Do you find typical office chairs aren't sturdy enough for you? Chances are you need a heavy duty office chair. Typical, mass-produced office chairs are designed for the 'average' person - but what is average, really?
If you're a particularly tall or heavy person, chances are a typical chair won't be designed to hold your weight or will feel awkward and out of proportion to your long limbs. Luckily, there are a handful of good companies that specialize in producing big and tall office chairs for people in your situation.
Let's take a look at some of the top brands of heavy duty office chair so you can feel confident you're making the right purchase decision.
There are two main factors to look at when buying a heavy duty chair: weight capacity, and height proportions.
Weight capacity is simple enough: you need a chair which is strong enough to hold your weight. The strength of a chair is made up of a combination of the materials that go into it - a titanium frame will obviously be sturdier than a plastic one - as well as design and structure. Most office chairs has a single central pole and a wide wheel base. The design of a chair contributes to how well-balanced it is and how much weight it can hold.
Many heavy duty chairs can hold up to 350 pounds. When you're looking at weight capacity, you want to leave some 'wiggle room' - in other words, you want to buy a chair with the capacity to hold a little more than you actually weigh. If you weigh 300 pounds, a 350 pound capacity chair should do the trick - but if you weigh 350 pounds, you might want to look for something even more heavy duty. You don't want to be on the borderline of your chair's weight capacity.
Why is this? Because the weight capacity refers to how much weight a chair can hold when someone is sitting on it at rest. But we all occasionally drop down into an office chair with a bit of impact, which puts extra strain on the structure. Or perhaps one day your child comes to visit you at work, sits on your lap... and the next moment, your chair falls apart. These types of scenarios illustrate why it's important to make sure you're not near the edge of your chair's carrying capacity.
Height proportion is a little harder to work out, but it's equally important. If you have long legs and the chair doesn't come high enough off the ground, you'll end up with your knees constantly bent even when your feet are flat on the floor. Likewise, many chairs don't have a high enough backrest to support a very tall person. If you're long in the body, look for a chair which has a high back, armrests at the right level and plenty of adjustability so you can get it to the right height.
Boss is one of the biggest names in heavy duty office chairs. They sell a wide range of products designed to be in proportion with taller and heavier people. Boss chairs are ideal for executives who need a sturdy, reliable and, most importantly, comfortable office chair. When you're trying to concentrate on an important task, you don't want to be distracted by an office chair that doesn't quite 'cut it' in one way or another. Chances are a Boss chair will eliminate any complaints you have - and they're quite affordable as well.
What makes Boss chairs different? Most Boss chairs, in addition to having a high weight capacity, have high backs which broaden towards the top - ideal for tall people with broad shoulders that need extra support. They also have extra padding on the seat and backrest - obviously, typical chairs which have enough padding to be comfortable for a 180 pound person may not cut the mustard for a 350 pound person. This extra padding can make sitting on the chair much more comfortable because it means you'll be sitting in a 'groove' contoured to your body shape, rather than sitting hard up against a flat surface. Most Boss chairs also include extra support for the lumbar (lower back) region, which is the part of the back most commonly affected by injury.
Ironhorse and RECARO are two other big names in heavy duty office chairs. These chairs tend to be a little more pricey than Boss chairs - they're a little more 'high end.' Both these brands generally have more ergonomic design than Boss chairs, so you are getting real health benefits by paying a little more.
One particularly popular model is the Ironhorse 4000 Series. These chairs have a stylish look and strike a good balance between advanced ergonomic features and affordable pricing. One of the cool things about Ironhorse and RECARO chairs is that you can pick and choose the features you want before you order the chair, so you don't end up over-paying for features that you're not really interested in.
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