Americans are getting taller and heavier as the years go by. According to the CDC, Americans are on average 25 lbs heavier and 1 inch taller than in 1960. This can create issues in the workplace when it comes to employee seating. What happens when a person is too large for their office chair?
The new demand for larger chairs with higher weight capacities has changed the way we look at office seating. The average commercially rated office chair is designed for users under 250 lbs. Seat cushions are usually no wider than 19” and no deeper than 20”. Backrest heights can vary when you factor in low back and mid back chairs, but even high back chairs are usually no taller than 27”. These chairs are fine for the average person, but a larger person may feel the seat isn’t deep enough or that the arms are too close together, causing discomfort.
“Big & Tall” chairs as they are called, are made to have wider and deeper proportions with more heavy duty components to withstand higher weight capacities. Many feature extra tall backrests for taller people. Other chairs focus more on larger seat cushions with ample room between armrests. With either one, look for the following features before deciding on your Big and Tall Chair:
-Extra heavy duty base, gas lift and mechanism that are tested to hold more weight.
-Firmer foam in the seat cushions, to keep cushion from flattening out.
-Thicker seat cushions.
-Chair bases with larger diameters, compared to standard chairs.
-ANSI/BIFMA commercial use ratings for at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.
-Weight capacity of at least 300 lbs.
Designs of Big and Tall chairs have come a long way, some now featuring mesh backrests, headrests or multiple ergonomic adjustments:
The seat slide adjustment has been a game changer. With the ability to adjust the depth of the seat cushion to adapt to different thigh lengths, some Big and Tall chairs fit average sized people as well! Many business look to these types of chairs in order to give all employees the same chair, avoiding “chair envy” from other employees and awkwardness for the person with the different chair.
Guest and reception seating designers have also taken notice of this trend and now are starting to make chairs with extra heavy duty weight capacities as part of the standard design:
We can expect that Big and Tall chairs will increase in demand over time. New styles, colors, features and functions continue to grow with this type of office seating.
Questions? We are well trained on the subject of office seating. Feel free to call us at 1-800-443-5117 to speak with any of our knowledgeable sales staff.
See our entire selection of Big & Tall Chairs at the link below: