Ergonomic Office Chair Buying Guide
What Is the Best Ergonomic Office Chair?
The best ergonomic office chairs are designed to promote good posture, neutral spinal alignment and comfort. Having a proper ergonomic office chair improves efficiency and productivity while reducing stress-related injuries, like low back and neck pain.
There are a few features that the best ergonomic chairs all have in common:
Support: When working for long hours at a desk, it’s critical to maintain proper spinal support. The best ergonomic chairs promote a neutral posture, meaning they support the natural curve of your spine to reduce pressure on the back, neck and shoulder muscles. To achieve proper alignment, ergonomic desk chairs need to provide lumbar support and the ability to adjust the backrest angle.
Adjustability: High-quality ergonomic chairs for home or office should be adjustable to fit your unique body height and proportions. Seat, armrest and headrest heights should all have full adjustability to accommodate your desired comfort level.
Mobility: Proper ergonomic chairs should be able to swivel and roll to minimize reaching and straining your upper body. Stationary chairs require additional movements that twist your spine, potentially leading to repetitive motion injuries.
Comfort: Having a chair that feels comfortable to you is essential. If your chair isn’t comfortable, you’ll start to experience low back pain, numbness and tingling. Comfort is subjective, but generally, chairs with memory foam seats and cushioned or mesh backrests and cushioned armrests will provide long-lasting comfort throughout the workday. For additional comfort, ergonomic mesh chairs encourage airflow for better breathability along your back.
Ergonomic desk chairs are an investment in your health. In addition to being properly designed for back health, your office chair should also be made of high-quality materials. Options like ergonomic leather office chairs or chairs made from durable synthetic materials extend the life cycle of your investment.
When shopping for the best ergonomic office chair, be sure to try out several options in-person to ensure it’s the right fit. Stop by your local Relax The Back location and ask our consultants about getting fitted for the perfect ergonomic office chair for you.
What Is the Best Computer Chair for Long Hours?
When choosing the right ergonomic office chair for you, you’ll need to think about how long you’ll be seated in it. If you tend to work long hours, either at the office or at home, a proper ergonomic chair is critical to your long-term health and comfort.
When working long hours in a computer chair without proper ergonomics, some common physical complaints include:
- Sore lower back
- Numbness, tingling or pain in the glute muscles
- Aching neck and upper back
- Stiffness when standing up
The best computer chair for long hours should have a comfortable seat, ideally made from high-density memory foam to alleviate pressure and absorb your weight. Cushions made from thin foam will flatten out over time and will no longer be comfortable or supportive.
Proper ergonomic task chairs also help you maintain good circulation throughout the day, even while working long hours. Chairs that are too high or too low can reduce blood flow to your lower body. To encourage circulation, you need a chair with height adjustability so that your arms are in line with the desk, but your feet also rest flat on the floor. Shorter people may need the help of a footrest or additional seat pad to achieve proper ergonomics.
The longer you work at a desk, the more important ergonomics becomes. Make sure to properly adjust your chair to suit your body. Chairs with armrest adjustability, seat tilts and lumbar control allow you to fully personalize the chair’s set-up to your body.
If you do typically work for long hours at your computer chair, it’s crucial to take regular breaks. Try to take quick 30-second movement breaks every 10 minutes and 10-minute breaks every hour to two hours, in addition to a lunch break. Regular movement is essential to reducing desk-related stiffness and pain. The longer you sit, the more likely it is that you’ll start hunching, which can damage spinal structures and worsen back pain.
Recommended chair: For CEOs, executives and business owners who work long hours, the Lifeform Mid Back Executive Office Chair is a fully adjustable ergonomic chair with pressure-sensitive memory foam. The foam cushion conforms to your body’s natural shape, evenly distributing body weight to relieve pressure and encourage proper circulation — even when seated for long hours.
Gaming Chairs vs. Office Chairs
Gaming enthusiasts also need ergonomic support while seated for long periods. Specialty gaming chairs are available, and the most visible difference between traditional office chairs and gaming chairs is their aesthetic design. Gaming chairs usually have high backrests with headrests, as well as removable lumbar or headrest cushions. They usually come in a variety of colors and patterns, while office chairs typically have the executive style that’s conventional to a corporate environment.
