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Ergonomics Tips for Artists: Chair Setup [Part 1]

by | Sep 26, 2013

Ergonomics in the workplace are critical. As an artist, you may find yourself in some unusual postures and positions throughout your creative process. Slouching. Reaching. Staring. Hours at your workspace can result in serious physical pain and long-term problems if you are not careful.

Lucky for you, we brought in a certified ergonomist, Shelby Cass, to cover proper ergonomics in a multiple part blog series. Shelby has worked with animators, CG artists, and creatives in offices like Pixar Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation, WETA, Blue Sky, and many more. She knows all too well the problems that arise as a result of long hours at a computer. Each week, we’ll cover different areas of ergonomics in the workplace and tips you can apply to your own setup.

NOTE: The most important thing Shelby covers is that ergonomic solutions vary person to person, it is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Contact a qualified experienced ergonomist like Shelby to work on your personal workspace and situation.

-The Animation Mentor Crew

PART 1: How To Setup Your Ergonomically Correct Chair

Today, we begin our series with proper chair setup. If you are not seated correctly, everything else is doomed. Shelby is using the Soma Ergonomic chair. It is important that your chair have a seat-pan and back that adjust independently of one another.

1.) BODY POSITION: When you sit in a chair, you want your knees to be at the same height or slightly below your hips, with your feet planted firmly on the floor.

2.) SEAT POSITION: You want 1 to 4 inches between the seat pan and the back of your leg.

3.) BACK REST HEIGHT: Adjust the back of the chair, so that the bottom of the back rest hits your lower back.

4.) BACK PRESSURE: Adjust the back of the chair, so that it supports your back and does not propel you forward or force you to lean back.

5.) PROPER CHAIR: Once you are seated properly, you can move on to setting up your proper desk ergonomics.

Tune into the Animation Mentor blog next week for more on “Ergonomics for Artists: How To Setup Your Desk.”

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