Short people tend to get a rough deal on office chairs and are frequently overlooked entirely by many manufacturers. Chair producers tend to cater mostly for average to larger framed users simply because it is the easiest route for them to move the most products.
Most short people face two challenges either their leg length or torso, and sometimes both, don’t work at all well with many desk chairs.
Leg length tends to be the biggest problem. The reason for this is that the vast majority of office chairs simply don’t adjust low enough to let users place their feet firmly on the floor.
Consequently this puts the lower body in an awkward and uncomfortable posture. Thankfully there are a couple of solutions to this issue.
Begin by checking whether your chair supplier offers an alternative pneumatic gas lift. Many of the better companies have special low gas lifts allowing the chair to adjust an inch or two lower. It may not sound a lot however it can often make all the difference.
The other alternative to the problem is to buy a footrest, adjustable footrests are best as they allow you to fine tune support for your feet.
Depending on your chair’s features, reclining can often be a problem if it has fixed tilt tension. This is mostly a problem for lighter framed users who find themselves fighting their chair when trying to recline. Once again fixed tilt tension is designed to suit the weight of an average built person and is much too stiff for lighter people.
Make sure any chair you consider has either adjustable tilt tension or adjusts automatically to individual user weight. Typical weight ranges start at 100lbs and go up to around 250lbs or more, double check if you fall outside this range.
Seat depth is also another key adjustment missing from far too many chairs. Without it it’s often difficult to gain good leg comfort. Unfortunately there is no simple workaround for fixing this.
Low cost budget office chairs are highly unlikely to be suitable for petite users as they lack the adjustments and flexibility needed to achieve good working task chair comfort.
Fortunately a number of manufacturers do cater well for smaller built individuals by providing ergonomic chairs which will work well for you, including seat depth adjustment. It’s worth taking a look at HÅG’s H04 and Neutral Posture’s 5000 series too.
Here’s a quick summary of the key points:
- Check if you can get a lower gas lift
- Consider an adjustable footrest
- Tilt tension or automatic weight adjustment is key when reclining
- Seat depth lets you set up good upper leg comfort