Presidents sit in a throne more royal than the rest: the desk chair in the oval office. In an office space designated for someone as important as the president, how ergonomic have these chairs been from past to present? With the adjustability and comfort offered by any good Herman Miller or Aeron chair, ergonomic chairs seem to be fit for the White House lifestyle.
President William Howard Taft served his presidency at a time in which his wooden desk chair didn't have today's common ergonomic features such as adjustable arms, adjustable seat height, and a sliding seat pan. While he must have endured some long, painful, non-ergonomic days, his chair did have a swivel base, which was invented by none other than President Thomas Jefferson. And so begins presidential ergonomic chairs!
President Kennedy pushed the idea of being as comfortable as possible at work. He worked with technicians before he moved in to the White House and enlisted a physician to engineer a chair that would give him maximum lumbar support to help his achy back and often even added another back cushion for extra comfort. President Kennedy was enjoying the luxuries of ergonomics without even knowing it.
President George W. Bush
President George W. Bush brought the ergonomic design to a whole new level, using his inspiration of luxury aircraft seating to create a custom made chair. Every part of the chair was adjustable, with finger tip button controls built into the arm rests themselves. Thus comfort and adjustability, the two main aspect that define ergonomic chairs, found their way into the White House.
For a while, President Obama used George W. Bush's chair, but eventually decided to switch to something else, something better. After trying several options, he chose a brown leather chair design to echo seated posture, an orthopedic firm support structure with a super reinforced, hand tied, tempered steel spring foundation, all wrapped in foam and secured by webbing for years of sag free seating. President Obama has the ultimate ergonomic chair, with comfort, adjustability, and support. Now that's a Presidential Chair!