Synchro-Tilt & Other Tilt Mechanisms in an Office Chair Explained

Reviewed by Betsy Sanchez
author2-headshot
Betsy Sanchez

Betsy Sanchez is a professional graphic designer with over 10 years of experience. She loves all things tech and that's why she started writing on different topics online now here, working with us to help the audience who are looking for perfect comfort.

tilt mechanisms in an office chair

Back in the days, when the options in office chairs were limited, it was easy to decide. But as we move forward, we are being introduced to new options with different technologies. Though every office chair is designed to offer the best comfort but, there are some office chairs that offer exactly the opposite of comfort.

Since you are our reader, we are obliged to help you avoid such terribly designed office chair. What we are planning is that in parallel to direct product suggestions, we will drop some informational guides. These guides will help you understand the technical terms of an office chair.

With the help of these guides, there won’t be anything hidden from you. Besides that, you won’t end up in confusion while picking up an office chair for you.

In this guide, we will brief you about all the different mechanisms that office chairs come with. On top of that, we will also decide which mechanism is best suited for your body.

Let’s dive into the different types of tilt mechanisms:

Tilt Mechanisms in an Office Chair

1. Forward Glide

The forward glide mechanism is an advanced version of forward tilt mechanism. In Forward Glide, the seat moves forward and backward as per the recline of the backrest.

Actually, you can control the movement of the seat as per your body. Overall, the forward glide ensures that your body is always in a neutral position even with most and least recline.

Though this mechanism seems perfect on paper but in reality, it is considered as a good mechanism only. That’s the reason why you will get a limited number of office chairs with forward glide.

If you are having back pain and looking for a suitable office chair that can help you minimise the pain, you must consider an office chair with Forward Glide Mechanism.

Verdict: It is considered as an “Average” Mechanism.

2. Forward Tilt

This is another very new tilt mechanism, and it is quite popular these days. The USP of this mechanism is that you can recline the seat slightly forward for better body posture.

This mechanism isn’t very common in office chairs, it is available only in the high budget chairs. For instance, The Herman Miller Aeron is one of the very few chairs that comes with forward tilt mechanism.

As per the studies, the forward tilt mechanism could increase the blood flow in the legs and won’t stress your joints. Besides that, forward tilt is also known to reduce back pain.

In order to get a chair packed with forward tilt mechanism, you need to look into the catalogue of top-notch office chair manufacturers.

Verdict: If your budget allows you, get a chair with forward tilt mechanism, It is the best mechanism.

3. Knee Tilt

In the mechanism, the pivot point is at the front part of the seat. This mechanism is not very different from the single point tilt. In Knee Tilt, the recline angle range is wide and it keeps the seat at a lower recline angle than the backrest.

This ensures extra comfort to the under thighs and minimises stress on the knee joints. On top of that, your feet stay on the floor even with a larger recline angle.

However, this mechanism lacks a few features such as seat depth customisation.

Verdict: It is considered a “Good” Mechanism and you can go for it.

4. Push Back Tilt

This is a very basic mechanism and it is mostly available in chairs below $100. In this mechanism, the backrest reclines as much as you push it.

It is considered the worst mechanism and you shouldn’t buy a chair packed with a push back tilt system.

It is very bad for your spine and knee joints. In order to recline the chair, you have to exert force on the chair and that will strain your joints and muscles. Overall it will increase your stress.

Verdict: Avoid Chairs with Push Back Tilt System.

5. Multifunction Tilt

This tilting mechanism is also referred as “asynchronous” tilt mechanism. In this system, the backrest and seat recline independently.

You have the liberty to control the angle of recline of both components. This mechanism is useful in gaming and it is majorly available in top-notch gaming chairs only.

With this mechanism, your body will be in a neutral position at every possible recline angle. Even at a maximum tilt angle, you won’t get any strain on your joints.

Besides that, in every other tilt mechanism, in order to recline the backrest, you have exerted some force. Therefore, whenever you will stop exerting the force, the backrest will get into its neutral position i.e., flat position.

But in a multipurpose tilt angle, you won’t face such issues. The backrest won’t be fall back to its neutral position.

Verdict: If you want to have an extraordinary experience and your budget allow you to get expensive office chairs, you must try one with the multipurpose mechanism.

6. Single Point Tilt

This tilting mechanism is usually present in budget office chairs. In this mechanism, the tilt system is installed under the seat and it enables the backrest and seat to recline at the same ratio.

Here the same ratio means that the recline angle of the backrest and seat is the same.

This tilting mechanism might look good, but in reality, Single Point Tilt mechanism isn’t recommended, if you want to recline your chair more than 7-10 degrees.

It is because increasing the recline angle of the bottom seat will directly increase the stress on the under-thigh and could lead to extreme pain in the lower body.

Besides that, you will be having a constant feeling of falling backward.

Verdict: This is considered as a very basic tilt mechanism, if possible avoid it.

7. Synchronous Tilt

The synchro-Tilt mechanism is one of the most popular and one of the most comfortable tilt mechanisms. Besides this, the synchro-tilt system is available in office chairs at affordable prices.

In this mechanism, the backrest and seat are directly connected with each other but they recline as much as you lean back. The ratio of Backrest and Seat recline is 2:1, therefore with every 8 degrees tilt in the backrest, the seat will tilt with 4 degrees.

This mechanism is considered a universal mechanism, it is because it offers comfort to almost every body type.

Chair packed with this mechanism also comes with waterfall edge designed seats, therefore the blood circulation in the legs and lower body increases, and you will feel minimal stress on the lumbar and underthings.

Verdict: Synchronous Tilt mechanism is considered as “Perfect”.

Final Notes

Understanding these mechanisms will help you pick the best office chair for you. Overall, it will help you get an office chair that ensures maximum comfort to your body in every possible position and you will feel minimum stress on your lower body.

If you have come across some other tilt mechanism, do let us know. We will definitely look into it and if required, we will add it to this guide.

Leave a Comment