Beginner’s Guide to Office Chair Ergonomic Features

If you’re someone who spends hours at a desk, an office chair is a crucial piece of furniture. Sitting for prolonged periods without an ergonomic chair can cause neck strain, back pains, and other aches and discomforts. This is where ergonomics features come into play.

Ergonomics office chairs are designed to support your body’s natural posture, reduce the risk of injury, and increase productivity by promoting comfort and proper body alignment. In this beginner’s guide to office chair ergonomic features, we’ll explore the list of different types of ergonomic features and how they benefit you.

In This Guide

Ergonomic Office Chair Features

Below you’ll find the most important ergonomic features in office chairs. We’ll go through what each feature is and why it’s important.

Lumbar Support

Lumbar support is a feature added in office chairs to support your back better. This mechanism is installed in the lower part of the backrest. It can usually be adjusted backward and inward, with some allowing their height to move too.

Lumbar support in office chairs aims to promote good posture in the lower portion of your back by creating an s-curve to fit the natural curvature of your spine.

Head and Neck Support

Head and neck support in an office chair refers to a feature that helps to support the head and beck, typically in the form of an adjustable headrest. Often located at the top of the chair and attached to the back, which allows for several dimensions of adjustability.

An adjustable headrest is vital to maintain good posture and reduce strain on your back and spine. Without proper support, sitting for extended periods can lead to discomfort and pain.

Backrest Recline

Backrest tilt is usually included in most office chairs, cheap or expensive. This mechanism changes the angle of the backrest relative to the seat with the help of a leaver. It’s responsible for taking some of the weight off your upper body, reducing the pressure on your back.

Seat Height

The option adjustable height is included in most office chairs and gives you the option to lift or lower the seat height using a leaver. It’s important to adjust the height properly for both the height of your desk and the right ergonomic position for your height.

Seat Width and Depth

This refers to the size of the space the user will be spending the most time sitting on, and therefore it’s essential that it can accommodate your hips comfortably. Appropriate seat width can help evenly distribute the weight of the body. That said, it’s important that the seat is not too wide as it can cause strain on the hip joints.

Seat Tilt

Seat tilt allows the seat to tilt forward or backward, independently of the backrest. This feature can help to adjust the angle of the seat to suit individuals’ needs based on their posture or activity, like leaning forward or backward. It greatly improves circulation in the legs.


Adjustable armrests are usually a premium feature that you may need to shell a little more money out. It allows the user to adjust their armrests in several directions depending on their preferred forearm position. They’re important for relieving stress on the shoulders and the back by helping maintain a good posture.

What are the Most Important Features?

In my experience, lumbar support, adjustable headrest support, and adjustable armrests are the 3 most important office chair ergonomic features. They have the biggest impact on the sitting experience and posture.

The lumbar support can single-handedly change your experience from below average to outstanding. A good adjustable or dynamic lumbar support can go a long way in providing you with the healthiest posture.

Don’t leave your head hanging. While you may be accustomed to an office chair without headrest support, when you go without you will not want to go back. An adjustable headrest that gives you plenty of room to adjust can have a big impact on posture versus a non-adjustable one.

Finally, the armrest support. Non-adjustable ones can be just as good as adjustable ones in this case. They ensure that you won’t be infested with shoulder and back pain.

It’s important to utilize those features efficiently, and therefore It’s important to sit properly in your office chair.

Here’s a video guide, you’d be surprised how much you didn’t know:

What Does the Term Ergonomic Mean?

The term ergonomic refers to the design and features manufacturers include to make the office chair as comfortable and efficient for day-to-day use as possible. It is designed to promote good posture, reduce strain on the body, and accommodate a wide range of body types and activities. It allows users to interact with their office chairs to customize them to meet their needs.

What Makes a Chair Ergonomic?

An ergonomic chair is designed to promote good posture and reduce strain on the body. A chair becomes more and more ergonomic as key features are added. A goal of an ergonomic office chair is to simply minimize discomfort by utilizing those features.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this guide to office chair ergonomic features has somewhat helped you make an informed decision when choosing your next office chair. One thing to remember is not to neglect ergonomics, and there are some great studies which support the importance of it.


What are the 3 major areas of ergonomics?

The 3 major areas of ergonomics are physical ergonomics, cognitive ergonomics, and organizational ergonomics. Physical focusing on the design of the equipment, cognitive and perceptual aspects of work like controls, and organizational on designing work systems.

What ergonomic features should you look for in a chair and desk?

The most important include features like chair seat height adjustability, lumbar support, seat depth, armrests, desk height, monitor position, and footrest.

Eric Moore

Eric Moore is the owner of Overheard on Conference Calls. As a corporate veteran, he’s seen and heard it all. And when it comes to office chairs, desks, and accessories, he’s used it all. As a former office furniture sales rep, he bring his expertise to provide readers the knowledge to choose the right products for them. He also has his OSHA Ergonomics Certificate.