How Do Swivel Chairs Work The Physics Behind The Seat

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
23 min read

You won’t find a fully functional office, home theater, or living room without swivel chairs. With its full swivel capability, you can always get the ideal viewing angle. But how do they operate? In this post, we’ll examine the physics at work in swivel chairs to better understand how they do what they do.

All You Need To Know About Swivel Chairs

Have you ever seen a swivel chair before? You’ll find the most complete and helpful answer to your query right here in this article about swivel chairs.


A swivel chair allows the user to change their position in the chair’s seat without having to move their legs. Users may easily maneuver their chairs around their desks without getting out of their seats when they have wheels attached to the base of their swivel chairs.

Also called as “office chairs,” this design is ubiquitous in today’s workplaces. Seat height can be adjusted with the help of a gas lift, which is standard on most office swivel chairs and computer seats.

How do Swivel Chairs Work: The Physics Behind the Seat - Krostrade

Where to use it?

Living room

The living room is without a doubt one of the best areas to install a swivel chair. A swivel chair is an excellent option for a living room chair since it can transform the space into several comfortable conversation areas.

Classic swivel chairs with a linen skirt are a great choice for relaxed, rustic living rooms that value history. For a more manly aesthetic, swivel leather armchairs are a great choice for man caves. Swivel chairs are convenient in open floor plans since you can easily turn to face the action.


Bedrooms benefit from having a swivel chair as well. Put one in a cozy corner by the window for some quiet reading time.

Add two swivel chairs to a larger bedroom set for a cozy spot for him and her to curl up with a book after bedtime. Bedroom vanities and desks can benefit from having swivel slipper chairs placed in front of them.


As a result of their versatility and usefulness, swivel chairs have become commonplace in the workplace.


In today’s society, swivel chairs may be found both inside and outside of the home. There would be no justice done if we did not include the beautiful swivels we have seen in outdoor settings. Visualize yourself relaxing on a cushioned rattan swivel on your front porch with a cup of coffee in the morning (or a glass of wine in the evening).

Benefits Of Using Swivel Chairs

Work is easier with swivel chairs

If you spend most of your day in a chair, whether it be to see clients or at your desk, a swivel chair is a great option. The convenience of turning from left to right is a major selling point for swivel chairs.

Stay seated while talking to clients and patients on one side of the room if you’re a doctor or professional. A swivel chair is convenient because it allows you to easily move around the room and talk to other people without having to get out of your seat.

A further perk of swivel chairs is that you can easily get files from a nearby filing cabinet and then return to your desk without having to get up from your chair. You don’t even need to leave the room to have this done.

Chairs that allow you to swivel around while working are a great investment in the efficiency and happiness of your workplace.

Casual seating at its finest

Accent chairs add style to a room, but a swivel chair makes it easier to kick back and relax. Instead of using an accent chair that doesn’t swivel, try using a swivel chair in your living room.

These comfy seats are perfect for marathon TV-show or film sessions. Because of their effortless motion and full range of motion in all directions, these chairs are perfect for lounging in comfort and sophistication.

You’ll find that swivel chairs come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and fabric options. These unique chairs are a great addition to any home, whether you’re going for a more traditional or contemporary design.

Ergonomic and efficient

When sitting on a swivel chair, you can maintain a healthy spinal alignment and comfortable seating position throughout the duration of a work shift.

While swivel chairs may initially cost more than other types of office chairs, they really end up saving you money in the long run by reducing the likelihood of health issues including cervical spondylosis, back pain, poor posture, and inadequate blood flow.

How a Swivel Chair Functions

Think about the pressures involved in turning a swivel chair around.

When you sit on a swivel chair, you have to keep your body weight, as well as the weight of your arms and legs, all in a straight line with the chair’s center of rotation (the pivot or fulcrum). Swivel chairs are akin to sitting on an exercise ball in terms of balance.

When sitting in a static chair, the fulcrum or pivot point is located at the hips and your body weight balances out on either side of that axis point.

If you were to sit in a chair without moving it, your weight would be evenly distributed on both sides of the fulcrum, which would be your hips.

When individuals lean all the way back in their chairs, just imagine how hard these muscles have to work. Long hours spent sitting at a desk all day are a major contributor to back pain in adults, therefore it’s no surprise that many adults suffer from this condition due to their occupation.

