The armrests on my chair won't fit under my desk!!

Posted On 28/10/2015 | 

We hear this comment lots. How should we respond?


Chair arms are designed to support the weight of the arms. Without them, the user is encouraged to slump in the upper body when resting or  to lean forward on to the desk so the desk supports the arms. Both of these positions cause pressure on the spine and can lead to back ache and pain.  
 
Chair ArmsOn the left is a picture showing a good posture for a keyboard user. The back is upright, shoulders are relaxed and the upper arm is almost vertical. The forearms are at ninety degrees to the upper arm. The arms are  horizontal and in line with the top of the desk, supported by the chair arms. Importantly, the keyboard is near to edge of the desktop. So that the chair arms can support in this way, they must be almost level with the top of the desk, meaning they cannot go under the desk.
 
When sitting in the angle of an L-shaped desk the edge of the desk can hit the ends of the chair arms before the chair is close enough to the desk. To solve this issue it is recommended the user move the display screen and keyboard to a straight side of the desk. 

 

This gentleman is going to suffer! His seat is not high enough (Possible so he could get the chair arms under the desk top), which is causing lots of problems, so he is lifting his shoulders in order to rest his arms on the desk, as he cannot use the chair arms as they are too low. As he rests his forearms on the desk, he leans forward, which is a recipe for back ache. The very least he needs to do is raise his seat and arms heights.


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