Office Chair For Tall People | Buyer's Guide
Being tall has plenty of benefits but when it comes to buying an office chair, especially one for long hours; life can become slightly more complicated. Regardless of how much you spend, if your chair doesn’t fit your unique body shape, it is likely to be both uncomfortable and counterproductive to your spinal health over the longer term. An office chair for tall people should include some key adjustable features which we will cover in this short buyer’s guide.
- How we define a tall person
- The ideal sitting position explained
- Essential chair adjustments for tall people
- Seat Height
- Seat Depth
- Back Height
- Lumbar Support
How we define a tall person
The information contained in this article is relevant for those 6 feet in height or more. The average height of a man in the UK is currently 5 feet 10 inches, with women averaging 5 feet 4 inches. Most office chairs are manufactured to fit the average height person with some offering 2 to 3 inches of adjustment.
The ideal sitting position explained
The back of an ergonomic office chair is designed to mimic the shape of the human spine. As you press your weight into the back of the chair, it should gently correct your spinal positioning to ensure proper posture and prevent unnecessary strain on the ligaments which prevents your spine from damage. As a taller person you are likely to find the chair back is too low which puts your spine into an unnatural shape that can be both uncomfortable and lead to long term back problems. Below we have listed what we consider to be the key adjustable chair elements that will allow you to get your position just right.
Essential chair adjustments for tall people
Seat height measurements are published as standard information and as a taller person, you should ensure that the seat can raise high enough to be level with the bottom of your knee cap. This will ensure that when you’re seated, your legs will be at a 90 degree angle with your feet flat on the floor. Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips to ensure good circulation.
If your back is correctly positioned and in full contact with the chair back, ideally the seat should be deep enough that it fully supports your upper leg whilst leaving 2 to 3 inches between your calf and the front of the seat. This ensures blood flow is not restricted. Taller users may benefit from adjustable seat depth which will allow you to move the seat forward to better support your weight.
Adjustable Back Height
This is an essential adjustment for taller people. An ergonomic chair back is designed to mimic the shape of the human spine so as you press your weight into the chair’s back, it corrects your spinal positioning reducing unnecessary strain on the ligaments which helps to prevent aches and pains. As a taller user, it is likely you will need to manually adjust the chair back height upwards so you can correctly align it with your spine.
We recommend avoiding any chair with a fixed headrest as it will likely to be too low for you and instead of cradling the neck as it should, it will actually dig into your upper back and shoulder blades. Ideally used in conjunction with adjustable back height, a height adjustable headrest can give 4 to 5 inches of adjustment and should sit in the curve of the neck.
Height Adjustable Lumbar Support
Adjustable lumbar mechanisms are designed to support the lower back by pushing the lumbar region of the spine towards the stomach, which eases pressure on the gel like discs between the spinal ligaments. As a tall person, you may find that fixed lumbar support is too low and presses against the pelvis instead of the lower back. Therefore, an adjustable height lumbar is recommended. A full guide on lumbar support can be found here.
Buying an office chair for a tall person is simple when you know the key adjustable features you need to ensure you can correctly position your back to support your spinal health. Now we have covered the key things to look out for, you will be pleased to know there are plenty of ergonomic office chairs that offer these features and you will find a lot of options to choose from in the market. As always we welcome your comments and suggestions, so please feel free to leave a comment below.