When utilizing a swivel chair, on the other hand, you have to lean forward and use a console on either side of the armrest, and the fulcrum point is in front of your hips.

Since these smaller muscles are now closer to where your center of mass sits, they only have to support around a quarter of your body weight instead of your entire weight.

Sitting upright is significantly more comfortable because your arms don’t have to do as much work as they would if you were lying down in a fixed position.

The remaining 75% can be evenly divided around our thighs or arms, reducing pain felt when sitting at a desk for extended durations.

How do swivel chairs go up and down?

The chair can be adjusted vertically with a light touch by pressing in the desired direction. With the swivel mechanism, the armrest may be rotated in any direction by simply pushing on one side and pulling from the other.

To what extent they spin faster in response to increased force relies on both the amount of weight supported by your arms before to sitting down (generating momentum) and the magnitude of your pushes and pulls.

To avoid falling over, you should use only the amount of force necessary to overcome the force of gravity and return to a standing position.

How do you Adjust the Height of a Swivel Chair?

The swivel chair has a few height adjustment options in relation to the desk. The most popular method involves using levers on both sides of the armrests to raise and lower it steadily (at a speed of your choosing) or to permit one side to travel further than the other depending on how far down you go.

Sliding track systems offer more potential for interference during this process but look nicer as a result of typically being tucked away under little pads towards the bottom, whereas levers that move along an arc-shaped groove do not disturb any arms that may be lying there when reclining.

These types of mechanical recline adjustments are also known for being more comfortable to use than the more conventional ratcheting designs.

How do I adjust the height of my gaming chair?

To remove the seat from the current set, simply move the lever located under the seat. Find a spot without any furniture in the way, like the arms of a chair, then slide it up until you’re at a good height.

Sit for a bit to see if the new height is comfortable and then press down firmly to secure it. Iterate as often as required!

Your chair should be adjusted such that it is comfortable for you, but not so high that it causes strain on your neck or so low that it causes discomfort elsewhere (like your tailbone) that you end up feeling tired sooner than you had intended.

Check how much your feet are touching the floor and how far back your chair reclines to see if that helps you locate the optimal height.

Can I adjust the height of my stressless chair?

Chair height adjustment is a viable option for improved sitting comfort. Change the amount of effort required to rise from a seated to a standing position in your swivel recliner by adjusting the height of the chair.

However, before settling down for the long haul, make sure you’ve found a level that’s just right for you!

The Ergonomics of a Chair Explained | ChairOffice

Best Swivel Chair Resources

1. Tobi Boucle Swivel Chair

This chic boucle swivel chair is perfect in every way. Adding texture and dimension to your decor is a breeze with this product. When you want to make a statement and add some flair to your look, the curved frame is the way to go.

In six different color combinations, this swivel chair is sure to match any decor. There is a shipping delay of 20 weeks to 2 months, so please plan ahead.

2. Hugger Curved Swivel Chair

Hugger chair by Crate & Barrel was created by Leanne Ford, who exudes an aura of casual sophistication. When you sit on this chair, you’ll feel as if you’re being engulfed in a warm embrace.

The sculptural curves of the Hugger are an attractive compromise between dressiness and ease. This contemporary accent chair is the perfect way to upgrade your living room’s style.

3. Comfy Swivel Chair

The Fresno swivel chair provides exceptional comfort and may be used singly or in pairs with your choice of end tables. Its round form exudes a welcoming atmosphere, perfect for a cutting-edge dwelling.

With thick foam cushions, a sturdy oak frame, and a swivel that goes all the way around, this chair is a must-have.

Nubby boucle upholstery is great for giving a room depth and character. Each of the five modern color options guarantees that you’ll find a chair that complements your decor.

4. Arhaus Swivel Chair

This accent chair works beautifully in both traditional and modern settings. This chair’s slim profile (31.5 inches wide) and gently sloping arms make it a great fit for compact rooms.

This chair has a durable frame made of laminated hardwood, foam cushions, and a Flexolator suspension mechanism made from recyclable steel for maximum comfort. There are two alternatives available for the cloth, both of which are neutral.

You can relax completely on this soft chair and refuse to get up.

5. Outdoor Swivel Chair

The cushions of West Elm’s outdoor swivel chair are treated to withstand the elements, making them suitable for use both indoors and out. The circular silhouette is set apart by a distinctive cording at the back.

