Let’s be honest – do you know what features your office chair provides? Do you know what really matters in an office chair?

Bürostuhl Funktionen - was ist wichtig?

The correct office chair with its relevant features is important for a healthy sitting posture!

No? No problem at all – we will show you what features an office chair needs in order to ensure healthy working in front of a screen within long days.

Office chairs often get promoted by innumerable technical terms which may sound nice but every normal user has no idea what they really mean.

Because of that, we will explain common mechanics and terms of an office chair in this article.

Useful features of an office chair

Some basic features, every office chair needs to have

The following overview will show which elements of an office chair are absolutely essential when using it daily at the office:

  • Backrest: every office chair needs a backrest. It will support and relieve the back.
  • Adjustment in seat height: everybody has an individual height. Therefore, the seat height needs to be adjusted for everybody individually.
  • Armrests: Even if you do not assume it – armrests are important. They help to relieve your shoulders and neck.
  • Tilt mechanism: due to the wobbling alike movement of the tilt mechanism, our discs get relieved

Details of the basic features

Die Höhenverstellbarkeit der Rückenlehne

You should be able to adjust the backrest in height!

One aspect that is essential for a good office chair is its backrest:

It should not be tied up rigidly to the chair and provide a good possibility of individual adjustments in height and tilt.

This is essential to adjust the chair to one’s own body. Tall people additionally benefit from a headrest.

It can relieve neck and shoulders further. Pay attention to diverse options in height adjustments as well.

Office chairs whose backrests are covered with mesh material provide a better ventilation at the back.

Adjustment in seat height
Sitzhöhe einstellen

Every office chair should be adjustable in its seat height!

Almost every office chair is adjustable in height these days – in most cases via a gas spring.

You are sitting optimally when upper and lower leg form at least a right angle – a greater angle is also gentle for the back.

If the office chair is used by different people, you need to bear in mind to adjust the optimal height once again.


An office chair without armrests is an absolute no-no in the office. Best are office chairs whose armrests can be adjusted in height and width because this provides that forearms can lay relaxed and comfortable on the armrests.

Therefore, especially shoulders and neck get relieved. Best are soft armrests because they don’t cause pressure marks on the forearms.

Feature of bobbing up and down
Wippmechanik und verstellbare Armlehnen

The tilting mechanism provides a pleasant relief of the back when leaning back. This exemplar also has adjustable armrests.

Modern office chairs do have the feature of bobbing up and down. If you press your back against the backrest, it will tilt backwards.

This will relieve your discs and ensures that you will not sit in a monotonous posture.

Office chairs with a tilting mechanism can also be adjusted individually by their resistance of tilting the backrest. This is an important feature because everybody has different physical characteristics.

Usually, the intensity of the resistance can be adjusted by a rotary knob placed under the seat.

We also recommend making sure that all devices for adjustment are within easy reach.

Optional office chair features with higher quality

You can even achieve more ergonomics. This overview will show you which mechanism will lead to more ergonomics in the office.

  • Lumbar support: for the lumbar spine getting supported optimally, this small curvature is used for high-quality chairs
  • ✓ Adjustment in seat tilt: everybody who works in front of the computer a lot, benefits from the adjustment of the seats tilt range
  • ✓ Synchro mechanism: tilting 2.0 – The synchro mechanism remediates false postures and relieves the back

Ergonomic office chairs don’t have to be more expensive than standard models: take a look here.

Details of high-quality mechanism

Lumbar support
Detailansicht einer Lordosenstüt

A lumbar support stabilises the area of the lumbar vertebra while sitting!

High-quality exemplars provide a lumbar support which is literally just a curvature in the area of the lumbar vertebra that provides additional support for the lumbar spine.

Lumbar supports are also e.g., common in car seats and provide a better seating comfort and support for the back.

Usually, the curvature can be adjusted individually in its height.

Adjustment in seat tilt

An adjustment in seat depth and tilt is common for extra high-quality exemplars.

When adjusting the seat tilt, you are able to adjust the seat’s tilt range. The slightly declining seat counteracts the rearward shift of the pelvic.

Therefore, the adjustment in seat tilt compensates false postures when leaning forward while working and is ideally for everybody who works at the computer a lot.

Synchro mechanism
Die Synchronmechanik

Much better than the standard tilting mechanism is the synchro mechanism. It means that the seat and backrest move in different proportions!

When you are sitting on an office chair with synchro mechanism und you lean onto the backrest, the backrest will go along the body movement, as well as the seat.

The synchro mechanism remediates false postures und relieves the back. This mechanism often can be found at high-quality office chairs which enable the so called “dynamic seating”.

This means that the office chair still supports the back optimally due to available mechanisms, even if the actual sitting posture or position changes.

Maximum / recommended duration of sitting in an office chair

Maximale Sitzdauer

Some manufacturers reveal the maximum daily use recommend in their product specifications!

Not all swivel chairs are the same.

It may be tempting to buy a low-priced office chair from the DIY warehouse and use it for working in the office, although many parameters affect whether the office chair can even be used as such.

One of the most important parameters is the duration of sitting that is recommended:

For the usage in the office, a swivel chair with a daily use of minimum 8 hours is required.

Low-priced examples often only provide a duration of 2 to 4 hours a day. Therefore, office chairs like these only work well for the use at home, preferably not in the office.

ese Bürostühle eignen sich daher nur für den heimischen Gebrauch und sollten vorzugsweise nicht im Büro genutzt werden.

What exactly does the specification of the maximum or recommended duration of sitting indicate?

If there are 4 hours daily use maximum or recommended for an office chair indicated, this means that after 4 hours of daily sitting, pain or a harm in back’s health can possibly occur.

The specification of the recommended duration of sitting is written in product sheets and the operation instruction of its associated office chair.

Instructions: adjusting the office chair optimally

An office chair which is optimally adjusted is absolutely essential for a healthy office work. We want to show you with this brief instruction what to pay attention to:

  • You reach the correct seat height when the seat’s edge and your knee pit stay on the same height when sitting in a straight posture.
  • Your upper and lower legs form at least a right angle. If you can’t accomplish this, we recommend using a footrest (available on Amazon).
  • With your back against the backrest, you need to have a distance of a 1 to 2 finger width between the seat’s edge and your knee pit (important for the blood circulation in the legs!).
  • Adjust the backrest so that the back above the pelvis is supported very well.
  • Take advantage of the tilting or synchro mechanism of your office chair as often as you can!

If you want to do further research on this topic, we recommend reading our instruction “Sitting correctly on the office chair”.

Recommendable chair for professionals

For a duration of sitting of at least 6 hours per day, we recommend the winner according to its price and performance: Rovo XP.

Rovo XP

Product: Rovo XP (by clicking you will be redirected to the product page)

The post "Features and mechanism of an office chair" written by:

Sophie Voigtländer

Expertin für Bürogestaltung und Ergonomie

Sophie joined deskonia at the beginning of 2021. Since then, she is mainly responsible for translating all kinds of texts into English.

She studied International Communication and Translation.

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