Ergonomic Chairs

A properly set up workstation can reduce pain and discomfort, while also decreasing your risk of developing a cumulative trauma disorder. Overall, your safety and comfort will be positively impacted if your workstation is tailored to your individual needs. Take the time to review the following materials. If you need further information, please contact Brian Cournoyer

Chairs: Proper Adjustability and Quick Tips

  1. Backrest: Should follow the natural curvature of the spinal column and provide ample support to the lumbar and thoracic regions of the back.

    1. a. Height adjustability, tilt (approximately 15 degrees from a vertical position) with the ability to lock in place or allow movement with a certain amount of resistance
  2. Seat: Padded and comfortable for the user; it is recommended that the chair has the ability to adjust the height and seat pan depth (i.e. forward and backward), allowing for the use of the entire backrest. Correct size seat pan depth includes approximately one inch on each side of the seat (from the body to the edge of the seat)
  3. Armrests: If provided, should be soft; allow your shoulders to relax and your elbows to stay close to your body. The arm rests should not be utilized as a support throughout the day when using the chair.
  4. Base: A chair should have a study base with five legs and casters that allow easy movement along the floor.

Is your chair adjusted properly?

Height: Keep feet flat on floor, with your knees at an approximate 90 degree angle

Width: Leave space for 2-4 fingers between edge of thigh and edge of seat pan

Seat depth: Leave space for 2-4 fingers between front of seat and back of knee

Back: Back support- provides support to lower and middle back

Legs: 90 degree rule; your hips, knees and ankles should be bent approximately 90 degrees while sitting

Arm Rests: Optional, if present lower them to a point where they do not contact the elbow. Your arms should hang freely by your side

Additional Resources

View Occupational Safety Knowledge Base

The Knowledge Base contains forms, instruction and training material, minutes, policies, tools and other resources to support your research efforts by topic area.

Contact Information

Brian Cournoyer, Occupational Health and Safety Manager
Phone: (603) 862-4761

Matthew Smith, Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator
Phone: (603) 862-4266