Chair height is a critical part of ergonomic office design. It can make or break your comfort level at the desk, and a poor seat height can cause back, neck, and arm problems over time.
Determining the proper chair height depends on your height, body type, and work style. For example, if you like to recline in your office chair while you review documents, then you may want to look for a chair with an adjustable reclining feature.
The ideal chair height sits just below the kneecap and is a comfortable distance from your feet to your desk. It should also provide sufficient space to move your arms freely.
If you have a desk that is too low for your height, it can be fixed by lowering the top of the desk or using risers and a stool. You can also get a riser chair, which has a built-in seat height adjustment that you use with a footrest to change the seat height.
To determine the proper chair height for you, take the height of your desk and subtract about 10 inches. The chair should then be 18 to 23 inches high from the floor to the seat.
This is the standard height for dining chairs and counter stools. If your dining table is a little higher than this, you can always use a footrest or stack of paper to prop up your feet.
Another key element of a good chair is its back support. For big and tall people, this is a must-have, especially if the chair has an attached headrest.
The height of the backrest should be a minimum of 20 inches, if not a bit higher. This ensures that your upper back is supported while you are sitting, and it can also help to relieve any lower-back pain caused by spending long hours at the desk.
In addition, the seat should be angled to accommodate your legs and hips. The ideal seat angle has a forward tilt option (110 degrees is best), so that your hips are 8-10cm higher than your knees.
For a casual chair, you should plan for a back height of 12-16″ above the seat and a formal chair needs at least 20 inches of back height to properly support the back of your upper body.
Alternatively, you could choose a chair with a gas stem, which allows you to adjust your seat and back height as needed. Most office chairs equipped with a gas stem come in a range of standard and height-adjustable options.
When seated, your shoulders should be relaxed, and your wrists should be in their neutral position. This ensures that your posture is healthy and reduces arm fatigue and repetitive strain injury.
You should also make sure that your arms are comfortably in their position, so your elbows are at a 90-degree open angle. If your elbows are too high, you’ll have a hard time bending down to reach the keyboard and monitor.