How to buy the best typist chair for me

typist chair

You are in the market to buy a swivel office chair. You Google something like “what is the best typist chair for back problems,” and you get rewarded with a long list of suppliers of office chairs at various price points. Confusion sets in. Will you be doing typist work? Probably not, unless of course you are still the proud user of a 1975 IBM golf ball typewriter! You now ask yourself whether you need a typist chair, and if you should head off to Makro.

swivel office typist chairs used in typing pools in the 1960's.
Traditional typist pool from the 1960’s and 70’s

Times have radically changed the way we deal with words. IBM typewriters have long been replaced by omnipotent computers that do a myriad of other things than just produce a type written document.

Typist pools have become redundant. The need for mechanically generated documents has disappeared along with the traditional “typist”. However, the term “typist chair” remains a frequently used search term in search engines. Nowadays it is used as a generic term for a budget task or operators chair with minimal ergonomic features.

budget swivel typist office chair that is usually available at a low price from shops like Makro
Budget “typist” chair

A budget typist chair is usually available at a low price.

These chairs typically only have limited functionality and include a:

  • Height adjustable seat.
  • Small non-adjustable backrest.
  • 5-Star base with castors.

Times have changed…

Not only has the era of typewriters and traditional typist chairs moved on, but so has our awareness of the ergonomic requirements of a seated person. We now know that incorrect sitting, especially for long periods, is detrimental to our health, the quality of work and overall productivity.

Instead of sitting behind a typewriter all day, most of us now spend the majority of our day on a keyboard behind a computer that performs many different tasks. Today we are fortunate that our choice of available swivel office chairs for different work applications, is huge. Typist (task), executive, heavy-duty, industrial and orthopaedic office chairs for back problems, are just some of the choices! Where can I buy the best typist chair in Johannesburg?

With so many options, how do you select a typist chair?

In trying to select a typist chair, you are now faced with further questions, some of which are shown below.

  • With so many chair types, which one do I need?
  • What height adjustability do I need?
  • When do I need the forward sloping seat of an orthopaedic chair?
  • What type of armrests do I need on my chair?
  • Which chair mechanism is best for me and is a seat-slider necessary?
  • Do I have a pre-existing medical condition that requires a specific type of chair?
  • How adjustable should the lumbar support be?
  • Do I perform different functions when I am sitting and how will this effect my chair requirement?
  • Am I the only person using the chair or will others use the same chair, and how will this influence my selection?
  • How do I set up the chair for my workstation?
  • Do I need specialist help and where can I find it?
  • Where should I go to buy my typist chair and what price should I be paying?
  • Should I visit a showroom to see what options are available, or can I buy online?
what is an ergonomic chair

The answers to ALL the above questions (and many others), can be found in our Learning Centre.


When you are at Makro or any other office furniture dealer looking to buy a “typist chair”, don’t simply buy the first option. Get answers to the above questions and consider all the ergonomic options available. Finally, select the office chair that best meets your needs and budget.

Author: Joachim Roetger
Director at Karo Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd
9 March 2021

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