Office Chair Armrests: 13 Things You Should Know

Are you thinking about purchasing a brand new office chair with armrests, but not sure about whether armrests are a good idea? Or do you have one with armrests that need to be replaced?

If you’re like most office chair users, armrests have become a part of your daily work routine. In fact, armrests are often the first thing you notice when you sit down to work in your office chair.

But, it’s not uncommon for office chair armrests to become damaged, worn out, or just too uncomfortable to sit in for extended periods of time. Armrests are often one of the first parts of the office chair that need to be replaced.

So, if you’re in the market for an office chair with armrests, you’ll want to know about the benefits of having armrests, what to look for when you’re shopping for armrests, and how to install armrests.

In this article, I’ll be going through the top 13 things you should know about office chair armrests. So, without any further ado, let’s begin!

1. Are Armrests Important?

The answer is yes. Armrests are really important, and they serve as a much-needed place to rest your arms while you are sitting.

They also offer a place to rest your elbows when you are typing. Armrests prevent muscle fatigue, and they provide a place to keep your hands and arms warm when you are sitting in a cold room.

2. Should Office Chairs Have Arms?

A good office chair should have armrests. The term “armrest” means “the part of a chair that holds your arms.”

It is important to have an armrest because it will allow your arms to rest and be protected from stress and strain. It will also protect your elbows when you are typing.

3. Why do Office Chairs Have Armrests?

Office chairs have armrests to offer the best comfort for your elbow muscles while sitting for prolonged hours. Armrest offers a place to rest your elbows when you are typing or doing any type of computer work, 

The armrests also helps alleviate the shoulder strain by comfortably resting the elbows.

A study published way back in 1996 found that height-adjustable armrests do not provide effective forearm support during keyboard and mouse use.

On the other hand, the height and rotation adjustable armrests provided superior arm support.

For general desk work, both armrests reduced neck and shoulder fatigue measured in terms of the frequency shift. 

4. Are Armrests Good For Ergonomics?

Armrests are good for ergonomics as they help to promote good posture and balance the bodyweight more effectively.

Generally, 4D armrests are now common in modern office chairs as they offer much-needed support for better sitting posture.

You won’t find any ergonomic office chair in the market that does not have armrests. An office chair without armrests is not considered as ergonomic at all.

A study published in the “Applied Ergonomics” journal in 2018 found that  A chair that provides an adequate amount of support (armrests and back support) can reduce biomechanical loading in the neck and shoulder regions.

5. Can You Add or Replace Arms of An Office Chair?

Yes, you can add arms to your office chair or replace old arms as well. Armrests are easy to install, and you can add them to your office chair using the following methods:

Step 1: Buy New Armrests

Few office chair manufacturers sell armrests separately. You can either add the arms while buying or buy the armless version and buy the arms and attach them later.

So, before buying armrests, search for arms for the specific model of your office chair. There is a 90% chance that you won’t find arms for the specific model of your chair. 

So, if you are buying armrests for your new office chair, then you’ll want to buy your armrests from a reputable office chair supplier.

You’ll want to make sure that the armrests are made from high-quality materials. They should be comfortable and durable.

I have found 4D armrests on Amazon that fit with most office and gaming chairs. You can check it out by clicking here

Step 1: Remove Old Armrests

If your office chair already has armrests, then you should remove them. There are two ways to remove armrests. 

You can either remove the armrests from the back of the chair or remove the armrests from the underside of the chair. 

You’ll want to remove them so that you can measure the distance between the armrests and the chair back.

Step 2: Measure The Distance Between The Armrests And The Chair Back

This will be important when you are buying new armrests. You’ll want to make sure that the distance between the armrests and the chair back is a comfortable distance for your arms.

Step 3: Measure The Width of Your Desk

When you are buying new armrests, it’s important to make sure that the width of your desk is included in the measurement.

If the width of your desk is smaller than the width of the armrests, then you will want to purchase armrests that are narrower than your desk.

Step 5: Install The Armrests

After you buy your armrests, it’s time to install them. You’ll want to make sure that you measure appropriate distance.

This will help you to ensure that the armrests are the correct size.

Step 6: Place the Armrests Into Place

Once you have measured the distance between the armrests and the chair back, it’s time to place the armrests into place.

Make sure that you line up the armrests with the distance that you’ve measured.

6. Can You Remove Arms From An Office Chair?

You can easily remove and reinstall the armrests of office chairs provided that you know the proper procedure. You’ll also need the right tools by your side to help you complete this task.

Here’s the step by step process:

  1. The first step in removing the arms is actually removing the back of the chair.
  2. You’ll most likely see four bolts in the back of the chair, two on either side of the armrests that secure it. So, you have to locate these bolts.
  3. Remove these bolts by hand with a hex bit or by using a power drill if they are too tight. Just don’t use too much torque as that might damage the chair.
  4. Now that you’ve removed the back, you’ll be able to see the bolts that hold the arm assembly. You should remove those bolts using a Torx bit.
  5. Make sure you don’t let any of the pieces drop on the floor.
  6. Now move on to the next arm and remove it the same way you removed the first armrest.
  7. Reinstall the back again if you don’t plan on reinstalling a new set of armrests. 

