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 and select a cheap one at a really good price. Cheap office chairs – what do they REALLY cost me?

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 at work. We now know that incorrect sitting, especially for long periods, is detrimental to our health, the quality of work and overall productivity. The 5 consequences of sitting on the wrong chair.

typist chair from 1970's
Traditional typist pool from the 1960’s and 70’s

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. Ergonomic typist chairs with and without a headrest, gaming, heavy-dutyindustrial and orthopedic office chairs for back problems, are just some of the choices!

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.

How to adjust the height of a typist chair

Prevent back problems – the correct way to adjust the height of a typist chair is by doing so away from the desk. Here is a brief summary, or if you prefer, watch our detailed video:

    • Sit back in the chair with your back positioned against the chair backrest.
    • The correct chair height is when both your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are slightly lower than the level of your hips.
    • Now (and only now), move the chair towards the desk.
    • Your arms should be able to rest on the desk with your elbows bent at approximately 900.
    • If your elbows are bent at an angle much greater than 900, the desk is too lowRAISE THE HEIGHT OF THE DESKDo not lower the chair height! This is VERY IMPORTANT.
    • If your elbows are bent at an angle less than 900, the desk is too highRAISE THE HEIGHT OF THE CHAIR and use a FOOTREST to support your feet. DO NOT let your feet dangle in the air.
Wellback 100 orthopedic and typist office chair
Wellback 100 Orthopedic Chair


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. Contact us for more information or see our FAQ's.