Ergonomic Sitting - The RH view
Having the best ergonomic chair in the world will not benefit your wellbeing unless you know how to use and adjust it. There are many different views on ergonomic sitting out there. The RH view reflects the modern workplace and revolves around the idea of active sitting. Our chairs are designed and engineered with this in mind. Read below to see how to get the best out of your RH chair.
1. Seat Height
As everyone is different in stature, the height of the chair should be adjusted so that normal tasks can be performed in the most comfortable way. The height is the first setting to adjust as everything else comes from this.
Generally the seat height will be determined from your desk, unless you have a height adjustable desk. In an ideal situation you hips should be above your knees and your thighs are pointing slightly down usually just above 90˚. This enables your digestive system to perform better, while it’s much easier to breathe.
RH Tip: If your feet don’t lie flat on the floor try using a footrest
2. Backrest Height
As the back is one of the most important parts of an ergonomic chair it is essential that it is adjusted correctly. You need the correct lumbar support for your lower back in order to prevent back pain from developing in this area.
The backrest height should be adjusted so that the lumber support fits in your S curve, usually just above the belt line. Always sit right back in your chair so that your lower back is against the backrest. If you perch or slouch on your seat for long periods of time, the chances of you developing a back problem increase.
3. Backrest Angle
You perform different tasks in your RH chair. Each task requires a different type of support and having an independent back rest angle means you can have the correct support for each task you do.
The back rest angle should be set so that the backrest supports your whole back. There should be no gap between your back and the back rest. If there is, adjust the angle in or out.
RH Tip: When typing on a keyboard for prolonged periods move your backrest angle forward so you can feel it supporting your back.
4. Seat Depth
Everybody is different and some people have longer legs than others. You need to adjust the seat depth to remove pressure from the back of the knee, while at the same time ensuring adequate support of the thigh. This will improve circulation and oxygenation of the body.
As a rule of thumb, the seat pan should be set so there is a distance of between 2 and 4 fingers between the back of the legs and the front edge of the seat (ie the water fall edge). For smaller users this may not be possible so try to ensure the seat isn’t applying pressure to back of the knee.
Armrests are designed to take pressure and weight off your shoulders and remove strain from your spine.
Armrest should be adjusted for your size and also for the task you are doing.The height should be adjusted so that when your forearm rests on the armrest it should be parallel with the floor and your shoulders un-hunched.
Width of the armrests should be adjusted so your arms hang comfortably to the side slightly out from your body.
RH Tip: When using the phone for extended periods adjust the height of the arm rest upwards to provide support while keeping your spine straight.
6. Tilt Mechanism
At RH we promote active sitting. As you perform different tasks in your daily work you need to be able to switch smoothly from one position to another in your chair. Having your chair in an open position allows you to do this whilst still maintaining optimal spinal posture. It also improves blood flow and oxygenation resulting in less fatigue and more alertness in the workplace.
Once you have adjusted all the other settings including the tension, you should then switch the chair from locked to unlocked. If the chair doesn’t push you forward or backward it is ready to be used in an unlocked position.
RH Tip: Use the chair in its unlocked position as much as possible. This may seem unnatural at first but after sometime time you will begin to feel the benefits.
Everybody is a different size and different weight. Both of these affect the level of tension you need in your chair. As tension is pivotal to active sitting it is one of the most crucial elements to adjust and get right in the chair. Active sitting will allow for optimal circulation and oxygenation of the body, keeping you more alert at work, while still supporting the spine.
When you have adjusted your chair to suit you, release the seat tilt mechanism. If the chair pushes you forward, release the tension control a little. If the seat is then too loose, tighten the tension control until you achieve the correct balance.
RH Tip: When sitting in a balanced position with the lock open lift your legs. The chair should stay in a neutral position is the tension is set correctly.