armrest or no armrest

Armrest Or No Armrest, Which One Should I Choose?

The Dilemma of Desk Chairs With Arms or Without Arms

Choosing the right desk chair is crucial for our comfort and productivity. Therefore, some people find it really hard to pick their chair, especially when it comes to certain features like armrests.

Yes! For some people, the decision to buy a desk chair with or without arms is not an easy one.

If you are one of them, you are in the right place! This article will tell you whether armrests are helpful or harmful and eventually help you make an informed decision.

Armrest or no armrest, each choice has its specific pros and cons. So let’s figure out which school of thought your future chair will belong to.

Let Us Talk About Chairs With Armrests

Are Armrests Good For Ergonomics?

Armrests are an important part of a chair that provides support and comfort to the user. They are used for resting the arm and can be found on chairs, couches, and benches.

Armrests provide additional support for the arms and back.

They also allow for a more comfortable sitting position by reducing pressure on the lower back.

Chair with armrest

Armrests help keep the upper body in a more upright position. They reduce strain on muscles in the neck and shoulder region by eliminating slouching while sitting or leaning over while standing.

So, to answer the question, “Are armrests good for ergonomics?”. Yes, they absolutely are!

Let’s summarize the benefits of having armrests in your chair:

  • Armrests reduce loads on the back/spine
  • Armrests reduce the force applied on the seat by supporting a portion of the weight of the upper torso
  • Armrests also reduce loads on the knees and hips
  • Armrests stabilize posture and appear to increase productivity

The Ergonomics Of Armrests

The ergonomics of armrests can vary depending on the size and shape.

The height of the armrest is also an important factor to take into consideration as it determines how high or low the user’s arms will be when they rest them on the armrest.

It is important for the armrests to not be too high or too low as this can make using them uncomfortable.

One way to avoid this issue is by adjusting the chair’s height so that it matches your own height.

Studies On Arm Support In Chairs

Office ergonomics is a field that can never stop surprising us with interesting studies. Below are a few studies that support the importance of arm support and show how it can enhance comfort and reduce strain.

  1. First Study: “Shoulder strain in keyboard workers and its alleviation by arm supports

Keyboard work requires a lot of muscle effort, especially at the level of the forearms and hands.

This issue can be fixed using armrests.

The study found that when the forearms are at an angle of at least 100 degrees and using arm supports, the static load on shoulder muscles decreases significantly.

        2. Second Study: “Effects of forearm and palm supports on the upper extremity during computer mouse use”

This study found that the use of forearm support compared to the no support condition was significantly associated with less shoulder muscle activity & torque. In fact, the forearm support reduced shoulder flexion torque by 90% compared to no support.

Participants reported less musculoskeletal discomfort when using support.

This is a big win for those who are on the fence about using armrests.

What Are The Cons Of Chairs With Armrests?

We’ve talked about how important it is to have support for your arms when sitting at a desk.

But, are there any situations where armrests can hurt you instead of benefiting you?

Yes, armrests on a desk chair often cause problems.

Sometimes, people have their fixed armrests too high, which causes them to hunch over.

They can also prevent you from getting the chair close enough to the desk to sit properly and reach/use your workstation equipment comfortably.

Let Us Talk About Chairs Without Armrests

Is It Harmful To Sit On A Chair Without Armrests?

So, How Harmful Can a Chair Without Armrests Be?

Some people believe that sitting on a chair without armrests is not harmful. They argue that it is more natural and ergonomic to sit without armrests and do not think that sitting on a chair with armrests is healthier or more comfortable.

However, many experts disagree. Ergonomically speaking, sitting on a chair without armrests can be harmful to the spine, as it forces the back to stay in a position that is not natural. You will end up leaning forward, which will make you lose lumbar support and curve your spine, hence more back pain. 

However, the lack of armrests does not make sitting for short periods of time on the chair any more uncomfortable or unhealthy than sitting on a chair with armrests. There’s nothing wrong with using such chairs.

But, if you spend long hours of work sitting in the same chair, then we definitely recommend that you get a chair with armrests.

Working at a desk for long hours can take a toll on your body. It can lead to back pain or other health issues from being in an awkward position all day.

Are There Any Chairs With Removable Arms Or Including Both Options?

The answer to this question is yes. Some chairs will allow you to get the best of both worlds.

They are called chairs with flip up arms.

What are chairs with flip up arms?

The flip-up armchairs are a new type of chair that is becoming increasingly popular. It has a traditional armchair design but with the benefit of being able to flip up the armrests to provide extra space for when you need it.

Furthermore, they fit under the desk and can easily get in and out of it like this chair from Amazon.

Bottom Line - To Armrest Or Not To Armrest

So far, we’ve seen that some people believe that armrests are helpful for keeping your arms in the correct position, while others think that they can cause tension in the shoulders and neck.

So, should you use a desk chair with arms or without arms?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Still, based on our research, we’ve found that Fully adjustable armrests are the perfect solution to this dilemma.

On one hand, we can’t deny that armrests are an important component of every ergonomic office seating. But on the other hand, we have to be honest and say that they can be annoying and uncomfortable if they aren’t adjustable.

Armrest height needs to be adjustable so that it can support people of different heights.

And both armrests need to be maintained at the same height as this would reduce postural problems.

If you don’t like armrests in your chair, you can go for a flip-up chair that lets you switch from a chair with armrests to one without armrests whenever you want.

Or choose to invest in a chair with a multi-dimensional four way armrest to accommodate your work needs.

These were our thoughts about chairs with and without arms.

We’ve done our part of the research! But in the end, it is up to you to decide whether or not armrests are beneficial.

We hope you liked our article. Share your thoughts with us, and let us know what you think.