Office chair size (standard size and how to choose)

In this office chair sizing guide, you’ll see the different types of desk chair designs, their standard sizes, and how to choose a product.Desk with ergonomic chair, drawers and lamp

Those who run businesses recognize the value in getting the “ideal” office chair size for themselves and everyone in their organization. The right office chair can increase productivity by providing a platform that hugs and supports the body, optimizing physiological function, reducing the risk of back injury, and promoting optimal health in the workplace.

Although it is nearly impossible to customize office seating for everyone in a large company due to budget constraints, most workplace seating furniture comes in standardized sizes and adjustable features to meet individual needs.

Nonetheless, purchasing managers can work with occupational health and safety officials to understand standard office chair dimensions and compare them to individual employee requirements.

Standard office chair dimensions

There is no “standard” size for office chairs. Manufacturers follow “principles” to create the best design for “most” employees. The brand emphasizes a versatile but “modifiable” style that ensures optimal professional performance and workplace wellness.

Desk and chair size

Desk and chair size

office chair (also known as office chairs) are quintessential workplace furniture that allow employees to perform their duties as comfortably as possible.

seat depth

Like any furniture product, tables and chairs are made up of different components of varying sizes. For example, the seat depth (front-to-back span) may be 16 inches (approximately 41 cm) “shallow” and 22 inches (approximately 59 cm) “deep.”

Although most seats come in these sizes, some brands may offer designs in “shallower” or “deeper” seat depth sizes.

Organizations must recognize and value the value of seating depth in promoting employee well-being and productivity. Too shallow and employees may strain their pelvis and increase the risk of lower back pain.

It also puts pressure on the legs by shifting the body’s center of gravity forward. Too “deep” and office workers may experience posture problems.

seat width

Most tables and chairs have a lateral span of 19 to 21 inches, or about 48.2 to 53.4 centimeters. The average American male’s waist circumference (measured “around” the waist) is 40.2 inches or 102.1 centimeters.

Halving that value and accounting for side-to-body measurements suggests that 19 to 21 inches is “just right” for the average office worker.

Width is an important seating indicator, allowing employees to sink their buttocks directly into the padded platform. Ideally, the office manager must ensure that the product fits the person’s hips without extending partially over the edges.

Unfortunately, some employees have “wide” waists and are “uncomfortable” sitting on standard sizes, especially those with armrests. It is important to measure correctly to avoid discomfort.

Armrest height and width

Standard desks and chairs feature armrests 2 to 4 inches wide (approximately 5 to 10 centimeters) to allow workers to rest their forearms as comfortably as possible. Meanwhile, table and chair armrests typically rise 5 to 8 inches (approximately 12.7 to 20 centimeters) from the seating surface.

Most motel seats have armrests on either side, allowing the user to rest their elbows and forearms, releasing unnecessary pressure on the shoulders and upper back.

Headrest and backrest

The edge distance of most tables and chairs is 12 to 19 inches (approximately 30.4 to 48 cm), and the distance from the seat surface to the top edge of the backrest is 18 to 22 inches (approximately 45.7 to 55.8 cm).

At the same time, the height of the desk and chair headrest is 5 to 6 inches (approximately 12.7 to 15 cm), which is enough to accommodate the bony protrusions in the back of the head.

Although backrest designs vary from brand to brand, they must adapt to the user’s back, especially the middle where the spine curves outward more prominently.

Office managers look for products with slightly concave backrests to follow the body’s natural contours. Some don’t have headrests, but most do. This feature allows the user to rest the back of their head, reducing neck tension and stress.

chair base

Ideally, the base must be wider than the seat to ensure stability and balance. Therefore, buyers can expect standard office chairs to have an anti-tilt, stable base that is 22 to 24 inches wide (approximately 55.8 to 70 centimeters).

Dimensions of desks and chairs (according to height)

Office chair size according to height

User height is critical in selecting the correct office chair unless the furniture has adjustable components (i.e. seat height and depth). While there are more or less “standard” ranges for width and depth, seat height depends on the height of the individual user.

For example, employees who are “shorter” than 5 feet should choose an office chair that is 15.9 inches (40.2 cm) high. On the other hand, a 5-foot-6-inch worker will find a 17.8-inch-tall office chair more comfortable and conducive to work (approximately 44.9 cm).

Here is an overview of the dimensions that buyers must adhere to when purchasing seats based on employee height.

User height office seat height
<5 feet or <149 cm 15.9 inches (40.2 cm)
5.0 to 5 feet 6 inches or 151.5 to 166.5 cm 16.2 to 17.8 inches (40.9 to 44.9 cm)
5 feet 7 inches to 6.0 feet or 169 to 181.5 cm 18 to 19.4 inches (45.6 to 49 cm)
6’1″ to 6’6″ or 184 to 196.5 cm 19.7 to 21 inches (49.6 to 53 cm)
>6 feet 6 inches or >196.5 cm 21 to 21.6 inches (53 to 54.4 cm)

What is the correct chair height for a table?

