How Desk Chair Height Can Cause Leg Pain For Office Workers

Leg pain for office workers may not be as big a problem as neck and back pain, nonetheless it still affects a lot of people and when you understand the potential causes it can often be resolved.

Typically people complain of pain to the underside and tops of their thighs. Or their legs suffer some numbness and feel heavy and dead.

A lot of the time the height of the seat can be the cause. For many it will simply be a case of adjusting their working height and yet for certain others it isn't so simple.

Why correct seat height adjustment is important
It’s important to make sure you have your seat set at the right height, because when it’s wrong it places a lot of unnecessary pressure on the legs. And historically poor advice on sitting with legs and body at 90° has contributed to the problem.

And just in case this applies to you, it’s never a good idea to work at a computer or desk in a fixed chair like a dining or meeting room chair. Even if the height is right this sort of seat still restricts your body movement and can cause other pain and discomfort problems.

Let’s take a look at how you should be sitting.

How to sit at the right height
Begin by standing without shoes on and knees facing your chair seat and align the seat height with your knee caps. From there sit down in your chair making sure your feet are resting squarely on the floor. Then, fine tune the height so that the angle between your body and thighs is open at around 110° or more. This will reduce the constriction on your upper leg muscles and allow better blood circulation.

What should you do when you can’t achieve this sitting position?

Adapting your chair to fit you
Most average built people should be able to get their seat set to the right height. However for short or tall people things may not be so simple.

Typically short built people find the seat won’t go low enough to let them rest their feet squarely on the floor. In fact they may not be able to rest their feet on the floor at all.

The opposite problem affects tall users. Even with the seat on maximum height they find the angle between body and thighs is very tight as they are forced to sit with knees pointing up in the air.

Fortunately some manufacturers offer different sizes of gas lift support struts. Check and see if there is one available to suit you. Start by measuring from floor to knee cap and make sure that dimension is covered by the alternative strut’s height range.

This should take of things, but what if it doesn’t?

Other seat problems
Where pain still persists other causes my include incorrect seat depth for your leg length or cheap seat foams which have degraded and flattened.

Here’s a free report which explains the commonest cause of office chair discomfort and how to resolve it.

And if you need a new size of gas lift and one isn't available, a new chair may be your only alternative.

Further reading
Here are a couple of articles that will help both short and tall people select the right chair for their needs.

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2 Responses to “How Desk Chair Height Can Cause Leg Pain For Office Workers”

  1. Even with the best-of-breed chairs, sitting for hours straight is taxing. Frequent breaks and good lumbar support are so important for back health. We’ve handcrafted the Saddle Collection – comfortable and stylish lumbar pillows and leg cushions to go with mesh chairs like the Aeron – and it’s made a major difference. We’re called U-Fo. We’re based in SF and on the web at http://

  2. This looks like a great add on for people who find some mesh chairs are too harsh on the underside of their legs. Thanks for commenting.

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