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Office Chair with Adjustable Arms: Buying Guide

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Dec 30, 2020
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If you're going to spend multiple hours daily at a workstation sitting in an office chair, it may as well be a comfortable one. Ergonomic designs are very important to the modern workplace, as they prevent employees from developing chronic strains, pains, and other issues. Getting an office chair with adjustable arms is just one way to protect yourself in the work environment. 

Many people focus only on ensuring that their office chairs grant them proper posture. No one is saying that's not important, but how about focusing on the mandibles you use to do your work? A computer chair with adjustable arms is an important piece of your workstation puzzle, and the information below is geared towards helping you select the best one. 

What Are Office Chair Armrests?

You must keep your arms in an optimal position for your typing needs or whatever tasks you may be doing at your desk while you work. Many people suspend their arms in the air indefinitely, as it's the only way they can find a positioning that is conducive to getting their tasks done. If they don't do so, they find that their productivity is compromised. Of course, suspending your arms in the air with no reprieve comes at the cost of your health and comfort. 

Ergonomic chair adjustable arms help alleviate this problem by providing a place for you to rest your forearms as you go through your various tasks. Doing so puts much less strain on your wrists and shoulders since you get to put them in a resting position that relieves the tension you build.

Note that your armrests are not meant for you to prop your arms up consistently, so if your desk chair's adjustable arms are always supporting your forearms and elbows as you work, it means an adjustment is in order. 

What Are Office Chair Armrests?

What to Consider When Shopping for Chairs with Armrests

The first factor to consider is the misinformation that's present where armrests are concerned. If you have no preconceived notions about armrests, then this does not apply to you. However, if you have ideas in your head about how armrests should work, you may want to verify the ergonomic chair with adjustable armrests before you continue. For example, many people believe that an office chair with adjustable arms cannot go under a desk. However, the point of having an adjustability feature is to set the armrest position where needed at different times. 

Your budget is the next important consideration here. How do you plan to buy something that you cannot afford? The more advanced an office chair with adjustable arms is, the higher the price tag it is likely to have. So, those with armrests that are adjustable in many ways may attract a higher cost. There's no point in looking at and considering chairs that are over-budget.

Consider the materials used in the creation of the armrests. Some manufacturers use plastic, while others may use leather to achieve a more luxurious feel. Think about how much you are going to be using the chair and the kind of expected wear and tear before you make your choice. 

Consider the amount of time you spend seated each day. The rule of thumb is that the longer you spend in your office chair, the more likely you are to need an armrest that offers greater adjustability. 

What to Consider When Shopping for Chairs with Armrests

Ergonomic Chair Adjustable Arms: Types of Arm Adjustments

When you purchase an office chair with adjustable arms, the adjustment style can be one of three established versions. 

Height-adjustable

The height-adjustable armrest is the most common, and it allows you to set your armrests to higher and lower heights when needed. Remember that armrests are best used for rest periods instead of a consistent platform for your arms as you work. So, you want to use a high enough height for your arms to reach when you want to rest them, but low enough to not touch your arms while you are working.

Width adjustable 

Width adjustable armrests are next, and these facilitate movements away from and closer to your body when needed. It's just another way of and ensuring that you have a comfortable fit with your chair.

Rotation

Rotation armrests are the final ones to be covered, and they tend to be able to rotate either slightly or in a full 360-degree motion. Armrests that can slide inward, outward, forward and backward are also a part of this category. 

Ergonomic Chair Adjustable Arms: Types of Arm Adjustments

Different Styles of Armrests

Apart from how the armrest is adjusted, there is also the physical design choice that the manufacturer uses.

T-arm style 

The T-arm style is the most common, and it's identifiable by its post that has a perpendicular position to the seat and its attachment point, which is under the said seat. When you look at the armrest atop the post, it has a T-shape. 

Fixed armrests 

Fixed armrests are next, and they are for people who don't spend much time in their office chairs. Executive style leather chairs and budget models use the fixed design, and they tend to be attached to the backrest and seat in a fixed position.

Loop arm design 

The loop arm design is the final one to be covered. As the name implies, the loop armrest forms a circular shape. While some of them are fixed, others are adjustable. One of these armrests' standout features is that even when you recline into the chair, they can support your arms comfortably. 

Different Styles of Armrests

FAQs

How to Know if Your Armrests are at the Incorrect Height

Armrests that are at the correct height make it easy to reach your keyboard and easy to use when it is time to rest. Should they be too high, your inner elbow can become extremely uncomfortable with repetitive use. On the flip side, if they are too low, you may find that your arms sit on them or your wrists rest on your keyboard. 

How to Know if Your Armrests are at the Incorrect Height

How to Find the Perfect Chair Height

Doing this requires a properly adjustable chair, which should be easy enough for you to find with a reputable office furniture distributor. Begin by standing in front of your chair. At its highest point, your seat cushion should be slightly below your kneecap. Test this theory and make any necessary adjustments if this is not the case.

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