What Is Pneumatic Chair? The 9 Best Ergonomic Office Chairs for Better Posture

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
22 min read

Have you ever gotten stuck in the middle of a project and wondered, “What is a pneumatic chair?” It very well could be the chair you’re sitting in right now.

Pneumatics or hydraulics are the mechanisms that allow contemporary office chairs to rise and lower the user. Read on to discover everything there is to know about these chairs, from their construction to their operation.

What Makes It Work?

Pneumatic Chair Components

Inserting a gas cylinder into the chair’s base (often a metal base with three, four, or five stars) is a common practice. Gas lifts, sometimes known as gas cylinders, are enclosed in telescoping covers to form columns. The seat is mounted on top of this column. A metal plate on the underside of the seat secures the pneumatic column and footrest in place. Control levers for the pneumatics are located on the seat plate. The column can raise and lower the seat by means of levers that force a piston into a cylinder. The cylinder is shielded by a telescopic shroud. Pneumatic columns sold by different companies may have different lever placements or provide a clearer view of the cylinder than those sold by other companies.

Using A Pneumatic Chair

The pneumatic chair has an air-filled cylinder that acts as a single spring. When the lever is depressed, air is forced into or out of the chamber by a plunger or piston attached to the air chamber. Using the force of the plunger, the air is squeezed even more tightly. When the air inside is pushed together, it compresses, creating a spring-like or lifting motion. When the piston is released, the volume of air in the chamber increases. The amount of air in the cylinder determines how strongly the spring returns after being compressed. The spring just facilitates the action of raising the seat. Without the spring, adjusting the height of the seat would involve manual effort and, most likely, the use of a knob or pin.

How Does A Pneumatic Office Chair Work? | Topaz Furniture

Replacing The Pneumatic Spring

Over time, pneumatic springs degrade. It is possible to change out the cylinders. If the chair has to be replaced, check the manufacturer’s website for instructions or visit an authorized dealer. Although regular cylinders are readily available for purchase, removing them can be challenging due to the manufacturer’s attachment method.


Ergonomics, a field that merges the study of human biology, psychology, anatomy, and engineering, is concerned with improving people’s experiences in the workplace. How you and other workers may improve conditions at work is another area of emphasis in ergonomics. This could potentially be implemented as part of a larger system, such as a means by which several divisions share information and apply it to real-world items.

Ergonomics improves the well-being of the individuals in a certain space, such as an office, by making their work there easier and safer. Ergonomic office chairs give workers the support they need to stay relaxed while they get the job done.


You may have heard the terms pneumatics and hydraulics before, but what exactly do they mean? These expressions are commonly used whenever fluid power is used to move or manipulate an item.

Pneumatics is a method of powering mechanical motion with compressible gas, such as air or pure gas. However, hydraulics utilizes oil or any other incompressible liquidized metal.

Pneumatics are typically utilized in office chairs because of their lightweight, portability, and safety. Levers on these chairs let you control the height, as well as compress and release the gas within the cylinder.

Ergonomic chairs

These chairs offer several characteristics to make you feel at ease because they were made to support the user’s body when sitting for extended periods of time. There is a correlation between good sitting posture and good health at work, and these nuances can help.

With the individualized support that these chairs offer, you’ll be able to work at your absolute best. An ergonomic chair is one that allows the user to modify the seat’s height, depth, and lumbar support to suit their individual needs.

Pneumatic chair

Pneumatic chairs use a cylinder with a spring inside it that is compressed air, and the cylinder contains a single working piston. When the lever is moved up or down, air is released from this chamber and is used to power a piston inside.

By doing so, you can raise the height of your chair seat since the air inside is compressed to a higher level. The chair can be lowered if the piston is displaced farther from the chamber’s center.

Pneumatic chairs are made up of a few different pieces that work together to give you support and allow you to raise and lower the seat. In the next section, you will find further information on these components. Having this knowledge can help you keep your office chair in tip-top shape.

Components of a pneumatic chair

These chairs often have a metal base with three to five legs. The gas cylinder is placed in this base. The column is made by wrapping this cylinder in a telescoping cover; the seat is placed atop this assembly.

The levers for controlling the pneumatics of the chair are located on the bottom of the seat. These levers depress the piston, which in turn raises and lowers the column, so allowing you to adjust the height of your seat. When this occurs, the telescoping shroud safeguards the cylinder from the buildup of pressure from the air inside.

Common problems and maintenance

You probably already know that pneumatic chairs are commonplace in workplaces and can even be found in homes with dedicated offices. It wouldn’t take long for this furniture to show signs of wear and tear. To put it another way, how would you take the complicated issue of your chair and simplify it?

