What is a bariatric chair? Solutions for obese users

Megan Smith
 min read

What is a bariatric chair, we hear you ask?

what is a bariatric chairThe quick answer is this: bariatric chairs are extra-large seating designed to support more than 400 or 500 pounds of evenly dispersed weight.

And there’s a lot more to it.

For the bigger person, the daily routine of going to work can be more of a battle than some may understand.

It’s not just the routine workload, but they often have to work in an environment that doesn’t cater to their needs.

What is a bariatric chair? Introduction to bariatric chairs

Companies have recently recognized the need for chairs explicitly made for bigger people.

Together with other ergonomic seating, these chairs will make the working day more comfortable.

What’s more, these chairs may help avoid health concerns, such as sciatica or impaired circulation, which are more prevalent in heavier people.

Static load VS dynamic load

When searching for your bariatric seating, make sure to distinguish between a static load or a dynamic load.

When sitting still in a chair, a static load weight capacity refers to the amount of weight a chair can hold.

In contrast, a dynamic load (or active load) weight capacity is the amount of weight a chair can hold when something is dropped on top of it.

This is tested by a drop test that imitates the action of a person plopping down into the seat and, as you can imagine, gives exact information.

Weight limit of bariatric chairs

Bariatric chair requirements must take into consideration a wide variety of aspects.

Generally, bariatric seating is made to support individuals who weigh at least 400 or 500 pounds comfortably and can go up to 1,000 pounds.

There are no national standards for the load limitation on bariatric chairs.

Still, a 700-pound weight capacity or higher is generally catered for as a rule of thumb.

Read our related article Do office chairs have weight limits? if you are looking for a suitable heavy-duty office chair.

Insights on seat and arm style of bariatric chairs

Bariatric chair seats do vary quite a bit, but if you’re trying to find the ultimate best, you should go for something with a shallow seat.

A shallower seat will prevent you from sinking down into the chair, and in turn, this will make it easier to get out of it without a visible struggle.

Most bariatric chairs have a seat width of around 25″ to 32″.

The width establishes the distance between the chair arms, so they won’t prove to be an obstacle for anyone getting in and out of the chair.

Be sure that the arms have been made to support the weight of someone leaning on them to get up from the chair.

Fascinating functions to look out for when shopping for bariatric chairs

If you’re going for a bariatric chair, you should focus on the features created to make a chair that supplies support and comfort for larger people.

Here are some of them:

Adjustability of the bariatric chair

Invest in a model with a specially crafted tilt.

The chair’s specifically crafted tilt, seat depth and height adjustments allow the seated person to be comfy, regardless of body type.

Seven-leg base of bariatric chair vs five-leg base of normal office chair

A seven-leg base supplies more stability and ease of movement than a standard five-leg base.

So you might want to think about that…

Configurable headrest

A bariatric office chair would have an articulated headrest as an option.

With its six positions, it can be used as a headrest, a neck roll, or even moved out of the way, depending upon the user’s requirements.

Armrests of bariatric chairs

The chair’s sturdy armrests can be adjusted for height and width, providing the proper support for any user.

Discover more tips and advice on sitting posture in our article How do you sit straight and tall?

What is a bariatric chair? Final note on bariatric chairs

Addressing the needs of bigger individuals in the workplace is becoming a priority for numerous companies and business owners.

Check our list of best office chairs with 300 lb weight limit for some excellent options and plus-size office chair reviews!

Bariatric office furniture is a progressively popular solution and well worth the expense.

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More