What is an Ergonomic Chair? – The 10 Main Features

An ergonomic chair

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“What is an ergonomic chair?” This question is particularly relevant for those who spend significant time seated at a desk. An ergonomic chair is a must-have for anyone who spends long hours sitting at a desk. It is specifically designed to support your body, promote good posture, and ensure maximum comfort and health while you work. Whether you’re using it in your home office or at your workplace, an ergonomic chair offers a range of features that contribute to its effectiveness.

By promoting proper alignment of your body, an ergonomic chair helps prevent strain and fatigue, including back and neck pain, allowing you to stay focused and productive. Whether you’re working on important projects or simply surfing the web, an ergonomic chair is a wise investment for your health and well-being.

Key Takeaways:

  • An ergonomic chair is designed to properly support your body and promote good posture, improving comfort and increasing productivity.
  • Features such as adjustable seat height, armrests and lumbar support allow for a customized fit.
  • The built-in lumbar support reduces strain on the spine and prevents slouching, leading to less back, neck and shoulder pain.

The Main Features of an Ergonomic Chair

An ergonomic chair is designed with various features to provide optimal support, comfort, and promote good posture. The following features are what make a chair ergonomic. Understanding them is a key step before you delve into choosing the right ergonomic chair for your specific needs.

1. Adjustable Seat Height:

Adjustable seat height allows you to set the chair at a height that aligns with your desk and allows you to keep your knees at a right angle and feet flat on the floorensuring comfort and reducing the risk of strain on your legs and lower back.

2. Adjustable Lumbar Support:

An ergonomic chair should have adjustable lumbar support to align with the natural curve of your spine, preventing bad posture and thus preventing or reducing back, neck, and shoulder pain. Ideally, ergonomic chairs should feature cushioned, height and depth-adjustable lumbar support, conforming comfortably to the spine’s natural curve. This tailored adjustability ensures proper spinal alignment and accommodates varying body shapes and sizes.

3. Backrest Recline:

The backrest recline feature in ergonomic chairs allows you to adjust the angle of the backrest to find the exact angle that fits your personal preferenceIt is usually recommended to maintain an angle slightly greater than 90 degrees between your torso and thighs in order to avoid too much pressure on the lower back discs

Additionally, the recline function offers the flexibility to comfortably rest during breaks, enhancing overall comfort and well-beingWhen using an ergonomic chair’s backrest recline feature for that, it’s important to consider the addition of a headrest and, ideally, a footrest.

4. Swivel:

A swivel function enables easy maneuverability, allowing you to reach different areas of your workspace without straining your body.

5. Wheels:

Wheels enable smooth mobility and easy movement within your workspace, allowing you to switch between tasks and reach for different things effortlessly.

6. Adjustable Armrests:

Adjustable armrests help reduce tension in the shoulders and arms, promoting a relaxed posture. Adjustable armrests, by providing a stable and comfortable support for the forearms, reduce the need for the shoulder and arm muscles to constantly engage in holding up the arms. Ergonomic chairs should have armrests that are height and width-adjustable, allowing for precise positioning to suit individual body sizes. Additionally, the most high-quality chairs offer the added comfort of cushioned armrests.

7. Adjustable Headrest:

An adjustable headrest provides additional support to the neck and helps maintain proper alignment, helping maintain good posture and avoiding discomfort. The headrests of most ergonomic chairs are adjustable in height and angle to provide individual support for the head and neck.

8. Waterfall Design and Adjustable Seat Depth: 

Adjustable seat depth can be beneficial as it allows you to try out different depths to find the most comfortable and supportive one for yourself. The right seat depth should keep you comfortable while ensuring proper thigh support and preventing pressure on the back of the knees, promoting better circulation and reducing discomfort. Therefore, if you are not absolutely sure that the seat depth of the chair fits your individual needs, you should make sure it is adjustable. The waterfall design in an ergonomic chair, characterized by a seat edge that curves downward, is for reducing pressure on the back of the thighs, enhancing leg circulation and comfort.

