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State of Arizona Telework Program

Office of Travel Reduction Programs

100 N. 15th Avenue, Suite 431

Phoenix, Arizona  85007

(602) 542-7433

 

Home Work Station Ergonomics

Proper user position and support

Chairs

The chair can be a crucial factor in preventing back pain as well as in improving employee performance in office work. As the majority of office workers spend most of their time sitting, a properly designed and adjustable chair for comfort, efficiency, and for the task being performed is critical. All adjustments should easily be made from the seated position. Specific chair criteria are discussed in the following paragraphs.

 

Chair Height

When an employee spends from 6 to 8 hours in the chair, the height of the chair and the work surface are critical. The human body dimension that provides a starting point for determining correct chair height is the "popliteal" height. This is the height from the floor to the point at the crease behind the knee. The chair height is correct when the entire sole of the foot can rest on the floor or footrest and the back of the knee is slightly higher than the seat of the chair. This allows the blood to circulate freely in the legs and feet.

 

Seatpan Design

Size and shape are two factors to consider in the design of the seatpan of the chair. The seatpan should be slightly concave with a softly padded, rounded, or "waterfall" edge. This will help distribute the weight and may also prevent sliding forward in the chair. The angle of the seatpan should also be considered. Some options include a seatpan that slopes slightly down at the back or one that has a forward tilt that produces less stress on the lower region.

 

Armrests

Armrests should be low and short enough to fit under work surfaces to allow users to get close enough to the work surface. Chairs can be purchased with adjustable armrests.

 

Backrest

A proper backrest should support the entire back including the lower region. The seat and backrest of the chair should support a comfortable posture that permits frequent variations in the sitting position. The backrest angle and chair height should be easily adjustable.

 

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