How to Look at a Chair

© Copyright 2020 Shanese Dulall, Ryerson University

The chair. A simple item yet easily one of the most commonly overlooked objects of the human race. The chair is beneficial for a number of reasons, some of those being for: support, stability, comfort and rest.


The chairs main objective is to provide support for people, but because of its easy accessibility and mundane existence, it is often taken for granted. The support occurs in different forms,

black, cushioned computer chair with five casters and an adjustable lift support
© Copyright 2020 Dulall, Shanese. “Figure 1.1.” Ryerson University. 2 February 2020.

we see chairs that are backless, have backs, chairs that are flat footed, and chairs with wheels. In figure 1.1, one can see a padded headrest, a lumbar supported backrest, cushioned armrests, a cushioned seat, adjustment knobs for various heights, a gas lifted leg that is supported by five dispersing feet, and wheeled casters. The particular chair is most referred to as a “computer chair” as its user are typically working in an occupation that requires long hours in front of a screen/device, which also requires the utmost comfort. The more cushion and adjustment on a chair, the more options available to the sitter. Nonetheless, these chairs all provide one purpose which is to support its occupant.


In terms of stability, the chair can be manufactured using a variety of different materials, which can affect the sitter’s reliability. For example, a chair made out of plastic would shift and move depending on the weight and size of the person occupying it; the heavier the person, the more strain would be on the chair’s legs, which would result in a displacement of the chair’s overall shape. However, a chair made out of wood, such as the one in figure 1.2 would not shift but rather, provide more stability for its sitters and not change in shape.


When opting for a chair, people tend to choose an option that satisfies their need of comfort. When comparing figure 1.1 to figure 1.2, one can see how the lack of cushion in the wooden chair would not be optimal for an occupation or job that requires a long use of chairs or sitting, and that the cushioned computer chair would suit that need.

black, wooden barstool chair with a back rest.
© Copyright 2020 Dulall, Shanese. “Figure 1.2.” Ryerson University. 2 February 2020.


Another fundamental purpose for a chair is to allow its sitters to take rest. There are many different variations of what it means to ‘rest’ in terms of resting for a short time or resting over a period of time. Depending on the situation, a short rest will require less comfort in a chair, for example taking a walk and sitting on a park bench where one does not opt for a cushioned chair, but simply any chair with basic necessities like a stable base. On the other hand, someone looking to watch a two-hour movie will opt for a more comfortable and cushioned chair to rest in. The basic structure of chairs will always be in existence, nonetheless. Next time you sit in a chair, ask yourself why you are sitting, for what purpose, and why you choose that specific chair. We owe chairs a lot more recognition and appreciation than we know!

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