Office chairs are available in various styles and designs.
With the right height, these chairs are such a joy to use due to their comfort and health benefits. However, there are times when the available chairs are not at the ideal height. Thus, knowing how to adjust chairs properly is a must!
In this article, we will introduce easy ways on how to raise your chair to ensure optimal comfort in your working environment.
Why is it Essential to Adjust the Height of the Office Chair?
When you are using an office chair, you must keep it at a proper height. The appropriate height will guarantee comfort as well as healthy posture. It can also prevent a wide range of issues that may develop from poor posture habits.
Seats that are too low will make your legs uncomfortable and tend you to sag forward, thus putting stress on the neck, spine, and lumbar area.
Additionally, too high chairs will force you to lean over on the table and refrain your feet from flat-touching the floor. There are times when your legs will even dangle off the edge, in turn adding pressure to the thighs and causing problems with circulation.
Be sure to adjust the height of the chair depending on your body. It is also important to adjust the seat angle based on the ergonomics of the workstation.
Considerations Before Adjusting the Office Chair
Here are some factors that you can consider before adjusting the height of your chair.
Have the Correct Chair Size
Before adjusting the chair’s height, you should first make sure that you have the correct size. This adjustment means that the chair’s specification and range of adjustability should fit your body’s build.
A big and tall office chair is recommended for taller and heavier people. Shorter people should use solid task chairs for smaller stature.
Check the Type of Office Chair
There are three main types of chairs: a threaded post, a height adjustment lever, and no adjustment method.
The adjustment method of each of these chairs may vary slightly, though some methods are applicable for all the chair types.
Determine the Height Required
Sit on the chair to determine the height adjustment needed. The chair’s perfect height means that the edge of the seat is at the height of your knees. Be sure that the knees are positioned at right angles with your thighs when seated.
If the waist is higher than your knees, then the chair is too high. On the contrary, if the knees are higher than your waist and the knee’s back angle is less than 90 degrees, then the chair is too low.
The height of your chair is also about the height of the desk you are working with. When seated, the correct height of the chair must have your forearms positioned horizontally to the ground. It’s important that the desk be parallel to the armrests.
How to Make the Height Adjustments
After considering the factors mentioned above, you now have a clearer picture of how your chair can provide the most comfortable posture. Some of the methods to adjust your chair height are listed below.
Use the Height Adjustment Lever or Paddle
Most office chairs come with a pneumatic gas cylinder which allows easy adjustment of the chair’s height. Simply sit on the chair and engage the adjustment lever or paddle, typically located below the right side of the seat.
Lower the chair by sitting down and engaging the lever. Raise the chair by releasing your weight from the chair and engaging the lever until you achieve the desired height.
Be sure that your feet lay flat on the floor or footrest if there is any. Your knees must be at a 90-degree angle, your elbows must comfortably rest on the armrests, and your forearms should be parallel to the floor.
Use the Threaded Post
If your chair comes with a threaded post under the seat, you can make the following adjustments.
- Turn the chair upside down, allowing the base to face upwards.
- Lubricate the threads on the post up to the base of the seat. Wipe away any excess lubricant with a rug to ensure cleaning out the dirt on the threads.
- Secure the chair in such a way that it will not move in any direction.
- Raise the chair by turning the base in a counterclockwise direction. Be sure that only the threaded post will move and not part with the wheels.
- Turn the chair back in its original position.
Try out the adjusted chair to determine whether it was adjusted correctly. Otherwise, adjust again as necessary.
Use Longer Gas Lift Cylinder
Usually, the length of the gas lift cylinder will determine the maximum height a chair can go.
A standard office chair comes with a cylinder whose stroke is about five inches. If it is fully extended and still doesn’t give the desired height, you may opt to change and get a longer gas lift cylinder with higher strokes.
Some gas lift cylinders can go to as high as eight inches of strokes, which is an excellent choice to give additional height to low office chairs.
Use Wood Pieces or Stacks of Plywood
Another method to raise your office chair is to add a piece or pieces of wood. You can place this between the seat and the base of the chair.
However, the method is possible only with longer screws, ensuring a reliable and solid chair. It is a simple solution that requires DIY skills.
- Turn the chair in a way that the base is facing upwards and the seat facing downwards.
- Using a screwdriver, gently remove the chair tilt mechanism located below the seat of the chair.
- Be sure to mark out the position of the holes located on the chair’s underside.
- Cut a piece of wood, about two to three inches in thickness. It must be slightly wider as compared to the bottom of the chair. Stacking pieces of plywood should also be considered to achieve the desired thickness.
- Drill holes on the piece of wood in the same way that it would match the holes on the bottom of the chair. Give at least half an inch from the hole to the edge to ensure durability.
- Place the wood on the chair’s bottom while aligning the screw holes with that of the chair’s screw holes. Ensure that the screws you use are long enough to pass through and reach the chair’s base. This way, you will achieve a tight fit.
The added pieces of wood will help lift the chair to a height similar to its thickness. Know that the chair’s control tends to be a bit lower than the usual, but I guarantee you that it’s worth the extra height.
Use Bigger Casters or Wheels
Your office chair’s wheels can also add up some height when changed to bigger ones. These wheels are available online at a very affordable price.
Be sure to purchase wheels that will not damage your flooring, preferably rubber wheels.
Use a Height Extension Kit
The use of height extension kits can add some reasonable height to your chair while allowing more rooms for height adjustment. These kits are affordable and easy to install.
They often come with a foot ring which provides a resting place for your feet even at the new and adjusted height.
Other Ways to Increase the Chair’s Height
If you are not that handy with the DIY stuff, then these easy options can help you.
Add a Platform
A simple method to make your chair taller or higher is to add a platform just below it. A simple platform will not tamper with the mechanisms of the chair.
Just look for a flat piece of wood or any other solid item that can act as a platform. It is necessary to lock the wheels of the chair to prevent it from rolling off the platform.
Use a Pillow or a Cushion
Adding a pillow or a cushion is probably the easiest and straightforward method to raise the office chair’s height.
However, this method may tend to misalign your body, especially your headrest and lower back support. You have to make sure that the pillow you use is the right size and comfortable to avoid any back pain.
Having a correct sitting position is vital not only for comfort but also for good health. The height of the office chair you are using can have a significant influence on your posture. Thus, it is always a brilliant idea to know how to adjust your office chair depending on your desired height.
Adjusting your chair’s height is relatively easy, depending on its type and the method that you will use. You just have to find the best solution that works best for your needs.
However, if you are not aware of what to do with your chair, we suggest that you don’t attempt changing any of its parts yourself. Rather, ask a colleague or someone nearby for some additional help.
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