Are Chairs Without Arms Comfortable?

Modern ergonomic office chairs come with armrests. Most of them feature adjustable armrests so that you can adjust them according to your preference. As we remain seated, most of our waking hours now sitting for prolonged hours becoming more concerned than ever.

Chairs without arms are not comfortable as they can put pressure on the disc and increase the myoelectric activity in the trapezius muscles. The seat of a chair with armrests carries 77.2% of body weight, where armrests carry 12.4% of body weight. Bodyweight is better distributed when you are using armrests.

Ergonomic sitting requires armrests; you can not follow the correct sitting posture without using armrests. However, if you don’t use armrests, you can keep your arms on the desk; in that case, disc pressure will be lower. But, using an armrest is always a viable option.

Effects of armrests on sitting

Due to our modern lifestyle sitting on a chair has become an essential part of our life. If you have a desk job, you would better understand how painful it is to sit all day long. Ergonomics of sitting and ergonomic chairs reduce this pressure significantly.

As our modern life advances, we invent more innovative ideas to survive. Ergonomic sitting is one of them. Nowadays, chair manufacturers are developing innovative technology to offer us with optimal sitting experience.

All-day sitting or sitting more than eight hours a day has a negative effect on our body. Sitting all day can increase the risk of hypertension, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and whatnot. 

Ergonomic sitting is there to help us with our all-day sitting desk job, and armrests positively impact our sitting experience. Let’s see what the study says about the armrests.

According to a study, The body weight is supported by 8% of the sitting area, which carries 64.8% of the weight. The remaining 35.2% is borne by the combination of footrests (18.4%), armrests (12.4%), and a backrest (4.4%) at 105 degrees. Armrests help with better bodyweight distribution while sitting, and it also makes the sitting experience comfortable.

According to Ergonomics of posture, when you put your arms on the table while sitting, disc pressure is lower, and the highest disc pressure is recorded when a load is held with outstretched arms.

Another study supports the claim of ergonomics of posture; according to their research, armrests reduce the disc pressure and the myoelectric activity in the trapezius muscles. 

They suggested, if the armrests are too high, you should elevate the shoulder and abduct the arms. If the armrests are too low, then you should lean forward to use them. If the armrests are too far, you should increase arms abduction.

The armrests have a lot of advantages, including reduced disc pressure and better body weight distribution. Also, adjustable armrests are helpful in changing positions and for decreasing the load on the spinal column.

Armrests adjustability on ergonomic office chairs

Are Chairs Without Arms Comfortable

As the armrests are a fundamental part of ergonomic office chairs. To make this armrest more comfortable for everyone, the chair manufacturer offers adjustable armrests that you can adjust to provide better support to your arms.

The armrests come in different shapes and sizes. And they have different types of adjustability. Some of the armrests adjustability are following:

  • Fixed Armrests: Fixed armrests are the most common ones. Generally, leather executive office chair offers fixed armrests that have no adjustability.
  • 2D Armrests: Armrests that are two-way adjustable are called 2D armrests same as for 3D and 4D armrests. Generally, 2D armrests have up and down (height) adjustment and front and back (depth) adjustment features. However, adjustability varies from chair to chair.
  • 3D Armrests: Generally, 3D armrests have height adjustability, depth adjustability, and rotation adjustment, which means you can rotate the armrest to a certain degree which makes this 3D adjustment more comfortable to use. Most of the midrange office chair offers 3D armrests adjustment feature.
  • 4D Armrests: Four directional armrests have all the features that 3D armrests offer with an additional shift side to side feature or arms width adjustment feature. Generally, mid-range to high-end ergonomic office chair provides 4D armrests adjustment.
  • Flip-up Armrests: Flip-up arms or slide-away arms are very common to basic ergonomic office chairs. Most of the task office chair comes with this feature and some of the midrange office chair offer this feature. This feature helps you flip your arms into a 90-degree position, and you can go near to your desk to work more intuitively. You can also slide your chair under your desk. This feature is more important to small spaces.
  • Fully Adjustable Armrests: On the fully adjustable armrests, you can adjust the height, depth of the armrests as well as rotate and shift side to side. This feature provides more steady support for your arms so your shoulder can remain in a relaxed position. High performing ergonomic office chair offers fully adjustable armrests.

Most of the office chair has well-padded armrests. However, it’s possible that your armrests are not well padded, or you don’t feel comfortable putting your elbows on your armrests. If that’s the case, you can use this Aloudy Armrest pads, they only cost $17.99 on Amazon.

Aloudy armrest pads are using extremely comfortable memory foam and relieve pressure from your arms. These pads will solve the problem of your had plastic armrests. If your elbows are becoming sore by using your plastic armrests, you should consider these armrest pads.

Correct ergonomic sitting require armrests

Ergonomic sitting posture is essential while you are working on a desk job all day long. Adjustable armrests can offer more flexibility to your work while remaining comfortable.

In a correct ergonomic sitting posture, your arm should rest naturally on the armrests without your shoulders being hunched. This position will reduce strain from the should. Also, your armrests should be parallel to your working surface so that you can reach your keyboard more easily. 

You can adjust the armrest height to make it parallel to your desk. If your armrests offer other adjustability, you can adjust them to get the optimal sitting experience.

On the highly adjustable armrests, you can slide the armrests away if you don’t want to use armrests for a while.

If you would like to learn more about optimal sitting posture, you can check our article “Are Chairs Without Backs Better for You?“. In this article, I have discussed about the office chair back and its importance. Also, I have discussed optimal sitting posture according to research.

Armrests are essential; that’s why every modern office chair comes with an adjustable armrest feature. In-office and home, people started to use armrests, and it’s beneficial. Gamers and Esport players also use armrests, if you would like to learn more, check out our article “Do Pro Gamers and Esports Players Use Armrests?

Related Questions

Is it better to have a desk chair with or without arms?

An armrest on a chair reduces the disc pressure and better distributes the bodyweight, making your sitting experience more comfortable. So, it’s better to have a desk chair with armrests. Make sure armrests are adjustable to enhance your sitting experience.

Are armless chairs good?

Armless chairs encourage you to rest your arms on your thighs and sometimes in a hanging position. This arm position increases the internal disc pressure and make your sitting experience uncomfortable. So, armless chairs are not a good option. You should always consider a chair with armrests.

Do you need armrests on office chair?

The armrests are essential to reduce internal disc pressure and better distribute the body weight. Adjustable armrests make this sitting experience way more comfortable. So, you should consider armrests on an office chair. Usually, modern ergonomic office chairs offer adjustable armrests for a better sitting experience.

So, Does an Office Chair Need Arms?

Yes, office chair needs adjustable armrests to provide better sitting experience. Sitting on a chair without arms will put pressure on your arms and elbow muscles.

If you can not rest your elbows time to time on a hard surface, like the arms of the chair while sitting for prolonged hours, you will experience ache on your arms.

Sifatul Shohan

Hi, I'm the co-owner of A blogger and a freelance web developer.  As I work as developer, I have to work for prolonged hours at a desk that's where I developed back pain. I started researching on ergonomic chairs and gained knowledge throughout the process.  This is the site where I share everything I've learned about office chairs.