A one size fits all approach is never going to work for office seating. While many chairs on the market offer a good level of adjustability (especially if there is a seat slide) and can cater to 80% or so of your workforce, there will always be a few people at each end of the bell curve that this just doesn’t work for.
When taller workers have a large overhang of their legs over the end of the chair seat, they are really not being supported adequately, and this can lead to pain and discomfort at work.
The recommendation is that, when the worker is sat right back in the chair, the seat should ideally support along the length of the upper leg, with about 1-2 finger’s width gap at the back of the knee. At 3-4 finger width you may just about get away with it, but more than this you really need to look at different chair.
Do also check that the backrest is at the right height, as if the lumbar support is pressing on their bottom rather than in their lower back, it is effectively reducing the depth of the chair seat.
How to check chair depth requirements:
To check the depth that you need, find a tape measure, and measure from the back of the bottom to the back of the knee.
With this measurement completed, you can now check this against the spec of the chair, looking particularly at seat depth.
Chairs to consider:
Here are a few good options for chairs that are designed with tall and larger proportioned workers in mind. The first three are under $1000, with the fourth being more high end at around $3000.
- Soft cushioning on seat base (softer than most chairs).
- Seat depth of 54cm (the deepest seat of all the options here)
- 3 lever adjustment
- Adjustable arms are an optional upgrade
- Weight capacity up to 160kg (or 200kg for the heavy duty model)
-10 year warranty
Team Air Heavy Duty:
- Mesh back
- 3 Lever adjustment
- Heavy duty mechanism with back tilt tension control
- Large, contoured seat
- Height adjustable lumbar
- Seat depth 50cm
- Sliding seat available as an optional upgrade (which would increase seat depth if needed).
- Weight capacity up to 160kg.
- 10-year warranty.
- Firmer foam on the seat base – longer lasting.
- Seat depth 520mm
- Extra High Back with thick flat foam (no pronounced lumbar support)
- Max weight rating 220kg
- Armrests are an optional upgrade
Herman Miller Aeron Chair – Size C:
- Innovative tilt mechanism that moves naturally your body.
- Mesh chair – conforms to body to distribute pressure evenly.
- Very comfortable
- 94% Recyclable – Greenguard Gold Certified
- Adjustable Arms (height and pivot)
- Size C (large) seat depth is 47cm.
- Weight capacity up to 140kg
- 12 Year Warranty
- Higher price point at around $3000
We love working with Jacqui and Clinton at Ergostyle, a local Christchurch based company that services the whole of New Zealand. Ergostyle specialises in high quality office furniture and equipment. We regularly reach out to them when we are seeking a specific / niche solution for one of our clients and find them very helpful and knowledgeable. The above chairs are available to try out in their Ferrymead-based showroom (by appointment), and they are also often able to arrange chair trials for our clients.
Please do get in touch with us at Workspace IQ (email: email@example.com or phone Randa on 021 1971 060) if you would like an ergonomic workstation assessment for your staff and/ or any support with equipment selection. Our occupational therapists will work with you to find workplace solutions that work for you and your team.
Disclaimer: WorkSpace IQ is not a seller or retail agent for Ergostyle, or any other equipment company. Products recommended in this blog, in any advertising and/or advice provided is to guide you and is based on our professional recommendation of the products mentioned in this blog. Our recommendations are honest and impartial.
Bach. Occupational Therapy,
Lois Hill is an Occupational Therapist working for WorkSpace IQ with 11 years’ clinical experience and specialist in vocational rehabilitation and pain management. She is passionate about empowering clients with the means to maximise their function, health and wellbeing.