Sizing Up The Right Office Chairs For Your Employees

One size fits all isn’t a rule that necessarily applies to furniture, particularly when it comes to your office chairs. Sometimes, instead of being a case of one size fits all, it’s one size fits most. After all, we all come in different sizes and body types.

When employees are taller, heavier or smaller than average, finding chairs which give them the proper fit they need to work comfortably and productively can be tough. (Even when fully adjustable, many office chairs are designed with individuals in the 5th to 95th percentiles of the population in mind.)

As an employer, offering your staff executive chairs that are too big or small can create health risks. To help you find the right office chairs for you, read on.

Know your measurements

Just because a chair is labelled ergonomic, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an ergonomic chair suited for a specific individual. That’s why it pays to account for the physical characteristics of employees, as well as the office chairs themselves, before you decide to buy.

What’s the weight capacity?

Usually this is a question asked when it’s too late. You should always allow for extra capacity to minimise the risk of injury. As a rule of thumb, make sure your office chair can hold 120% of the potential occupant’s weight. 

How deep is your seat?

Office chairs with seats that are too deep or shallow encourage circulatory problems below the knee. This is a big issue for adults shorter or taller than average.

A well-fitting office chair should allow you to fit two to four fingers (approx 1-2″) between the seat’s edge and the back of the knee. 

Is the seat wide enough?

This is a crucial question for workers with larger frames. After all, if they can’t sit and rise from it easily, then it’s hardly ergonomic.


Is it too high? Or too low?

 The height of your seated position contributes to circulatory issues in the lower limbs. For workers that are shorter or taller than average, the key is to avoid potential cramping. 

However, if this is the only issue you are having with achieving a proper fit for smaller workers, then you could address this easily by introducing a footrest.

Does it provide support in the right places?

When armrests are placed too far apart, it compromises protection to the upper body, increasing the risk of injury to the hands, arms and neck. This is seen most frequently in those who are smaller-than-average.

Along with their heavier and taller colleagues, shorter members of staff may find that – without adjustable capabilities, an office chair’s lumbar support and headrest may miss the mark.

Good lumbar support is crucial for comfort. With Orangebox’s Do Office Chair, this comes as standard. Its flexible lumbar pad allows for 100mm of adjustment that can be easily operated while sat in the chair. Engineered in the UK, chairs can be specified with technical or upholstered mesh. These textiles naturally adapt to individual body shapes for outstanding back support.

For advice on finding the right seating for your workplace, call us now on 020 7721 7914 or email [email protected].