A chair consists of a chair surface, chair back, chair legs, arm rests, … sometimes there are also footrests, chair shafts, pull rods, … depending on the use, function and design of the chair. chair.

In English called “Chair”, usually designed for one or more people to sit and consist of one or more legs, a flat seat and a backrest. They can be made of wood, metal, or synthetic materials and can be padded or upholstered in different fabrics and colors.

chair-circus-11 (6)

Chairs in a variety of designs. Armchairs with armrests fixed to the seat, recliners upholstered with a mechanism that lowers the back and raises into a footrest, rocking chairs with legs fixed to two curved long bars, and wheelchairs with fixed castors axle under the seat.

Origin of Chair?

Chair derives from the early 13th-century English “chaere”, from Old French chaiere (meaning “chair, chair, throne”), from the Latin “cathedra” (“seat”).

History of the Chair?

The chair has been used since antiquity, although for centuries it was more of an item of state symbolism and dignity than an item of general use. The “chair” is still used as a symbol of power in the Houses of Commons in the United Kingdom and Canada, and elsewhere. In keeping with this historical connotation of the “chair” as a symbol of power, committees, boards, and academic institutions all have a “chairman” and are seated in a kind of noble chair. . It wasn’t until the 16th century that chairs became commonplace. Until then, benches and stools, which are normal seats in everyday life.

Chairs have existed since at least the first period of the Egyptian dynasty (circa 3100 BC). They were upholstered in fabric or leather, made of carved wood, and were much lower than today’s chairs. The recliners are sometimes only 10 inches (25 cm) high. In ancient Egypt, chairs represented wealth and splendor. Constructed of ebony and ivory, or carved and gilded wood. They are covered with expensive materials, ornately decorated, and supported with the legs of animals or captured people. In general, the higher an individual is ranked, the higher and more lavish the seat and the greater the honor. During state holidays, the pharaoh sat on a throne, often with a small chair in front.

The average Egyptian family rarely has a chair, and if it does, usually only the head of the family sits on it. Among the well-to-do, chairs can be painted to look like the ornate carved and inlaid chairs of the rich, but the craftsmanship is often poor.

The earliest images of chairs in China are from 6th-century Buddhist murals and steles. But the custom of sitting on a chair at that time was rare. It was not until the 12th century that the Chair became popular in China. Scholars disagree on the rationale for the chair’s adoption. The most popular theories suggest that the chair was an outgrowth of indigenous Chinese furniture, that it evolved from a stool imported from Central Asia. It was introduced to China by Christian missionaries in the 7th century, and the chair came from China and India as a form of Buddhist monastic furniture. In modern China, unlike Korea or Japan, peering is no longer common.

View more:

In Europe, thanks to the Renaissance, the chair ceased to be a state prerogative and became a standard piece of furniture for anyone who could afford it. Once the idea of ​​privilege faded, the chair quickly gained popularity.

Thomas Edward Bowdich visited the Main Palace of the Ashanti Empire in 1819, and observed the gilded Chairs in the empire. In the 1880s, chairs became more common in American households and there was often a chair provided for every member of the family to sit down for dinner. In the 1830s, factory-made “favorite chairs” such as those from Sears, Roebuck and Co allowed families to purchase custom-made chairs. With the industrial revolution, chairs became much more readily available.

chair-amelie-21 (10)

The 20th century saw an increasing use of technology in chair making with things like all-metal folding chairs, metal leg chairs, Slumber chairs, molded plastic chairs, and ergonomic chairs. The recliner has become a common practice, at least in part due to radio and television use by host staff.

The modern movement of the 1960s gave birth to new forms of chairs: the butterfly chair (originally called the Hardoy chair), the rotating egg-shaped chair. It also introduced the first mass-produced plastic chairs such as the Bofinger chair in 1966. Technological advancements have led to laminate and molded wood chairs, as well as chairs made of leather or polymers. . The mechanical technology incorporated into the chair allows the chair to be adjustable, especially for office use.

Materials to manufacture the Chairs?

Chairs can be made from wood, metal, or other durable materials, like stone or acrylic. In some cases, multiple materials are used to make a chair. For example, the legs and frame can be made from metal and the seat and back can be made from plastic. The chair can have a hard surface of wood, metal, plastic, or other materials, or some or all of these hard surfaces can be upholstered with upholstery or cushions. The design can be made of porous material, or drilled for decoration. Low backs or gaps can provide ventilation. The back part can extend beyond the height of the head of the person sitting, can optionally accommodate the headrest. Chairs can also be made from innovative materials such as recycled materials such as cutlery, plumbing pipes, ropes, cardboard and PVC pipes.

In rare cases, chairs are made from unusual materials, especially as an art form or experiment. Raimonds Cirulis, a Latvian interior designer, has created a handmade volcanic hanging chair from volcanic rock. Peter Brenner, a German-Dutch designer, created a chair made of lollipop sugar – 60 pounds (27 kg) of confectioner’s sugar.

