Factsheet: Office chairs 

What the law says

  • The office chair must be stable and ensure freedom of movement for the user as well as an appropriate work posture. 
  • The seat of the chair must be adjustable in height.
  • The back of the chair must be adjustable in height and must be able to tilt.  

What can the employer do

  • Try out several different chairs before purchasing, and remember that the Health and Safety Organisation has to be included in the process. 
  • Chairs with five wheels are often the most stable.
  • To ensure that you do not slide forward on the seat, it is best if chair coverings have a rough surface. Wool or cotton is often the best material for this. 
  • It can be an advantage if the seat of the chair can be tiltet and has a dynamic tilt where the resistance can be adjusted according to the user’s weight.
  • Chairs with armrests are often inconvenient since they cannot be pushed all the way under the desk
  • When new employees are taken on, make sure that they are instructed in, and familiar with, the layout of the workplace. For example, use BAR Kontor’s ergonomics film.

What can the individual person do

  • Adjust your chair to suit you: 
    • Position yourself on the chair so that two thirds of your thighs are supported by the seat. You should just about be able to place your fist between the back of your knee and the edge of the seat.
    • Adjust the back of the chair to support your lower back. 
    • Adjust the chair to a height where both of your feet are planted on the floor and your thighs feel lightly supported by the seat.
    • If you incline the seat, be aware that the height of the desk needs to be increased - depending on how much you adjust the seat. This is why you need to first decide how you want the seat of the chair to be set and then adjust the height of the desk afterwards.
  • It is important that you vary your sitting posture. It encourages blood flow and can help prevent soreness in, for example, your back.

Legal basis