Standard Chair Height: How high should a Chair be?

The ideal chair height in the USA is 17.7 inches, as the average height in the USA is 5 feet 6 inches. The seat height should allow for a healthy sitting posture with the legs resting on the floor at a 90-degree angle.

How high should a standard Chair be?

A chair should have a height of 16.4 to 19.1 inches so that adults with a height of 5 ft 1 in to 5 ft 11 in can sit on it without any problems. The ideal average value is a chair height of exactly 17.7 inches to best accommodate all body sizes.

This value is based on the body height of the average American body height. American men average 5 feet 10 inches tall and American women average 5 feet 4 inches tall. So the average height of Americans is 5 feet 7 inches, and the converted ideal seat height for this height is 17.7 inches.

Correct sitting postureIf you want to equip an entire room with the same chair height, such as a dining room or a meeting room, 17.7 inches is therefore a good guideline.

The height of a chair must allow the legs to rest loosely on the floor at a 90-degree angle, provide sufficient distance from the tabletop, and allow the arms to rest on the table at a 90-degree angle or slightly more. These would be the perfect conditions.

How high should a Chair be depending on Body Size?

For a person of 5 feet 6 inches, the ideal chair height is 17.7 inches. Depending on your height, choose a lower or higher chair or go for height-adjustable models.

In the following table you can get a quick overview of the standard chair heights for adults.

Body HeightOptimal Desk Height
4 ft 8 in15.0 in
4 ft 10 in15.6 in
5 ft16.1 in
5 ft 2 in16.7 in
5 ft 4 in17.2 in
5 ft 6 in17.7 in
5 ft 8 in18.3 in
5 ft 10 in18.8 in
6 ft19.4 in
6 ft 2 in19.9 in
6 ft 4 in20.4 in
6 ft 6 in21.0 in
6 ft 8 in21.5 in
6 ft 10 in22.0 in
Overview of the ideal height of the chair for adults in inches

Please note: These specifications are only approximate values. In practice, deviations of plus/minus 1 inch is likely.

How to calculate the standard Chair Height by Body Size?

To calculate the chair height and seat height, you simply divide your own height by the value 3.72. So for an average tall person in the US of 5 feet 6 inches (66 inches), divided by 3.72 results in a recommended seat height of 17.7 inches.

However, other factors can always play into this, such as the height of the table and the height of the armrests. Depending on where you sit, you should adjust the sitting posture and height to suit the conditions. In the best case, you have a height-adjustable office chair and also a height-adjustable table.

What is the best way to measure the Chair Height?

To measure the seat height on a chair, it is best to take a tape measure and place it on the floor and measure the height to the highest point of the seat cushion. When you sit on the chair, you can also measure the distance from the floor to your knee to cross-check the ideal height.

It is best to position the leg at a 90-degree angle and the feet should be flat on the floor. Additionally, you should slide all the way back on the seat cushion and rest your back against the straight backrest. In this way, the pelvis assumes the correct position of the lower body and upper body.

Why is the right Chair Height important for Health?

A seat height or chair height that is unsuitable for one’s own height makes for an unhealthy posture, which is hardly noticeable when sitting for short periods of time, but when sitting frequently, back, neck and buttock pain is more likely to occur.

Most office chairs, for example, are set too low, which prevents the spine from straightening properly and can cause tension in the lower back and lumbar region. Sitting too low is not always self-inflicted, but often the table tops are simply too low for your own height.

Check our desk height guide in order to find out the optimal table height for your body size. Ideally, you should choose a good height-adjustable desk so that you can also work standing up and bring dynamism into your sitting behavior.

If a chair is set too low, the pelvis tilts backwards when sitting and the legs are bent too much, resulting in knee pain on the one hand, but also back pain, as the upper body leans forward.

If a chair is set too high, the feet dangle in the air and there is no firm support. This causes a massive loss of stability and puts a lot of strain on the back.

How high should an Office Chair be?

An office chair should be adjusted to your height, as they are usually height adjustable. The ideal average is 17.7 inches, but depending on your height, you should adjust the chair so that your legs have a 90-degree angle to work well.