Another main difference is their purpose. While gaming chairs are designed mainly for comfort, ergonomic office chairs promote alignment for healthy spinal movement while managing multiple tasks. Ergonomic desk chairs help you remain efficient and productive, while gaming chairs help you relax.
What Is the Best Computer Chair for Back Pain?
Desk workers with chronic back pain need ergonomic computer chairs for proper support and comfort while working. The best computer chair for back pain will depend on your body and whether you’re dealing with lower or upper back pain or have a particular spinal condition. In general, computer chairs with backrests that recline tend to be better at alleviating back pain. While backrests that stay straight up and down promote better upright posture, this 90-degree sitting position can compress discs in people who already feel painful pressure points. The ability to recline your backrest may help you find the perfect angle for pain relief.
Another consideration when choosing the best computer chair for back pain is the backrest height. Many people with chronic back pain may find relief when sitting in a chair with a high back and a headrest. Having your entire upper body supported will relieve pressure from the spine, allowing you to relax your back muscles as you work. Without a high back or headrest, you might feel your shoulders and neck start to slouch, which can place stress on the cervical spine and aggravate existing back pain.
If you have lower back pain specifically, then your chair should have the above criteria plus additional lumbar support. Some lumbar support is better than none, but as with everything ergonomic, the more adjustable the lumbar cushion is, the better. Being able to adjust the positioning and firmness of the lumbar cushion can help tailor it to the shape of your lower spine.
Recommended chair: If you have back pain, try the Freedom Office Task Chair With Headrest from Relax The Back. This award-winning ergonomic task chair is designed to self-adjust the backrest recline based on a weight counter-balance mechanism. The chair senses your body’s weight and shape and reclines to the correct angle for your back support needs. The chair’s cushions also contour to your body, providing more support and reducing pressure point pain. You can adjust the Freedom Chair’s height, seat depth and lumbar positioning to fit your size and proportions.
What Is the Best Ergonomic Office Chair for Under $500?
There are plenty of desk and office chairs available for under $500, many claiming to be ergonomic. However, proper ergonomic design means that the chair should be adjustable and designed to fit-to-size. This means that ergonomic chairs will have many customizable features, making their design more intricate. Most high-quality ergonomic chairs that provide proper support and comfort will be over the $500 price point.
However, affordable ergonomic chair alternatives like ergonomic kneeling chairs or ergonomic saddle chairs and stools are typically priced under $500. These types of chairs encourage proper and open posture, promoting core engagement to strengthen the abdomen and spine. This design also promotes better blood flow, increasing concentration and reducing mid-day fatigue. Ergonomic kneeling chairs, in particular, are designed to alleviate lumbar pressure and may be good for people who experience mild lower back pain from time to time.
Recommended chair: The Ergonomic Kneeling Chair With Memory Foam is a kneeling chair originally designed by Scandinavian medical professionals. With a memory foam knee cushion, this kneeling chair allows you to maintain an upright posture while evenly distributing your body weight. The result is a more open posture that encourages deeper breathing while relieving pressure from the spine. The Ergonomic Kneeling Chair from Relax The Back is $349.
What Is the Best Budget Desk Chair?
If you’re on a budget, you can still find affordable ergonomic office and desk chairs. When shopping for the best budget desk chair, decide on what features are most important to you.
If you tend to experience lower back pain throughout the day, then look for a chair with lumbar support. If you feel more comfortable in a chair with a high back, then shop for a high back computer chair with an adjustable recline. Many people who develop neck and shoulder pain throughout the day may be using a chair with incorrect armrest heights. If you develop upper back, neck and shoulder pain, look for a desk chair with adjustable arms.
Try several models of ergonomic chairs before deciding on the best chair for you.
Recommended chair: The X-Chair X Basic Task Chair is a good ergonomic chair for those on a budget. Providing premium ergonomic features, the X-Basic has an adjustable backrest as well as self-adjusting lumbar support. Its memory foam cushion provides even weight distribution, while the mesh back encourages airflow and comfort. The X-Chair X Basic Task Chair from Relax The Back is $524.99.
