History of the Office Chair

The office chair: we sit in one everyday, but chances are we’ve never given a thought to its origins. The office chair has roots going back to the mid-19th century, and has seen a great deal of change throughout the years. Here are some interesting points in the history of the office chair.

 

Early Innovators

One of the earliest known innovators of the office chair was none other than Charles Darwin around the year 1840. He is credited with being the first bright mind to think of putting wheels on the feet of his chair. What he created was essentially known as a “wooden armchair on wheels”. Otto von Bismark also helped bring popularity to the office chair by distributing them throughout parliament while he was in office. One of the first modern office chairs was the Centripetal Spring Armchair by American inventor Thomas E. Warren (pictured above).

A Need for Office Chairs

In the mid-19th century, businesses were expanding due to the onset of rail transportation. Companies started to expand past the family model, and there was more of an emphasis on administrative work. Suddenly, office work was burgeoning and there was a focus on office environments, technology, and office equipment. The aim of the early office chair was to make clerical employees more productive and allow them to keep sitting and not have to exert a lot of energy by standing.


1970's: Ergonomics is born!

In the 1970’s, the arrival of ergonomics took place. In 1976, the Ergon office chair was released. This was the first office chair designed with comfort and the physical health of the office worker in mind. Laborious research went into the design of the Ergon office chair, and it was really the first chair that would allow an office worker to make adjustments to its size, get proper spine support, and benefit from unrestricted blood flow by its two-pad seat.

Today, ergonomics is known to be vital in the office world. There have been a plethora of options of office chairs throughout history, and we look forward to seeing what office chairs will look like in the future!

Sources:

https://www.swingchair.com/why-swingchair/history-office-chair/

http://blog.ergonomicofficechairs.com/ergonomic-office-chairs-2/history-of-office-chair/