Are Armrests Good for Ergonomics – What do the Experts Say?

Are Armrests Good for Ergonomics

Yes, adjustable armrests are good for ergonomics and safety of people sitting for hours. They can reduce musculoskeletal compression and improve posture as you work or study.

Here we’ll look into the history, benefits, and necessity of armrests in offices or sitting on gaming chairs. And based on research we’ll answer “are armrests good for ergonomics”. The safety and comfort of office workers and those who have remote jobs are becoming more important than ever.

A 2018 study on public health suggested that prolonged sitting time on computers is adversely affecting the health. This static time has cardiovascular and metabolic health risks, as well as cognitive impacts on office workers. But importantly it is causing musculoskeletal disorders in the neck, shoulders, back, and lower extremities.

To solve such problems ergonomic experts and furniture companies have collaborated to reduce the amount of pressure on muscles and bones as we sit. One of the most beneficial aspects of this is the use of armrests in chairs.

A Brief History of Why Armrests are Ergonomic

You must’ve seen movies and shows where characters are sitting in chairs with armrests like Cleopatra, Game of Thrones, or The God Father. Likewise, the Kings and Queens throughout human history sat on their thrones with arms resting on the sides.

The armrest of a chair or sofa represents authority, style, and comfort. History has shown that a chair is incomplete without armrests. 

Research on Armrests Necessary for Sitting Ergonomics


A 2020 study proposed Mouse With Your Arm (MWYA) methodology for sitting ergonomically.

It recommends that you use the chair’s armrest for forearm support at relaxed elbow height, match surface and armrest height, and keep the mouse on the surface edge.

Sitting with conditions like piriformis can be challenging. An ideal office chair with arms improves circulation and facilitates movement and neutral postures. It assists you to avoid compression and contact stress and relieves pain due to musculoskeletal disorders.

Another study on the effects of using chairs with armrests on the workload showed that in offices where workers are forced to work at an arm’s height, which is not adjusted to their body height, there is a need to make some adjustments.

Especially if the desk is so high that the worker’s arm cannot reach the desk. So a chair with height-adjustable armrests is considered desirable and ergonomic for office or computer work.

In today’s world, smartphones are used for work more often than ever. In research on mobile phone use during working hours, it is known to be associated with pain in the neck and upper limbs.

The results showed that a chair with adequate arm and back support could be a good intervention to reduce biomechanical stress. It can also prevent musculoskeletal disorders during mobile phone use.

An office is a place where we spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, so our workstations must be comfortable. This includes the ergonomics of our chairs, desks, and monitors. One of the most important things that we should consider when designing a workstation is whether or not it has armrests.

The ergonomic armrests can help you keep:

  • your back straight
  • your wrists and hands-free
  • prevent repetitive strain injuries
  • increase productivity
  • and help to reduce stress on your neck and shoulders

How are the Armrests Good for Ergonomics

Chair with Wide Armrests

Armrests can be made of many different materials, including plastic, metal, or wood. There are a wide variety of ergonomic chairs available, find something that fits your budget and style.

Consider the following criteria when getting a chair with an armrest:

Optimum Height Adjustment

This will ensure that you can sit comfortably, and you won’t have to stoop over or stretch too far to reach things on the desk.

Some armrests come with a built-in keyboard tray, which will allow you to work at an optimum height and position while also having a place to keep your keyboard and mouse.

Adjustable Width

The width of the armrest can also be adjusted to suit your needs so that you can use it for different tasks.

Pivoting or Swivel Armrests

If you’re working on a desk or table, you may need to swivel the armrest to ensure that you can get your laptop screen at the right angle. You’ll find this option in most armrests, and it’s easy to use.

Simply turn the armrest until it’s in the position that suits you best. You can customize them to suit your own needs.

Armrests with Adjustable Angle

Most armrests can be moved up or down, which will help with your posture. However, some are fixed in place and not adjustable.

You should try to find an armrest that has both options. An armrest that pivots inwards is far more useful than one that pivots outwards. Look for a minimum of 15 degrees inwards tilt.

Armrests Positioned Under the Desk Chair

Adjustable Armrests

Yes, armrests should be under the desk chair. It’s uncomfortable to sit in a chair with arms too high. Your wrists and forearms need to be positioned correctly, you also want your back to be in a good position especially if you suffer from sciatica.

You want to be able to easily reach your desk drawer, computer keyboard, and mouse without having to raise your arm or bend your wrist.

Your elbows should be slightly bent when you are typing or working on the computer.

When you are seated, your arms shouldn’t hang down by your sides and not be crossed over the top of the desk.

Armrests in Wooden Chairs

Wooden chairs like Adirondack and Peacock are enjoyable and restful. The armrest makes them comfy, classy, and elegant. If you’ve got a wooden chair with armrests, you have some of the best seating arrangements for work or leisure.

Are Office Chairs Without Arms Comfortable

Chairs without arms are not as restful as ones with them. The lack of arms makes the chair very uncomfortable. It is a fact that many people do not like to sit in chairs without arms. However, there are many office chairs without arms.

When You Should Remove Armrests

If the armrest is broken or not adjustable enough then it’s better to get rid of it. You can remove and replace the old armrests with new ones.

If you have removed the armrests before then you will know how to install them. You can simply slide them in place. If you don’t have much experience then it’s best to get professional help.

Final Words

Are armrests good for ergonomics? Yes, using armchairs is a proven way to improve efficiency in neurosurgeons. But it’s not limited to one profession. As you know, ergonomics is the relationship between an individual’s physical environment and their health and productivity.

An ergonomic chair with armrests can be used to help support the body and provide additional comfort when sitting for long periods. They can also help prevent repetitive strain injuries and improve the efficiency of the person using them.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the benefits of having chairs with armrests?

Having armrests can help you sit more comfortably at your desk. You can lean back and rest your arms on the armrests, which can reduce muscle tension and increase your productivity.

2. What are the disadvantages of having armrests?

Having ergonomic armrests can make your workstation look crowded.

3. Is there any scientific evidence that armrests improve ergonomics?

Yes, there is scientific evidence that chair armrests can improve sitting ergonomics.

4. Why are armrests not used in all offices?

Because they can be very expensive or some offices can have desks.

5. Do armrests help with shoulder pain?

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I am Karen writing this story for you. My specialization is in the principles of biomechanics meant to improve the quality of life in humans. I’ve more than 10 years of experience in the field of workplace productivity. My passion for yoga has influenced me to teach everyone how to sit and select the best chairs for work and recreation. I try to add value to help this project grow services day by day.



Joshua is the founder and an ergonomist by profession. With over 10 years of working as a furniture designer and consultant, his depth of knowledge is invaluable for our project. He also manages content editing and product reviews.



Carl is a web developer and a tech enthusiast. He likes working at night and has been doing so for the past 9 years. His sense of color selection and understanding of user-friendly interface continues to amaze us. Besides that, Carl is a food lover and a pro at video gaming.