It is an unfortunate fact that a lot of products on today’s market are designed specifically with the ‘average’ person in mind.
Sadly, office chairs are no different, whether it is seat pan width or backrest height, they are manufactured to a very rigid set of dimensions.
Even with adjustable height levers, this can still leave people who fall below the average feeling a little shortchanged.
But what do we mean by ‘below the average’? Well, the mean height for a woman currently measures at anything under 5 ft 3 inches, with the ‘short’ man being classed as anything under 5ft8inches.
But what are the repercussions of larger chairs on their shorter users?
Well, poor circulation is a big one. If your legs are dangling over the edge of the chair then this can mean that the front edge of the seat is cutting into your thighs and restricting blood flow to the legs. In the long-term, this can lead to impaired joint function and even muscle disease.
Also, poor positioning of the backrest and armrests can lead to the body overcompensating, leaning awkwardly one way or another, developing a hunched posture.
In short, it can lead to severe pain as the user can develop sciatica, piriformis syndrome and herniated discs, to name but a few afflictions!
But for those who struggle to find a seat that suits their height, don’t worry! Below we have some of the best chairs for people of smaller stature, along with a few things you should be thinking about when purchasing a chair and some frequently asked questions on chairs for shorter people.
Top 5 Office Chairs For Short People
OUR TOP PICK
When scouting for the perfect chair to suit your diminutive size, you can’t go wrong with this cheap and cheerful option from Boss. This brand is well-known for its quality and affordable prices, with many integrated and adjustable functions to help out the short user.
The maximum weight of this reclining chair is 250lbs. It also comes with a compact design and a simple assembly.
The whole thing is covered in a soft, durable fabric that is designed to maximize your comfort, with durable fibers in the weft that absorbs sweat, although it isn’t necessarily breathable and might result in chafing through prolonged use, which is even more difficult if your legs are very flush to the base.
The waterfall front edge of the seat base will not result in loss of circulation for those of you whose legs might normally cut into the seat, although there could be some extra padding added to this portion of the chair to increase comfort.
The product also has more than adequate lumbar support, with two turning knobs installed where the backrest meets the seat.
The weight of the chair is held entirely by a nylon base, moving around on double-wheel castors for increased stability and traversing carpet and hardwood floor, another bonus for shorter people who might have decreased mobility.
- A thickly padded chair that won’t be too hard on your muscles or circulatory system.
- Great adjustable lumbar support for spines of all different lengths!
- Very flexible and amenable to your specific body height and shape.
- Double-wheel castors provide excellent mobility for those that struggle to shift their chair around the room.
- Priced at around $80, this chair won’t break your back or your wallet!
- Lack of padding on the front of the seat might lead to circulation issues over a longer period of use.
When it comes to your basic, functional computer chair, you really can’t put a foot wrong with the AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Swivel.
Even though it is without a lot of the adjustable gadgets and gizmos that come with the more expensive executive chairs, this one will keep your body comfortable and relaxed when prone in the same position for hours on end.
Featuring a pneumatic height adjustment, 360-degree swivel and rolling castors, this chair is amenable to even the shortest gamer or office worker.
With nice, thick padding near the lower back and around the neck, this provides support in the areas you need it the most, avoiding the aches and pains you might get from some lower-end computer chairs.
- Gives you the basic lumbar support you need.
- Easy-to-assemble, this is a chair that won’t put your back out before you’ve assembled it!
- Lacking in additional features that come with higher-end chairs.
- At $150, this is significantly more expensive than our first chair.
- Some users have complained of leather wear after a relatively short period.
Another very popular brand of office chair for the petit individual is by Hon. To aid circulation in longer working hours, Hon has opted for a wire mesh backrest and seat cushion to increase breathability.
The cushions have two dense padded layers, ensuring that the user feels comfortable for longer durations of office work.
However, so much cushioning will require a lot more vacuuming power, so be prepared to clean regularly!
With chunky lumbar support, this is the chair for you if you want to get that lower back protection that other chairs have failed to provide.
Its many adjustments will also be alluring to anyone looking for an adaptable chair for their particular weight, height or shape. The backrest can be contracted for the shorter spine, and the seat pan can be tilted back into a reclining position.
The height of the overall chair can also be adjusted from the base, ensuring that the knees are at a comfortable height from the floor, relieving pressure and giving stability to the hip joints.
This chair also swivels 360 degrees effortlessly, which will help users turn their whole body rather than just the spine, which may result in injury over time.
One deal-breaker for some users will be the lack of armrests. Shorter users might have been frustrated in the past with armrests than might be too high in proportion with their waistline, now that obstacle has been removed entirely!
However, some shorter users might prefer the stability that comes with armrests, preferring an adjustable option rather than no option at all.
This simpler, sleeker chair can also have its backrest tilted to make a stool-type rest. This allows for ease of motion and alleviated pressure on the knees, although it may result in strain on the back over a long period.
- Breathable wire mesh coverings that increase circulation.
- Ergonomic adjustments will be invaluable for those who want height and seating control.
- Support for the lower back region.
- Tilt lock option for those searching for a fully upright back position.
- A lack of armrests might not offer the stability and control that some users might be looking for.
- Its medium-range price might be off-putting for someone looking for a wider array of chair features.
Now we’re moving onto the heavy-duty chairs that offer a massive roster of extra features that might be perfect for the shorter person not afraid to splash out a little extra cash on a comfy chair.
Developed through years of intense scientific research, the Hbada utilizes high-grade materials that are also environmentally friendly. It has a cool-looking futuristic design, but don’t worry, it has not skimped on the ergonomic features!
