What Is An Executive Ergonomic Chair?

In the article What Is An Ergonomic Chair we detailed the essential features that an office chair needs to have to be considered an ergonomic office chair.

Here's a summary of the five key features

  • Pneumatic Seat Height Adjustment
  • Back Height Adjustment
  • Seat Depth Adjustment
  • Arm Height Adjustment
  • Adjustable Tilt Tension

Fluid Exec Chair

So, what might be different for an executive ergonomic office chair?

Well, as we've included the term executive in our office seat description it's assumed that you are looking for a higher quality or specification of office chair.

You probably want an office seat that has been designed ergonomically, is of high quality construction and incorporates the very best features found in modern executive ergonomic office chairs. Let's go back through the five key features one by one and consider the different or additional options you may want to look at.


Pneumatic Seat Height Adjustment

Virtually any office chair nowadays has gas lift height adjustment, however you may wish to consider a more attractive style or finish.

A lot of office chairs typically have a gas lift that is fitted with a outer set of black plastic tubular sleeves designed to nest inside each other. As you lower the chair each sleeves inside the other to conceal the metal gas lift. When you raise the chair the sleeves should rise up too and conceal the extended gas lift, more often than not they stick and don't work unless you pull them up by hand.

On a lot of better quality chairs, the chair manufacturer instead tries to make a feature of the gas lift by finishing the outer sleeve of the gas lift to match the chair's 5 star base. Others offer an ultra slim gas lift.

If necessary you may also want to consider changing the standard gas lift for an up-rated weight or height capacity to suit you own particular height or weight. This is an optional item on better quality chairs which buyers can select when purchasing, it should also be possible to replace the gas lift later if necessary.

Height Adjustable Back

On more basic office seats back height adjustment is carried out by means of a knurled knob fitted to the chair's back, not very pretty.

Higher quality chairs are better designed with the chair's back height adjustment concealed on the inside of the back stem. Others use a ratchet mechanism, this operates by moving the chair back up on a concealed ratchet system within the back itself. Once the maximum height is reached a further lift returns the chair back to the bottom of its height adjustment.

Another popular back height adjustment is by means of a built in button in the chair's back, you simply press the button or buttons and raise and lower the seat's back to suit your individual needs.

Seat Depth Adjustment

The ability to adjust the depth of your office seat is important to ensure you are correctly seated in relation to your leg length.

Most office chair manufacturers use a form of sliding seat mechanism to achieve this. Typically, this is operated by lifting a lever and using your body's weight to move the seat pan to the most comfortable position for yourself. Others adjust by means of a knurled knob which moves the seat pan in and out depending on which way it is turned, this generally works well.

Some chair suppliers provide the adjustment by moving the chair's back forwards or backwards rather than the seat. It's all down to personal preference and any of the options work effectively.

Arm Height Adjustment

Arm height adjustment on executive ergonomic office chairs comes in a variety of different forms. The most basic is by means of a knurled knob, you loosen it, move the arms to where you want them and lock them off.

Push button arm height adjusters are quite popular, the user simply presses the button in moves the arms to the desired height and releases the button to lock the arm height position.

Another type of adjuster is by means of a radio volume style knob that moves and lowers the arm when turned. Yet another follows the ratchet idea where you lift the arm to ratchet up or down to the desired height.

A number of arm mechanisms can also be angled outwards to enable the chair user to get in closer to their desk.

Some even swing completely out of the way such as the HAG so you ultimately have the choice of whether or not you want to use the chair arms or not. This is an excellent mechanism and works well.

Adjustable Tilt Tension

The most commonly used tilt tension adjustment on ergonomic office chairs is by means of a large knurled knob fitted centrally under the chair mechanism. The user simply turns it in one direction to increase the back's resistance and in the opposite direction to lower the back's resistance. This works quite well and the knob can generally be adjusted while still seated in your office chair.

Another tilt tension mechanism adjustment involves a sliding knob control that the user moves to a choice of 3 or 4 positions. This can't normally be altered whilst sitting in the office seat so you would need crouch down to access it.

There are even self tensioning chairs where the user leans right back into the chair and the office chair tension mechanism assesses the user's weight and sets the tension accordingly. This is the easiest method of adjustment, the only downside is that you can't override it if you feel it isn't quite how you want it.

So, hopefully you now know the critical features that you need to include when buying that new chair. If you like the thought of leather upholstery for your new chair, take a look at our article Advantages & Disadvantages of Leather Ergonomic Chairs you'll find some useful pointers to help you make the right choice.

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