Strong adhesives should be applied to each screw before installation. This process makes their threading narrower, resulting in a tighter lock that prevents loose screws and the chair from unexpectedly springing back as you sit down.

Do you find it annoying that your seat keeps falling down? To correct this, pull it to the height at which you would like your chair to remain, and then make a mark on the cylinder at that height.

Mark the height at which you want the chair to rest, then measure up from the floor. Remove the wheels from the chair frame, cut some empty sticks (yardsticks work best), and put them there. Secure them with duct tape.

Check the wheels on your chairs often to be sure there is nothing causing annoying noises. If tightening the screws doesn’t work, replacing the wheels with a new pair that fits your chair perfectly is the best option.

The 9 Best Ergonomic Office Chairs for Better Posture

Best Overall: Office Star Pro-Line II ProGrid High Back Managers Chair

The Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair is our top selection because it offers excellent value for money, premium materials, and superior back support for long periods of sitting. There is lumbar support in the chair, and the breathable mesh ProGrid back makes it suitable for long periods of sitting. The seat may be raised or lowered anywhere between 18.25 and 22 inches so you can find the ideal height for your body and workstation.

The pneumatic controls allow you to alter not only the height of your seat, but also its depth, tilt, and the position of the armrests. The chair can be rotated through a full circle and can support up to 250 pounds.

Polyester and plastic are the materials used for the seats, which are 29 by 27.88 by 42.63 inches and 18.25 by 22 inches and 22 inches high and 25 pounds in total weight capacity when fully assembled.

Best Budget: SeatingPlus Ergonomic Executive Chair

The SeatingPlus Ergonomic Executive Chair is a great choice if you need a high-quality chair but are on a tight budget. It has deep memory foam and individual coils for a supportive and pleasant sit. In addition, the armrests are cushioned and can be pushed up out of the way when not in use. The ergonomic backrest can be adjusted pneumatically from 90 degrees to 130 degrees. The chair can swivel 360 degrees and the seat can be raised or lowered by 3.15 inches.

Since it is an executive chair, it features a high back and a broad seat, and it is upholstered in soft, breathable PU leather with white stitching around the edges. The 330-pound weight limit is due to the steel base of the chair. There are a variety of colors to choose from, including black, brown, and white.

Seat Height: 18.5-21.5 inches Assembled Weight: 36.38 pounds Weight Capacity: 330 pounds Seat Material: Leather Dimensions: 28.7 x 24.8 x 42.3 inches

Best Splurge: Human Scale Freedom Chair with Headrest

We won’t try to hide the fact that this chair doesn’t come cheap. The Humanscale Freedom Headrest Chair, on the other hand, is unlike any other and offers numerous benefits.

The late Niels Diffrient, called the “granddaddy of the ergonomic revolution” by Forbes, designed this counterbalanced chair to ensure the user’s comfort at all times. The chair’s 20-degree recline is fully adjustable based on the user’s weight.

When sitting up straight, the headrest does not provide any additional support, but when reclining, it gently cradles the head and neck. Moreover, because it is an adjustable headrest, no extra effort is required to achieve the desired position. The seven-degree swivel range of motion of the backrest and the waterfall edge and Coccyx cutout of the cushioning make for comfortable seating even over extended periods of time by evenly distributing your body weight and minimizing pressure points. The arms are movable and adjustable since they are connected to the backrest and move in tandem with your every move.

Office Furniture 101: What Is Pneumatic Chair? - Krostrade

The chair’s lightweight design and ability to support up to 300 pounds are two benefits of the absence of cumbersome systems. In addition, there is a wide range of available customizations, including a wide selection of fabric colors and varieties of leather, as well as a choice between normal arms and gel arms, foam or gel seats, a range of cylinder heights, and four different caster options.

Dimensions: 17 x 27 x 37 inches; Seat Height: 16.12 – 20.25 inches; Weight: 38 pounds (with arms included); Weight Capacity: 300 pounds; Seat Material: Leather; Dimensions:

Best Design: Herman Miller Aeron Chair

There’s a good reason why the Herman Miller Aeron Chair costs so much. It’s ergonomically sound, with a streamlined design that keeps your torso, shoulders, and pelvis in proper position when you’re seated. The pads can be adjusted to fit your specific needs and offer both spinal and lumbar support. On top of that, the 8Z Pellicle mesh material allows air to circulate, ensuring a constant, pleasant temperature.