The more you sit every day, the more important it is to set the right chair height and sit in an ergonomically beneficial way. Especially for people who spend many hours at the desk in front of the computer in the home office should definitely create the ideal conditions and rely on an ergonomic office chair and a height-adjustable table.

How high should a Dining Chair be?

For dining chairs, you should choose a seat height of 17.7 inches, because an average person in the USA is 5 feet 6 inches tall. Dining chairs do not occur individually, but are usually bought in sets, so choose the average value, so that each person can sit well.

So when buying chairs for a dining room, you should pay attention to the height of the people in the household or simply choose the average of 17.7 inches, which is common in the USA. However, in addition to the seat height, the table height is also crucial at a dining table, so that you have enough space between the chair and the table for legroom.

How high should a Children’s Chair be?

Children with a height of 4 feet should maintain a seat height of 12.9 inches on a chair. Depending on the child’s growth, the seat height should be adjusted so that the child can sit ergonomically and a good sitting posture is trained at a young age.

Since children grow very quickly, it makes a lot of sense to buy chair models for the desk that are adjustable in height.

In the following table you can get a quick overview of the recommended chair heights for children.

Body HeightOptimal Table Height
2 ft 6 in8.1 in
2 ft 8 in8.6 in
2 ft 10 in9.1 in
3 ft9.7 in
3 ft 2 in10.2 in
3 ft 4 in10.8 in
3 ft 6 in11.3 in
3 ft 8 in11.8 in
3 ft 10 in12.4 in
4 ft12.9 in
4 ft 2 in13.4 in
4 ft 4 in14.0 in
4 ft 6 in14.5 in
Overview of the ideal height of the chair for children in inches

Please note: These specifications are only approximate values. In practice, deviations of plus/minus 1 inch is likely.

How do you sit on a Chair in a Way that is as easy on the Back as possible?

To sit on a chair in the most back-friendly and ergonomic way possible, you should sit on a chair with the perfect seat height, with your buttocks at the back of the backrest and your back supported by the backrest. Your legs should be at a 90-degree angle and not bent in.

  • Calculate the ideal seat height for you: Calculate as described the standard seat height for you on a chair or office chair. Then simply measure with a folding rule and check if you are sitting at the right height. If you have a height-adjustable chair, you can now adjust the height.
  • The legs should not be bent: You should sit straight on the chair at a 90 degree angle, this is mainly achieved by sitting with your butt all the way back on the seat cushion and the backrest shaping your back straight. Depending on your height, you should choose the right depth of the seat cushion and adjust it with a lumbar cushion.
  • The feet should touch the floor: The legs must touch the floor at a 90 degree angle, otherwise the chair is set too high or too low, or the seat cushion is too deep.
  • The arms should rest loosely on the table: The forearms should be able to rest loosely on the table at a 90 degree downward to forward angle without lifting the shoulders or extending the arms.

How wide should the Seat of a Chair be?

The width of the seat of a chair can be about the same as the recommended chair height. Since the average recommended chair height is 17.7 inches, this measurement can also be ideally used for the width of a seat cushion.

However, the seat width should take into account the body weight and width of the person sitting on it. For heavy or overweight people, there are special office chairs so that they can sit softly and comfortably without any problems.

How high should Armrests be?

Armrests on a chair should be set high enough so that the person sitting can rest their arms at a 90-degree angle in a relaxed manner without their shoulders drooping or being pushed up. Good office and gaming chairs allow armrests to be adjusted in height.

To calculate the armrest height, you simply divide your own height by the value 6.75. So for an average tall person in the US of 5 feet 6 inches (66 inches), divided by 6.75 results in a recommended armrest height of 9.8 inches.

Conclusion: Correct Sitting Posture is essential when Gaming

To prevent damage to health, you should pay attention to the correct chair height and desk height. The optimal chair height lowers the stress of sitting for long periods of time and supports ergonomics while gaming. If possible, choose a chair for gaming so that the chair height can be easily adjusted and all the gaming furniture can be adapted to your needs.