History of the Office Chair

September 20, 2012

The oldest surviving chair was once part of the decor in King Tut’s tomb but they have been in existence far longer than that, dating back to at least the early 13th century. Originally, they were luxury items that signaled wealth and status, and were reserved for those in society who were deemed important enough to use them. Others sat on benches, stools, or chests that were pressed into service when needed. The chair didn’t achieve common use until the middle of the 16th century.

Chairs specifically designed for office use don’t date back quite that far, of course. Charles Darwin is often credited for being one of the earliest adaptors. He reportedly attached wheels to his chair as a matter of practicality, enabling him to move about his office more readily, a feature that office workers continue to appreciate to this day.

In the middle of the 18th century, coincident with the advent of the expansion of railways, office environments changed and it became common for a business to employ more people in an administrative capacity. Demand and sales were up and the number of office workers increased accordingly. The focus shifted to productivity and the necessity to design and provide staff with seating that was comfortable and efficient, a goal that still remains. Casters were added, seats were re-designed, and backs and armrests were created and tweaked.

Eventually, the focus shifted again. this time in the direction of ergonomics. Technically defined as design that’s intended to lessen the possibility of operator fatigue and discomfort. an ergonomically correct chair is not only more comfortable, but has design elements that can potentially eliminate physical problems that can result from sustained awkward posture. A significant departure from the benches, stools and chests of old!

Anderson Interiors offers a full-range of task and desk chairs in a number of styles, priced to fit any budget, and on the cutting edge of what the industry has to offer. Don’t miss out on the latest bit of chair history!