It's no secret that many Americans are overweight. According to the Center for Disease Control, about a third of adults in the United States can be classified as obese. Unfortunately, the average office chair is designed to accommodate people of average height, average build, and who weigh less than 250 pounds. If your weight exceeds this limit, here are a few things you should look for in an office chair from a place like D & R Office Works Inc. to ensure it's comfortable to sit in.

Increased Maximum Weight

The first thing to look for is a chair whose maximum weight capacity meets or exceeds your body weight. As noted previously, the average office chair only supports a maximum of 250 pounds. However, you can find specialty chairs that can hold up to 800 pounds of weight. There are a couple of important reasons for seeking out one that matches your body type.

First, the chair will deteriorate faster when it is subjected to weight that exceeds its maximum capacity. Therefore, you'll end up wasting money because you'll have to replace the chair sooner than expected. Second, the chair's ergonomics may not be adequate enough for your body type. Even though a chair may provide lumbar support, for instance, it may not be designed well enough to sufficiently address back pain for someone of your size.

Office chairs typically list the maximum amount of weight they can support. It's best to get one that with a higher capacity than you weigh (e.g. if you weigh 275 pounds, get one with a 300 pound capacity) to ensure it will provide the support you need.

Metal or Composite Material

The second thing you should look for is a chair made from metal or a sturdy composite material. Most office chairs are made from some type of plastic. However, plastic tends to crack more readily than metal, especially if it the amount of stress placed upon exceeds its capabilities. Thus, you should look for an office chair that's made primarily from metal, though wood and some composite materials are also fairly sturdy.

In addition to ensuring the chair has a durable frame, the seating should be very firm. Soft padding tends to compress under heavy weight, so you want something that will retain its shape when you sit down. This ensures you receive maximum support for your bum and back when you have to sit for long periods of time working.

Adjustable Components

To get the maximum use out of your chair, be sure it can be adjusted in the most important places: the height, tilt, and back position. This is particularly important if more than one person in your office (or at your home) will be using it. The controls let you customize the chair to suit your particular needs, ensuring your body receives adequate support and minimizing back and body pain.

This also goes for armrests. Getting a chair with armrests can be dicey because—depending on how a person's weight is distributed on their body—the arms are not always at the right amount of width apart to let a larger person sit comfortably. If you want a chair with armrests, get one where you can adjust the arms horizontally as well as vertically, so you can move them further in or out to suit your needs.

Picking out a chair that comfortably supports a larger body can be challenging. Since you'll likely be spending at least 40 hours a week working in it, taking the time to seek out the right chair for you is worth the effort. For more information about this issue or help finding a chair that suitable for you, contact a local office furniture store.