What is the standard office chair height?
According to BIFMA G1-2013 guidelines, the ideal seat height lies between 14.8-20.2 inches. Ideal office chair height is different for everyone and depends on the distance between the floor and the back of the knee (popliteal fossa) height, plus the thickness of footwear. In other words, your feet should touch the floor while your knees are at a 90-degree angle. If you work in front of a desk, your elbows should form a 90 -100 degree open-angle.
Office chairs have always been an important part of our lives. COVID 19 pushed us to work from home, but the chair itself played the same role that it did before.
The average full-time American employee works around 1,700 hours per year, and most of it is spent just sitting on an office chair.
And I bet you’re in front of your computer, sitting on an office chair right now.
When you spend so much time just sitting, the ergonomics cannot be overlooked. The seat height, depth, width, pan angle, backrest height, torso-thigh angle—everything needs to be perfect for a comfortable sitting session.
The most obvious one is the seat height. If the seat is too high or too low, it can drastically affect your posture and productivity.
But considering everyone has a different height and body type, the standard office height can vary a lot. The height of the desk itself plays an important part in this.
But how would you know what’s the best height for you?
Let’s dive in.
Does the Ideal Office Chair Height Exist?
The century-old question—is there an ideal office chair height? Is there a number that works for all?
Is everyone around you the same height? Does everyone have the same size desk? No!
Each person’s body ratio is slightly different. The ideal office chair height do exist, but it is unique for everyone.
There are a few guidelines you can follow to find the sweet spot:
- Make sure your feet touch the floor completely, and your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Both feet should be as parallel as possible to each other and thighs parallel to the floor. This way, the load is distributed evenly on both body halves, consequently reducing stress on the back and hips.
- If your knees are at a 90-degree angle but feet are now off the floor, use a footrest to support your legs. Don’t ever work without a footrest in such a case as legs hanging all days at the edge of the seat is extremely bad for your body.
- If you work with an office desk, your elbows should form a 90 -100 degree open-angle. This is extremely important for your shoulders and wrists.
- While adjusting your chair height according to your feet might be good, but considering most of the desks are not height-adjustable, it’s better to adjust chair height according to your keyboard and mouse placement. If it’s too low, the arms will pinch the edge of the desk, and if it’s too high, you’ll end up bending your wrists and slouching. In short, your forearms and hands should be perfectly in line.
It’s important that you get a height-adjustable chair. Otherwise, you really don’t have a choice but to stick to that unergonomic posture for the rest of your days.
Factors to Consider When Calculating the Ideal Chair Height
If you are planning to buy a new office chair, you must consider a few factors to calculate the ideal chair height. Here are a few:
- What is your own height? The ideal chair height for a 5’0” will be very different from someone who’s 6’2″.
- What do you intend to do on the chair? Is it computer work or some practical work like sewing cloth or origami?
- Do you have any back problems? You must consult a doctor first before hunting an office chair.
- Keyboard, mouse, and monitor placement.
- Height of the desk.
The next step is all about trying what chair height works for you the best. The height-adjustability range can differ from chair to chair, so make sure you’re buying the one that can go from 17” to 21”.
Here are the three most important things you should do to calculate the ideal chair height:
- Adjust the height so that your feet touch the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle. If you are at a store and want to try out multiple chairs, align the top of the seat to the top of your kneecaps. Sit down and rest both feet on the floor while ensuring a 1-2” gap between seat edge and inner thighs.
- Office chairs are often used for computer work. The chair height should be high enough that elbows are at a right angle, wrists straight, low back, and supported on the chair’s back rest. The keyboard and mouse should be positioned at the elbow level. In summary, a neutral posture is an ideal way to sit on an office chair.
- The thighs should be parallel to the floor, with the feet resting flat on the floor or on a footrest.
Office Accessories that Help You Achieve the Ideal Chair Height
If your feet are off the floor and hanging by the edge of the seat, a footrest will elevate your feet in a comfortable position and give you more places to rest them. It helps increase blood circulation & posture and reduces back pain.
Height Adjustable Desks
The name says it all. Height adjustable desks give you the freedom and flexibility to work with the right ergonomic height. Your keyboard and mouse will always be at the right height, allowing the elbows to be at a 90 -100 degree open-angle. TheSHW Height Adjustable Desk allows you to transition from sitting to standing from 28” to 46”.
If you are a writer or someone who types a lot, a keyboard tray allows you to make specific adjustments to your typing position. This helps in reducing stress on elbows and wrists. The
A monitor arm allows you to position the monitor as needed. You can maintain your chair at the ergonomic height, resultantly reducing neck, back and eye strain. The
Desk and Seat Height Measurement Guidelines
Here are some of the ergonomic standards for the ideal office chair height:
|CSA-Z412||Low: ≥15.2-≤18, Standard: ≥16.8 – ≤20.8|
|MIL-STD-1472F||15-21” (increments of 1.0)|
|ANSI_HFES 100-2007||15-22” (adjustable over a min. range of 4.5)|
Based on these standard chair height recommendations, here is the ideal office chair height chart:
|Your height (ft/in)||Chair Height (ft/in)|
For anyone above 6’, an office seat height of 19-21” will be a good option. The Gabrylly Ergonomic Mesh Office Chair is great for tall people as the seat height can go from 18.5” to 22.05”. On the flip side, The
The ideal height for desks also depends on your height and body ratio. Here are a few figures to give you an idea of how high your desk should be:
|Sitting Adjustable Desk Height||Minimum: 25” – 30”; Range = 5”
Optimal: 22” – 33”; Range = 11”
|Standing Adjustable Desk||Minimum: 38” – 42”; Range = 4”
Optimal: 35” – 47”; Range = 12”
|Sit-to-stand Adjustable Desk||Minimum: 26” – 40”; Range = 15″
Optimal: 22” – 47”; Range = 25″
Source: Health by Design
|Your Height (ft/in)||Seated Desk Height (ft/in)||Standing Desk Height (ft/in)|
For people above 6 feet, a seated desk height of 29” to 33.5” will be ideal.
The best option is to buy a height-adjustable standing desk, as it gives you the option to stand and sit with multiple height levels.
Best Desk for Short and Tall People – The
The Dangers of Improper Ergonomics
If the seat is too high, it will put pressure on the soft tissue of the back of the thigh, neck pain and inflammation on the inner side of the elbow.
If it’s too low, it puts pressure on the hip bones (ischial tuberosities), causes lower-back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and rotator-cuff strain in the shoulder.
Moreover, if the ergonomics are not right, it can cause serious blood flow issues, muscle strain, muscle imbalances, and fatigue. The whole point of good ergonomics is to have a good posture. If it’s not proper, it can be dangerous for your musculoskeletal system.
The Benefits of Proper Ergonomics
A proper chair height allows you to rest your feet on the ground and maintain a healthy angle at your elbows. Moreover, productivity goes up significantly as your body is at ease and less fatigued.
Proper ergonomics support your back, helps with lower back pain & neck pain and reduces hip pressure.
Height Adjustable Chairs
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