Chair Design and Ergonomics

The design of the chair considers intended use, ergonomics (comfort level for the occupants), as well as functional requirements such as size, stackability, foldability, weight, durability, and capacity. Stain resistance and artistic design.

Seat height

Ergonomic design helps to distribute the weight of the occupant on different parts of the body. This is done by having an easily adjustable seat height. Higher seats lead to dangling feet and increased pressure on the undersides of the knees. It can also lead to weightlessness in the feet, which means heavier in other places. Lower seats can shift too much weight onto the “ischial tuberosities”. Air springs are attached to the body of the chair to help adjust the height and create more comfort for the user.

Some chairs have footrests. About 15% of women and 2% of men need legroom, even at a chair height of 16 inches (41 cm).

chair-carribu-3039 (5)

The actual size of the chair is determined by human body measurements or anthropometric measurements. The two most relevant anthropometric measurements for chair design are butt height and butt length.

For a seated person, foot height is the distance from the underside of the foot to the underside of the thigh at the knee. It is sometimes referred to as “fecal height”. The term “sitting height” is reserved for the height to the top of the head when seated. For American men, the average male height is 16.3 inches (41 cm) and for American women it is 15.0 inches (38 cm). The height of the popliteal, after adjusting for the heel, clothing and other issues, is used to determine the height of the seat. Mass-produced chairs are typically 17 inches (43 cm) tall.

Researchers like Mary Blade and Galen Cranz found that sitting on the edge of a high chair with your feet flat on the floor was less harmful to the lower back than sitting upright in a regular chair.

Backrest angle

This type of chair is popular in the West, Hubei, China with a rather low seat and a back inclined about 45 degrees from the vertical.

Different types of chairs can have different seating positions, depending on the intended use. Usually, chairs for people who work or eat can only recline very slightly (otherwise the person sitting is too far away from the desk or table). Dental chairs must have a recline. Research has shown that the best sitting position is the 100°–110° reclining position. For reclining, the backrest can be adjusted independently. The chair has a recline and back that will reduce the load on the back muscles of the occupants. In general, if occupants have to sit for a long time, the weight needs to be removed from the seat area and therefore “easy” chairs intended for long-term occupants are usually at least slightly reclined. out the back.

Back and head support

The back of the chair will partially support the weight of the person sitting, reducing the weight on other parts of the body. Some backrests only support the lumbar region, while shoulder-height backrests support the entire back and shoulders. Head restraints that also support the head are also important in cars to prevent neck injuries in rear-end collisions when the head is jerked back suddenly. Reclining chairs usually have a backrest that is at least shoulder-width apart to transfer weight onto the shoulders.


There may be cases of seats with padding, such as chairs designed primarily for outdoor use. If you don’t want a padding, you can use a border instead. By conforming to the shape of the occupant’s buttocks, the weight is distributed and maximum pressure relief is achieved.


Chairs may or may not have armrests, chairs with armrests are called “armchairs”. In French, there is a distinction between fauteuil and chaise longue, terms for chairs with and without armrests. In Germany, an armchair was once called the Krankensessel, or sick person’s chair, because it was for people who were too sick to stand or sit without additional support.

If it is, the handrail will support some of the body weight through the arm if the arm is resting on the armrest. Elbow rest height is used to determine the armrest height. The handrail should support the forearm, not the sensitive elbow area. Therefore, in some chair designs, the armrest is not continuous with the back of the chair but is missing in the elbow area. The armrests also function to make it easier to get in and out of the chair (but harder from the side).

Seat size and legroom

For a seated person, buttock length is the horizontal distance from the back of most buttocks to the back of the lower leg. This anthropometric measurement is used to determine the depth of the seat. Mass-produced chairs are typically 15–17 inches (38–43 cm) deep.

Additional anthropometric measurements may be involved in the design of a chair. Hip width is used for seat width and armrest width. The butt-to-knee length is used to determine the “legroom” between the rows of seats. “Spacing between rows of seats” is the distance between rows of seats. In some planes and stadiums, the legroom (seat pitch minus the seat thickness at thigh level) is so small that it is sometimes not enough for the average person.

Seat classification

Currently, there are many different ways to classify chairs:

Sort by number of legs or shape

Usually chairs have four legs. There are also tripods and possibly even more, but rare. There are “single-legged” or “two-legged” chairs if the “leg” is shaped enough to form a durable base that supports the structure from toppling over – many times “monopods” are simply a cylindrical or rectangular pedestal with which a chair can be used to sit.

