Philip from Karo (left) is very tall at 197cm, whereas George, also from Karo (right), at 176cm is of average height.

When it comes to creating a comfortable and ergonomic workspace, choosing the right office chair is paramount. However, for those of us who are taller and larger in stature, finding the perfect chair can be quite a challenge. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the essential factors to consider when selecting the best office chair for big and tall individuals. From adjustable seat height and depth to lumbar support and more, we will dive into the key features designed to cater specifically to the needs of taller folks.

Adjustable Seat Height and Depth

Office ergonomics is all about tailoring your workspace to fit your body, and adjustability is at the heart of this philosophy.

Take Philip from Karo, for example, who stands at a towering 197 cm. For him, choosing a chair with ample adjustability is crucial. Philip needs a chair that allows him to position his feet flat on the ground while keeping his knees slightly below the level of his hips. He will need to consider office chairs with an adjustable seat height ranging from 50 to 60 cm to comfortably accommodate those longer legs. Additionally, an adjustable seat depth ranging from 43 to 51 cm ensures proper thigh support without restricting circulation.

The Top 5 Office Chairs for Tall People like Philip

For someone as tall as Philip, the ideal office chair should be height adjustable, have seat depth adjustment functionality, multi-adjustable armrests, and a backrest and headrest that can accommodate a larger frame. Here are five options that fit the bill for Philip:

Chairs pictured above are Karo’s:

Backrest Height

When selecting an office chair for tall individuals, the height of the backrest is critical. Look for chairs with higher backrests that extend to at least the shoulder blades or higher. This ensures proper support for the entire back, preventing strain on the upper back and shoulders. Tall people sitting at a standard height desk often hunch over their work, which can increase strain in the lower back.

Adjustable Lumbar Support

Regardless of your height, an office chair with excellent lumbar support is essential for maintaining a healthy posture.

Tall individuals often hunch over their desks, putting extra strain on their lower backs. To alleviate this, opt for office chairs with built-in lumbar support or adjustable lumbar pads that conform to the natural curvature of the spine.

Look for chairs that allow both horizontal and vertical adjustments for the lumbar support to prevent slouching and promote a neutral spine position, reducing the risk of back pain and discomfort.


Many headrests are designed with adaptability in mind, allowing users to fine-tune their position and angle to suit their individual needs. This adjustability not only makes them suitable for a diverse range of users but also ensures that each person can find their ideal comfort level.

A headrest can offer much-needed support for the neck and upper back, especially during moments of relaxation or when reclining in the chair. For taller individuals, make sure the headrest is adjustable and extends high enough to support the head and neck.

If you are very tall like Philip and prefer an office chair with a headrest, you must ensure that it can be adjusted to support your neck and head.

Adjustable Armrests

For big and tall people, it is essential to consider office chairs with adjustable armrests that can be positioned at the appropriate height and width to comfortably support their forearms. Proper armrest height ensures that the elbows are bent at approximately 90° and aligned with the top surface of the desk. Armrests that are too low or too high can lead to shoulder and neck strain.

Office Chair Mechanism

Chairs with recline mechanisms allow users to change their sitting positions throughout the day, reducing strain on the spine. Look for chairs with a tilt feature that promotes dynamic sitting.

Material and Padding

To prevent pressure points and enhance comfort, big and tall individuals should look for office chairs with ample foam padding. Materials like breathable mesh and moisture-wicking fabrics can provide added comfort during extended periods of sitting. Leather and high-quality fabrics are also popular options due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. Considering their size, it is important that office chairs for big and tall people have a sturdy build, higher weight rating, and a reliable warranty.

Adjusting the Office Desk

Standard desks are typically around 73 cm high, designed for the average height of the population. However, for tall individuals, sitting at the correct height (knees slightly below hip level) is crucial. A standard desk may be too low, causing them to lean forward and down, leading to poor and potentially harmful back postures. To avoid discomfort and pain in the back, neck, and shoulders, tall individuals should adjust their desk’s height. This can be done by using spacers under the desk’s feet or investing in a height-adjustable desk.


We are all unique individuals with varying physical attributes. Even among people of the same height, the proportions of weight, leg length, and torso can differ significantly. When it comes to choosing the best office chair for big and tall individuals, it is vital to consider their specific body measurements.

By prioritising ergonomics and the adjustability of modern office chairs, tall individuals can create a comfortable and supportive workspace that promotes proper posture and reduces the risk of discomfort and long-term health issues. To find the perfect fit for your individual needs, it is advisable to try out different chairs and consult user reviews if available. By emphasising ergonomic design and adjustability, along with proper measurements, you can create a productive and pain-free work environment.

To speak to an Office Ergonomics Risk Facilitator contact us on 011 392 6803 or email [email protected]

Article first seen on Karo’s Knowledge Centreclick here to read the full article.