How To Adjust Office Chair Tilt: Easy Guide


Are you struggling with pain in your back, between the shoulder blades, and all around your neck? Well, it’s there for a reason. Your body is literally crying out trying to tell you that your office chair is not doing you any favors. At least not when it comes to maintaining a healthy posture. So, the question in many peoples mind is how to adjust office chair tilt. Unfortunately, the problem may not be with the tilt alone.

I know, I know, your office chair might not come with a plethora of different adjustments. One reason why you’re having those pains. That is exactly why you should change yours now and buy a completely ergonomic chair from a reputed store.

You spend a lot of time at work. As such, it helps to invest some of your money in your health, posture and well being with a decent office chair. In this article, I’ll be delving in this topic with great detail so that you never have to look anywhere else. Remember, I own an office chair myself; I’ll give you first-hand insights you’ve been waiting for.

So, here we go. But first, why is the ergonomic adjustment is important?

Why Adjustment Is Important?

On average, a person has to spend some 8 hours a day in an office chair. Doesn’t matter whether you’re at the workplace or in your home office doing tasks like Programming or Video editing. For some, this average mounts to over 10 hours a day. Sitting in a chair this long without proper posture is bound to have ramifications for your joints and muscles.

Your muscles are balanced on both sides of your body. If for some reason, like prolonged sitting, you start using one set of muscles more than the other, you begin to overburden that set. Over time, those muscles begin to lengthen and feel more sore.

On the contrary, the other set that you don’t use start shortening. The result is an unbalanced posture that tilts to one side. The pain? Well, that is because of the overuse of the muscles in one particular area.

Constant wear and tear in those muscles are nowhere near normal. In the long run, you might end up developing long-term problems. But for now, I’m sure you’ve already noticed a significant drop in productivity.

You need to do something about this as soon as possible. Try the following

  • Buy a new chair if your current chair does not have any adjustments.
  • Make sure the new chair has a complete set of adjustments like tilt, seat, armrests, height, etc.
  • In case you cannot afford that chair, at least make sure it has the right tilt and lock mechanism so that you can achieve a certain limit of ergonomics.

Here are some other things you could do:

  • Adjust the height of your workstation. This needs to be at an appropriate height. Sadly, few workstations allow for any adjustment, meaning you’ll have to adjust the height of your chair. In as much as the end justifies the means, ensure its height is in such a way that your elbows form a right angle when you sit with your hands resting on the desktop.
  • Ensure your feet are placed at the right level with respect to your seat.
  • Check the distance between your calf and the front of your office chair. Ensure there is about 2 inches space between your calf and the edge of the chair.
  • Adjust the armrest of your chair to ensure they barely touch your elbows when they’re at a 90- degrees angle. Ensure that your arms can swing freely. If the armrests are too high, they might lead you into positioning your arms awkwardly, which may cause pain to your shoulders and fingers.
  • Assess your resting eye level. Your eyes ought to be level with your computer screen. You should seamlessly be able to look at the center of the computer screen and read everything on it without moving your eyes up and down or straining your neck.

Having said that, let’s address the main issue.

Learn How To Adjust Office Chair Tilt In Simple And Easy Ways

Step 1:

Sit with your legs apart and your feet right on the floor. Also, make sure your back is in contact with the backrest of your chair. At the same time, ensure your knees and the front of the chair’s seat has at least some distance.

Normally, 2 inches leeway should be enough.

Step 2:

Next, find the office chair adjustment knobs to either the left or right side of your seat. There will be specific markings on them that will indicate their functions. Look for the marking or icon that indicates backrest and seat tilt.

Step 3:

Press the seat adjustment knob and forward tilt it a bit so that the pressure from your legs is relieved.

After that, as you put some pressure on the backrest, use the knob to comfortably tilt it to that position. While doing that, you’ll feel no pressure at all as the tilt lock will be open. When you find an appropriate comfortable position, leave the knob and that should lock the tilt there.

But before that, remember that the purpose of adjustments is to find that sweet spot, which completely relieves pressure off your legs and leaves your back in a relaxed position.

Don’t worry, you’ll know when you find the right angle. But at the same time, keep in mind that too much tilt away from your desk is also not good. Like I said, just press to find the right spot.

You can also sit with your back upright. For that, press the same knob. Only this time, tilt the backrest forward until you feel that it is upright. Release the knob and see if it works.

