With your typical office chair made for the “average” person, it’s unsurprising that those of us taller or heavier than usual have a harder time just sitting comfortably. In fact, if you’re taller than 6 foot or over 200 pounds, then this office chair situation is probably not new to you. From the embarrassment of breaking a chair to sitting awkwardly with your knees pointing upwards, heftier and taller workers simply need a chair suited to their body structure.
Fortunately, while many office chair brands only have standard chairs, some companies provide big and tall office chairs designed for above-average workers.
Here are five important features to look at when investing in a heavy duty office chair.
Like most weight bearing equipment, office chairs also come with a maximum capacity or weight rating. For your typical desk chair, that limit is often a measly 200 pounds at the very best. However, most big and tall chairs are designed to handle 300 to 500 pounds easily.
Whatever your weight situation, make sure your chair has a suitable weight capacity.
When it comes to office ergonomics, tall people tend to suffer the most when sitting at their desks. Not only does sitting in a too-short chair cut off blood circulation to their legs, but they feel cramped and encouraged to hunch as they work.
To avoid this strain and bad posture, select a big and tall chair that is height adjustable and enables you to sit comfortably. Ideally, you should be able to sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and knees about level with your seat.
Seat Width and Depth
Whether you’re tall, big-boned, or just have longer than average legs, standard office chair seats often feel too narrow and unsupportive. To address this issue, make sure your chair has a deep and wide enough seat to accommodate you without needing to squeeze yourself in and out. Many big and tall office chairs will have wider than average seats as well as customizable seat depth.
For tall individuals who feel like their thighs are not being supported, consider looking for a chair that features a seat slider or seat adjuster.
Adjustable Tilt Tension
Since the majority of office workers spend long stretches at their desk, being able to lean back, rock, or recline provides a necessary feeling of back and body support. However, many big and tall workers find that the back of their chair feels unstable or will completely drop back if they attempt to lean or recline on it.
The main culprit in this situation is the chair tilt tension. Standard office chairs have a set tension and are too loose or recline too quickly when used by heavier workers. To fix, look for an office chair with adjustable tilt tension.
While deciding between fabric, mesh, or leather is up to personal preference, make sure your office chair is made of a strong and durable material. For example, plastic can be easy to break, so consider having an aluminum or steel frame, solid base, and heavy duty casters.