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Chair Research Center

Learn how to find your comfort zone.

When choosing an office chair, it's all about support. And Staples offers a wide variety of seating with the features you need to stay comfortable. By understanding the terms before you buy, you can find the chair that's right for you. Use our helpful guide to learn about support, ergonomic features, shop by styles and more.

Get the support you need.

Back support

The typical backrest should support both your upper and lower back. Many chairs offer lumbar support, which contours to the natural curve of your spine.

Proper lumbar support should allow you to sit up straight with relaxed shoulders and should leave no stress on your upper body. Adjustable backs allow users to customize support to their personal needs.


Features to consider:

  • Lumbar support

    Provides lower-back support to minimize pressure on the base of your spine. Helps reduce fatigue.X

  • Adjustable lumbar support

    Easily adjusts to provide more or less lower-back support.X

  • Back height adjustment

    Positions back within a fixed height range to provide support and alleviate back stress.X

  • Adjustable headrest

    Adjust headrest for extra comfort and support of the neck and head.X

Seat comfort

Seats should be wide enough to support an even distribution of your weight. While seated, your feet should rest flat on the floor and feel comfortable. A seat-height adjustable chair will help you accurately find this ideal position.

A seat with a waterfall edge slopes in the front to promote better leg circulation. The seat should comfortably support your thighs and leave no pressure behind your knees. While you are sitting, hip and knee joints should be at an angle equal to or greater than 90 degrees for proper ergonomic form.


Features to consider:

  • Seat height adjustment

    Allows you to change the height position of the seat so your feet stay flat on the floor, adding support to your lower back.X

  • Seat depth adjustment

    Positions chair back relative to seat to reduce pressure on the buttocks and thighs.X

  • Memory foam

    A foam material that contours and supports the body.X

  • Waterfall edge

    Seat edge slopes in the front promoting better leg circulation.X

  • Extended comfort

    Chairs designed for longer periods of continuous use.X

Arm support

Armrests are often overlooked when buying a chair, but can be a very important component for proper ergonomics. You want armrests that will support your arms, yet still allow your shoulders and neck to feel relaxed. Padded armrests provide an extra touch of comfort. Adjustable armrests can be raised and lowered for proper positioning. Some chairs also offer width adjustable arms for customizable comfort.

Features to consider:

  • Height adjustable arms

    Raise or lower to support your forearms. Reduces muscular effort in neck and shoulders, minimizing risk of pain.X

  • Width adjustable arms

    Width adjustable arms allow you to control the distance between the arms and the edge of the seat.X

  • Padded arms

    Extra comfort and support for the arms.X

Ergonomic features

Knee tilt

Knee tilt

Synchro tilt

Synchro tilt

Independent tilt

Independent
tilt

Adjustable arms

Adjustable
arms

Lumbar support

Lumbar
support

Adjustable Lumbar support

Adjustable
Lumbar
support

Seat-height adjustment

Seat-height
adjustment

Center-tilt movement

Center-tilt
movement

Tilt-lock adjustment

Tilt-lock
adjustment

360-degree swivel

360-degree
swivel

Back-height adjustment

Back-height
adjustment

Seat depth adjustment

Seat-depth
adjustment

Knee tilt

Allows you to keep your feet flat on the floor while chair reclines. Pivot point located near front edge of chair. (White dot indicates pivot point.)

Synchro-tilt

The chair back and seat are linked and tilt simultaneously as you lean back. The chair back tilts two degrees for every one-degree of seat tilt.

Independent tilt

Three levers help you control:

  • Angle of back relative to seat
  • Tilt (free float or infinite locking within a fixed range)
  • Forward tilt (for intense keyboard use)

Adjustable arms

Raise or lower to support your forearms. Reduces muscular effort in neck and shoulders, minimizing risk of pain. Width adjustable arms allow you to control the distance between the arms and the edge of the seat.

Lumbar support

Provides lower-back support to minimize pressure on the base of your spine. Helps reduce fatigue.

Adjustable lumbar support

Easily adjusts to provide more or less lower-back support.

Seat-height adjustment

Allows you to change the height position of the seat so your feet stay flat on the floor, adding support to your lower back.

Center-tilt movement

Pivot point located at center of base lets you recline the seat back to a comfortable angle. (White dot indicates pivot point.)

Tilt-lock adjustment

Locks out tilt function when chair is in upright position.

360-Degree Swivel

Chair rotates a full 360 degrees in either direction. Standard on all chairs with a 5-star base.

Back-height adjustment

Positions back within a fixed height range to provide support and alleviate back stress.

Seat-depth adjustment

Positions chair back relative to seat to reduce pressure on the buttocks and thighs.

Shop by style

Executive chairs

Executive chairs feature distinct style and are ideal for single person offices. They're normally of a larger scale than other chair types with the focus being on looks and overall comfort. Executive chairs also feature higher backs and more padding for all day comfort.

