The Development and Types of Office Chair Armrests

The development of office chair armrests

From non-adjustable armrests

In the 1980s, when the personal computer was first equipped in the office, the armrest was only used as an accessory of the president chair. At that time, its setting was simple and non-adjustable.

Sometimes for comfort and beauty, a soft cushion was added above the armrest. We called it Extra-Padded Armrests. The armrests used in the entry-level UVI chair are not adjustable but still provide maximum support. They are also filled with fabric and foam to provide extra comfort.

Office Chair Armrest-NAD-06
Office Chair Armrest NAD-06

To height adjustable armrests

By the end of the 1980s, with the increasing demand for computers at work, the design of office chairs changed.

In order to promote a longer sitting time, the armrests began to become adjustable but only in height – around 10 centimeters. Its design is to closely match the relaxed height of the human elbow when sitting. And the height adjustment range of 7-11cm calculated is still suitable for the needs of most office workers.

Modern multi-function armrests

Nowadays, there comes the 2D, 3D and 4D armrests which fits for people’s different needs.

The main types of office chair armrests

2D Armrests

In the 1990s, advanced ergonomic office chairs added armrests that can adjust width and angle.

From this we introduced the concept of 2D armrests. The 2D armrest can be adjusted in two dimensions. That is, we can adjust their height (8cm) and rotate them around their axis.

The top of the backrest is also slightly padded and curved to provide extra comfort and support.

The width adjustment ensures that the arms are supported close to the body.

The angle adjustment ensures further support for a series of arm postures.

Coupled with the height adjustment function, these functions, especially the function of moving the armrest support inward to close to the edge of the seat, are more important. Because regardless of the user’s body shape, it can provide natural support for both arms from arm to shoulder and from wrist to elbow.

Watch the above 2 videos to have a clearer view of the functions of 3D and 4D armrests.

3D Armrests & 4D Armrests

In the past 10 years, the armrests of some office chairs have added depth and left-right adjustment functions, namely 3D and 4D armrests.

This is because the flat computer monitor has replaced the traditional heavy display. In order to free up more valuable desktop space, users can push the monitor to the front part of the desktop. But meanwhile it also caused the front end of the armrest to collide with the desktop or the computer keyboard bracket. It not only affected the proper viewing screen distance, but also caused awkward sitting posture, bending forward or leaning forward.

And these sitting postures will cause discomfort to people’s neck and shoulders.

The front and rear sliding armrests can ensure that many users are closer to their computers and help them maintain a healthier posture.

Types of adjustable office chair armrests

The 3D armrests can be adjusted in three dimensions. Compared with 4D armrests, these armrests cannot move left or right. But we can adjust their height (8 cm), forward / backward position, and rotate them around their axis. The top of the armrest is slightly padded.

While the 4D armrest can be adjusted in four dimensions. We can adjust their height (8 cm), forward / backward position, left / right position, and rotate them around their axis. What’s more, the top of the armrest is padded for extra comfort and support.

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