Most office chairs have armrests, with many having adjustable armrests but why are they important parts of office seating? Many of us spend around 8 hours each day at our desks so comfort and safety are important.
Armrests help to reduce strain on the shoulders and help to cut down neck pain. They also help to stop the user slouching forward on the chair. When sitting on a chair, your shoulders and back should be relaxed so you shouldn’t be over-reliant on arm rests, but they can offer a level of support.
Slumping forward on the chair or onto the desk can lead to pressure on the spine and back pain or tension. Armrests are a great way to combat the habit of slouching.
Tense shoulder and back muscles will cause all sorts of problems so armrests should be positioned in a way that allows for free movement within the workstation. When working, forearms should be at about a 90 degree angle to the upper arms, so the armrest should be at a height that allows for this. If you adjust the armrest on your chair to the point where your arms are slightly lifted at the shoulders, it will support just the elbow and take weight off the shoulders. A good desk and chair set up allows the user to get close enough to their keyboard, keeping the 90 degree angle in their arms and not stretching out to type.