The durable contract grade fabric complements the thick seat cushion and swivel base of this chair.

This chair may be designated for outdoor use, but it would be just as at home in a Florida room or a sunroom. You may purchase it singly or as a set of two in either driftwood or reef.

6. Oversized Chair

Crate and Barrel’s extra-large swivel chair is just what you need to kick back and unwind. This chair’s modern contours make it perfect for cuddling up with loved ones or a pet buddy.

No matter where it sits in the room, its swivel base ensures that you will always be able to join in on the conversation. You may relax in even more luxury on the tight barrel back chair, which already comes with two throw pillows.

This extra-large accent chair will make your guests never want to leave.

7. Millie Modern Swivel Chair

You can get this style immediately, without waiting for it to be made, in ink blue or mauve. Twelve of our fabrics are available for a longer lead time of 3 to 5 weeks.

A further five textiles will ship in 12 weeks, and a further ten fabrics will arrive between 6 and 11 weeks. In order to make an informed decision, get a free sample before making a large purchase.

This swivel accent chair is stylish because of its cutout back and sleek design. You can swiftly turn to follow the action no matter where it is taking place in your living room.

You should turn slowly so as not to knock everything down.

8. Velvet Barrel Upholstered Chair

This swivel chair features a round frame and a brass base, making it look a lot like a chair you’d get at West Elm. This low-priced velvet swivel chair is offered in no less than six different hues.

It will make your living area look more elegant and refined. The classic shape will always make a bold statement.

9. Leather Swivel Chair

This accent chair from Arhaus is made of leather if that’s what you choose. With its streamlined, contemporary form, it’s meant to serve as a showpiece in your home.

The chair, reminiscent of the mid-century era, is perfect for any household, be it a bachelor pad, a starter home, or a family with young children. If you want to match the leather to the decor of your home, you can choose between two different colors, black and brown.

10. Tubular Arm Chair

This accent chair draws design inspiration from the Bauhaus movement and will make a strong statement in any room. With its comfortable seat and sleek tubular arms, it is a great addition to any contemporary space.

The chair’s base can be turned through a full circle, and it is upholstered in a stain-resistant fabric that is built to last. You may put this accent chair in your living room or home office and it will look fantastic in either. Just accessorize with a throw blanket and a lumbar pillow.

11. Tufted Swivel Chair

This classic swivel chair will elevate the look of any modern interior. The sumptuous velvet upholstery and classic tufting add a glamorous touch.

This trendy chair is perfect in every way. You can put it anywhere you like, including your office, bedroom, or living room. The price tag of slightly over a thousand dollars is well justified.

12. Channel Tufted Chair

This low-slung accent chair can be yours for a little under $900, and it will do wonders for the look and feel of your house. This traditional library chair is given a dash of midcentury modern style thanks to its striking ribbed pattern.

While the natural color option is readily accessible now, the sapphire navy chair is worth waiting for. Its rarity indicates that a large number of people were taken aback by its attractiveness.

When you get tired of a neutral color scheme, it’s simple to switch things up. Incorporating a splash of color can completely transform the ambiance of a room.

13. Leather Swivel Armchair

In stock and ready to ship right now is the Chestnut aspen leather fabric. Alternatively, you can choose from one of the other twenty leather color options that won’t require you to wait the full twelve weeks. Get free swatches to help you decide on the perfect paint color for your home before you start the design process.

If gold is not your thing, you have two other options for the leg finish: antique bronze and polished nickel. The swivel base allows you to easily join in on any conversation.

Either put a table in the middle of two chairs or put an ottoman next to a single seat. Either look is perfect to update the modern home.

14. Forest Green Velvet Chair

Either put a table in the middle of two chairs or put an ottoman next to a single seat. Either look is perfect to update the modern home.

Set up a table between two chairs or use an ottoman to rest your feet on your own chair. Whether you choose a classic or contemporary style, it will be a welcome addition to any house.

The swivel chair is built to relax in, thanks to its sturdy wooden construction and soft, cushioned seat.

15. Large Leather Barrel Chair

This leather chair is perfect if you’re going for a chic and modern look. It boasts a luxurious brass base, a retro-modern form, and a channel-stitched cushion.

The sleek, uncluttered lines are perfect for making a statement and injecting some character. The pricing, at $900 or so, is great as well.

