One of the more confusing aspects of choosing some of our chairs is the Mechanism option. The mechanism has to do with how the chair reclines and the different ways in which users can make custom adjustments to how the chair is positioned. In this entry, hopefully I will shed some light on the ups and downs of how ergonomic chairs tilt.
On the low end of our offering, many chairs have a Task Mechanism. This is a basic setup that allows minimal control by the user. Often the only setting is chair height and possibly a tilt lockout. The chair pivots from the center of the seat and the back is normally at a fixed angle. Chairs like this include our popular Apollo series, such as the Raynor Apollo MMT9300.
From there, you see a similar mechanism called Knee Tilt. Like the task, it does not have very many functions. The big difference is that it pivots at the front of the seat cushion, under the user’s knees. What this means is that as the user reclines, their knees stay at roughly the same height and their rear drops lower. Usually there is some kind of adjustment in the tension of this recline and multiple tilt locks so the chair can be fixed at a desired angle of recline. It is not terribly common among our chairs. Neutral posture chairs, such as the NPS5000 are one line that offers this feature.
Synchro Tilt is one of the most common mechanisms in our mid- and high-range chairs. Synchro tilt pivots from the center and raises the front of the seat pan as the user leans back, in a 1:2 ratio to the angle of the back. So as the back leans back 2° the front of the seat raises 1°. This is a comfortable ratio and many people like this dynamic mechanism that requires little user adjustment. Recline tension and tilt locks are the major adjustments on these chairs. Our most popular ergonomic chair, the Raynor Ergohuman chair, is a synchro tilt.
The last of our common mechanisms is Multi Tilt. This is the ultimate in user adjustability and what we recommend ideally. It is center pivot and users can independently adjust the angle of the seat and the seat back. This ability gives it the most adjustability and customizability of any mechanism. There are multiple possible adjustments. Multi-tilt is also common on many of our chairs over a wide price range, such as theErgoCentric AirCentric.
Other office chairs, such as the Humanscale Freedom chair and the Steelcase Leap chair have mechanisms that do not fall into one of these categories, but in all other cases, you can lean back confident that you understand chair mechanisms. Feel free to give us a call if you still have questions.