office chair

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!





When Placeable moved into a historic building in the Ballpark neighborhood of Denver, Colorado, EON worked to create an open-concept layout that would also provide employees with privacy and personal storage. We accomplished this by creating custom workstations with frosted dividing panels. The dual-purpose dividing panels give visual privacy and also act as an erasable surface. The cushioned mobile storage pedestals add color and double as a guest chair. The break room is centrally located, with built-in banquet seating, tables and chairs. Also within the space are huddle rooms and conference rooms designed for meetings and group collaboration.

Adjusting Your Office Chair

If you’ve felt too intimidated by the many levers and dials underneath your desk chair to adjust it properly, you may be sacrificing the best posture and position that will keep your back pain free after sitting for hours. According to the American Chiropractic Association, giving your chair the proper height adjustment can spare you from a load of problems. A chair that’s too low can cause lower-back pain, carpal-tunnel syndrome and rotator-cuff strain in the shoulder. A chair that’s too high can lead to what’s called Golfer’s Elbow—pain and inflammation on the inner side of the elbow. Here are some tips for adjusting your seat to the ergonomic position that best suits you.

It’s as easy as standing up. Stand in front of your chair, adjust the height so the highest point of the seat (when in the horizontal position) is just below your knee cap. When you sit down, your feet should be flat on the floor, with your knees at a 90° angle, the ideal lower body position for sitting down at a desk.


Adjusting your chair height is also a great way to check up on the ergonomics of the rest of your workstation.

If you can’t fit your legs under the desktop (you should have enough room to comfortably cross your legs at the knees) or there is not enough space to move them freely, your desk is too low for you. Put it on risers, or invest in a desk that’s the proper height.

If you can sit comfortably but you have to raise your arms to reach the keyboard or work surface, your workstation is too high. Find a way to lower your worksurface (a keyboard tray might help). Alternatively, you can adjust the chair height so your elbows are the same height as your desk and use a footrest high enough so you can lay your feet flat.

If everything else is comfortable but your computer screen has you craning your neck up, down, forward or backward to see it properly you may need to adjust the placement of your monitor. The best way to do this is with an adjustable monitor arm if your brand of monitor does not rotate in all directions.

If the adjustment levers on your chair do not seem to work you may be using them incorrectly. You can contact EON for help with your office furniture if you are having problems. Our team of furniture experts know how everything is constructed and adjusted. For more chair adjustment tips you can visit this informative blog as well:

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