How to adjust an office chair

Adjusting an office chair, whether it’s a new one for you to use at your desk, or one that’s shared with others, makes all the difference.

And when you know how, it’s easier than you think!

  • Backrest height adjustment – Ensure the chair back is in the right place for your back. Chairs arrive with the back right down near the seat, so usually need to be adjusted up. This will either be by using the knob at the back of the ‘spine’ or if no knob, your chair might have a ratchet adjustment. Pull up and you’ll hear the clicks. To adjust back down, lift to the top level, push down and start pulling up to the right height.
  • Back angle adjustment – There will be a lever on the right or left, which allows back angle adjustment. (NB Some mesh back chairs do not have any back angle adjustment, but have a syncro tilt adjustment which allows you to lean back in the chair, rather than bringing the back in).
  • Seat depth – ideally you should have a 3-4 fingers gap between the front of the chair and the back of your legs. Without enough chair support, sitting for long periods will be uncomfortable and a deeper chair, or one with a seat slide, is recommended. If the chair is too deep – so there is no gap – you will find you tend to perch on the front of the chair with no back support, again being uncomfortable for long periods. Getting a chair with the right seat depth is important. There are a wide range of chairs available of different depths, or whem there is more than one person using the chair, using the seat slide is helpful .
  • Seat height adjustment – ideally a chair should be used with no pressure under the legs. Adjust the chair up or down to achieve this using the pedal on the side (usually located on the right hand side of the seat). If you are experiencing pressure under your legs, we recommend you use a footrest.
  • Seat angle adjustment – some chairs are able to be adjusted so that the seat can tilt forwards. Using this position is helpful in maintaining better spinal alignment. To adjust the seat forwards, lift the pedal (found either on the left of the seat at the back or the right side, often the middle pedal if there are 3 pedals), adjust the tilt to suit and then push the pedal down to lock it in place. Ensure more weight is put through the feet when sitting in this position, to reduce tension in the thigh muscles.