What is the criteria for ergonomic armrests?

When considering ergonomic armrests, several criteria must be met to ensure optimal functionality and user comfort. These criteria include:

  • Height Adjustability: Armrests should offer height adjustability to match the user’s desk level. They should be high enough to align with the desk and low enough to slide under it when necessary. Taking into account the seat’s height range is also important when measuring for armrest height.

  • Width Adjustability: Adjustable width is a key feature, as it ensures that the user’s elbows are directly under their shoulders while sitting. Since shoulder widths vary, ideal armrests can be moved closer or farther from the torso. Look for armrests that can be adjusted by 2 to 4 inches inside or outside the torso to accommodate different body shapes.

  • Pivoting Armrests: Pivoting armrests can be angled inwards or outwards to form a “v” shape. These are particularly beneficial for individuals who frequently assume arm positions where their wrists are close to each other without desk support. Pivoting armrests that angle inward are more advantageous, and a minimum tilt of 15 degrees is recommended.

  • Length Adjustability: Some armrests are also length adjustable, allowing them to slide forward and backward. This feature maximizes forearm coverage in various postures, catering to individuals with different arm sizes and ergonomic needs.

  • Flip-Up Armrests: For added versatility, consider armrests that can be flipped up and out of the way when not in use. This feature is useful for tasks like playing the guitar or if you frequently need to get up from your chair. It’s especially beneficial in tight spaces or with desks that have low clearance underneath.

By ensuring that armrests meet these ergonomic criteria, you can enhance comfort, reduce strain, and promote better posture during extended periods of sitting.