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From Midback to Operator: a Review of Office Chair Types

From Midback to Operator: a Review of Office Chair Types
September 8, 2015 gnuworld

Gone are the days of the one-size fits all mentality when it comes to office chairs. Contemporary chair designs focus not just on comfort and style, but on the tasks users will be performing while they’re seated.

Highbacks, midbacks and netbacks are designed for prolonged periods of sitting at a desk, operator chairs are appropriate for multiple tasks and draughtsman chairs offer fixed footrests and an open design to enable a 360-degree reach at a suitable height.

Regardless of their intended use, all well-manufactured office chairs are designed to mould to your body shape so as to provide optimal support for your back, neck and legs. Seats are contoured to prevent putting pressure on the backs of the legs, and height, tilt, armrests and bases are adjustable.

Choosing an office chair type

Choose the appropriate task-related chair and you’ll have a comfortable, durable work partner for life. To help you find the perfect chair for your work environment, we’ve provided brief overviews of the most popular office chair designs manufactured in South Africa.

Executive highbacks

Executive Highback

Highback chairs

Executive highbacks are stylish, sophisticated and built with an elongated back and headrest, for incomparable comfort in multiple positions. These chairs are designed for busy executives, who spend plenty of time behind the desk and on the phone. Fabrics are plush and comfortable and range from leather to lightweight, breathable mesh.

Mid-level midbacks


Midback chairs

Midback chairs are really highbacks without the extra height. They’re ideal for personal assistants and office managers. Despite a shorter profile, these high-end office chairs are both elegant and ergonomic.

Multi-task operator chairs

Multi-task operator chairs

Operator chairs

Operator chairs are multi-task work horses. They feature adjustable backrests and seats to support diverse body shapes and positions, sturdy bases and durable castors for effortless mobility and armrests that can be adjusted to provide the ideal resting height for the lower arms and shoulders.

Stylish stacking chairs

Stylish stacking chairs

Stacking chairs

Stacking chairs are light, portable and suitably contoured for basic comfort. They’re best for short sitting spells, and are ideal for meetings, training sessions or break rooms. Stacking chairs don’t have bases or castors, although there’s the option of extended arm rests, if required.

Front-end visitor chairs

Front-end visitor chairs

Visitor chairs are a cross-over between midback and stacking chairs. They offer mid-range comfort, coupled with a high-end design. A visitor chair comes with a continuous metal frame for flexible support and a choice of armrests and fabrics.

Practical dental chairs


Practical dental chairsDental chairs

Dental chairs are practical, padded and built to make it easy to negotiate space. Despite their relatively simple design, these chairs don’t skimp on comfort, with contoured seating and adjustable tilt and height.

Draughtsman chairs

Draughtsman chairsLast but not least, if you’re looking for a mobile masterpiece with all the bells and whistles, a draughtsman chair is for you. It includes a height-adjustable backrest, contoured seating with a modifiable tilt and a fixed footrest for stability and support. It’s the perfect seating solution for architects, draughtsman or any other professionals who require freedom of movement, and comfort too.


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