Office Chairs – Do you know what you are doing?

Back in 2016 Alan Hedge conducted a study that looked into the knowledge of 1004 office chair users and their ability to use the chair controls for their work chairs. These users were sitting on one of a total of 60 different ergonomic office chairs.

The study results showed that with the exception of seat height and armrest adjustment, only a small minority of users had accurate knowledge about the controls on their chair. Even when users correctly identified a chair control, less than 50% said they had ever used that control.

Interestingly, users who sat on chairs with 3 or fewer controls reported significantly less frequent musculoskeletal discomfort than those sitting on more complex chairs with 4 or more controls. Maybe the latest and greatest technological chair with all the whizz-bang functions is not always the best choice?

Overall, the results show that up to two thirds of users knew about their controls for adjusting seat height, seat depth and armrest height, but most users were unaware of controls for other functions.

In my opinion, spending time with someone to ensure that they understand how their chair works and what they are trying to achieve in relation to a safe seated posture for prolonged sitting activities gives them the best chance of finding enhanced working comfort and reducing their risk of injury. Sure, having an adjustable chair makes this possible and this can be achieved without needing 7 levers, 2 turning knobs and an internal computer system!


Hedge, Alan. “What Am I Sitting On? User Knowledge of Their Chair Controls.” Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2016 Annual Meeting,2016, 455-59.

Ergo Experts can assess your current chair and provide adjustment and education as needed. If the current item is not cutting it then Ergo Experts will make recommendations for a more suitable item and assist with supply.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements – 0409 512 434 or email

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