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  • Writer's pictureITO Furniture

Is a chair just a chair?

ITO Furniture has been running for little over four years now and I have (in my vast corporate years LOL!) realised that "a chair is indeed, not just a chair"! You know what I'm talking about... You start your career in a company at age 20 perhaps and you're given a desk and chair and you do your work. Your chair is there... It's something to lay your weary behind on and you're grateful you're not sitting like this guy! You climb the corporate ladder and perhaps you're lucky enough the company you work for now had the foresight to invest in a good chair. Only then do you realise that you're posture has improved, your backache has reduced slightly and you find yourself less exhausted at 5pm.

Folks, let me give you the pros to having a "good chair".

Below you can see how 80% of the population sits in front of their computer.

According to Osteopathy Sports Massage ( "Poor posture indicates that your body is not aligned as it should be. The most common postural problem is called Forward Head Posture or (FHP). FHP is characterised by the forward displacement of your head, causing the shoulders to roll forward and your upper back to hunch. Over time this leads to a swaying forward of your hips and hollowing of your low back. When your body is misaligned, the functional and structural stresses put on the muscles, joints and organs can result in:

  • muscle tension

  • joint wear and tear

  • disc degeneration

  • reduced energy levels

  • reduced respiratory output"

What Makes a Good Chair?

No one chair will fit every person. Different styles of chairs are available that meet the following criteria:

• Height and depth should be adjustable to accommodate the various heights and leg lengths of people. • The tilt should also be adjustable to allow for various angles. • A Waterfall front seat (sloping slightly forward) is advised to reduce pinching and to improve blood flow. • Seats should be padded and rounded at the end. BACKREST The backrest should be able to lock in various positions. This can vary between 3 – 5 positions, depending on the make and model of your chair as well as the mechanism.

The height should be adjustable in order to provide proper lumbar support for taller people.

HEADREST Optional – but should be adjustable.

ARMRESTS Properly designed armrests help support upper arms, back and neck. However, armrests are not recommended if they interfere with the desk height and prevent the person from getting close enough to the keyboard. If used, they should be of proper length and width so that the arms rest comfortably and perfectly. They can be padded in order to support the shoulders. Adjustable armrests move in various directions: up and down, forwards and backwards, sideways. 4D armrests can move outwards in order to accommodate more seating space.


Generally speaking, a ‘lumbar support’ is anything that gives you additional support to the lumbar region or “lower back”.

Lumbar support can be an adjustable cushion or simply a “curved” backrest.


A basic mechanism only allow a swivel and tilt movement. It will unfortunately not allow the chair to function further. A syncro mechanism that allows the back and seat to move in a synchronized way.

A Donati Mechanism ( is one of the best mechanisms to use on a chair.

(Watch this space for posts on the different mechanisms and what they do)

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS • Chair bases should have five points for stability. • Chair casters should be appropriate for the floor surface covering. • Adjustment controls should be sturdy and operable while seated. • Fabric should be permeable (allowing it to breathe) so as to encourage blood flow and to avoid build‐up of perspiration. • All users should receive “hands‐on” training on chair adjustments. • Even the best‐designed chair will not prevent back discomfort if used statically for prolonged periods of time.

Here are some great Ergo Chairs we recommend. Visit our Ergonomical chair section to view more and download some specifications.