Ergonomic Chair Design

Ergonomic Chair Design - The design of Workstation Furniture. How ergonomics chairs are engineered for their key ergonomic chair adjustment features and our recommended ratings.

ergonomic chair adjustment

Since most desks currently used in offices do not have the ability to adjust its height, we need an adjustable chair to allow us to adopt the right computer posture.

The chair that you use for your everyday work, even if you don't use a computer, should be an ergonomic chair. Unless, of course, you work less than twenty minutes a day.

The minimum feature your task chair should have is to adjust for height. You should have a back rest as well, better yet, have one that molds to the shape of your back.

Ergonomic Chair Design Features

Click to the ones relevant to you or just scroll down to read all.

  1. Seat Height Adjustment

  2. Backrest Adjustment

  3. Armrests

  4. Other Adjustment Mechanisms

Seat Height Adjustment

The extent of this feature of an ergonomic chair design varies from model to model.

You don't have to worry too much about this since most ergonomic chairs are designed to adjust from 380mm to 530mm from the floor (that is the idea height adjustment feature).

If your office chair is able to be adjusted for height, it most probably accommodates you. Only users who are very tall or small may have this problem. However this problem is easily solved by going to customizable ergonomic chair suppliers.

Backrest Adjustment

These are getting more sophisticated these days.

Remember that the aim of having a backseat adjustment is to offer to your back. Your back and not everyone else's.

Look for back support that is up to just below shoulder level. The backrest should also be shaped to the lower section of your back. Ideally, the material of the backrest should be capable of molding around and supporting the individual.

The most common version of this ergonomic chair design is moving the backrest up and down to support the lumbar position. Since we all have different shaped size backs, sometimes this can be a hit or miss.

ergonomic chair design

Should I get backrest that can go dramatically backwards and forwards?

Some of the more sophisticated backrest allows you to tilt backwards (like big bosses do when they lean back and think). Should you get this feature? Ask yourself, how far do you lean back on your chair when resting.

How high should my backrest be?

Some people like high backrests and even a head rest. I must warn you now that high backrests are not necessarily better for you. It all depends on your level of comfort. Unless a chair is designed specifically for you, most of these times, buying a chair with a high backrest is a hit or miss. Best to actually sit on it for a while and see how your body respond.

Also a head rest is literally met for resting, and you should not use your head rest when working.

Editor's Note: You should be able to sit all the way 'in' to use your backrest. If there is a gap between your buttocks and the backrest when you lean back, most likely the chair is too big for you.


This topic is a continual debate and discussion.

While arm rests provide support and relief for your arms for work, it is true that poorly designed and badly positioned armrests can create problems for the user, especially if they are permanently attached to the armchair.

The main problem with these armrests is they prevent the user from getting close to the desk, hence forcing a bad posture at the computer.

You can't compromise by lowering your seat! No, no, no. Static work muscle will be required to work at your desk and this is extremely fatiguing.

Therefore look for height adjustable armrests. More sophisticated armrests allow you to adjust the length and are even able to rotate. They are able to move from extending forward to extending backward.

My opinion - use an Allen key and get rid of poorly designed armrests and take lots of breaks.


Other Adjustment Mechanisms

A well thought ergonomic chair design is when its ergonomic chair adjustment features 'make sense'. It should be easy to learn, and a breeze.

Ideally, you should be able to adjust your seat sitting down. If there is too much work, i don't think you can achieve ideal position anyway.

Hopefully the adjustment mechanisms can be learned by fiddling around, or provided with a clear manual with lots of pictures, or better yet DVD and customer hotline.

Best Ergonomic Chairs Design Features

Bring this Ergonomic Chair Design Checklist with you when you are looking (or rating) the best ergonomic chairs.

  1. The chair should be adjustable for height

  2. The backrest should be adjustable for tilt

  3. There should be an option of the lumber support to mold itself to the user's back

  4. The chair should have a five star base one casters

  5. Sufficient padding on the seat.

  6. High backrests and head supports are optional but definitely better.

  7. You should be able to lean back on your chair easily. Check to see if the chair is too big or too small for you

  8. Armrests should not obstruct a user if they would like to sit closer to the desk

  9. If there is an option to remove the armrest, take it

  10. ideally the armrests can also be adjustable for height

  11. Ideally you should be able to adjust the chair while sitting down.

Editor's note: Do not forget your ergonomic footrests (if your knees are at right angle and your feet is not on the floor - YOU NEED ONE)

Want to see our readers' ergonomic office chair ratings?

See Best Ergonomic Chairs

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