View all executive chairs

Learn about the Staples® Herrick™ Bonded Leather Executive High-Back Chairs

Managers chairs

Managers chairs are designed for a wide variety of uses and are great for offices and conference rooms. They offer a good mix of comfort and ergonomics and come in a broad range of styles, from Big & Tall (for larger users) to Extended Comfort (for longer use, up to 24hrs./day.) They tend to be smaller than executive chairs but more robust than a task chair.

View all manager chairs

Learn about the Staples® Montessa™ Luxura® Managers Chair

Task chairs

Task chairs and computer chairs have the functionality, features and styles to suit every worker and office atmosphere. They help you maintain proper body positioning and posture to allow sitting for longer periods of time with less discomfort. Task chairs offer excellent mobility and are designed to give you comfort where you need it most.

View all task chairs

Learn about the Staples® Acadia™ Ergonomic Mesh Task Mid-Back Chair

Big & tall chairs

One size does not fit all. That's why Big and Tall chairs have been tested to higher weight specifications. They are larger than standard office chairs so tall users can enjoy the same comfort. They also feature a heavy-duty base and frame.

View all big & tall chairs

Learn about the Staples® Bosworth™ Leather Big & Tall Manager's Chair

Drafting chairs

Drafting chairs are designed for engineers, draftsmen, laboratory workers, technicians and others who require height adjustable and swivel seating. They are perfect for sitting at counters or drafting tables and feature controls for easy height adjustment.

View all drafting chairs

Learn about the Office Star™ Intermediate Faux Leather Backless Stool, or the Staples® Armless Drafting Stool

Chairmat finder

Protect your floors with the right chairmat.

Staples carries a variety of chairmats that help keep your floors looking like new. Use our finder to help you choose the one that is perfect for your work space.


Visit the Chairmat Finder

Chair accessories


Back and Cusion Seats

Back & seat cushions

Shop our selection of back and seat cushions and add some extra comfort to your chair.

View All

Casters

Casters

Need to replace a caster? Find one that's perfect for your chair and floor type.

View All

Back and Cusion Seats

Chair arms

Check out our assortment of chair arms and upgrade your office chair.

View All

  Footrests

Footrests

Shop our assortment of ergonomic footrests to enhance the comfort of your workspace.

View All

Glossary of terms

  • All terms
  • Adjustable back height
  • Adjustable tilt tension
  • ANSI/BIFMA Ratings
  • Backrest
  • Bonded leather
  • Dual hooded casters
  • Faux leather
  • Flexible backrest
  • Foot ring
  • Forward-tilting arms
  • Height- and width-adjustable arms
  • Independent Tilt
  • Lumbar support
  • Massaging motors
  • Pillow headrest
  • Pneumatic seat height
  • Ratchet back
  • Seat depth adjustment
  • Synchro tilt
  • Tilt lock
  • Top grain leather
  • Waterfall edge

Adjustable back height:
Correctly positions stationary lumbar support to user's back.

Adjustable tilt tension:
Control to tighten and loosen how easily the chair tilts.

ANSI/BIFMA Ratings
Series of tests performed on chairs to see if they pass furniture industry standards of usability and durability. ANSI is The American National Standards Institute while BIFMA stands for The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer's Association. The two have united to provide one set of quality standards and safety tests for office chairs.

Backrest:
Conforms to the natural contour of the spine for added support and comfort.

Bonded leather:
Bonded leather is constructed using various pieces of leather that have been joined using bonding agents and then covered with polyurethane.

Dual hooded casters:
Covered wheels that provide chair with easy mobility.

Faux leather:
A material designed to give the look and feel of genuine leather. Faux leather comes in a variety of material such as polyvinyl, and can go by such names as Luxura™ or Caressoft™.

Flexible backrest:
Flexible backrests continuously support the natural curve of your spine, flexing as you move.

Foot ring:
Provides user with a foot rest.

Forward-tilting arms:
Reduce muscular effort in neck and shoulders.

Height- and width-adjustable arms:
Help prevent neck and shoulder pain.

Independent Tilt:
Independently modify back angle, tilt and forward tilt for maximum comfort.

Lumbar support:
Provides lower-back support to minimize pressure on the base of your spine. Helps reduce fatigue.

Massaging motors:
Adds massage function to alleviate muscle tension.

Pillow headrest:
Extra comfort and support for the neck and head.

Pneumatic seat height:
Raises and lowers chair quickly and easily.

Ratchet back:
Back height adjusts by lifting back of chair upward. No levers knobs required.

Seat depth adjustment:
Positions chair back relative to seat to reduce pressure on the buttocks and thighs.

Synchro tilt:
The chair back and seat are linked and tilt simultaneously as you lean back. The chair back tilts two degrees for every one-degree of seat tilt.

Tilt lock:
Mechanism that allows user to lock seat in upright position.

Top grain leather:
One of the softest of all leathers. Made from the outermost layer of the hide, top grain leather has a smooth feel, exceptional durability and increased softness versus most other leathers.

Waterfall edge:
Seat edge slopes in the front promoting better leg circulation.








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