To arm or not to arm

Well, after deliberating, cogitating (!) and digesting your responses, I have decided not to chop my arms off after all ! I will however chop the old arm-rests off.

Comment 1: Fixed height armrests on chairs are generally too long and too low. As a result the user is unable to get close enough to his/her desk and has too flex forward for long periods, usually at the lumbar spine. This in turn affects the rest of the spinal posture, to its detriment. If the armrests are too low, the user will slide down onto them when sitting back, once again flexing the lumbar spine. Most height adjustable armrests are quite short and in consequence do not prevent close proximation to the desk and can be adjusted to a height whereby the user can comfortably sit back onto the backrest to gain its support with the elbows supported and the shoulders in neutral.

Comment  2: I know that various writers have differing opinions on the use of arm-rests. My problem is that with being short in height, most arm rests push me up high ever so slightly. Plus there is less space for my arms to move about. I am considering chopping them off and want to know what experience members of this group have had with ordinary arm chair armrests, or any other arm rest for that matter.

Comment 3: Don’t chop them off! How will you tie your shoelaces? Sorry, immature but irresistible.

Comment 4: I always remove the arm rests from the chairs I use at work, for the reasons you mention. With these it is simply a matter of undoing two screws per rest, and I expect that it would be similarly easy with other makes of office chair.

Comment 5: You beat me to it. I was going to say, don’t do that – they’re so useful for things like eating – or getting dressed. One of my colleagues has a chair that has adjustable arms – you can raise or lower them – as well as the usual height/back-rest-height and angle/seat-tilt type of adjustments. I know she tends to keep the left one high, to lean on, and the right one lowered, so as not to get in the way of ‘mousing’. Try contacting your local office furniture supplier – the chair is made by ROC.

Comment  6: I think I am correct in saying that (if the chair is for work) the latest European Regulations (groan!) include a couple of items regarding chairs.

  1. All computer operators must have arm rests (though it is up to the operator to choose to use them).
  2. The computer operator MUST be supplied with adjustable arms, if the operator requests it.

I’m not an admin-ite, just knowing the regulations can be more beneficial as a week off work, regardless of how tight your employer is.


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