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5 Different Types of Office Chairs (And Their Ergonomics) Explained

23 November 2023

Office chairs have been around workplaces for a long time. And while they make an integral part of an office setup, most people take it for granted and only notice them when office chairs are broken and need replacement.

However, this shouldn't be the case as office chairs not only affect our productivity but also directly impact our health.

Today, you will find endless types of chairs used in offices. Modern-day chairs are adapted to the various needs of different occupations and workplaces, and that's what we look at in this post. In what follows, we explain some of the most common types of office chairs and how well they get along with ergonomics.

So let's get started.

#1. Ergonomic Office Chairs

Ergonomic office chairs are specially designed office sitting solution that allows their users to maintain a neutral posture. Moreover, ergonomic office chairs are also designed to provide enough support to the body as you spend long hours sitting.

Ergonomic office chairs offer several adjustability features, such as adjustable height, seat depth, headrests, and armrests that provide adequate support to the body while sitting. Moreover, since it allows you to maintain optimal body position, it helps reduce the risk of several health conditions, including poor posture, associated spinal disorders, and poor blood circulation.

Unlike other office sitting solutions, ergonomic office chairs are specifically developed to provide comfort and support to their users. However, there is a downside of these types of chairs that deters most individuals from investing in this type of chair and that's the high cost. Ergonomic office chairs are often more costly than other types of office chairs. However, by investing in one for your office, you can save more in the long run, as using ergonomic office chairs can prevent several health conditions.

Ergonomic office chairs make a perfect investment if you are looking for sitting solutions that support your entire spine and help prevent conditions of the neck, back, and shoulders when sitting.

Some of the common features of ergonomic office chairs include;

Adjustable seat height, seat depth, armrest, and headrest,

Lumbar support along with padded seat and back, and

Stable base and easy swiveling.

#2. Mesh Office Chairs

Mesh office chairs are ergonomic chairs designed specifically to provide comfort while ensuring breathability. Hence, mesh office chairs make a great choice for individuals who tend to sweat a lot or work in hot and humid office conditions.

Instead of a padded backrest, the backrest of a mesh office chair is made from a breathable mesh which is a net-like fabric. However, the seat is padded for exceptional comfort. Mesh office chairs are also ergonomically designed to maximize lumbar support and improve blood circulation and possess most of the features of an ergonomic office chair.

#3. Leather Office Chairs

One of the other variations of an ergonomic office chair is a leather office chair. As the name suggests, it is an office-sitting solution that is covered with leather.

Leather office chairs make a sophisticated sitting solution that often appeals to individuals who value style and luxury. This type of office chair is also ergonomically designed. However, they offer limited adjustability features. Moreover, since they are made up of leather instead of fabric or mesh, they tend to be more expensive.

There are several types of leather office chairs which, include

Polyurethane (PU) or faux leather chairs,

Bonded leather chair, and

Genuine leather chair.

Let's look at each of these three types of leather chairs.

Polyurethane (PU) or Faux Leather Chair

Though the feel and appearance of faux leather chairs are very similar to genuine leather chairs, however, the material is not leather. Instead, it is a synthetic leather substitute that makes a cheap alternative to genuine leather chairs. Faux leather chairs are low-priced (compared to genuine or bonded leather chairs). Moreover, they are also durable and easy to maintain.

Bonded Leather Chairs

Bonded leather, also known as reconstituted leather, is made by bonding leather by-products with synthetic materials such as polyurethane. Bonded leather makes another cheaper alternative to genuine leather; however, it isn't durable. Moreover, bonded leather chairs may fade away and dry up quickly, especially when sunlight exposes.

Genuine Leather Chairs

Genuine leather chairs are the most expensive type of all leather chairs. They are made using genuine leather, which is characterized by superior comfort, breathability, durability, and exceptional aesthetic appeal.

However, maintaining genuine leather chairs isn't always easy. You need to ensure that you keep genuine leather chairs away from direct heat and sunlight to avoid fading and drying.

Maintaining Leather Office Chairs

One of the most important things about leather office chairs that you should keep in mind is their maintenance. Without appropriate care and maintenance, leather chairs can quickly look worn out, and the leather may also peel. Here's how you can properly clean and maintain the three types of leather chairs.

Faux Leather Chairs

Use a damp, soft sponge to wipe your faux leather chair. In case of a stain or grime, use dish detergent to clean the surface. Wipe again using a dry washcloth to remove any residual soap.

Bonded Leather Chairs

Maintaining bonded leather chair is relatively easy as it only requires wiping down using a dry cloth. In case your bonded leather chair needs a deep cleaning, use mild detergent and a damp cloth to clean the chair. However, before you start the cleaning process, don't forget to do a spot test to ensure that the detergent you are using doesn't damage your chair. Use a dry cloth to wipe up excess water.

It is recommended that you apply leather conditioner on your bonded leather chair at least once or twice a year, as it helps maintain a smooth texture and enhances your chair's lifespan.

Genuine Leather Chairs

Use specifically formulated genuine leather cleaning products to clean your genuine leather chair. You can also use a mixture of vinegar and linseed oil to condition your genuine leather chair every few weeks. Apply the mixture on your chair and let it air dry. Use a dry cloth to buff your chair for a nice shine.

Moreover, you should also treat your genuine leather chair using leather conditioner at least once or twice a year to maintain your chair's softness and appeal.

#4. Kneeling Chairs

Kneeling chairs also make a popular type of office chair that allows you to divide your body weight between your shins and your bottom. Kneeling chairs are often backless office chairs that allow you to lean forward as you sit, which helps reduce stress from your back while engaging your core.

Some of the benefits of using kneeling chairs include reduced back pain. Moreover, the use of kneeling chairs also helps maintain the lumbar curvature better than conventional office chairs. Furthermore, since your core muscles are engaged as you sit on this chair, you can look forward to stronger core muscles that will better support your back.

While the use of kneeling chairs brings several advantages, the chair is not designed for long-term sitting as it restricts the movement of the legs. Moreover, constant use of a kneeling chair can create lower back stress and spinal compression. Furthermore, it contributes to constant pressure on the shins, leading to pain and discomfort in the long run.

Since kneeling chairs are not designed to support long-term sitting, if you intend to use a kneeling chair, it's best to have an alternative sitting arrangement at your workplace. By having an alternative chair, you can switch between the two types of chairs to avoid staying in one position for too long.

#5. Big and Tall Chairs

Not all individuals in a workplace can fit in a regular office chair. Some individuals are taller and heavier than average people, and a perfect sitting solution for such individuals is a big and tall office chair.

Big and tall office chairs are ergonomic office sitting solutions that are characterized by higher weight capacity (can handle weight anywhere between 250 lbs. to 1000 lbs. depending upon their specific weight capacity). Moreover, they offer seat adjustment features to accommodate individuals with taller heights (6'2" and beyond).

Furthermore, the chairs also feature higher and wider backrests, wider seats, thicker padding, and adjustable armrests. And let's not forget that this type of chair also features a sturdy and durable base to support heavier and taller individuals.

It's not always easy to find big and tall chairs, but Flexispot makes it easier for you by offering products like Back Support Ergonomic Office Chair OC13, which makes a great ergonomic office-sitting solution.

Final Words

There are countless office chairs that you can find in modern times. Which chair is best for you depends on your needs, how long you will be sitting on the chair, and your budget.

If you are looking for the right office chair, get in touch with FlexiSpot, which is home to endless ergonomic office solutions to enhance your comfort and productivity. Find out more about what we have to offer here.