How high should my chair be?

Can the height of your chair really make any difference to your comfort?

Actually the height you sit at when working at a computer is one of the most important aspects if you want to sit and work comfortably. In fact I would go so far as to say if you don’t get the height of your chair comfortable than everything else you do will be ineffective.

Just take for example wrist pain. If you sit too high at your desk you tend to use the mouse by resting on the heel of your hand. And this pressure on your wrist together as you tilt your hand up to rest on the mouse can cause significant discomfort.

Many people will notice they are getting wrist pain and perhaps try a different type of mouse maybe even a mouse wrist rest or use a splint. But none of these is the answer.

The answer is to lower the height of the chair so that the elbows are level with the desk. This will allow you to rest most of your forearm on the desk when keying and using a mouse. By spreading the load over a larger area rather than just resting all the weight on the small area of the wrist you can work more comfortably.

TIP

Always adjust your chair so that your arms are at the right height – don’t worry about your feet being on the floor. You may need a footrest. The arms are more important as they will be doing all the work.

Five Steps to Sit at the Right Height

• A gas lift stem is best. They come in different lengths so if you sit at a high counter you may need the higher gas stem
• Make sure you can adjust the height while you sitting on the chair – a lever mechanism is best
• Lift the chair up above the height you need and then lower the chair while you are sitting on it until your elbows are level
• If your feet are not fully supported on the floor use a footrest
• You should have about 8cm or the width of your palm between your thighs and the lowest part of underside of the desk