9. Footrest:

Footrests are not a necessary feature in ergonomic chairs, but they can be a beneficial addition. They provide extra support and comfort during periods of rest and relaxation.

10. High-Quality Materials:

An ergonomic chair should be constructed with durable, high-quality materials that offer comfort and longevity. Mesh and leather chairs make up the most high-quality ergonomic chairs. Mesh chairs are the top choice when it comes to breathability, being the perfect fit for people who sit for long periods and people who work in warm environments. High-quality leather chairs are well-padded, offering superior comfort and offer a more professional and aesthetic look.

General Benefits of Using an Ergonomic Chair

Person sitting on an ergonomic chair

When it comes to your health and well-being in the workplace, investing in an ergonomic chair can make a significant difference. Prolonged sitting can have various health implications, including back pain and disturbed blood flow, especially if you are using a standard chair that lacks the supportive and adjustable features of an ergonomic design

An ergonomic chair is specifically designed to provide optimal support and promote proper posture. By offering supportive and adjustable features, these chairs can significantly reduce (the risk of) musculoskeletal issues and increase comfort during long hours of sitting, thereby enhancing overall work efficiency and well-being.

Here is a breakdown of the benefits of an ergonomic chair:

  • Improved Posture and Spinal Alignment: An ergonomic chair supports the natural alignment of the spine, reducing slouching and promoting a healthier sitting posture, essential for spinal health.
  • Reduced (Risk of) Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain: The ergonomic design of the chair, primarily through improved posture, minimizes stress and strain on the back, neck, and shoulders, thereby reducing the likelihood of discomfort and pain in these critical areas.
  • Enhanced Blood Circulation: By allowing for proper leg positioning and avoiding pressure on the thighs and back of the knees, ergonomic chairs enhance blood circulation in the lower limbs, avoiding the discomfort and health issues associated with reduced circulation, such as numbness or swelling.
  • Increased Overall Comfort and Productivity: Comfortable seating reduces physical discomfort, leading to fewer distractions and more focus, thereby boosting productivity and overall work satisfaction.


In conclusion, investing in an ergonomic chair offers several benefits for your health, comfort, productivity, and overall well-being. These chairs are specifically designed to provide optimal support and promote proper posture, ensuring a comfortable sitting experience throughout the day.

By using an ergonomic chair, you can reduce (the risk of) musculoskeletal problems and discomfort associated with prolonged sitting. The adjustable features of these chairs allow you to customize the settings according to your body dimensions, providing personalized support and comfort.

With improved comfort and support, you can maintain a healthier sitting posture, which not only reduces the strain on your body but also increases your productivity. By investing in an ergonomic chair, you are making a commitment to creating a more comfortable and efficient work environment for yourself.


What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is a science that focuses on designing objects and work environments to enhance safe and efficient human interaction.

How do I sit correctly in an ergonomic chair?

Proper sitting posture in an ergonomic chair involves sitting back in the chair, maintaining a relaxed and neutral spine position, with your feet flat on the floor and knees at a 90-degree angle. Your arms should rest comfortably on the armrests, with your shoulders relaxed and elbows at a 90-120-degree angle, ensuring your wrists are straight while typing or using a mouse.

How does an ergonomic chair improve productivity?

A good ergonomic chair contributes to a more comfortable and ergonomic work environment, enabling users to focus on their tasks without being distracted by physical discomfort.

Are ergonomic chairs beneficial for short-term use, or are they only effective over long periods?

Ergonomic chairs provide immediate comfort and support, making them beneficial even for short-term use. However, their greatest benefits, like the alleviation of musculoskeletal issues, are more pronounced over long-term use.

What should I use in addition to an ergonomic chair to make my workspace truly ergonomic?

To enhance your workspace ergonomically, consider using a standing desk in addition to your ergonomic chair. On the one hand, a standing desk allows you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout your workday, promoting movement and helping to reduce the risks of staying in one position for too long. On the other hand, it allows you to maintain good posture while sitting and standing. This article explains how to use a standing desk and integrate one into your routine.