Ergonomic chairs are designed to fit the user. These chairs are made for the majority of people in the average body size while some chairs are for petite users. These chairs are not comfortable or ergonomically compatible for a big and tall user. Most of these chairs for big and tall persons are made with a reinforced seat mechanism and a wider base to be sturdier and more comfortable for them.
Not every chair is equal for every person. A properly fitted chair can mean a huge difference in terms of comfort and ergonomics. Today’s chairs are limited to a 250 lbs weight capacity and are recommended for users having a shorter height. These will not be good for the big and tall people.
When looking at chairs for big and tall people, comfort is the topmost when choosing one. The wrong chair can cause a number of problems. It can result from fatigue to aches and pains, to severe loss of productivity, and potential long-term problems.
Let’s explore what you should be looking for to get a chair that works for you.
When is a Person Considered to be Tall and Big?
According to the CDC National Health, Statistics reports from 2018; The average height of males is 5 feet 9 inches while the average height of females is 5 feet 4 inches. Based on this, anyone above 6 feet in height is considered as “tall”.
Also, tall and big people are classified in normal weights based on BMI ranges, which is between 140 to 177 lbs. for people who are 6 feet tall.
For the purpose of choosing a chair, big and tall people are classified as those who stand more than 6 feet tall and weigh above 213 pounds. This is the topmost limit of being overweight for people of that height. With some allowance, standard chairs can comfortably support a weight of 250 lbs.
For big and tall customers, ergonomic chairs must allow supporting weights between 275 to 500 lbs.
Which Chairs Work Best for Big and Tall People?
Begin with the basic characteristics for a comfortable chair. There are eight primary areas and a few secondary features to look at.
The eight primary considerations are:
1. Maximum Weight Capacity
For big and tall people, the weight put on the chair overall needs to be double that of the 250 lb. normal threshold. It should support more than 300 lbs and as much as 500 lbs of body weight comfortably.
2. Maximum Seat Height
The ideal chair should be able to make people sit up straight, with their legs crossed at a right angle at the knees, and with feet comfortably firm on the floor. The average tall and big person needs a chair with a seat height that is at least 19-20 inches off the ground.
Every extra 2-3 inches in height will require the seat height to increase by an inch. For example, a 6 ft. tall person needs a seat height of 19 inches; whereas a 6 ft. 3 inches tall person requires 20 inches; a 6 ft 8 inches tall person requires 22 inches, and a 7 ft 3 inches tall person requires 24 inches in height.
The best solution is to find a chair whose maximum height is above 24 inches. Also, the height needs to be adjusted to suit the person’s specific requirements.
3. Seat Depth
For big and tall people, the minimum seat depth must be at a minimum of 19 inches to fit their long upper leg bones. Otherwise, their seating posture would be awkward one way or the other.
4. Seat Width
The average big and tall person needs to have a wide seat and space to spread out and comfortably rest their thighs. A tall person needs seat widths in excess of 19 inches. For someone who is above 250 lbs, seats that are at least 24 inches in width is ideal.
5. Height and Width of Backrest
The height of the backrest is not necessarily essential, but it depends on the type of chair. If the chair has a headrest, especially one that is attached, the height of the backrest is important. A big and tall person would become uncomfortable when sitting on a permanently attached, non-adjustable headrest sitting on a short backrest.
If there is no headrest, the height should meet the requirements to provide upper back support. Backrest heights must be at least 20 inches.
If a headrest is included, try it out and make sure that the height can be adjusted to where the bulge can align with the cervical spine or the back of the head.
Finally, the backrest width has to be wide enough to support a wide torso. Usually, 20+ inches is an acceptable width.
6. Backrest Tilt and Incline
Chairs for big and tall people go through too much torque and tension. The backrest can be steadily be bent back if not properly supported. Backrests that bend are no use for the users, while those that sit on rigid backrests are equally so.
The best chairs for big and tall people should have adjustable lumbar supports and a tilt-and-lock system that allows fixing the backrest. In positions to sit comfortably without causing damage to the spine or back muscles.
Chairs whose adjustable seats can be placed up to two-and-a-half feet off the floor with high backrests in some cases. The balance has to be right and comfortable. The best chairs are designed so that their centers of gravity are lower to the ground and the seat is comfortable without being wobbly.
Since there is no way, the chairs will stay functional during use. The possibility of defective components in a chair can occur. Thus, warranty provisions are essential to review.
Secondary Considerations to Look for in Big and Tall Ergonomic Office Chair
There are a few extra comfort areas that can be dealt with by chairs designed for big and tall people. These characteristics can spell the difference between a good chair and a great chair:
1. Armrest position and extension
These are very sought-after features over the long term. The bigger and taller you are, chances are that your arms may go beyond the armrest provided. Also, the elbow and arm position get tired if the armrest is either too high or too low.
The best chairs will have armrests that can be extended and height adjustable for maximum comfort.
2. Mesh Back for ventilation
Bigger people seem to sweat more than the average person, which means that if the chair back is made out of solid material, it may get uncomfortable. Mesh-backed chairs can be used by providing better ventilation.
3. Padded seats
Foam or another padding could be a godsend for big and tall people. Chair seats can break down due to years of use and become uncomfortable. The chair should at least have a 4-6 inches padding to last longer.
4. Sturdy Frame
If a chair is designed to support 275+ lbs. of weight, it needs a frame that will last. If not the chair will get uncomfortable in the long run, not maintain its shape and pliability, and can’t be replaced at considerable expense after a short period.
5. Stable Base
Many office chairs are “rolling” chairs that are attached by rollers and casters. The sturdiness and stability of these parts could make a big difference in terms of how the chair, as a whole, will last over time. Big and tall people put extra pressure on the chairs. If it erodes or skews the base, it will need a replacement chair sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, it is your own body and lets you know what chairs worked for you and those that are uncomfortable. The best way is to find the features that you really need for extended comfort, try out few models that fill most of the requirements, and compare prices to get the most value for your money.
The Ergonomic Office Mesh Chair 1500F 1W is the perfect choice for tall and big people.