My obsession with this chic leather chair for my living room has reached unhealthy proportions.

16. Pleated Swivel Chair

West Elm is the place to go if you want a unique armchair. You can choose the version of this chair that best complements your existing decor from among several different color options.

Golden oak distressed velvet and sand twill are the in-stock materials. If you need your accent chair quickly, any choice is fine.

The pleated form, fitted shape, and swivel base of this chair exude an aura of refined sophistication. Place this chair in a quiet part of the room and accessorize it with a lamp and a side table.

The potential is enormous.

17. Tufted Glider Chair

This chair is dedicated to all the glamorous ladies out there. When placing an order, you can select from a wide variety of colors and materials.

The tufted back barrel chair has a sophisticated look thanks to the nailheads, which come in four different finishes. The modern look and swivel mechanism of its design make it an excellent choice for making a statement in any space.

18. Green Velvet Accent Chair

This channel-tufted deco chair is available in your choice of green or rust orange velvet. The retro aesthetic will make a statement in any room in the house.

Absolutely stunning from any vantage point in the space is this chair. It has a swivel base and is suspended by sinuous wire springs and a wooden frame.

19. Anthropologie Swivel Chair

This stylish swivel chair is sure to be a conversation starter wherever it is placed in your home. As a vibrant accent hue, velvet in Chartreuse is a terrific choice.

The blush leather and white boucle are in stock and available to ship immediately, however this hue is manufactured to order. You can’t even begin to fathom how amazing your living area will look with just two of these chic chairs.

This swivel barrel chair is a contemporary take on a traditional design, and it’s the perfect way to inject a little glitz into any room.

20. Teal Green Chair

This low-cost chair retails for less than $450. It’s padded to perfection, and the swivel mechanism is easy to use. Ideal for both big and intimate gatherings when you still want to feel like a part of things.

Sofas and chairs upholstered in this luxurious dark teal velvet will be a showpiece in any room. This is a very versatile chair that works well in any space of the house.

21. Blue Velvet Armchair

By now, you should know that Jonathan Adler is one of my favorite designers. His work is a lot of fun and can serve as a conversation piece in any room.

As a modern take on the traditional club chair, this design features a slimmer profile and a wider seat on a round oak base. The cushions are big and bold, making them ideal for lounging with a drink or a good book.

There’s little doubt that the Sebastian swivel chair is a long-term investment due to its high quality and durability. This contemporary swivel chair will be a great addition to your home’s decor.

22. Snow Velvet Chair

This chair, which retails for slightly more than $2,000, is the perfect way to inject a little opulence and style into your ultra-modern abode. A pair of these modern chairs would be a great addition to your home if cost was no object. What I mean is.

The cocoon-like shape radiates relaxation and will elevate your decor to new heights. The luxurious snow velvet cushions are complemented well by the metal inset base.

When guests arrive, they will definitely want to know more about this chair. When guests sit down, they won’t want to go up.

It’s a great chair for any room, especially one with a minimalistic design and neutral color scheme.

23. Swivel Club Chair

This swivel chair is round and looks quite similar to the leather barrel chair shown above, both of which were designed by West Elm. There are just two of them in stock in the charcoal colorway, so don’t delay if you need them for a project.

If such hues don’t convey the mood you want, try blue or olive. This chair can be yours for a little under $500, making it a wonderful low-cost alternative for a decor refresh.

Tired of Sitting in Your Dining Room Chair? - Steelcase

24. Champagne Velvet Chair

That was the best part, in my opinion, and it came at the end! My boyfriend Jonathan Adler just bought me another one of his beautiful swivel chairs. It reminds me of Halston and the fashion of Studio 54.

The gorgeous reef teal velvet complements the exhibited champagne tone. Both will give your home a touch of class and glamour.

The contrast and sophistication of the brass or stainless steel base is enhanced by the fabric chosen. This swivel chair will inject a lot of character into the room and spark lively discussion.

I really hope you found these modern swivel chair materials helpful in creating the home of your dreams.


One of the most visited e-commerce sites right now is for swivel chairs, which had previously only been seen in offices and tacky retro hangouts. In the same way that everyone appears to want one, we can’t deny how much we adore them.

Swivel chairs, which can be used in a variety of ways and are both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, are quickly becoming a consumer favorite in the realm of interior design. After learning so much about swivel chairs, you should probably acquire one for yourself.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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