Ergonomic Adjustable Chairs

LP-01 knee tilt

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Ergonomic Adjustable Chairs

The furniture that will most affect your work is what you sit on, subtle or irritating, your chair matters. Today we will talk about what chairs do and some different ergonomic theories. Ergonomic means “designed to the task”, so a folding chair is ergonomic for that task of folding chair. What are you going to use the chair for, how long, what are your body size, work style, and any medical needs? Please seek professional help for health issues, lower back pain, or continued discomfort that may cause serious damage to your body. Listen to your body, and do not be afraid of playing with adjustments through the day and for different tacks. I found that being able to lean back while talking on the phone was helpful. Many modern chairs come with a seat slider for front-to-back depth adjustment. Also, some chairs come in small, medium, or large.


The history goes back to 1505 with wheels and height adjustment. Over time urban work changed with more people working in factories, and office equipment began to improve. Engineers began to study how health and body stress could be improved with better office chairs. Several advances were made in the 1800s, including padded upholstery, swivel castor wheels, and back adjustment.

Herman Miller Company

Herman Miller company designed the first modern human-centered chair for office work, the Ergon Chair in 1976 by Bill Stumpf.

“Philosopher and writer William Gass defined comfort as the “lack of awareness,” and Stumpf latched onto this definition as a goal for what could be achieved through ergonomic design. But he extended comfort beyond the physical to the psychological and emotional. As a prelude to his first chair design for Herman Miller, Stumpf laid out the criteria for comfort, several of which have been reimagined by artist Mike Perry in the animation that accompanies this story. These ideas come from his Ergon concept book, and were key to his proposal outlining the world’s first chair designed with ergonomic performance as a criterion.” History of the Ergon chair, Herman Miller company. This became what is called today, passive ergonomics, the idea that the chair should follow the body and supportively move with it. Worker productivity has always been important, even when the whip was a main item of influence. Most of the Western Civilization has come a long way and investment in humans is getting more value.

Ergonomic Adjustable Chair Mechanisms

Leggett and Platt’s Northfield Metal Products popularized adjustable seats and back angles for another type of office chair. This helped fit the chair to each person and the type of work they were doing. At the time it was very complicated…seat, back, and arm height – forward / backward seat and back tilt, seat depth slider, free rocking, and tilt lock. Lots of paddles, ” do you want a 3-paddle chair or 7-paddle chair?”. Adjustable lumbar support, headrest support, and the whole spinal column from neck to tailbone. The idea is that the chair should support and hold your body in good posture. #3 ergonomic adjustable chairs. Adjustable arms have made innovative improvements as well. Height, width, forward, back, angles, tilt, and full-on fold-away arms for gun holsters. Avery good company with over a million user reviews with their employer’s names listed is Autonomous and they do a great job supporting your work.

Made to Move

Further research revealed that our bodies were designed to move and that movement keeps our fluids moving as well. I think the HÅG brand put it best “the most comfortable position is the next one”. They developed inBalance technology for continuous movement while sitting. Some studies suggest simple contoured wood seats and backs work best to promote a movement that allows for better blood flow. Old things are new again.

Closed Cell Foam

Over the years I have enjoyed firm, closed-cell molded foam chairs with contoured seat/backshells, waterfall front seat edge, and a forward tilt setting. The forward tilt allows me to shift my weight from my lower back to my legs and a knee tilt mechanism works best for me. A knee tilt mechanism has the pivot point at the front of the seat rather than the center of the seat and keeps the front edge in the same place with the back lowering. When the pivot point is in the center, the front edge raises and adds pressure behind the knees. Even with a waterfall curved front edge on the seat, there is still added pressure constricting blood flow.

“I tried one”

Then 1994 happened, Herman Miller released the Aeron Chair or Borg chair, because resistance is futile. It took the tech world by striking looks, environmental materials, this new keeping your body cool thing, and just a better work chair. The Herman Miller crew with Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf has set a new and lasting standard again. This was the start of recruiters talking about office furniture to potential employees. The Aeron chair became the #1 amenity that was so trendy that people did not even know why they wanted to sit on it, but they had to have it.


The Mesh chair trend is well established now, with lots of cheap copycats and some good innovations. Work seating is continually developing and buyers still want something new. Treadmill walking desks, inflatable workout ball chairs, seat pad on a pole seating, urethane shop style stools and anything goes seating. #3 Ergonomic Adjustable Chairs are going to be around as long as people sit while they work or play. The “gamer chair” market keeps growing and the main value seems to be themed chairs, licensed media characters, sports teams, and video games. 

Chairs are like shoes and need to be “tried on”, you will not get great results from YouTube reviews.

Final Thoughts, movement is good for the body, comfort, and support.

  1. What will the seating be used for?
  2. What size person of persons will use it?
  3. Training of adjustments and best practices.
  4. Cleaning and maintenance.
  5. How long is the expected useful life of the product?
  6. Multi-worker use, shift work, and multi-purpose use.
  7. Environmental expectations and end-of-life plan.

Ergonomic Adjustable Chairs

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