What Is the Best Ergonomic Chair for a Short Person?
If you’re a shorter person, you may find that common office chairs lead to back, neck or lower back pain. Shorter people need office chairs with height adjustability, bringing their torso in line with the desk and supporting their arms at 90-degrees. However, achieving the right height usually leaves your legs and feet unsupported.
For short people, height adjustability is a critical feature, but so is seat depth. Seats that are too deep will cause your legs to dangle off the floor. Look for ergonomic chairs that have an 18-inch seat depth or the ability to tilt the forward to prevent perching (sitting toward the edge of the seat).
Shorter people may also benefit from adjustable armrests that bring your arms inward and support them at a 90-degree angle. Adding an ergonomic footrest and lumbar cushion can also help accommodate short frames.
What Is the Best Ergonomic Chair for a Tall Person?
Ergonomic chairs for tall people are specially designed to comfortably accommodate larger frames. In addition to seat height adjustability, ergonomic chairs for tall people usually have high backrests and adjustable armrests and headrests. For big and tall people, ergonomic chairs have wider, deeper seats with armrests that move outward to give you more room. The cushioning in ergonomic chairs for big and tall people is also usually made of high-density foam that won’t sag over time, extending the longevity of your investment.
For big and tall people, the right ergonomic office chair must also support your weight capacity for safety reasons. Most office chairs have an average 350-pound capacity. Look for labels like “big and tall ergonomic chair” to be certain it was specifically designed to hold more weight.
What Is the Best Ergonomic Chair for Sciatica?
If you experience sciatica symptoms after a day of desk work, then look for a chair that will help alleviate pain and improve well-being. Ergonomic chairs for sciatica are designed to relieve pressure from the lumbar spine and hips, encourage circulation in the legs and promote proper alignment from the pelvis to the neck.
Some of the key features of ergonomic chairs for sciatica include:
- Seat tilt mechanism to adjust the angle of the seat to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve
- Adjustable lumbar support with memory foam cushioning
- Contoured seat that conforms to your body’s natural shape
- Curved seat edge that properly supports the thighs
Recommended chair: For sciatica pain-relief, try the X-Chair X4 Executive Office Chair with adjustable backrest, lumbar support, recline and high resiliency molded foam.
What Are the Best Ergonomic Chairs for Scoliosis?
People with scoliosis will benefit from ergonomic chairs that promote a neutral posture and evenly distribute body weight. Look for ergonomic desk chairs that have the ability to adjust the recline angle, height and lumbar area to follow the natural curve of your spine. Full spinal support will help alleviate painful pressure points along your spine and encourage better posture.
An additional feature of the best chairs for scoliosis is the ability to tilt and slide the seat up and down or forward and backward, providing tailored support to your hips. Be sure to also choose a chair with comfortable foam seating that contours your thighs, glutes and lower back.
What Is the Best Computer Chair With Lumbar Support?
Many high-quality office chairs provide ergonomic lumbar support. The best computer chairs with lumbar support offer adjustability to specifically contour the lumbar area to your lower back shape. In addition to proper alignment, lumbar supports should also provide comfort with memory foam that cradles your lower back.
Many office chairs today have lumbar technology that self-adjusts to your body’s shape, even as you move. This ensures you’re always properly supported and reduces the risk of lower back pain at the end of the day.
What Is the Best Ergonomic Office Chair for Neck Pain?
If you experience neck pain at the end of a long day, you’re likely struggling to maintain proper posture at work. The best ergonomic office chairs for neck pain encourage neutral posture from your low back up to your shoulders. Use an ergonomic office chair that has an adjustable backrest recline that encourages you to lean slightly backward rather than hunch forward. Adjustable armrests also reduce strain on your neck and shoulders caused by your elbows being too low or too high.
With neck pain, it’s also vital to have your seat adjusted to the right height and for your monitors to be in line with your eyes to prevent tilting your head downward and staining the back of your neck.
In addition to ergonomic office chairs near you, Relax The Back also carries ergonomic office furniture like standing desks, monitor arms, footrests, keyboards and more. Shop for your complete home office set-up at Relax The Back online.