Helping you understand office chair jargon

Helping You Understand Office Chair Jargon

September 24, 2020 DSE Assessments, Ergonomics, Workplace Wellbeing

Choosing an office chair can often seem a little overwhelming and when shopping online it’s really easy to get confused. Chair jargon makes what should be a simple chair buying process quite difficult.

Sitting in the same position on the same chair for lengthy periods of time can lead to a number of difficulties. Poor posture and musculoskeletal problems can occur rapidly if you are sat incorrectly. If not addressed, this can lead to further issues later down the line which are often much harder to resolve.

This is why it is so important to opt for the ideal office chair for you. When thinking about it, you wouldn’t buy an uncomfortable bed that you sleep in for eight hours so, why opt for an uncomfortable office chair that you spend the same amount of time in?

When chair shopping you have probably come across lots of unfamiliar and often confusing terms. This is why we have written a blog to explain just a few phrases to make your decision making much easier.

Lumbar support

A lumbar support in a chair is essentially for lower back support. It is installed within the chair via an inflatable support cell which you can manually pump to enlarge the back of the chair. This helps to keep your back at the right angle as when sitting your spine should ideally be in an ‘S’ shape.

Thoracic support

Similar to a lumbar support, a thoracic support works in a similar way however, is designed for the upper back. This offers stabilisation, helps with back pain and like the lumbar support keeps the spine in the correct position.

Seat slide

A seat slide offers adjustment to the seat depth as it allows you to bring the seat further in or out. It is ideal for those with longer or shorter upper leg length. Working to encourage enhanced back support, the slide allows you to correctly position your body towards the back of the chair. Whilst doing so, it also relieves pressure from the back of your knees by helping spread your weight across the entire seat.

Independent mechanism

The independent mechanism means that the back rest and seat tilt can be adjusted independently of each other. This offers enhanced adjustability for you to position your chair exactly as you wish making it unique to you.


Armrests offer optional support and should be positioned at a height which supports the forearm. They are designed for resting and not working. Taking tension away from your neck and shoulders, armrests allow you to take a break from typing or using your mouse to take a minute to relax which maintains comfortable working.

Ergonomic chairs are really important to ensure you are healthy and safe when working whether you are in the office or at home. Such chairs help to keep correct posture, improve back pain and blood circulation as well as boost productivity.

If you require any assistance when shopping for your new office chair you can call us on 01422 659051, email us at you can also complete the form below to discuss our DSE assessments. 

A member of our dedicated Assessment Team will then be able to discuss your requirements and provide a quote.

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