Standard seat height

The “correct” desk and chair height is relative and usually depends on the user, especially leg length. Ergonomists describe the ideal posture as one that allows the user to place their feet firmly and vertically on the floor while keeping their knees at a 90-degree angle.

This description requires the user’s thighs to be parallel to the floor and the legs to be in a straight, vertical position.

Therefore, a seat height of 19 to 21 inches is the standard height for traditional office chairs. However, manufacturers recognize user individuality and know that some users have longer lower limbs than others. That’s why most products now have fully adjustable heights.

executive president

executive chair

Executive chairs have slightly wider seats than regular employee furniture (usually over 21 inches or 48 centimeters). Seat height, depth, armrest dimensions, backrest dimensions and headrest dimensions should be the same unless customized.

Standard executive chair dimensions:

feature Dimensions (inches) Dimensions (cm)
overall height 44 – 52 112 – 132
width 25 – 30 63.5 – 76.2
depth 20 – 24 50.8 – 61
seat height 17 – 22 43.2 – 55.9
Backrest height 25 – 30 63.5 – 76.2
seat width 19 – 23 48.3 – 58.4
Armrest height 7 – 9 17.8 – 22.9

These pieces of furniture have elements that are not found in standard seating products. For example, executive chairs feature premium upholstery, swivel seats, ample cushioning, and heavy-duty metal frames.

Most executive chairs have leather materialspring seats, high-quality foam filling and top-notch fabrics (i.e. chenille).

These products are often “bigger” than traditional sizes, providing maximum comfort for executives and organizational leaders. These furniture pieces feature excellent lumbar support and exceptional durability, allowing executive style products to last for decades.

Ergonomic chair measurements

ergonomic chair

An ergonomic chair looks like a regular chair but has several advantages. Firstly, these pieces of furniture feature adjustable elements to ensure user-specific back and armrest configurations for optimal ergonomic comfort and productivity.

For example, some ergonomic office chairs have adjustable seat depth. It allows users to modify the traditional 16 to 22-inch seat depth to suit their needs.

Most units have adjustable armrests, backrests, headrests, seat height and seat tilt. These features enable users to ensure optimal comfort during work.

Second, ergonomic products offer excellent lumbar support, and some models allow customization to match the user’s natural spine contours.

eames chair dimensions

eames chair dimensions

The Eames chair is ideal for middle managers, but some higher-ups also use it for its formal style and luxurious comfort. Its 26.5 inches (or 67 centimeters) right-to-left span can accommodate even “oversized” leaders, managers, and supervisors, giving them plenty of room to move around without feeling cramped.

The seat depth is 29.5 inches (about 75 centimeters), which is enough for a big boss. Meanwhile, the armrests support the forearms and elbows 23.5 to 25 inches (approximately 60 to 63.5 centimeters) above the floor.

Resting your body on the Eames Lounge is easy and comfortable thanks to the furniture’s unique tilting design. It has a natural slope to support the back, ensuring the user does not experience discomfort or pain.

What is the minimum size of a chair?

The smallest office chairs vary from person to person. For example, it’s not uncommon for a 4-foot-11-inch (149-centimeter) employee to find a 15.9-inch-high (40.2-centimeter) seat that fits that size. Unfortunately, giving the same item to a 6-foot-tall person can cause back problems and discomfort.

Some brands offer products with a seat height of 14 inches. As for width and depth, the smallest products have measurements at the lower end of the size range (possibly even lower).

What size chair do I need?

XUER Ergonomic Computer Adjustable Headrest Chair

If one desires optimal comfort, there is no one-size-fits-all size for office chairs. Users must consider their own body measurements to determine the “ideal” size.

However, there is some guidance that can make purchasing decisions more accurate.

• Seat height should be 10 inches lower than seat height desk height or any work surface.

• Seat depth should allow 1.5 inches (4 cm) from the front edge of the seat to the back of the knees, with the back firmly pressed against the backrest.

• Seat width must accommodate the cross-section of the body (measured at the widest point of the hips).

• The backrest should be no lower than the shoulder blades and wide enough to accommodate the entire back, including shoulders.

• The head restraint should not be higher than the lower back of the head.

• Armrests must allow for a 90-degree elbow angle.

Other buying considerations

There are some other considerations when it comes to design functionality. For one, it’s important to look for products that offer the right brackets, wheels, or casters for the type of flooring you have. Rolling functionality along with proper flooring will increase productivity and allow you to reach items in your office.

Another consideration is the overall construction and durability of the product. You may need a lightweight or heavy-duty product, depending on the amount of space you have, your budget, and the required load-bearing capacity.

You may need to be able to swivel in your seat, which can improve productivity for people who use L-shaped desks or have easy access to and from their workstations.

Also consider the amount of cushioning and the overall fit of the seat back. To do this, you may want to actually test the product in a store to see how it decorates and what adjustments are available.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit our desk type guide.

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