The Top Desk Chair Facts and Statistics [2022]

Last updated on October 24, 2023

Here are the most important facts and statistics of the desk chair industry. Updated for 2022.

Did you know that the modern office chair pioneer was Charles Darwin? And did you know that the market of traditional office chairs is contracting while the overall desk chair industry is exploding? It’s all thanks to the shifting from the corporate office to working from home and focusing on ergonomics.

Learn more statistics about this market below.

Desk Chairs Use

desk chair interest
Google Trends

Typically desk chairs last for years before they need replacing. According to the Open Access Government, the average office worker spends roughly ten hours per day sitting at their desk. If an employee worked 261 days per year, they would use their desk chair for a total of 2,610 hours each year. Manufacturers need to be careful when designing office furniture because they know that people spend long hours sitting in desks chairs every day.

Desk Chairs Last Long

modern desk chair

Most desk chairs usually last for years if not decades, even though they may be used ten hours per day. According to a study conducted at Baylor University, the average office chair lasts between seven and eight years before needing repair or replacement. According to some estimates, an office chair could last up to ten years before needing replacement. Office chairs provide lots of comfort for their owners if they’re well cared for.

Charles Darwin is the Inventor of the Office Chair

Charles Darwin was a workaholic who spent countless hours collecting specimens of plants and animals. Like any hard-working person, he needed to occasionally take time off from his job. Because he lived in the 19th century, most chairs back then had fixed legs. To sit comfortably when sliding, he had to modify his chair by adding wheels to its feet.

In today’s world, wheels (also called casters) are a common feature found on office chairs. They let workers sit down without having to get out of their chairs. Soft office chairs usually come with caster wheels made from rubber or plastic. Rigid casters tend to be better for carpets because they don’t roll so easily. However, soft casters are easier to use when walking across wood flooring.

The Right Desk Chair Protects Against Injuries

Long periods of sitting can be detrimental to one’s health, causing muscle pain, joint stiffness, and even injuries such as sprains and strains. A common type of back pain caused by prolonged periods of sitting is called coccydynia. It’s not a specific injury or illness either. Coccydynia is not one specific disease but an umbrella term for several different conditions affecting the lower back region.

What kind of injuries could be prevented by using the right desk chair? Sitting for long periods without proper support may cause pain in your lower back. With time, continuous pressure from sitting for long periods may cause pain in your coccyx (tailbone) and ultimately result in coccydynia. You’ll want a quality office chair that features a comfortable, supportive seat cushion for maximum comfort.

In addition, the right office chair may help prevent back injuries such as lumbar strain. You can tell if someone has low back pain by looking for signs such as stiffness when standing up from sitting down, difficulty walking due to discomfort, numbness or tingling sensation, etc. 

Fortunately, most office chairs (except for cheap ones) include adjustable armrests, tiltable seats, and height adjustment options. In addition to providing support for workers’ backs, the additional materials create an ergonomic workspace where they’re less likely to suffer from low back pain.

Desk Chairs Affect Productivity

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who work eight hours a day are usually only productive for two hours fifty-three minutes. If they’re not working, they might be browsing the internet, slacking off. However, if you invest in quality office chairs, you’ll increase productivity at your company. A University of Southern California (USC) study found that workers were 17.5 percent more productive when they worked in an ergonomically designed office than when they did not. 

Focus on Ergonomics

Ergo­nomic office chairs are ergonomically designed, providing maximum comfort and support for their workers. They include adjustable arms, seats, back supports, and cushions.

Traditional Office Chair Industry Is in Decline

During the first quarter of 2020, the global pandemics significantly disrupted the office space market. Occupancy fell by 14 million square feet last year. Gross leasing fell by 52.9% last year.

Over 30 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits this year. In April 2014, the unemployment rate hit its highest level since 2008. Construction companies were hit hard during the first quarter of 2020 due to COVID-19.

All this means less demand for office chairs and office furniture in general.

Office Chairs Are Being Replaced

Office chair design has changed dramatically since traditional office chairs were first introduced. They have limited features that require users to sit in one position for long periods. It has become a problem. Most traditional office chairs allow you to swivel, rock (or recline), and raise/lower the chair’s backrest. Modern offices need ergonomically designed furniture for optimal comfort and productivity.

Increased Demand for Ergonomic Desk Chairs

By 2020, ergonomics had become an industry trend. Many people who worked at home were ill-prepared when they returned to an office setting. People could now buy their own in place of relying on corporate buyers for their furniture. Ergonomics has been an important topic for years now. But we’re finally seeing some real progress. 

Back pain causes health care costs and indirect costs of nearly $12 billion every year. According to one study, American companies lose approximately $83 billion worth of productivity due to back pain every year.

Many industry reports claim an increasing need for ergonomic office chairs because they help employees stay healthy and productive at their desks.

The World’s First Ergonomic Desk Chair

In the early ’60s, Bill Stumpf studied environmental design at the University Of Wisconsin. After he was hired by Herman Miller, one of their first projects was designing chairs. In 1976, the result of this collaborative effort was the Ergon Chair. It was the first chair designed for improved comfort while maintaining good posture.

The World’s First Gaming Chair

A luxury car seat company named DXRacer started selling its products in America in 2001. Soon after, a severe economic crisis hit the country. DXRacer had a warehouse full of exotic cars seats that would never sell.

DXRacer engineers added a rolling base and some arms for their racing car seat and added ergonomic features. That’s how the modern gaming chair was born.

Gaming Chair vs. Office Chair Industry

In 2017, the global office chair market was worth approximately $10.6 billion. In comparison, the gaming chair industry has a smaller market size of only $10 million. Analysts at gaming chairs expect an increase of 5% per year for the next five years. In 2024, the global gaming chair industry is expected to reach approximately US$ 70 billion.

How Big Is the Office Chair Market?

According to Statista, the office chair market size in the United States alone was estimated to be worth more than $10.6 billion in 2018. 

Office chairs are necessary for any business or individual who spends most of their day sitting at a desk. There are many different types of office chairs available today. Some are specifically designed for use in an office environment.

What Is the Average Life of an Office Chair?

An average office chair will last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. If it breaks down, it is usually cheaper to replace than repair.

Most office chairs are made of plastic, metal, wood, leather, or fabric. The materials used determine the price of the chair.


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