you but also your workspace.
A chair that is too low will often lead to shoulder and neck muscle strain, since the shoulders will be elevated, leading to all sorts of problems. If it’s too high, you won’t be able to fit under your table, causing poor posture, which can also lead to back, neck and shoulder issues. Basically, if your chair isn't at the right height, you're going to injure yourself in the long-run, especially if you are working 40+ hours a week.
Traditional ergonomics will tell you that the optimum height for an office chair will put your knees into a 90-degree angle. If your feet are resting on the floor, that means that the seat height must be able to reach the back of your knees.
This rigid way of thinking, while still relevant, is now only half of the picture. By changing your seating position regularly throughout the day, you keep your body active, reducing the effects of sedentary behaviour. You should be able to place your feet comfortably with your knee joint angle no less than 90 degrees, but that doesn't mean you should stay like that all day. It's all about movement and variety of seating position.
So what size chair should you get? The answer is all based on the work surface you plan on working from. If you are planning on working from various heights, a gas stem which offers you the range of heights is what you should choose.
Office chairs equipped with a gas stem often have quite a wide height variable, and the standard height options will be able to accommodate most people’s requirements. However, if you are uncertain, its always best to measure beforehand.
When seated correctly, you should be able to fit your legs underneath and sit as close to your desk as you feel is comfortable. If your hands are higher than your elbows your desk is too high, or your chair is too low.
You can lower your work surface by using a keyboard tray attached underneath the desk. Alternatively, you can raise your seat height and use a footrest or footring to bring your feet up higher to a comfortable resting position.
If your desk is too low, meaning you cannot get underneath comfortably, place risers underneath the table to bring it up to the correct height.
If you have a particularly high work surface but still want to use a high-performance office chair, you can opt for the higher gas stems, allowing you to reach much greater heights without losing stability. In these instances, it is best to choose a chair which is equipped with a footring. This allows you to maintain a comfortable leg position whilst seated, without them dangling.
If you have a sit-stand desk, we also recommend choosing the higher gas stem options, as this offers greater flexibility when it comes to choosing your seat height. It also gives you the choice to perch on the edge of your seat - not quite sitting, not quite standing - yet another posture to add to your daily work routine to help you maintain a healthy balance of seating positions.
The HÅG Capisco designed by Peter Opsvik, offers the user a wide range of postures throughout the working day, and with a higher seat height is perfect for sit-stand desking. Hear from Flokk Regional Business Development Manager in the UK James McGarvey about the various benefits of the HÅG Capisco
If you are still unsure what seat height is best for you, we’d love to help. Visit our contact us page to find your local Flokk office, and either give us a call or drop us an email to speak to one of our team today.
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