Standard and Ideal Office Chair Heights

Standard and Ideal Office Chair Heights

Posted by PAM Health on 25th Mar 2022

Before you make an investment into an ergonomic chair, it is important that you know whether the chair will be able to meet your needs according to your physical height.

As the vast majority of office chairs these days feature height adjustment, you might just assume that any chair will do. This may not necessarily be the case, and there is nothing worse than buying a chair with the best intentions of looking after your posture only to be left with a chair that you cannot sit comfortably in.

So read on for more information on what size ergonomic chair you will need according to your height and measurements.

Correct office chair posture

There are a number of ways that you can work out what your ideal office chair height is, the best way being to take your measurements when sat with a correct posture.

This might sound backwards, but it actually makes the most sense as this way you are working out what chair your body needs rather than contorting your body to meet the demands of a chair.

When sat at a desk, it is advised that you sit with:

  • Your back straight and against the backrest
  • Your knees bent at 90 degrees with your feet flat on the floor
  • A small gap (1-2 inches) between the front of the seat and the backs of your thighs
  • Your elbows in line with your desk and bent at around 90-110 degrees

If you can comfortably sit in this position, then your chair dimensions are perfect for you ergonomically.

Office chair dimensions

The measurements that you should take notice of when deciding on what office chair to buy are:

  • Height – from the floor to the seat
  • Depth – from the front of the seat to the backrest
  • Width – from one side of the seat to the other

Another thing to consider is the armrests. The best ergonomic chairs allow you to choose what armrests you want, so compare the ones that are on offer for you and pick whatever ones allow you to sit with a correct and ergonomic posture.

Without further ado, let’s dive into what figures you should be looking at when making an ergonomic chair purchase.

Perfect chair height

How tall a desk chair should be is not a universal fact. Your perfect office chair height is dictated by your own body.

The taller you are then the likelier it is that you will need a taller chair so that you can sit comfortably and with good posture.

There is, though, an average office chair height found on the best ergonomic chairs on the market. This is between 16 – 21 inches as this is the best range to accommodate most people of heights between 5’0” and 6’6”.

If you are on the smaller end of this spectrum then you may need to find a chair that sits lower than 16 inches and likewise if you are on the taller end of the spectrum then you may need to find a chair that sits higher than 21 inches.

However, as everybody’s body composition is different, you should only use this as a guide. You may be smaller than another individual but have longer legs than them so you will need a higher chair in order to sit with your legs at an ergonomic angle.

Office chair depth

Depth is the next measurement that you should consider before buying a new chair. It is important that you can sit with your back pressed against the backrest and still have a few inches of space from the end of the seat to the backs of your legs.

Those few inches of space are crucial for reducing the pressure on your legs which will help you avoid problems like sciatica.

On average, seats tend to have a depth of between 15.5 – 18.5 inches. But you may need to look for seats with alternative depths if your legs are longer or shorter than average.

Office chair width

Width is the least important measurement when it comes to ergonomic seats. You should look for a seat that is wide enough to fit you comfortably, and on average the typical ergonomic seat width is between 19-21.5 inches.

However, one thing that is dictated by a seat’s width is the position of the armrests. Remember that your arms should be level with your desk and bent at around 90-110 degrees at the elbows. Provided that your armrests support this then you will be able to sit comfortably and ergonomically.

What to look for in a computer chair

So now you know what size chair you need, what else should you look for in a chair for home or the office?

It should go without saying that your chair should have support in the areas where you need it, for example with increased amount of lumbar support or a high back rest to support your neck and shoulders.

Depending on what surface your chair is being used on, you may want to change your castors so that the chair has a desirable level of manoeuvrability for you. This may mean that they feature brake locks or are anti-scratch.

And finally, all good office chairs should allow you to swivel 360 degrees. This makes getting in and out of them easier and also prevents you from putting pressure on parts of your body when making movements to get in and out as this is actually the culprit for a lot of injuries.

Browse our selection of chairs at PAM Health

As a supporter of physical and mental health, we believe that the right choice of chair is crucial to long-term productivity and well-being.

Take a look at our broad selection of ergonomic chairs and we are sure that you will find the right one for you that is personalised to your size and needs.