Swivel Chairs for Home and Office

A stylish and ergonomic swivel chair is a great choice for anyone looking to increase their productivity and comfort while working at home or in the office.

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High Back and Task swivel chairs have been around for decades in South Africa and can be found in virtually every home or work office. They are a popular choice for most people due to their versatility, functionality, and style. Swivel office chairs are defined by their mobility. They are mounted on a mechanism that rotates through 360° which makes it easy to access different areas around your workstation without having to get up. This is particularly useful in an office setting where you need to turn and reach for items on your desk, answer the phone, or interact with colleagues sitting nearby. There are many different types of swivel office chairs available in South Africa, each with its own features and benefits. 

The origin of swivel chairs and how they evolved

Thomas Jefferson

The origin of swivel office chairs dates back to the 17th century when Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, designed a swivel chair to use in his home office. Jefferson’s Windsor Chair was made of wood and had a simple backrest and seat. In 1775 Jefferson, decided that his chair didn’t allow him enough movement, so he set out to modify his chair to add more comfort and mobility.

windsor chair by Thomas Jefferson

Windor Chair

Jefferson, who was a skilled cabinet maker, had an iron spindle inserted between the top and bottom layers of the double-layered seat of his chair. He added 4 rollers between that enabled the seat to rotate.

Taken with his invention, he added additional modifications which included a writing pad and the replacement of the original baluster-turned legs with bamboo legs. 

It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that the modern swivel chair was developed. In 1849, the American inventor, Thomas E. Warren, designed the Centripetal Spring Chair which featured a swivel mechanism and cast-iron base with castors to allow mobility for the office workers. The chair gained popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when more people started working in offices. Steel tubing was used in the construction of chairs, which facilitated the design of more streamlined and light-weight chairs. The manufacture of more adaptable and ergonomic swivel chairs ensued in the second half of the 20th century as a result of the usage of plastics and other materials. History of office chairs.


Since then, the designs have continued to evolve, culminating with the ergonomic swivel office chairs available in South Africa today.

Common Swivel Chairs

1. Executive or High Back Swivel Chairs

capri high back ergonomic office chair
The Capri is a popular ergonomic high back office chair

a. Ergonomic Swivel Chairs

These are typically large, plush chairs with a high backrest and include additional features such as multi-adjustable armrests, an adjustable lumbar support and a headrest. They are ideal for people who spend long hours at their desks and want a comfortable, supportive chair. Features of an ergonomic chair.

Ergonomic swivel chairs reduce the likelihood of back, neck and shoulder pain caused by sitting for long periods.

To keep you cool and comfortable, the majority of modern ergonomic high back chairs have a backrest made of a breathable mesh material that allows for better airflow. Pros and cons of mesh office chairs.

All our ergonomic chairs are fitted with either a synchronous (synchro) or free-float mechanism that promotes Dynamic Sitting. For many years, ergonomists have acknowledged that Dynamic Sitting is essential for ergonomic comfort.

b. Classic High Back Swivel Chairs

Classic Executive Chairs are for the discerning individual who demands ‘something special’ for his home or work office.

These swivel chairs lack some of the features of their ergonomic counterparts and are not designed for anyone who spends long hours at their desk. They typically don't have multi-adjustable armrests or an adjustable lumbar support.

Classic high back chairs are usually fitted with either a standard or frontal-pivot swivel mechanism that does not allow Dynamic Sitting.

commander executive office chair
The Commander is a popular classic High Back Chair

2. Task or Mid-Back Chairs

task office chairs in south africa
The Vera Task chair has a lower, fully upholstered backrest

Modern task or mid-back chairs are often the same as ergonomic executive chairs, except they don't have a headrest. They are ideal for anyone who spends long hours at a desk or workstation, and with the exception of a headrest, have all the important ergonomic features to support your body and keep you comfortable.

Although many task chairs have a mesh backrest, some, like the Vera, have a fully upholstered backrest. The majority of our task chairs are fitted with either a synchronous (synchro) or free-float mechanism that promotes Dynamic Sitting.

3. Gaming Chairs

Our gaming swivel chairs are designed for the big-time gamer who wants to use the chair for both gaming and work. They all have a high backrest, adjustable armrests, and other features designed to provide comfort and support during long gaming sessions. Is a Gaming chair better than an Ergonomic Office chair?

With superior swivel mechanisms, multi-adjustable armrests, adjustable lumbar support and up to 10 years warranty, our gaming chairs provide exceptional comfort while you work or play. 10 Ideas for your home office and gaming setup.

aragon gaming chairs with a high back and swivel mechanism available in south africa
Aragon Gaming Chairs

4. Meeting & Conference Room Chairs

meeting and conference room swivel office chairs in south africa
The Nika Meeting Room chair has fixed armrests and gas height adjustment

These chairs are designed for use in meeting and conference rooms, and typically have a simple, streamlined design.

Depending on the application, they may be height adjustable, have fixed height armrests and a simple tilt mechanism, similar to the Nika.

Alternatively, they may have no swivel mechanism and no adjustable functionality. Such 4-legged or sleighbase meeting room chairs are not designed for working at a desk for an extended period of time.

5. Other Types of Swivel Chairs

Chairs with a swivel action are not confined to offices. There are numerous other applications for this type of chair, and in some cases the chairs are not meant to be mobile or height adjustable. The swivel action is purely there to allow the user to easily get on the chair, and/or to have a clear view of the surroundings. Typical examples include:

a. Casino Chairs

Casino gaming chairs are typically fitted with a swivel mechanism that allows for either a 360°, or 180° rotation with a spring-back or auto-return function. Some are fitted with a gas height adjustment mechanism. These chairs are designed for a 24/7 operating environment and are exceptionally rugged.

Although they are able to swivel, most casino chairs in South Africa have no armrests or other ergonomic features commonly found on office chairs.

casino chairs for slot machines
Karo Casino Chairs at Grand Palm Casino
vitra eames chair
Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman for Vitra

b. Lounge Swivel Chairs

These are usually plush lounge chairs found in homes and some reception areas and are designed for relaxation, not work.

There are many variations, styles and designs available. The Classic Charles and Ray Eames Lounge Chair is an excellent example. 

swivel lounge chair for home use in south africa

c. Swivel Chairs for Boats

These 'captains' chairs are fixed to the floor and can be found on all types of water-craft, from small fishing boats to large ocean liners.

Because the chair has a swivel mechanism, the boat's captain is easily able to turn in all directions and have a clear view around him.

Typically these chairs are not height adjustable, are upholstered in a marine-quality vinyl, and have a support structure manufactured from aluminium or stainless steel.

captains boat chair


Swivel office chairs can enhance productivity and efficiency in the workplace. They provide a comfortable and supportive environment that allows you to focus on the task at hand.  The ability to move around and access different areas without getting up makes it easy to multitask and complete tasks quickly.

Ergonomic high back and task chairs promote good posture, which can enhance concentration and improve cognitive function.

A swivel chair is a versatile, comfortable, and functional piece of furniture that can provide many benefits in various settings. Whether you work in an office, run a home-based business, or simply want a comfortable chair for your home or entertainment room, a swivel chair can provide the support and comfort you need.

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