Do Office Chairs Always Need to be Wheeled?

Published on 17/08/2019

Have you ever wondered why your office chair has wheels?

Does it necessarily need these wheels, and what exactly are they for?

The first person to come up with the idea of putting wheels on a chair was Charles Darwin. From there, the office chair we know and love was invented, completely by mistake! These wheels allowed Darwin to move around his study far easier, without having to get up and down on a regular basis. That’s pretty much why these chairs still have wheels today! Of course, it was originally Thomas Jefferson who invented the swivel chair, allowing us to move from side to side with ease. 

Nowadays you will find that most chairs found in the modern day office, especially executive office chairs, have wheels, usually five wheels in total. The reason for these five wheels is because this provides a firm foundation for the chair to sit on, and gives better balance whilst working. You’re supported and not likely to tip to one side with five wheels on your chair! As a result, you can move around, without having to get up or reach over a short distance to grab hold of something.

Of course, this type of chair isn’t necessarily meant for moving around the office and not standing up at all! We have enough risks in the office in terms of a sedentary lifestyle as it is, so do make sure you get up whenever you need to! 

Most ergonomic chairs have wheels, again for the balance reason, but also simply because they are an optimised version of the regular office chair we know and love. These types of chairs can be adjusted to the specific users, ensuring the lower back, neck, and legs are supported throughout the day, and avoiding aches and pains which could lead to long-standing and chronic pain conditions. 

Which Types of Chairs Don’t Need Wheels?

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to have a chair with wheels if you don’t want to. You can opt for a chair with the regular four legs and be just as comfortable, but you won’t have the ease of movement that comes with a wheeled chair.

There are also situations when wheels simply aren’t required, such as a boardroom chair, which is more of a static option. Someone sat at the boardroom table discussing an issue is not going to need to move around, they can simply sit still for the duration and then get up when necessary. 

Chairs in break areas also don’t necessarily need wheels, and this could include collaborative area tub chairs or mesh back office chairs too. However, some mesh chairs do have wheels; it really depends on where you’re going to use them as to what type of format you go for. 

When choosing the right type of seating for your specific office you need to think carefully about what it is going to be used for. Of course, someone is going to sit on it, but what are they going to be doing whilst sat there? Are they going to be sat on the chair for a long period of time, and do they need to adjust it for comfort and support or not?

If you have an agile working space or a hot desking system, the ability to be able to adjust chairs is a vital step. This ensures that no matter who sits at that particular desk or in that area, they do not feel aches and pains after a short while. Of course, if this is a collaborative zone, they’re going to be getting up and moving around a lot, so in this case, an adjustable chair won’t be necessary. 

Choosing the right chairs for your employees is a vital step in ensuring they have a comfortable and supportive working environment. Take your time to research the different types of chairs on offer, and always ask the opinions of your employees before making a final decision.

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