Chair Ergonomics Explained

You should not be sitting all day. But if you really have to park your bum in a chair for a long time, it might as well be an ergonomic chair.

You’ve probably heard this term being thrown here and there. But in this article, you’ll get to know what it means better. It’s also more than just a collective feature. Ergonomics refers to a discipline that studies, engineers, and designs objects in systems to make them suitable for people.

Ergonomic chairs for office is just one of the many areas it branches out to. Expand your horizons and delve deeper into this exciting space below.

Table of Contents

What Makes a Good Ergonomic Chair?

Ergonomic Settings

Maybe you know about the Ikea chairs office workers, as well as, home-based ones, rave about. These are said to be ergonomic, but what is that?

An ergonomic chair can be adjusted based on your work habits and behavior. If you are raising the height of your chair to a level that feels comfortable to you, then you are tapping into the ergonomic feature of the chair. If you can recline the back and seat parts to an angle at which you can rest and relax, that’s also another sign.

Where you lean your elbows and arms, head and neck, and legs and feet also matter to the design of an ergonomics chair. So, the more flexible the features are, the better.

Aside from adjusting the seat height, another important factor that some models miss is the seat depth. This refers to the distance from the front to the back of your seat.

Proper seat depth can help distribute your weight evenly and take the pressure off your thighs and knees. To know if you’re settling into the correct form, place your knees three to four fingers length away from the seat edge, and your feet flat on the floor. Your thighs do not have to be exactly parallel to the floor.

Construction & Materials

High-quality materials are usually expected from a high-end design. The placement of the components is well thought out. And the overall construction does not detract from the functionality of its parts. Ergonomic chairs cannot afford to be built on flimsy and unstable elements.

Even the plastic used in budget chairs by some companies should work to replace the more expensive materials. It should be sturdy enough to prevent the headrest, backrest, seat, armrests, and legs from giving in. You should be able to get a lot of value from it even if it costs more or less $100.

Support, Stability, and Comfort

The ultimate goal of an ergonomic chair is to make you feel supported, stable, and comfortable. So, the parts should achieve the purpose for which they are made. For instance, the mid or high backrest should provide back support, specifically the spine and lumbar support. It should contour to your body’s shapes to help you sit naturally.

Meanwhile, stability comes from the build quality of the chair. The design should live up to the functions and benefits it is supposed to deliver. Aesthetics can go straight to the trash if the structure is unstable, and the chair becomes unusable after a few days or weeks or months.

Finally, a good ergonomic chair has already factored in your utmost comfort. Its features allow you to sit for hours on end without experiencing soreness and aches. You can rely on this chair to protect your health and wellbeing. It does not compromise on these areas because that would defeat its purpose.

Your Purpose

It seems I’ve talked about purpose a lot already. But if you’re honest about your purchase, you can tell yourself that you were driven by a deep-set reason. What is it? Are you setting the chair up in a small space? Are you influenced by an area in which you can freely move around? How will this model affect your sitting habits? Do you need to recline when taking a break from work?

These are just some of the questions you can ask before buying. With your purpose clarified, you can have your negotiables and non-negotiables when deciding on the ergonomic chair model you’re bringing home. It will be easier to narrow down the options and nail the right fit.

How Much Does an Ergonomic Chair Cost?

On average, ergonomic chairs can retail between $350 and $800. The prices differ depending on the level of customization and cost of materials the manufacturer has built into the product. For those who are planning to buy in bulk, you may also start with offerings that come at under $100. These models will provide you with enough ergonomic features to accommodate the basic needs of users.

Just because it comes with a high price doesn’t mean it is high-quality. Although, higher-end units tend to have more thought put into their design. Meanwhile, a cheap version doesn’t automatically mean low-quality. But expect more compromises on its materials and construction. When your budget is limited, you might as well spend it smartly on a top brand and product in that category.

What are the Best Chairs for Sitting All Day?

The ergonomic chair space is ever-changing. But here are a few brands and models that remain on top of people’s lists for the most comfortable to sit in at work:

Do Ergonomic Chairs Really Work?

Like any other technology, ergonomic chairs allow you to alter the environment in which you work. This capability can help you achieve optimal productivity. I’m relieved I can adjust the height to high or low, depending on my need at the moment. But that is just one part of the equation.

This is where the human factor comes in. Take the connection between pain and posture. While improving posture is a benefit, it also plays a role in preventing back pain. So when you sit in an ergonomic chair, you may increase your chances of keeping soreness at bay. But you may not enjoy the full benefits if you are slouching, or not following the correct distance between your body and the computer screen.

At the same time, if you lack sleep, do not exercise, or experience overwhelming stress, these lifestyle factors can worsen your existing problem.

It is better to look at the situation in a holistic manner instead of thinking that a chair will solve everything for you. Still, you cannot underestimate how the right chair can make a difference in your day-to-day life.


So, you’ve just learned what makes a chair ergonomic, how much this kind of chair costs, and how it works in connection with other factors. You’ve also come across a few brands and models that are leading in different niches of this space.

The ultimate goal is to use it for the improvement of human factors, vis-a-vis products, processes, and systems. In a way, that improves lives, too.

After knowing all this information, do you think you are ready to switch to an ergonomic chair? Or maybe you have been sitting in one without being aware of it. Whatever your situation is, make sure to use your full knowledge to keep your health and productivity at optimal levels.

This has been another interesting topic to delve into. If you have questions or thoughts you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment below.

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