Ergonomic Desk Chairs

Features to look for in ergonomic desk chairs:

Seat pan

  • has at least two inches of padded and soft, but firm seating
  • is wide enough to have at least an extra inch of padding on each side of you when you are seated
  • is long enough to come close (within one or two inches) to the back of your knees when you are seated, but not touching the back of your knees
  • adjusts up, down, back, and forward; and tilts forward


  • has a lower-back support that adjusts up and down
  • can recline


  • have soft but firm padding
  • adjust up, down, in, and out, and also rotate


  • an adjustable headrest is optional

It is challenging to find all of the features above in any one chair that is reasonably priced, so you may have to compromise on some of them. Most of the chairs shown on this page do not include all of the features above, but overall they do offer several ergonomic features at reasonable prices.

How to adjust your chair:

  • Sit in the chair and adjust the height of the seat pan, so that your feet are flat on the floor and your hips are slightly higher than your knees, with your thighs slanted downward. If the angle of the seat pan can be adjusted, angle it downward slightly. The depth of the set pan should also be positioned so that it comes to within one to two inches of the back of your knees.
  • Adjust the backrest so that the lower-back support fits comfortably in the lower region of your back.
  • Adjusting the armrests properly depends on the activity that you are doing, but in general, position the armrests just beneath your elbows, so that when your arms are resting on the armrests, your shoulders are relaxed.

If your chair is the proper size and adjusted to the proper height, you really shouldn’t need a foot rest; however, if your chair won’t allow your feet to fully touch the floor, you might want to consider a foot rest .

If you just want padding under your feet while sitting, consider placing a rug or pad under your feet.