Office Chairs for Short Girls?
January 17, 2008 10:57 PM   Subscribe

Are there any office chairs out there for petite women? I have a short inseam and rarely can touch the ground when I'm sitting all the way back in my seat.

I'm 4'11 and have never sat in an office chair that worked for me. If I sit back in the chair I cannot touch the ground. I have a ~28" inseam which means that even with shoes with high heels, my feet often dangle an inch or two above the ground.

I tried a kneeling chair, but they really don't work for me. Are there any traditional office chairs designed for short people? I looked at BodyBilt 756 which is designed for short people, but they have pretty indifferent reviews on the internet. I'd love to get one that I could try out at a store rather than buy sight unseen but I'll take what I can get!

Any advice? What do you have that you like (or hate?)
posted by arnicae to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I am 5'0" and have the Aeron chair in the smallest size, with the addition of an ergonomic lower back cushion to push me forward so that my feet will touch the ground. This combination is amazingly comfortable--really, the only comfortable seating arrangement I've ever had in my entire life. I have a miserable bad back which is worsened by sitting, and yet I am able to sit in perfect comfort for hours on end in this chair.
posted by Enroute at 11:31 PM on January 17, 2008

I'm the same height, same inside leg and have the same problem. In the office I have a footrest, and at home I found one of these in a local furniture store, it cost me about £25 ($50), and it works perfectly for giving me the extra height so that my feet rest comfortably on something

I think that if I had a smaller/lower chair, the desk height would then become a problem. By 'raising the floor' with the footstool, I'm able to keep my hands at a comfortable angle with a standard height desk.
posted by essexjan at 11:33 PM on January 17, 2008

Yeah, it's true that lowering the chair creates a problem with the desk height. I actually bought a lower desk, too, to solve that problem. Being short is expensive. Don't get me started on alterations.
posted by Enroute at 11:37 PM on January 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ugh, me too. I'm back at grad school, but my last job required a suit every day and I spent hundreds on alterations. Forget pants, I needed sleeves altered even from Ann Taylor petite section!! Aargh. And it really burns me that all the chair web sites have a "big and tall" section but not a petite and small section. I can't even make my chair go down- I have to bounce on it to make it move.
posted by arnicae at 11:41 PM on January 17, 2008

I'm 5'6" but I have very short legs for my height, meaning I either have to have the chair at the wrong height or have my feet dangling. My solution has been a large footrest (and the small Aeron chair, but I think it would work well enough with other chairs).
posted by emilyw at 12:28 AM on January 18, 2008

I asked for a back cushion like Enroute mentioned AND the footrest. It's worked like a charm.
posted by universal_qlc at 12:53 AM on January 18, 2008

5'2" Footrest. Or I sit cross-legged.
posted by typewriter at 5:18 AM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Herman Miller makes chairs sized just for you. They are somewhat more expensive than their competitors' chairs but they are really great chairs, and by that I mean all their chairs, not just the Aeron.
posted by caddis at 6:21 AM on January 18, 2008

I have a footrest, but it's still not ideal. I also have a height-adjustable desk (Skandia system), which helps.

But I wonder -- are there any ergonomic chairs designed for children?
Having recently discovered the delights of the children's shoes section, I wonder if they have furniture for me, too...
posted by amtho at 6:42 AM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Hey, I got some good hits googling for child's ergonomic chair.

In another search, I found this very promising adjustable chair (for children and adults); it may not be great for long stretches, but it does have available "cushion sets". It seems to be made in South Africa, though, and it _is_ hard wood.

Here's one version of how to determine correct seat height - some of the chairs linked in the first group give seat heights, so it's a question of determining which is the right one.

Probably none of these are on the level of an Aeron, but it's something. And the children's chairs are relatively inexpensive, too.
posted by amtho at 7:05 AM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

I don't know if this is just a California thing, but my companies have always had outsourced ergonomics people who are good for just these kind of questions. I called one in at my first job and within a week had:

-a special small chair
-my desk lowered ten inches
-a footrest
-my monitor at the perfect height
-a Goldtouch keyboard
-a special small mouse

My friends would come to my desk and do a double was like the land of the miniature people in there.

See if your workplace has anyone. I know that the ergo person I spoke to knew a bunch of chair brands off the top of her head...just can't remember which brands.
posted by crinklebat at 8:15 AM on January 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm 4'11" and had a similar problem a while back. I wrote this question, and ended up buying the Capisco chair. I love it, but it was expensive. Other chair suggestions are in the thread.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:23 AM on January 18, 2008

The Anthropometrics of Fit
posted by caddis at 8:59 AM on January 18, 2008

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