Also, remember that the tilt of your backrest and seat should not be such that it allows your feet to lose contact with the floor. Ergonomics say that your feet must be touching the floor when you are in a comfortable position.

A completely ergonomic chair can do more than just allow seat and backrest tilt.

Other Types Of Adjustments To Look For

1. Seat Height Adjustment

There’s a pneumatic controller to either side of your seat that helps in adjusting the height of your seat. It can be helpful for everyone since the factory adjustment is for an average person. A short person can lower the seat so that his or her feet touch the floor and similarly, a tall person can do the opposite.

Its mechanism is such that the cylinder beneath your seat that reaches all the way down controls the height of it. A lever triggers its motion. If you want to reduce the height you press the lever and apply some pressure on the seat.

In case, you want to increase the height, you simply have to release the pressure off the seat (i.e stand up) and use the lever.

2. Armrest Height

According to ergonomics, your wrists should be in line with your hands – which in turn, should make a 90-degree angle with your shoulders. Again, there are specialized controls for that. You’ll find them near your armrests or seat depending on the model.

Before adjusting your armrests, make sure your wrists are just the way I mentioned above. This will allow smooth blood flow to your hands while also not pressurizing the tendons and ligaments that pull on the fingers. You see, they reach from our arms to our hands via carpal tunnel.

Too much pressure on them will lead to carpal tunnel syndrome which is not only painful, but also detrimental to the functions of your fingers in the long run.

3. Tension Control

The same settings that control the tilt of your backrest can also be used to control its tension. Basically, the tension of a backrest is its ability to rock back and forth to a certain degree. This has benefits for the posture in many ways.

For example, it can relieve the accumulated stress from your back by giving you some freedom of movement. Remember though, if you can’t find separate settings for the tilt and tension, chances are that one knob or lever would do both.

Here’s a quick 40-second video to easily understand the Chair’s Tilt Tension.

Video by: National Business Furniture

If you are having issues on “how to fix an office chair that leans forward or back”, then this method will surely help you.

4. Synchro-tilt

New models of modern office chairs pack a lot of adjustments. One of them is Synchro-tilt. Basically, this adjustment helps you to tilt the backrest without tilting the seat with it. As a result, the seat stays horizontally and the chair does not tilt at all when you recline the backrest.

This saves you from tripping over when you recline the chair to a higher angle.

5. Backrest Height

This is one of the effective ways to adjust office chair tilt. A lot of chairs allow you to change the height of their backrest. This could be particularly helpful for tall people when they try to bring the chair’s headrest up to the height of their heads. Note that he adjustment does not allow the whole seat to change its height.

Along with the suitable position of your head on the headrest, a backrest adjustment can help you achieve appropriate lumbar support. Many chairs have that support and this adjustment option. Make sure you reap its fruits to the full.

6. Headrest Height

High-end chairs come with a headrest. Most of the time, it is quite adjustable with the help of a knob that is usually located to the back. For perfect head posture, you should adjust the height until you feel that you can rest your head well without compromising on the right angle of your eyes, which they make with your monitor.

Different kinds of adjustments have unique benefits for the posture. So if you own a chair that has any of these adjustments, make sure to use them to the fullest. And if you don’t have that kind of chair, browse here on HuntChair and you’ll find plenty of them suited to the office work you do.

Before I leave, here are some useful tips for you.

  • Always heed the instructions of the manufacturer of your chair.
  • Do not test a chair beyond its limits for a long time.
  • Always do plenty of research to find the right fit for yourself. There are millions of products out there and I’m sure you’ll find what you want.
  • Sitting continually is detrimental to your health, too. Always consider taking small breaks from your work so that you do not stiffen your leg and back muscles.


Just like every person is different, no two bodies are the same. We possess different lumbar curves, different thigh, and skin lengths a well as varied spine lengths, just to mention a few. Fortunately, office chairs have no such thing as an ‘average’ person hence being adjustable to accommodate a maximum range of people.

Hopefully, this guide will not only help you tweak some of your chair’s tilt settings as you change your office tasks but also ensure you achieve your personal taste.

Considering the aforementioned need to maintain the right sitting posture for your optimal health, don’t shy away from adjusting your office chair whenever you deem it fit. Remember, your health is your wealth.

That wraps up our topic for the day. I hope you’ve found the above tips on how to adjust office chair tilt helpful. If you have found your solution or any other insights from any of these methods, I would like to hear about that from you. Do leave your thoughts, questions  and comments below and I’ll get back to very soon.