The Best Office Chairs for Back Pain in 2020

In the market for a new office chair that’ll ease your aching back? Check out our choices for the best office chairs for back pain.

Do you miss your workplace office chair, with its arms raised to your ideal height and its comfortable seat cushion? Now that more people than ever are working from home (with social distancing guidelines likely in place for a while), you might have to deal with a less-than-perfect office setup.

That’s why SpineUniverse tapped an expert for guidance on how to purchase an ergonomic office chair of your very own. Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, MCCWC is a wellness design consultant and author of the upcoming book Wellness by Design, the first comprehensive consumer guide to optimizing your home for physical and mental health.

Along with medical studies, Gold’s words of wisdom will aid you as you navigate chairs for back pain.

The Importance of Posture

Beauty queen hopefuls back in the day used to walk with books on their heads to achieve picture-perfect posture. Nowadays, office chair back support can lend itself to good posture, which in turn can help back pain. Many studies confirm that improved ergonomics while working can greatly decrease back pain, especially lower back pain.

Sitting postureNot like this.

Gold shares, “Good posture positions your body in a way that minimizes stress on its muscles, joints, ligaments and other essential components. As anyone who has experienced fatigue, back pain or an aching neck after a long day at their desk can tell you, sitting the wrong way for hours can be draining.”

What to Look for in an Office Chair

Even though you’re not the ergonomics expert at your company, that shouldn’t stop you from tracking down the best ergonomic office chair for your home office. When it comes to chairs for back pain, Gold recommends that you keep an eye out for these key elements.

Adjustability

“Adjustability is important and should include a seat, arms and back. The more adjustability the chair offers in terms of height and angle, the more it can be customized to your body,” Gold advises.

Easy Rolling

Even though you’re shopping online for your office chair, you can always discover via product reviews if a chair can roll easily, one of Gold’s essential components for an office chair for back pain. She says, “The chair should be able to roll easily so that someone can move as close to their work surface as they need to be for comfort, visibility and ergonomics. Check the construction and suitability of its casters for your type of flooring surface.”

Office chair durabilityBoth durability and easy rolling are important factors to consider.

Durability

“Durability is important,” Gold notes. “Look for well-established brands with a reputation for quality and a warranty that demonstrates their confidence in the chair’s ability to serve you long-term. You might pay more for it up front, but it’s an investment in your health and productivity.” 

For even more fine-tuning for office chair back support, the United States Department of Labor offers a helpful how-to guide so you can create the best-possible ergonomics for your chair at home. Their guide, which includes the backrest, seat, armrests and base, will assist you as you shop for chairs and adjust your chair when it arrives.

When it comes down to it, chairs for back pain are focused on one’s overall comfort.

“Working at a desk can include hours of repetitive motions in the form of keyboard entry. The right chair helps you position your body so that you’re not triggering back pain and lets you roll up to your work surface smoothly so that you’re consistently working more ergonomically,” Gold says.

Best Budget Option

Zipcode Design Bret

Zipcode Design Bret Ergonomic Mesh Task Chair, $159.99

This office chair hits many of the ergonomic guidelines set by the Department of Labor and is wallet-friendly to boot. The chair has a sturdy, five-legged base, casters that will allow the chair to move easily and a backrest that follows the natural curvature of the spine.

Best Mid-range Option

Tempur-Pedic TP9000

Tempur-Pedic TP9000 Mesh Task Chair, $318.99

It makes perfect sense that the folks who make Tempur-Pedic mattresses have created an office chair that helps the body feel its very best. Rendered in memory foam, this chair also has straightforward levers that will allow you to adjust the armrests and seat so you can cater your chair specifically to your unique ergonomic needs. Plus, it’s made up of easy-to-clean materials that’ll make working from home a breeze. Gold says, “Choose a model with low-maintenance finishes that will be forgiving if you spill your coffee, drop your scissors or get ink spots on the upholstery.”

Best High-end Option

Herman Miller Aeron

Herman Miller Aeron Chair, $1,395

As Gold mentioned, you can think of chairs for back pain as “an investment in your health and productivity.” That statement is particularly true when applied to this cult-favorite chair: the Herman Miller Aeron Chair, priced at a pretty penny due to its plush ergonomic features. Designed 20 years ago, the company shares that over 7 million have been sold and is completely customizable, down to the chair size, level of back support, your preferred tilt and seat angle, desired armrests and casters made for the type of floors you have.

Honorable Mention

Humanscale Freedom Task

Humanscale® Freedom Task Swivel Desk Chair, $1,049

If you’re looking for something sleek and cutting-edge, this one just might be as futuristic as it gets as an office chair for back pain. This seat relies upon body weight and physics for its ergonomic superiority and checks off the Department of Labor’s recommendations for ideal office chairs: adjustable arms, an independently-adjustable seat and more.

 

Updated on: 04/08/20
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Ergonomics: The Human Body and Injury Prevention

Ergonomics is concerned with how our environment interacts with our work. It also looks for ways to decrease the risks of injury and illness.
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