Decoding Office Chair Terminology

February 8, 2024

If you’ve ever been in the market for a new office chair and stumbled across the terminology involved in this then you’d be forgiven for thinking that it can, at times, feel like you’re deciphering a secret code. With terms like gas cylinders and lumbar support, you may be thinking that this would be more in-keeping with something at NASA and we don’t blame you.

However, we’re here today to decode this jargon. Buying a new office chair is a big investment. Whether you’ve bought a new office chair before or this is your first time, understanding the terminology involved will help you make as informed a decision as possible when making your purchase.

Lumbar Support

  • Lumbar refers to the lower region of your back. Lumbar support is often a built in attachment to an office chair that helps keep the lumbar region supported and comfortable throughout the day.

Gas Cylinder

  • Sometimes known as gas lifts or pneumatic cylinders, the gas cylinder is a component of an office chair that simply allows you to increase and decrease the height.

Seat Depth Adjustment

  • To enable your back to be fully supported in your office chair, the seat depth adjustment allows you to slide the back of the chair forwards or backwards depending on your seating position.

Hard Wheel Casters vs Soft Wheel Casters

  • This refers to the wheel casters at the base of your office chair. For carpets, hard wheel casters would be your best option. If your office space has a harder floor, soft wheel casters would provide more stability.

5 Star Base

  • This refers to the base of the office chair, and typically consists of 5 separate ‘legs’ in a star shape. Ultimately, the higher the star base will indicate more stability on your office chair. Bases can come in a range of materials from plastic to steel.

Tilt Tension

  • Tilt tension is an important component of an office chair. Ensuring that you remain mobile throughout the day will help with your overall posture. The tilt tension component allows you to select the level of recline in your chair, and the subsequent tension required to enable this recline.

Height Adjustable

  • This refers to the ability of your office chair to rise up and down vertically, depending on your needs.

Executive Chair vs Task Chair

  • Traditionally, executive chairs are designed with comfort and prestige in mind and often feature a tall back. On the other hand, task chairs are specifically designed with ergonomics in mind to keep you supported and comfortable throughout the day

Multi Function Arms

  • This functionality allows you to move the arms of your office chair in a number of ways, whether that back vertical to support your elbows in line with your keyboard or horizontally for different seating positions.

Back Locking Function

  • This functionality allows you to lock a recline in place.

Mesh Back

  • This is a breathable mesh membrane that’s stretched across the back of an office chair to allow for optimal breathability and comfort.

We hope this has gone some way to demystifying the terminology involved in buying an office chair, but as always we’d be delighted to answer any questions you may have. Get in touch with us direct at and we’d be happy to help!

Aberdeen Office

Aberdeen Office
6A York Street
Aberdeen, AB11 5DD
01224 313260

Dundee Office

Unit 11, North Tay Works,
Loons Road,
Dundee, DD3 6AE
01382 205565