Sort by characteristics

  • Swivel seat: The chair can rotate around the axis.
  • Stool: A chair without a backrest and arm rests on either side.
  • Armchair: A chair with a backrest and arm rests on either side, usually with soft cushions.
  • Folding chair: The chair can be folded.
  • Bench: The chair has a large size for many people to sit.
  • Staff chair: Including swivel and non-rotating type, is the normal type of staff chair.
  • Waiting chairs (also called waiting benches): Chairs arranged in rows of two or more, used for banks, hospitals or public waiting areas.
  • Auditorium chairs: Chairs arranged in rows with 2 or more seats, used in cinemas, cinemas, conferences and seminars.
  • Office chairs: Specialized for working offices, including: swivel chair, recliner, folding chair, …

chair-amelie-11 (8)


Sort by use, function

In use, people often call chairs according to their function: waiting chair, office chair, train chair, bus seat, electric chair, throne (seat for kings), walker…

Types of commonly used chairs

Various types of chairs have appeared throughout the ages, some based on formal usage, others based on household needs, and some based on needs in the workplace or different professions.

Office chair

Office chairs are used by employees in the office. Modern office chairs are usually adjustable and have wheels. Wheels are attached to the legs of the chair to increase mobility.

Dining room chair

Dining room chairs are a specific type of design, used around the dining table. It can be found in most homes and can also appear in formal settings, such as any formal event or reception that includes a formal meal or party.

Working chair

An ergonomic chair is a specialized type of chair, tailored to the needs of a particular industry or context. For example, a designer chair will be used for designers who sit on a high easel, it will often add height.

Rocking chair

Some chairs have two curved strips of wood attached to the bottom of the legs. These are called rocking chairs.

View more:


Chairs vary widely in construction and may or may not match the construction of the seat back (backrest).

Center seat where solid material forms the seat

  • Center seat where solid material forms the seat
  • Chairs made of solid wood: May or may not have a fixed contour shape
  • Chairs made from wooden slats: Commonly found on outdoor chairs
  • Seats made of cushioned leather: Usually a flat wooden base covered with padding and filled with soft leather
  • Seats made of stuffed fabric: Similar to padded leather
  • Chairs made of metal: Rugged design
  • Chair made from molded plastic
  • Chairs made of stone: Usually marble

The seat opens in the middle, where a soft material is attached to the top of the legs or between the stretchers to form the chair

  • Woven chair: to provide a surface for it
  • Leather seats: can be machined with design
  • Fabric seat: covered with the outermost layer of fabric

Standard and general specifications of the chair

Design considerations for chairs have been codified into standards. ISO 9241, “Ergonomic requirements for office work with video display terminals (VDT)

There are many specific standards for different types of chairs. Dental chairs are regulated by ISO 6875. Bean bag chairs are regulated by ANSI ASTM F1912-98. ISO 7174 specifies the stability of rocking and tilting chairs. ASTM F1858-98 specifies plastic shell seats. ASTM E1822-02B determines the flammability of chairs when they are stacked.

The Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) defines ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 (titled: General Purpose Office Chairs – Testing) for testing commercial chairs. It requires:

  • Seat back bearing capacity is 150 pounds (68 kg)
  • The seat is stable if the weight is completely transferred to the front or rear legs
  • 75 pound (34 kg) foot load applied 1 inch (25 mm) from the bottom of the foot
  • Seat bearing capacity is 225 pounds (102 kg) applied 6 inches (150 mm) from the bottom of the foot.
  • Seat cycle load of 100,000 repetitions is 125 pounds (57 kg) down from 2 inches (51 mm) above the seat

The specification further defines the heavier “proof” loads that the chair must withstand. Under these higher loads, the seat may be damaged, but it must not be severely damaged.

Large organizations that make bulk purchases will reference these standards in their even more detailed purchasing criteria. Governments will often issue standards for government agency purchases (e.g., Canada Common Standards Board CAN/CGSB 44.15M for “Steel, Straight Folding Chairs” or CAN/CGSB 44.232-2002 about “Office Chairs with Visual Display Terminals”).

Chairs can be rated according to how long they are comfortable using – 8-hour seats, 24-hour seats, and more. Such chairs are indicated for jobs that require prolonged sitting, such as for front desk staff or control panel supervisors.

Accessories that support the function of the Chair

The seat cover is a temporary cover for an extra chair. They are often rented for formal events such as wedding receptions to increase the appeal of the chairs and decorations. The chair top can come with decorative seat belts, ribbons to tie as a bow on the back of the chair. Covers for sofas and couches are also available for homes with young children and pets. In the second half of the 20th century, some people used custom clear plastic wrap for expensive sofas and chairs to protect them.

The seat cushion is the cushion for the seat. They contain cotton or foam for padding. Some are decorative. In cars, they can be used to increase the driver’s height. Orthopedic backrests provide back support. Car seats sometimes have built-in and adjustable lumbar support. They can also be used on kitchen chairs.

Carpet is a type of carpet used to cover different types of floors. They are usually made from plastic. This allows the chair on wheels to roll easily over the carpet and protects the carpet or floor. They come in a variety of shapes, some specially sized to fit partially under a desk.

The remote control bag can be easily slung over the arm of a chair or sofa and is used to store a home cinema remote control. They are weight-balanced so they don’t slip off the arm under the weight of the remote.

The sliding seat is attached to the foot of the chair to prevent scratches or scuffs on the floor.