The chair is available in three sizes (A for small, B for medium, and C for big) to accommodate people of varying heights and weights. For reference, the maximum weight for a person wearing a size A is 300 pounds, while for sizes B and C, the limit is 350 pounds. Several other combinations of frame and base finishes are available, including graphite/polished aluminum, mineral/satin aluminum, mineral/polished aluminum, and graphite/graphite. Arms can be fixed in place, adjusted in height, or fully adjustable, and leather replacement pads are available for the standard pads. The carpet wheels can be replaced with multi-surface, quiet-rolling wheels.

Pellicle mesh is used for the seats, which come in a range of sizes with a variable height and a total weight of between 40 and 43 pounds. They can support up to 350 pounds.

Best with Headrest: Vari Ergonomic Task Chair with Headrest

The Vari Task Chair with Headrest is a great option for those looking for a chair in the middle price range that also has a comfortable headrest. Keeping your body in its natural position with as little strain on your muscles as possible is a primary goal of the ergonomic design. Your head and neck can rest in the supportive arms of the adjustable headrest. The chair’s back is made of breathable reinforced mesh to keep you cool and comfortable. The backrest can be pivoted to offer optimal support to the lower back.

The chair’s back, seat height (ranging from 17 5/8 to 22 inches), and armrests may all be adjusted using the controls. Tilt and tension controls are also available on the back of the seat. The chair can support up to 300 pounds and features sturdy casters for easy movement. The fact that it requires no equipment for assembly right out of the box makes this a top pick for convenient seating.

Polyester upholstery; 26.77 x 25.2 x 31.5-inch overall; 18-22-inch seat height; 52 pounds total weight; 300-pound capacity; fully assembled weight.

Best Vegan Leather: Soho Management Chair

If your office has an open layout, it’s important to choose a chair that not only supports good posture but also complements your space’s overall appearance. This SOHO Soft Pad Management Chair from the 1960s can be used for either purpose. Two large foam cushions support your back, while a third, larger cushion provides comfortable seating. Seat height is easily modified by use of the pneumatic gas operation (from 19 to 23 inches), and recline angle is managed by means of the tilt lock mechanism.

The chair features an aluminum frame, metal wheel covers, and chromed steel armrests (which can be removed, if desired). It comes in a rainbow of hues as well. Colors available for vegan leather range from black and white to brown and dark brown to grey and dark grey and even blue. Charcoal, grey, and dark blue are all color choices for poly-cotton. The maximum weight capacity of this chair is 400 pounds, and it’s easy to set up.

Faux leather upholstery; a 34-by-25-by-30-inch footprint; an 18-by-21-inch seat height; a 30-pound weight capacity; a 400-pound weight limit when fully assembled.

Best Adjustable: Steelcase Gesture Office Chair Gesture Office Chair

Though there are many well-designed ergonomic seats here, the Steelcase Gesture Office Chair stands out as the most versatile. You’ll get what you pay for, so this one won’t come cheap. The chair’s arms can be adjusted in height, width, pivot, and depth so that they always provide comfortable support for your shoulders and arms. This allows you to take a wide range of seating positions, including sitting on the edge of the chair. You can modify the height of the seat (from 39.5 to 44.5), as well as its depth and angle.

The chair’s back features a changeable backstop, core equalizer, lumbar height, and tension adjustment. As you move around, the 3D LiveBack modifies itself to better support your spine. Malt, Nickel, Graphite, Blue Jay, Wasabi, and Tangerine are only some of the fabric options, in addition to the chair’s four frame colors. It’s also made in a variety of leather hues, including black, espresso, blue, and scarlet red. There are three distinct chair heights available, from which to select: regular, low, and high. The maximum weight allowed on this seat is 300 pounds.

Polyester upholstery; 23.63 x 34.63 x 57 inch overall; 16-21 inch seat height; 65.9 pound assembled weight; 400 pound weight capacity;

Best for Big and Tall People: Anda Seat T-Pro 2 Ergonomic Office Chair

The AndaSeat T-Pro 2 Ergonomic Office Chair is an excellent choice if you have trouble finding a large or tall enough ergonomic office chair to suit your needs. You can put up to 440 pounds in this king-size chair without it breaking a sweat. The chair’s aluminum base and larger wheels make it simple to maneuver in any direction, and the chair’s hydraulic pistons make adjusting the height a breeze. High-density memory foam and linen cover the 100% steel framework. The silky linen is insulated to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In addition to being scratch and stain resistant, the material is also quite durable.