With a high-density mesh backrest, this chair is specifically created to relieve pressure on the spine, crafted from a malleable material that offers the user maximum adaptability to their specific postural requirements.
The thick foam on the seating pad provides that sought-after release of pressure on the hip joint, with breathable material that allows you to sit in the chair for longer and avoids nasty tension injuries that may arise from long periods of inactivity.
Key features of this chair also include its retractable armrests, ideal for the shorter user who seeks a stability that will aid mobility, allowing you to move across the office floor with ease, reducing wear and tear on the knees and spine.
It comes with an ergonomically-adapted S-shaped curve in the backrest that mimics the natural curvature of the spine, supporting the posterior body and bearing the load of the torso. This chair goes the distance to ensure maximum pain relief!
This chair comes in a petite design and is extremely suitable for small people of approximately 250lbs.
The height of the chair can be altered from 17.7 inches to 21.2 inches to accoodate a range of body types.
- Its high-density, breathable foam padding gives the user a large degree of comfort.
- Armrests that flip up 90 degrees make this chair easy to store and give users a high level of control.
- Adjustable tilt function goes from 90 degrees to 120 degrees, giving the user multiple reclining options.
- An S-shaped curve in the backrest offers much-needed support for a region of the body that suffers considerable strain when sitting.
- Zero paddings in the armrests - this might be a disappointment for shorter users looking for that extra level of luxury!
Another chair with all the bells and whistles features, the Smugdesk ergonomic chair packs a punch, giving shorter folks the comfort and safety they need in their office spaces or gaming stations.
The Smugdesk comes with a waist pillow that is integrated to the body of the chair, with a backrest that curves to the shape of your spine, this is a dynamic chair that is optimized for support where it counts the most - the back, the knees and the thighs.
The backrest is larger than average, but with its adjustable height, it is still very accommodating for petite users, allowing them to sit flush to the back, so ideally the knees are resting comfortably across the front of the seat.
With wire mesh once again offering breathability, this chair will feel light and airy to anybody using it over a protracted period.
This chair has pneumatic control to enable precision height adjustment, once again, this is perfect for shorter users who don’t want their feet dangling too far off the floor.
The material of the chair features two durable layers of cotton, which provides maximum cushioning with a waterfall seat edge to avoid cutting off circulation.
This chair also has a rocking option, which will allow the user of any height to sit back and relax comfortably after a hard day’s work.
With its smooth plastic castors, this chair will also allow you to glide across the floor to pour yourself that well-deserved coffee at the end of the day - and you won’t even have to get up from your seat!
- This larger backrest accommodates users of all body heights and shapes.
- A plethora of ergonomic adjustments make this a must-have for anyone who wants a high level of control over their office chairs.
- The built-in waist pillow offers advanced lumbar support.
- A high-density sponge cushion and waterfall seat edge prevent loss of circulation to the legs.
- Once again, no padding in the armrests robs this chair of a peak comfort.
Best Office Chair For Short People Buying Guide
So, we’ve covered some of the shortest and smartest chairs available for the smaller person, but what things do you have to consider when purchasing a petite chair? One of the main things you’ll be looking for is adjustability and a chair that molds itself to your unique body type.
If a chair’s seat pan is too deep, it will leave a shorter user with their feet dangling off the floor like a toddler in a high chair. This causes circulation issues as the front edge of the chair cuts into the soft tissue underneath the legs.
For people of shorter height, we recommend a seat depth of less than 18 inches, with an adjustable option, so that it can be further customized for you.
Measure the seat from the tip of your buttocks to the backs of your knees to get the correct size. Ideally, there should be 2 inches of space between the back of your knees and the front of the seat.
The average office chair is retractable to between 18 inches and 22 inches. If you are shorter, you should be looking to buy a chair that can be lowered further than this!
If your chair is limited in terms of height, you might want to consider investing in a footrest, which will elevate your feet from the ground and prevent blood loss.
You can find out the correct chair height for you by measuring the distance from the floor to the backs of your knees.
Remember to take the thickness of your shoes into account before you start measuring though!
A Tilting Backrest
Ensure that the back of your chair can tilt forwards and backward. If the back of your chair leans too far back, this might result in an awkward reclining position that will increase pressure on your spine and knees.
Lower back support is crucial for sitting long hours, and you should ideally have a chair with an adjustable lumbar cushion or hump that can accommodate your bottom spine in several different configurations.
Adjustable armrests are also very important, as they should be adapted to the differing elbow to waist ratios of different chair users. Try and find padded armrests if you can, as harder plastic rests can pinch the nerves and result in repetitive strain injuries such as cubital tunnel syndrome.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do You Need An Office Chair For Short People?
With shorter people, standard office chairs inflict problems on them that they don’t for those of average size, owing to the particular measurements of their non-adjustable parts - seat depth, length of backrests, length of armrests, etc.
If you sit on an unsuitable office chair for longer periods, then injuries can develop quicker in shorter users, resulting in waist fatigue and numbness in the legs due to loss of blood flow. If left unremedied, these can lead to even more serious problems further down the line.
What Kind Of Office Chairs Are Available To Short People?
Office chairs for shorter people are limited, but they are out there. Most office chairs come with adjustable features these days, although people who want a highly-customizable chair might be looking at spending a few thousand dollars.
However, such chairs are built to last, so prospective chair-buyers should look at these purchases as an investment in their general health and well-being.
We hope this list has helped, good luck shopping for your new chair!