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Workplace Design

What Makes a Good Office Chair?


Looking for an ergonomic chair does not necessarily mean it’s automatically a good chair. In considering the “conventional” style of office chair, there are a number of things for the ideal office chair:

1. Seat height

Office chair seat height should be easily adjustable. A seat height that ranges from about 16 to 21 inches off the floor should work for most people. This allows the user to have his or her feet flat on the floor, with thighs horizontal and arms even with the height of the desk.

2. Back Rest 

Good chairs should encourage users to sit in neutral, healthy postures (slightly beyond 90 degrees) to ease pressure off the spine, and be easy to adjust. It should be able to support the natural curve of the spine. Adjustability in height and angle is most important, in order to fit most of your working population and diversity of sizes, along with proper form to support the lower back. Promoting good posture is important, as that helps reduce back pain.

3. Seat Material

The material on the office chair seat and back should have enough padding to be comfortable to sit on for extended periods of time. Having a cloth fabric that breathes is preferable to a harder surface. You’d want top comfort for your employees, keeping them happy and productive.

4. Swivel

Any conventional style or ergonomic chair should easily rotate so the user can reach different areas of his or her desk without straining.

5. Armrests

Office chair armrests should be adjustable. They should allow the user’s arms to rest comfortably and shoulders to be relaxed. The elbows and lower arms should rest lightly, and the forearm should not be on the armrest while typing.

All that said, ease of use and actual comfort are paramount. We’re starting to see more and more chairs adopting “passive ergonomics” and automated features to decrease the amount of user actions needed to fit the chair properly. Reduced need for training means reduced confusion and potential incorrect adjustments and discomforts.



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