What Size Office Chair Do I Need?

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If you spend any amount of time sitting at a desk, you need a comfortable, supportive office chair that's sized properly. Since everyone's body and preferences are different, there's not one ideal office chair size that everyone should use. Instead, consider things like your body size and the available office space to find office chair dimensions that work well.

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Office Chair Dimensions to Consider

Most office chairs have a height-adjustment feature that lets you raise or lower the seat to fit your preferences. Therefore, seat height isn't usually the most important dimension. The width and depth of the seat have a major impact on your comfort, and they aren't things you can change about your office chair. A chair that's too wide could make the armrests difficult to reach, while a seat that's too narrow is uncomfortable. If your office chair is too deep, you might sit forward and hunch over your desk all day, putting strain on your back, neck, and shoulders.

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The office chair back and armrests are also important factors in the sizing. Some office chairs have adjustable armrests that let you change the height and width of the arms. Consider how large the armrests are to ensure they're large enough to support your arms comfortably.

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The height of the chair back is important if you like to lean back into your seat. Some people need more upper body mobility while working, so a shorter chair back that hits below the shoulder blades is ideal. Others prefer to lean back while working, which requires a chair with a taller back that's high enough to support your shoulders.

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Getting a Good Fit

Looking at those key chair dimensions, consider your body size and preferences to choose an ideal chair. Your hips are generally the widest part used for sitting, so ensure the seat can accommodate your hips comfortably, with an ideal seat being about 2 inches wider than your hips.

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For the seat depth, you should be able to sit with your feet flat on the floor with support from the backrest without putting pressure on the backs of your knees. You should have about 2 to 4 inches between the edge of the seat and the backs of your knees while you're seated with your back against the backrest.

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Office Space Considerations

Your chair also needs to fit well into your office space. Measure the width of the opening under your desk to ensure the chair can fit under it when it's not being used. If you move your chair frequently, consider the overall width compared to the width of your doorway to ensure it fits in and out easily. If you have a small office, avoid getting a bulky chair that might look out of place or take up a lot of floor space.

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Testing Office Chair Sizes

One of the best ways to decide on the proper office chair dimensions for you is to test out the chairs. Sit in a variety of office chairs. If you work in an office with a variety of chairs, test out different seats to see which one feels like the right size. If you work in a home office without other chairs to test, head to a store with lots of office chair floor models and try out different sizes.

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Note how you feel when you sit in the chair. It should be wide enough to comfortably fit your body. Consider the depth as well. If it's too deep, you might not be able to sit back in your chair while having your feet on the floor. If you're taller than average, make sure the chair has a high enough back and raises high enough for you to sit comfortably.

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