7. What Does Fully Articulating Armrests Mean?

The term fully articulating armrests means pivoting armrests. In other words, they turn in and out, side by side.

This feature allows the user to identify the most comfortable position of the armrests for their shoulders and neck while sitting on a chair.

This is especially true for someone who is prone to kyphosis. Moreover, they can also be used to place the hands on the armrests. It is ideal for people who have problems with their shoulders, neck, and hands.

8. Is It Better To Have A Desk Chair With Or Without Arms?

it’s an undeniable fact that using a desk chair with armrests gives you more comfort and helps correct sitting posture support. 

Armrests ease the load on our shoulders and reduce muscle strain. If you are not sure which type of chairs to choose, then going with a desk chair with armrests is the safer bet.

Recommended Article: Office Chair with Vs. without Arms: Which one is Better?

9. How Much Of Your Arm Should be on the Desk?

As a general rule of thumb, you should keep 30% of your forearms on the desk.

Generally speaking, the more you can lean back, the more comfortable you will be. So, you should keep your arm as close to your body as possible.

You have to make sure the desk is at the correct height, and your elbows are bent to 90 degrees. 

Also, the desk has to be set to the height of your forearms. This lets the user’s shoulders remain in a relaxed position while his/her forearms rest on the desk.

If your elbows are not bent at 90 degrees, then you will be putting unnecessary stress on your neck and back, and your shoulders will be overstretched. This will make it hard for you to concentrate, and it will make it hard to type for extended periods of time.

Your wrists should be resting flat on the desk. You should not be bent forward over your desk to look at the computer screen, as this puts a lot of stress on your back and neck.

You should have a chair in front of your desk, but if you have to stand at your desk for long periods of time, then you should have a chair behind you to lean against.

10. Are My Armrests Too High?

If you are facing shoulder muscle strain when resting your arms on your armrests, then there is a high chance that your armrests are too high.

The height of your armrests will depend on a number of factors, including your personal preference, the height of your seat, and the length of your armrests.

The first step to making sure your armrests are the right height for you is to measure the distance between the back of your seat and the top of your armrests.

If the distance between your seat and armrests is greater than 18″ (45.5 cm), you should consider purchasing seat extensions, which can be purchased at most hardware and department stores, or you can visit a car seat shop.

To measure the distance between your seat and armrests, stand up and measure the distance between the back of your seat and the top of your armrests.  

11. How High Should Armrests be?

Armrests should be set at a comfortable height that is parallel to the desk surface and won’t strain the shoulder.

You can use these guidelines to determine if your armrests are too high or too low:

  • When your armrests are lower than your seat, your upper body leans forward to reach items on the armrests, and your arms don’t get enough support.
  • When your armrests are higher than your seat, your upper body leans backward and puts extra pressure on your shoulder muscles.

Remember, the height of your armrests also depends on the size of your upper body.

12. Are Armrests Good For Gaming?

Absolutely! With the right gaming chair, you can use your armrests as a convenient place to rest your controllers on while you’re playing.

Armrests can definitely help you in a gaming session as they provide a little extra space to the seat so that you can lean back and relax when you are in the middle of your day.

Moreover, armrests make it easier for you to play video games! The cushion of your armrests acts as a shock absorber, absorbing the vibrations from your vehicle as you race down the road, ensuring that your gaming experience is as smooth as possible.

Recommended Article: Do Pro Gamers and Esports Players Use Armrests? (With 8 Real Examples)

13. Do You Need Armrests On The Office Chair?

If you work at a desk just for a few hours per week, you likely don’t need armrests on your office chair. However, if you are a worker who spends a significant amount of time at your desk, armrests on your office chair are a good idea.

When you are at a desk, you can lean back against your desk or computer to keep your back comfortable while you work.

Armrests on the office chair will help you stay in the chair comfortably, and will also prevent you from falling out of the chair.

Furthermore, the armrests on the office chair will allow you to rest your arms on the armrest while you are typing on your keyboard.

Final Thoughts 

So, there you have it. Armrests are a great idea because they offer protection and comfort for your arms and also help promote good posture.

If you’re in the market for an office chair with armrests, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting a quality office chair. You’ll also want to make sure that the office chair you purchase has armrests that will last.

So, to make sure that you’re getting a quality armrest, you should check out the reviews that other customers have posted on the manufacturer’s website.

You should also check out the manufacturer’s customer reviews and make sure that they are thorough.

You can check out my recommended ergonomic office chairs with decent adjustable armrests by clicking here.

Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. I had spend hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I’ve learned about office chairs.