How do I move a chair

Office chair functions and mechanisms

Hand on heart, do you know what office chair functions your chair has? Do you know what makes a good office chair?

The right office chair with appropriate functions is important for a healthy sitting posture!

No? No problem - we will show you which office chair functions are important to ensure healthy screen work even on long working days.

Office chairs are often advertised with countless technical terms that sound nice, but the normal user has no idea what that actually means.

Therefore, in this article we also explain common mechanisms and terms of the office chair.

Useful office chair functions

Basic functions that every chair should at least have

This overview shows which elements of an office chair are suitable for the daily use in the office is essential are:

  • Backrest: Everyone Office chairs need a backrest. you supports the back and relieved him
  • Seat height adjustment: Everyone has an individual height. Therefore, the Seat height for each be individually adjustable.
  • Armrests: Even if you don't think so, armrests are important. They help with the Relief of the shoulder and neck area
  • Rocking mechanism: Through the tilt-like movement the rocking mechanism you relieve your intervertebral discs enormously

Details on the basic functions


It should be possible to adjust the height of the backrest!

An important aspect that makes a good office chair is its backrest:

Ideally, this should not be rigidly locked to the chair and offer the possibility of individual adjustments in height and inclination.

This is necessary to adapt the chair to your own body. Tall people also benefit from a neck support.

This can also relieve the neck and shoulder muscles. Also pay attention to various height adjustment options.

Office chairs, the backrests of which are covered with mesh, ensure better air circulation on the back.

Seat height adjustment

The seat height of every office chair should be adjustable!

Nowadays almost every office chair can be adjusted in height - usually via a gas pressure spring.

The optimal sitting position is achieved when the upper and lower legs form an angle of at least 90 ° to each other - a larger angle is also easy on the back.

If the office chair changes hands frequently, particular care must be taken to readjust the optimal height.


An office chair without armrests is an absolute "no-go" in the office. Office chairs where the armrests are adjustable in height and width are best, as this ensures that the forearms can rest comfortably and loosely on the armrests.

This relaxes the shoulder and neck area in particular. Soft armrests are particularly good because they do not cause pressure points on the forearms.

Rocker function

The rocking mechanism provides valuable relief for the back muscles when you lean back. This model also has adjustable armrests.

Modern office chairs have a rocking mechanism. If you press your back against the backrest, it tilts backwards.
This relieves the intervertebral discs and ensures that you are not in a monotonous posture.

Office chairs with a rocker mechanism allow the resistance for tilting the backrest to be individually adjusted. An important function, because not everyone has different physical characteristics.

As a rule, the strength of the resistance is set using a dial under the seat.

Our tip: Make sure that all control elements for adjustment are easily accessible.

Optional, higher quality office chair functions

More ergonomics is always possible - This overview shows the mechanics with which even more ergonomics can be added to the office.

  • ✓ Lumbar support: So that the Lumbar spine optimal supported this small arch is used in high-quality chairs
  • ✓ Seat tilt adjustment: With the The seat can be tilted to adjust the angle of inclination benefit people who work a lot in front of the computer
  • ✓ Synchronous mechanism: Tilting 2.0 - The synchronous mechanism corrects bad posture and relieves the back

Ergonomic office chairs are not necessarily more expensive than many basic models: take a look for yourself.

Details of the high-quality mechanics

Lumbar support

A lumbar support ensures stability in the lumbar area while sitting!

High-quality models are offered by a lumbar support, which is nothing more than a bulge in the lumbar vertebral area that provides additional support for the lumbar spine.

Lumbar supports can also be found in car seats, for example, and offer the back more comfort and support.

The height of the arch can usually be adjusted individually.

Seat tilt adjustment

A seat depth and seat tilt adjustment can be found in particularly high-quality models

With a seat tilt adjustment, the tilt angle of the seat can be adjusted. The slightly sloping seat counteracts a backward displacement of the pelvis.

The seat tilt adjustment compensates for incorrect posture when working forward and is ideal for people who work a lot on the computer.


Better than the classic rocker mechanism: the synchronous mechanism. Here the seat and backrest move in different proportions!

In the case of an office chair with a synchronous mechanism, leaning against the backrest, together with the seat surface, follows the body's movement.

The synchronous mechanism corrects bad posture and relieves the back. Synchronous mechanisms are often found in very high-quality office chairs, the so-called "Dynamic sitting" enable.

Specifically, this means that the office chair continues to optimally support the back through existing mechanisms, even if the actual sitting posture and position change.

The maximum / recommended sitting time for an office chair

Some manufacturers indicate the maximum recommended sitting time in the product data!

Not all swivel chairs are the same.

It is tempting to buy a cheap office chair from the hardware store and use it for work in the office, with many factors influencing whether an office chair can also be used as such in the office.

One of the most important is that recommended sitting time:

A swivel chair with a Sitting for 8 hours per day or more is compulsory.

Cheap models usually only offer a sitting time of 2 or 4 hours per day. These office chairs are therefore only suitable for domestic use and should preferably not be used in the office.

What exactly does the specification of the maximum or recommended sitting time say?

If the maximum or recommended sitting time for an office chair is stated to be 4 hours per day, this specifically means that from 4 hours of sitting time daily, pain and damage to the health of the back can occur.

The indication of the recommended sitting time can be found in the product sheets and operating instructions for the respective office chair.

Instructions: optimally adjust the office chair

An optimally adjusted office chair is a prerequisite for healthy office work. Office furniture experts will show you what to look out for in these brief instructions:

  • You will achieve the correct seat height if the front edge of the seat and the hollow of the knee are at the same height when you are in a straight position.
  • Upper and lower legs have an angle of at least 90 degrees. If you do not achieve this, we recommend using a footrest (available on Amazon)
  • If your back is on the armrest, you still have 1 to 2 finger-widths between the edge of the seat and the hollow of your knee (important for the blood circulation in the legs!).
  • Adjust your backrest so that the back is particularly well supported above the pelvis.
  • Use the rocker or synchronous mechanism of your office chair as often as you can!

If you want to go even deeper into the subject, we recommend our instructions "Sitting correctly on the office chair".

Recommended professional chair

We recommend the price-performance winner Rovo XP for sitting times of 6 hours and more per day:

Product: Rovo XP (A click on the picture will take you to the product page)

The article "Office chair functions and mechanisms" was written by:

Stephan Forstmann

Expert for home office and healthy office work

Stephan originally comes from beautiful Dresden and has been an integral part of the office furniture expert's editorial team since 2009.

Stephan has been working in the home office since 2013 and has since become an expert in this field. He passes on his experiences, tips and best practices in the form of tutorials and articles in the guide.

In addition to the topic of home office, he deals daily with the topic of healthy office work and ergonomics.

You can find more articles by Stephan, for example, on or Abenteuer Home Office.

In his private life, Stephan loves and lives photography. You can talk to him for days about camera technology, composition and image design. He also regularly writes tutorials for photography.

If you would like to get in contact with Stephan, you are welcome to send him an email: [email protected]

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