In addition to being an excellent chair for working and studying, reading, gaming, watching films, and even having a nap, the backrest can be adjusted from 90 to 160 degrees. The armrests can be adjusted in three directions: up and down, left and right, and front and back. The chair’s ergonomic design is only the beginning; a lumbar support pillow and a headrest pillow are included for your convenience. There are three color options for the chair: gray, blue, and black.

Seat Height: 19.29-22 inches | Overall Dimensions: 29.92 x 29.92 x 53.54 inches | Product Weight: 71.8 lb. | Maximum Weight Capacity: 440 lb.

Best for Standing Desks: Vari Active Seat

Finding an ergonomic chair that works with an adjustable standing desk might be challenging. On the other hand, the Vari Active Seat was developed specifically for use at standing workstations. The chair’s height can be adjusted easily from 25 12 inches to 35 inches with the push of a button. The polypropylene pan and extra-wide seat cushion offer both comfort and durability.

It’s possible that you’re used to sitting on chairs designed to prevent back pain by providing lumbar support. Yet there are other options for maintaining spinal health as well. The Vari features a pedestal that can be adjusted in a number of ways. You can lean back, stretch, and even move in your chair to work your back, core, and legs. The chair’s height can be adjusted so that it can be used as a leaning post when standing. The chair can support up to 250 pounds and is delivered ready to use.

Polypropylene construction; 15.75″ x 15.75″ x 26.57″ seat; 25.5″ – 35″ seat height; 28.1″ x 35″ x 250″ overall; 28.1 lbs.

What to Look for in an Ergonomic Office Chair


Look for a padded seat made of a material that allows air to circulate. The standard measurements for height, width, and depth are 16–21 inches, 17–20 inches, and 16–20 inches, respectively. The chair should swivel without difficulty so that you may easily move about without hassle.

Lumbar support

If you spend a lot of time at your desk, lumbar support, or support for your lower back, is crucial. Having a chair that can be changed in height and depth will allow you to find the ideal position for your body, allowing the natural inward curve of your lower back to be supported.


Connected backrests and detachable backrests are the two main types of backrests seen on ergonomic chairs. It should be able to move forward and backward if it is attached to the chair. If it’s its own thing, it ought to include height and angle controls. Find a chair with a back between 12 and 19 inches in height.


What makes a chair ergonomic?

An ergonomic chair provides support for your back and shoulders, promotes good posture, and cushions your rear end. Ergonomic chairs with good armrests also position your arms and wrists correctly to avoid pain.

How do you pick the best ergonomic chair?

Good posture is encouraged as your rear end is cushioned and supported by an ergonomic chair. If you want to keep your arms and wrists from hurting, invest in an ergonomic chair with supportive armrests.

Those who are significantly shorter or taller than normal may want to look at chairs that come in a range of sizes or are made for people in those specific height ranges.

The inclusion of armrests is also highly desirable. It’s true that some people despise armrests and would rather do their work without them. Some people might like them best, while others might prefer to have them lowered or moved out of the way. Armrests that can be adjusted to your preferred height may be a necessity.

Another accessory to consider is a headrest. The head and neck can be supported by it. However, there are many who would rather not sit in a chair equipped with a headrest.

The financial plan is frequently taken into account. In general, shoppers go for the most cost-effective premium seating option. This tactic can be effective at times, but cheaper seats don’t always hold up as well.

If your workplace is visible to clients and coworkers, aesthetic considerations are very important. Some ergonomic chairs appear like they were borrowed from a futuristic dentist’s office. Given the amount of time most people spend in their office chairs, it makes sense to invest in one that is not only functional, but also aesthetically pleasing.

For this reason, some prefer leather or fake leather seating to mesh. However, there are many who find the latter to be more enticing. You may want to consider mesh if you aren’t in a climate-controlled space or if you heat up easily.

OAR Pneumatic Swivel Chair - MiEN Company

Do ergonomic office chairs need to be replaced?

Your comfortable office chair will eventually need to be replaced because nothing lasts forever. Use is a major factor in how quickly anything deteriorates; if you sit in it for several hours every day, it will almost likely wear out sooner rather than later.

Signs that it’s time to get a new chair include a lack of fluidity in its motion, loose knobs and levers that won’t stay tightened, and worn-out cushion padding. One other consideration is age. Typically, ergonomic office chairs have a lifespan of between 5 and 10 years (again, this depends on how often you use it).


If someone were to ask you, “What is a pneumatic chair?” you would now have an appropriate response. From the general information, to how it works, to the chair’s components, and how you can fix it without paying too much. Without hastily replacing it, you can educate others on the nature of this chair and suggest ways to make it better.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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