Backrest angle and lumbar support

Positioning your backrest angle is a balancing act. A slightly reclined position is more comfortable for your spine but you need to be sufficiently upright to read your monitor and type on your keyboard. The lumbar support in the chair should fit the small of your back; if it’s positioned too low, it will hit your buttocks and promote a slouched posture.

See below for examples and play with your backrest to find the most comfortable position for you.

Ideal backrest angle

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Ideal backrest angle

The rotating picture above illustrates the correct positioning with your backrest at 90 degrees or at a slightly reclined angle.

Ideal Backrest Angle Positioning:

  • Backrest angle should allow you to position yourself in an upright (90o) or slightly reclined posture.

Backrest angled too far forward

Image
Backrest too far forward

The rotating picture above illustrates the differences with the backrest too far forward as compared to one at the correct angle.

Risks:

  • Tight hip angle leads to strained muscles
  • Strains back: back muscles need to counteract pressure from chair pushing forward

Fix It:

  • Recline backrest angle

Ideal lumbar support height

Image
Ideal lumbar support

Ideal Lumbar Support Positioning:

  • The lumbar support (the part of the backrest that sticks out) should fit the small of the back.

Lumbar support too low

Image
Lumbar support too low

The rotating picture above illustrates the differences with the lumbar support too low as compared to one that is at the correct height.

Risks:

  • Lumbar support hits buttocks, rather than lumbar arch, which promotes a slouched posture
  • Strains back: back muscles need to counteract pressure from chair pushing forward

Fix It:

  • Raise backrest, or
  • Raise lumbar support

Lumbar support too high

Image
Lumbar support too high

The rotating picture above illustrates the differences with the lumbar support too high as compared to one that is at the correct height.

Risks:

  • Results in uncomfortable pressure in mid-back area.

Fix It:

  • Lower backrest, or
  • Lower lumbar support

How to Adjust:

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Lumbar adjustment

Depending on your chair, you will either need to raise or lower the whole backrest or just the lumbar support.

If you need assistance with office chair adjustments, contact your office ergo rep.

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