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Office Chair Tilt Mechanism (A Complete Guide)

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Aug 4, 2021
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Any office worker needs to understand the office chair tilt mechanism. As an office worker, you spend most of your time of the day at your workstation. So naturally, you desire an ergonomic chair, a nice work desk, and several other desk accessories. Understanding the right ways for using these accessories and furniture is crucial because it is only then that you will be able to get the most out of them.

This means, understanding the various tilt mechanisms will come in handy if you are interested in knowing how to adjust an ergonomic chair. The tilt mechanism helps you understand whether the chair offers the reclining angle that suits your requirements. And if it does, then this aids in setting your chair in the right orientation.

You would have heard about the front tilt chair and synchro tilt chair, as these are quite common, but you might not know their functionality and mechanism. The good news is, we have shared a complete guide for all the possible tilt mechanisms, including the synchro tilt mechanism, here to give you a clear picture. So, let's read further. 

Synchronous Tilt

Synchronous Tilt

The synchronous tilt mechanism is considered one of the better tilt mechanisms and is found in high-end chairs usually. Autonomous ErgoChair Pro+ is one such high-end chair that provides you with this advanced tilt mechanism. What we mean by the synchronous tilt is that here you experience a tilt in both your seat pan and the backrest as you lean backward. However, this tilt occurs at a different ratio, i.e., a 2:1 ratio.

You might have heard this or seen this at the specifications of the office chair’s manual. What we mean by this ratio is that with every 10-degree recline in the backrest, you will experience a 5-degree recline in the seat pan. Although both angles change at the same time, their degree of change differs in this tilt mechanism.

Since this sort of tilt mechanism ensures your feet remain on the floor as you tilt, it is better for aligning your work ergonomics. In this way, you can lean back without experiencing any pressure on your thighs. 

Knee Tilt

Knee Tilt

The knee-tilt mechanism offers a recline where you experience the tilt at a particular pivot. This pivot is located near the front side of your seat. Hence, as you recline, you can experience a wide-angle tilt that has a relatively lesser effect on the front of the seat. You can usually find this tilt mechanism in a conference room or modern executive chairs.

The Knee tilt chair has some qualities of the synchro tilt chair and the single point tilt chair; the latter we will discuss next. Since the knee tilt chair has a pivoting point close to the front of the seat, your feet remain on the floor even if the recline angle is wider. However, this sort of chair has a limitation on in-depth adjustments, and you do not get the depth adjustment feature in these chairs. 

Single Point Tilt

You will find a single-point tilt mechanism, usually on the less expensive chairs. This office chair tilt mechanism is the basic tilt mechanism that has a pivot located at the center of your seat pan's base. In such a tilt mechanism, the tilt ratio is almost the same for both the backrest and seat pan.

This sort of tilt mechanism is only for those chairs that tilt less than 5 to 10-degrees. If a chair has a tilt angle greater than 10-degrees, it should preferably not have a single-point tilt mechanism. Unlike the knee tilt mechanism, you experience a gradually increasing pressure on the underside of your thighs. This pressure increases as you recline further and even intensifies the feeling of falling backward. 

Forward Tilt

Forward Tilt

The forward tilt mechanism is sort of different from the synchro-tilt. Here, the seat pan can tilt downwards up to 5-degrees as you lean forward and apply pressure. This is usually an extra mechanism, so you do not find many forward tilt chairs in the market.

You would have noticed that people often sit at the end of their seat pan's edge, or they have a habit of leaning forward. This sort of office chair tilt mechanism is ideal for those office workers as it dips below the horizon if they do so. It reduces the pressure on the lower back and improves the blood circulation in your legs and the lower extremities.

This sort of tilt mechanism is not by itself a separate tilt mechanism; instead, it is an add-on tilt mechanism that you can find in a multifunction tilt mechanism to offer a balanced range of adjustments for your adjustable tilt office chair

Forward Glide

Forward Glide

A forward gliding tilt is somewhat an addition to what you get in a forward tilt chair. Here, as you lean back, your backrest reclines while the seat pan shifts forward and its edge dips downward. This sort of tilt mechanism works differently from the common tilt mechanisms that we have discussed earlier. This is because the seat pan and the backrest move in the opposite direction.

Forward glide tilt keeps your arms and eye level well aligned with your desk setup, even if you have a highly reclined backrest. Such an office chair tilt mechanism is ideal for people with back pain who usually require a backrest angle of around 135-degrees. 

Multifunction Tilt

Multifunction Tilt

In a multifunction tilt mechanism, you can recline the backrest and the seat pan separately, unlike the synchronous tilt mechanism. You would usually find this sort of tilt mechanism in a gaming chair. The best part about this type of office chair tilt mechanism is that you get to decide the exact tilt angle that would be suitable for your posture and comfort.

Although theoretically, a multifunction tilt mechanism would be the best feature of an ergonomic chair, it usually takes a lot of time to adjust the angles for a newbie, so this may become a hectic task for some. If you are one such user, you should think of going for the other tilt options like the synchro-tilt mechanism or front tilt mechanism that we shared above.

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