Ergonomics done right.®
February 8th, 2013

Office Ergonomics at the Houston Auto Show

by Katie Grosteffon, AEP

I recently visited the Houston Auto Show. I wasn’t in the market for a new car, so I looked around for cars with cool new ergonomic features. The best find? The “comfort seats” that are available in some BMW models. Now, I know most new cars have options for highly adjustable seats, with adjustments for back angle, seat height, seat angle, horizontal position, and lumbar pressure. These seats were different; they had two additional adjustments that I have never seen before on a car seat: seat depth adjustment and vertical lumbar adjustment. Seat too short or too long? Press a button and the front edge of the seat slides forward or back. Lumbar support hitting your back in the wrong spot? Press a button to move the lumbar support up or down.

While it was new and exciting to see these types of adjustments in vehicle seats, I help people make these adjustments frequently… on their office chairs! Here’s a little reminder on how to adjust these settings on your office chair:

Seat depth adjustment: Sit all the way back in your chair. Adjust the seat depth so you can fit 1 to 3 fingers between the front lip of the seat and the back of your legs. Some chairs allow you to adjust the seat depth by sliding the seat back and forth, others let you adjust the front lip of the chair to extend or shorten the seat. If your chair does not have a depth adjustment, you may need to switch to a different size chair with a shorter or longer seat.

Vertical lumbar adjustment: Stand up and feel the natural S-shape of your spine. Place your hand in the inward curve of your back – this is where your lumbar support should help your back. Sit down in your chair and move the lumbar support up or down so that it supports your back at this spot.