Design Elements of Ergonomic Office Chairs

Illustration of several basic-ergonomic-adjustments

Procuring new office chairs can be both exciting and overwhelming. Of course, you would like them to complement the style of your office space, but you also need to ensure they will be comfortable and ergonomic for your employees. With an abundance of options to choose from and a sea of technical terms to navigate, it can be challenging to know what you should be seeking.
Below, we explain some standard elements of ergonomic chair design so you can feel more confident about shopping for ergonomic office seating. 

Standard Ergonomic Seating Adjustment Options

As you search for ergonomic office chairs, you will likely notice that all ergonomic options offer various features that allow users to make adjustments based on their unique needs. This opportunity for adjustment is what sets ergonomic office chairs apart from other models available on the market.
You are likely to come across terms such as:

Seat Adjustments

  • Pneumatic seat height adjustment
  • Seat depth adjustment (slider)
  • Waterfall seat edge (reduces pressure behind knees)
  • Seat angle adjustment (forward/backward tilt)

Backrest Adjustments

  • Lumbar support (height and depth adjustable)
  • Back height adjustment
  • Back angle adjustment
  • Adjustable headrest (height)
  • Flex back (moves with user's recline)

Tilt Mechanisms

  • Synchro-tilt (backrest reclines faster than seat)
  • Knee-tilt (pivots near knees, feet remain planted)
  • Center-tilt (pivots under center of seat)
  • Auto adjusting synchro-tilt (adjusts to user's weight)

Tilt Controls

  • Tilt tension adjustment (resistance when reclining)
  • Tilt lock (locks chair in upright or reclined position)

Armrest Adjustments

  • Arm height adjustment
  • Width adjustable arms
  • Armrest angle adjustment
  • Armrest rotation

Other Features

  • 360-degree swivel
  • Contoured, supportive cushions
  • Multi-function control levers
  • Soft descent pneumatic lift

Typically, high-quality and affordable office chairs like the Global ObusForme Comfort High Back Multi-Tilter Schukra, OTG Ibex Mesh Back Multi Tilter, ICON Mesh Back Q2, or OSP ProGrid Back Mid Back Managers Chair will provide the most robust selection of adjustment features. However, you can also find many options that serve the needs of your team and match your office décor without exceeding your budget constraints.

Seat Height and Seat Depth – What Do They Mean? 

While seat height adjustments allow the user to move their chair up and down, seat depth refers to "sliding" the seat or adjusting the position of the backrest relative to the front of the seat cushion. These adjustments promote comfort, reduce strain, and correct posture.  

Seat Tilt and Back Tilt – What Do They Mean? 

Seat and back tilt refer to options to change the angle of the seat and the backrest of an ergonomic chair. Both tilting features aim to reduce pressure and maintain posture in the hips, pelvis, and spine by providing options for different angles.
Employees with chronic back pain or spine issues may benefit from ergonomic chairs that offer a reclining back feature, as tilt features may limit angle ranges.

Lumbar Support – What Does It Mean?

Lumbar support for the back is a critical component of ergonomic office chair designs. This feature helps maintain natural curves in the lower part of the user’s back. Lumbar support may be available with varying adjustment options depending on the models you are considering, but you should always aim to provide some degree of lumbar support.


The basis of ergonomic office chairs is the opportunity for users to configure their seating based on their individual needs. While many office chairs come in standard designs with minimal options for adjustment, your employees are likely all of different heights and weights with unique health concerns and daily job functions. Therefore, your business and your employees can benefit from features such as seat height and depth, tilt, and lumbar support in your office chairs.  

Shop for Ergonomic Office Chairs in Canada

If you are ready to start browsing options for ergonomic office chairs or other stylish, high-quality seating, consider taking a look at our Ergonomic Office Seating’s collection. We offer a wide variety of office chairs to suit your style and meet the needs of your team members and guests.

Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you find ergonomic solutions for your space.