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Chairs are the most common form of furniture found in homes, workplaces, and offices. Next to couches and beds, chairs offer maximum comfort, support our weight, and help us relax. But do all the chairs that we use on regular basis provide maximum comfort? The answer would be straight no.

There is a difference between sitting comfortably and just sitting. To understand this difference, we have to understand the major types of massage chairs. The major types of chairs are ergonomic and non-ergonomic chairs.

What kind of Chairs are called Ergonomic Chairs?

Ergonomic chairs are one of the most popular choice for its comfort and elegant design. These types of chairs are specifically designed to provide comfort, fit the anthropometric measurements of our body, and for prolonged sitting.

One of the first ergonomic chairs manufactured was Eames Lounge ergonomic chair, it was designed and released in the market in the year 1956. At the time of launch, it received huge commendation from the public because of its elegant design and the comfort it provided.

It is also to be noted that the makers of that chair took several years to bring it to perfection. Taking their chair model as an example, many chair manufacturers with the help of advanced technology designed ergonomic chairs that can be used in workplaces, where prolonged sitting is mandatory.

Every individual has different body measurements. Ergonomic chairs provide adjustable features to adjust the chair based on their size of their body.

What kind of Chairs are called Non-Ergonomic Chairs?

Non-ergonomic chairs are normal chairs that can be found in almost all places. Normal chairs offer support, but is not suitable for prolonged sitting as it can cause damage to the spine, gluteal, and lumbar region.

The features provided in this type of chair is limited. This article will analyze the differences between both these chairs and its pros and cons.


When it comes to choosing a massage chair, we have to first understand what kind of features are provided by a massage chair.

Materials Used

The common materials that have been used to make ergonomic chairs are leather, faux leather, fabric, mesh, and vinyl to provide comfort and relaxation to the person using the chair. The fabric used in ergonomic chair extends the durability of the chair so that even after continual usage you can still feel the comfort.

One the other hand, non-ergonomic chairs are made up of wood, plastic, acrylic, and metal. These materials can withstand the weight of the person efficiently, but in terms of comfort level it is below par when compared with ergonomic chairs.

However, these wooden and plastic made non-ergonomic chairs are the most affordable ones available in the market. It can certainly be a good choice, if your job doesn’t require you to sit for a long time.

Adjustable Height

Ergonomic chairs have adjustable height feature. The size of the ergonomic chairs range from 14-21 inches from the ground.

You can make adjustments to the chair according to your height. After adjustment, you can place your feet flat on the floor. This helps in circulation of blood flow to our feet and helps in keeping us healthy.

Non-ergonomic chairs don’t have adjustable feature, you have to adjust yourselves to sit on it. In future, this can invite back problems.


The main purpose of ergonomic chair is to provide maximum comfort to its user. The adjustable features and the material used helps in keeping your spine healthy. It also helps in supporting your head and neck, and ensures proper blood circulation.

On the other hand, Non-ergonomic chairs can be comfortable only if your size and height fits the size of the chair. It maintains your body posture as it is.

Armrest Support

There are adjustable armrest areas in ergonomic chairs that can be adjusted side to side or forward to backward or up and down. This ensures that you can comfortably rest your arm irrespective of your size and shape.

On the other hand, non-ergonomic chairs have fixed armrest position which makes it less comfortable for you to place your hand on it.

Usually, non-ergonomic chairs follow the concept of “one size fits all” when in reality the chairs don’t accommodate the size and shape of every person using it. You cannot expect much comfort from these types of chairs but it can be more efficient if you just need a place to rest for some time.

Lumbar Support

The lumbar region of our body receives much pressure when we sit on a chair or a sofa. It is important for the chair to provide proper support so that the extreme pressure is taken off from the lumbar region.

In that case, both non-ergonomic and ergonomic chairs provide lumbar region support. But ergonomic chairs offer you an option to adjust the backrest area so that your lumbar region can rest properly on it.

You can increase the depth and height of backrest for the optimum comfort and relaxation. Some non-ergonomic chairs also come with backrest area for lumbar support but you cannot adjust it to perfectly match your lumbar region. This in turn actually affects your back and make you sit in an awkward position.


Paddings are cushion-like materials than can enable extra comfort, when you sit on the chair. Both ergonomic and non-ergonomic chairs have paddings.

But, ergonomic chairs use paddings both in the seating area and the backrest area. The soft paddings in those areas will make sure that you are seated comfortably for a long time.

Non-ergonomic chairs have paddings only in the seat area. So your hips and back can get exposed to hard areas, which can make you feel uncomfortable within a short span of time.

Swivel Support

Swivel option lets you turn your chair in any direction without having to get up from your place. The swivel support is provided in both the ergonomic and non-ergonomic chairs but the swivel option in ergonomic chair is more durable.

Additionally, ergonomic chairs also have strong and wider base to support the weight of the person. You can easily move the chair around even on rough floors without the fear of breakage.

Head and Neck adjustment

Non-ergonomic chairs don’t have adjustable headrest area. You have to adjust to the height of the chair which can obviously cause head and neck pain.

Ergonomic chairs comes with adjustable headrest that can be adjusted based on your height. This feature will help you to lean your head against the headrest comfortably without any issues.

Seat Depth and Width

Ergonomic chairs have adjustable depth and width option for the seat i.e. you can tilt the seat forward or backward.

You can also increase and decrease the angle of your chair to help you sit in a healthy position. Non-ergonomic chairs don’t have these options. 


Let us now see the pros of both ergonomic and non-ergonomic chairs.

Ergonomic Chairs Pros

  • Ergonomic chairs have adjustable armrest, backrest, seat depth and width, height, and lumbar support.
  • The swivel option in ergonomic chair is durable.
  • Ergonomic chairs have extra padding support.
  • Ergonomic chairs are super comfortable.

Non-Ergonomic Chairs Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Mostly light in weight.


Ergonomic Chairs Cons

  • Ergonomic chairs are expensive.

Non-Ergonomic Chairs Cons

  • Non-ergonomic chairs have un-adjustable height, armrest, backrest, and lumbar area.
  • Comfort is not on par with ergonomic chairs.


Ergonomic chair and non-ergonomic chairs both have their own pros and cons. But considering the life style these days, where most of us need to sit for long hours, ergonomic chairs can be a viable option.

Or else, if you just need a chair where you don’t have to use it often then non-ergonomic chairs can be a good choice, as it is less expensive. Eventually, the choice is yours to pick the one that suits you best according to your requirement.