The majority of leading ergonomic chair designs are based on a sophisticated mechanism enabling the backrest recline and seat tilt to be synchronised for optimum support. Generally described as a synchronous or synchro mechanism, this feature is also incorporated into many lower cost and less sophisticated chairs.
We supply sophisticated synchronous mechanism chairs from leading manufacturers, as well as a good selection of low cost entry level synchro chairs with prices starting at around £150 + VAT.
In addition to synchronous task chairs, Octopus also offers the even more advanced Glide-Tec chair (please see detail below) as well as a range of both economical and premium conventional swivel chairs and boardroom & meeting chairs with prices starting at less than £100 + VAT.
Our Glide-Tec chairs are very different from any other, and they are likely to make a big difference to the comfort, well being and productivity of your staff.
Glide-Tec is a revolutionary office chair design. This unique, world-wide patented gliding-seat mechanism is incorporated into a range of chairs for the general office worker, the executive office and the boardroom. These chairs offer a level of ergonomics, support and comfort that conventional office chairs do not.
Click on the images below for detail on each Glide-Tec chair:
Most modern swivelling desk chairs have a gas-lift stem to enable the user to adjust the seat height but thereafter, although many of them look quite similar, there are a number of fundamental differences that set them apart from a functionality and ergonomics perspective.
Tilt Mechanism: This is one of the simplest chair mechanisms and is arguably the least appropriate for desk working. The angle between the backrest and seatpad is fixed and cannot be adjusted. The chair can rock back and forth from a central or off-set pivot on the underside of the seat, but the angle between the seat and backrest always remains constant. In many cases there is a spring tension control which enables the user to adjust the force they have to exert in order to tilt the seat. This style of chair is inappropriate as a ‘Task’ chair (desk chair or computer chair) because of the inability for the user to adjust the rake/angle of the backrest in relation to the seatpad. As such, when the user leans forward to carry out desk work or typing, their back will probably lose contact with the backrest of the chair, therefore losing any form of support. This sort of chair is still widely available, both at the budget end (because it can be very cheap to build), for meeting and visitor chairs and for the more traditional style of executive chair. They should probably only be used for meeting room/boardroom and visitor chairs, all of which typically receive occasional or short duration use.
Independent Backrest Recline: Sometimes referred to in the industry as Static, Permanent Contact Back (PCB) or 2 lever support, this chair offers the user the ability to adjust the angle of the backrest. The seatpad, however, remains unchanged. The backrest is controlled with a lever or sometimes a screw knob and can be set to a number of different positions. The advantage of this over the aforementioned Tilt mechanism is that it does at least offer the user the ability to change the angle to suit their individual requirements, but it does lead to the same drawback – if the user sets the chair in a reclined position and then leans forward to carry out desk work, the backrest remains where it is and offers absolutely no support whatsoever.
Independent Backrest Recline with Free-Floating Tension Controlled Backrest: This is the same as the above, with the exception that the user can now leave the backrest in a free-floating mode and adjust the tension (resistance) to suit their body weight and comfort. As long as it’s decent quality, this is a major advance because the backrest will move back and forth with the user and will always stay in contact and give support to their back.
Independent Seat and Back: With an additional lever, the angle of the seat can be adjusted independently of the backrest. Often it will offer a forward as well as backward tilt. These chairs often have 3 levers underneath the seat – one for adjusting the height, one for the backrest recline and one for the seat angle.
Synchronous Mechanism: This is designed to be used in free-floating mode. The user sets the tension (the force they have to apply to move the backrest when they lean back) and the seat and back move together – typically at a ratio of 2:1 (the seat tilts upwards 1 degree for every 2 degrees the backrest reclines). Some of the more advanced mechanisms are self adjusting to the user’s weight (i.e. the user does not have to set the tension themselves). The great benefit of these chairs when used correctly is that the seatback should always be in contact with the users back and when reclined, the seatpad adjusts automatically to an appropriate tilt angle that maintains the correct relationship between the upper body and legs. It is important to note that not all Synchronous Mechanisms are the same. They all work on the same principles but there is a wide gap between the cheapest and most advanced by way of ergonomics, functionality and build quality. Expect to pay at least £150 + VAT for even the most basic of these chairs, and of £200 – £300 + VAT for a decent mid-range model.
Glide-Tec: This is a unique design which achieves the opening of the angle between the body and legs in a different way to the synchronous mechamism. More detail is on our Glide-Tec page.