Key measures to choose the right chair

Posted On 13/01/2014 | 

The two measurements that will give you a good start in determining the correct size office chair for you.

You will need someone to help you take the two measurements that are needed while you sit.

The chair measurements on our website (and others) are taken without anyone sitting on the chair. So the seat height is taken without the foam or gaslift being compressed. When the weight of a person goes onto the chair, the seat height goes down as the foam and gas lift are compressed. Therefore we strongly recommend that you measure yourself for your chair by sitting on a chair without seat padding or gas lift. A dining chair with a firm or hard seat is usually ideal. Use books or similar to pack up the chair legs.

To start adjust your dining chair height so that your feet are flat on the floor AND your thighs are horizontal, or pointing slightly down. (This is when you might need packing under the chair legs)

Look straight ahead and keep your back upright.

1) First measure  from a point behind your calf to your back.  (Your under-thigh length - the green arrow on the diagram) Once you have this measurement, deduct 8cm from it. You then have a pretty good guide to the sitting depth of a chair seat that will suit you. 

The 8cm (approx) deduction is to allow for a gap between the inside of your calf and the front edge of the seat cushion. Taller people can have a larger gap, but you definitely do not want the front of the seat to be touching your calf.

2) Now get off the seat and measure from the floor to the top of the seat. (Purple arrow on diagram). This does not have to be exact, as all our chairs have height adjustment. However, if you are significantly taller or smaller than average, you might find that a standard chair does not suit you and you need a longer or shorter gas lift to be fitted. (We can do this). 

The two measurements you have are:-

  • Sitting area depth
  • Seat height

A 3rd measurement that is also important, is the height of your desktop from the floor. Typically it is 72cm or 73cm in the UK. Once you have adjusted your seat with your feet flat on the floor, you might find that you cannot get your forearms level to use your keyboard properly as the desk is too high (you may be a lower than average height) or too low (you may be taller than average). 

If the desk is too high, you will be raising your shoulders to bring your forearms up, which will cause neck and shoulder problems. You should increase your seat height so that your forearms are level and use a footrest.

If the desk is too low, you will be crouching over the desk, probably leaning on your elbows, leading to back ache and pains. You should increase the height of either your whole desk (Pack up the legs) or of your local working area (Build a platform on top of the desk for keyboard and display screen).

All of our chairs have these measurements included in the Specifications, which is a tab found under the picture of the chair. For example the chair below is appropriate for users who need a sitting area depth of about 44cm (a under-thigh length of 52cm) and a seat height of between 48cm and 58cm.

Detailed dimensions
Seat height, lowest position 48
Seat height, highest position 58
Sitting area width cm 49
Sitting area depth cm 44



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