If you work in front of a computer, you could end up spending close to a third of your day sitting in an office chair. That being the case, it’s important that that chair be capable of meeting your needs. It needs to be comfortable and accommodating, putting you in the ideal position to see your monitor or do any other kind of work.
However, most office chairs are designed for the average person. If you’re a little taller than that, or weigh a few extra pounds, then trying to sit in one of these chairs can result in some awkward and uncomfortable positions. So how do you find the perfect office chair to meet your needs, if you’re taller or larger than average? Let’s take a look.
Elements of a Good Office Chair
For a taller person, the wrong office chair can put your legs into odd positions, making it difficult for them to fit comfortably under the desk. For a larger person, the problem is in reclining. Sitting back in your chair, even a little, feels unstable and makes you afraid it’s going to collapse, taking you with it. To avoid these issues, here are some important elements to look for in your office chair:
- Adjustable Height. A slide adjuster can help you set your chair at the perfect height to accommodate longer legs.
- High Back. Many office chairs have small seat backs that don’t offer much support for larger and taller people. A high seat back provides support for your entire back. An ergonomic design that fits with the contours of your back is important too.
- Adjustable Tilt. By adjusting the tension of your chair’s tilt, you can provide yourself with more support as you lean back.
- Adjustable Arms. Most office chairs today have at least some adjustability of height. But a lot of them forget to make the arms adjustable too. This forces your arms into uncomfortable positions that lead to neck and shoulder tension. The ability to adjust your chair’s armrests allows you to customize your chair’s positioning to fit your needs.
- Open Mesh Upholstery. This isn’t strictly necessary, but it can be nice when the temperatures start to rise, as open mesh is cooler than regular fabric, and doesn’t get as sweaty.
If you’re very tall or very large, you may also consider a chair that’s specially designed for you in terms of height, width, and other needs. Some companies will custom-build a chair to your measurements, to ensure maximum comfort.
Cost of a Good Office Chair
Like most things in life designed to meet the needs of larger or taller people, a good office chair isn’t going to be cheap. A high-quality chair with proper ergonomic support will probably cost anywhere between $400 and $800. If you get a custom-made chair, it can cost even more. There are some chairs that are less expensive, but they’re generally not as good. For instance, they’ll have height adjustability, but a smaller seat back and arms with a fixed position.
Check out our office chair recommendations section for the best chair technologies and links to chairs that offer them at prices below the $400 – $800 range.
Don’t waste your money on these cheaper models. You may think you’re saving, but they’ll ultimately cost you more in the long run, in discomfort and lost productivity. Spend the extra money on a chair that will actually meet your needs. If the company you work for is purchasing your chair for you, show them this article and other research explaining why the extra money is necessary. And if you’re paying for your own chair, remember that if you’re using it for work, it’s tax deductible.
Your office chair is more than just a place to sit. It’s essential to your personal comfort, and even more than that, to your health. So don’t get stuck with the wrong chair. Do your research. Learn more about the technologies that go into making the best office chairs and use that information to help you pick the chair that best meets your particular needs. With our recommendations, you might not need to spend the extra money to get that. It will help increase your productivity and make your entire day better and more comfortable.