A chair is a piece of furniture designed to seat one person at a time. It is typically a raised surface with a flat or slightly angled seat and a back that may be fully or minimally upholstered in various colors and materials. Chairs can be made in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles, and are used in many rooms in the home as well as offices and workplaces.
A padded chair is usually more comfortable than an unpadded one as the padding absorbs some of the body weight that rests on it, thus distributing the occupant’s weight over a wider area and making the occupant feel less pressure on any single point, such as on the legs or buttocks. Depending on the style of chair, armrests may be included or absent, and they are generally positioned at a height that supports only the forearm rather than the sensitive elbow area.
Chairs are usually crafted from wood or metal but can also be a variety of synthetic materials. They can be painted or stained in any color, and can have a variety of finishes such as glossy, matte, or distressed. Some chairs have additional decorative elements such as carvings, a woven cane back or leather upholstery. Some are designed to blend in with the surroundings, while others, such as a chaise longue or a rocking chair, are meant to be accent pieces.
The term chair can also be used to describe a position or office, especially the chief executive officer (CEO) of a corporation, or someone who presides over a meeting or other meeting of a group of people. For example, a chair of a board of directors is responsible for setting the agenda for meetings and facilitating discussion, and can have significant power and clout when it comes to decisions made by the board.
In music, the first chair in a particular section of an orchestra is the seat that carries the most prestige, and is typically awarded to the best player in the section based on their performance. The chair may also be referred to as the concertmaster in the US and leader in the UK, and players are often paid higher rates for being the first chair in their sections.
Chairs are found in a variety of places in the home, such as dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and family rooms. They are also commonly used in offices and workspaces, as well as in public spaces such as libraries and schools. In some cases, chairs are also used in the outdoors as deck chairs, patio chairs or outdoor lounge chairs. There are also special chairs that are designed to be portable, such as camping chairs and beach chairs. In addition, there are chairs that are specifically designed for specific activities such as desk chairs and reading chairs. Other types of chairs include easy chairs and recliners, as well as bar stools and restaurant chairs. Finally, there are chairs that are designed as status symbols, such as the Eames Lounge Chair, which was produced by famous designers Charles and Ray Eames in 1956.