5 Best Office Chairs for Back Pain of 2017

Best Office Chairs for Back Pain

For those who work in an office on a computer all day, the chair you sit in can very well help save you from back pain. Sitting at a desk in an office chair for long periods of time can cause or worsen back pain. Most people tend to slouch over or down at their desk, which can lead to a number of issues for their back. Below we have the 5 best office chairs for back pain of 2017 that you should really invest in if you are constantly having back pain while working.

Back issues common from sitting in your office chair too long:

To prevent any of these back issues while sitting in your office chair, you want to maintain proper posture. Bad posture and inadequate back support strains your muscles and stresses your spine. Sitting improperly too long can even change your spine structure and constrict your blood vessels and nerves. Sitting improperly for extended periods of time can cause headaches, fatigue or breathing issues.

To help you maintain proper posture, you can look for an ergonomic office chair. There are many office chair manufacturers that build office chairs to help you with proper back support and posture. Just because you have an ergonomic office chair does not mean you will be free of back pain - you have to be sure your chair is adjusted to your body. In order to help prevent back and neck pain, you need to properly adjust your working space - your chair, desk, and computer. For optimal comfort, you want to follow these simple guidelines.

Proper Workstation Setup

  1. Elbows - elbows should be at a 90o angle to your desk - adjust your chair height to ensure your arms can rest on your desk at a 90o angle

  2. Thigh - with your feet flat on the floor, your entire thigh should not sit against the chair - you should have some room at the edge of your chair to fit your fingers under your thighs. If you cannot, use a footrest to raise your thigh slightly. If you are tall and have a lot of space, raise your desk up so you can also raise your chair.

    Best Office Chairs for Back Pain
  3. Calf - with your butt touching the back of the chair, your calf should not touch the seat. If it does, your seat is too deep and you should adjust the backrest, insert and low back support, or find another chair

  4. Low back - with your butt touching the back of your chair, use a lumbar support in the arch of your back to prevent slouching or slumping.

  5. Eye level - sitting in your office chair comfortably, your line of sight should be level with the center of your computer screen. Raise or lower your screen appropriately to achieve the proper height.

  6. Armrest - your armrest should just slightly lift your arms at the shoulders, ensuring the 90o angle of your elbows and helping to prevent you from slouching.

Knowing how your workstation should be set up will help you determine which office chair is the best fit for you. You know your body the best and only you can look at the options with your ideal workstation in mind and select the best model for you.

Office Chair Features

With so many options to choose from, what aspects are important? Examining traditional office chairs, you want to look at seat height, width and depth, lumbar support, backrest, arm rest, swivel, and seat material.

Most office chairs have seat heights ranging between 16” and 21”. Knowing you want your feet flat on the floor and arms at a 90o angle, you should be sure you can accommodate your height within the seat’s range. A pneumatic adjustment is the easiest with a simple lever under the seat.

A 17”-20” wide seat is the standard in office chairs. If you need a wider size, there are options, but most people can work with this width. The depth of the seat needs to ensure your back will touch the back of the chair while your calves have some space between them and the seat. You want to look for a chair with an adjustable backrest.

One of the most important features to a good ergonomic office is lower back support. A good lumbar support has an inward curve to help prevent slouching. You want to be sure your chair has an adjustable lumbar, preferably for both height and depth.

Backrests vary in width, but generally are between 12” and 19”. Some office chairs have a separated seat and back rest. If this is the type you are looking at, you want to be sure the backrest can be adjusted in height and angle. If the seat is attached to the backrest, you want the backrest to adjust in forward and back angles and be able to lock so it doesn’t go too far backward.

When it comes to the material of the seat, you are mainly looking for enough padding to be comfortable. A breathable, cloth fabric is more preferable to a harder surface.

Looking at the armrests, your first goal is to be sure they are adjustable. Remembering you want your elbows at a 90o angle without your forearm touching the armrest, and have relaxed shoulders will help you select the right option.

Most office chairs swivel. You want to be sure your choice will easily rotate for reaching around your desk without straining.

Important Features of a Good Office Chair

  • Seat height

  • Seat width and depth

  • Lumbar support

  • Backrest

  • Seat material

  • Armrest

  • Swivel

Best Office Chairs for Back Pain

There are literally thousands of office chair options. Choosing the perfect chair for you is not an easy task. With price ranges from $50 all the way up to $2,500, you can find every feature you want with every perfect detail. Because there are so many options, and most of us on a budget, we are going to focus on office chairs under $300. Here are our favorite chairs under $300.

ChairWeight CapacityMaterialSwivelSeat AdjustmentSeat WidthCost
AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair250 lbsBonded leather & PVC360oPneumatic25.5”$
Boss LeatherPlus Executive Chair250 lbsLeatherPlus360oPneumatic21”$
Office Star SPACE AirGrid Back Managers Chair250 lbsAir Grid nylon mesh360oPneumatic21”$$
TOPSKY Mesh Computer Office Chair330 lbsHigh density mesh360oPneumatic21”$$
ZUO MODERN Lider Comfort Office Chair250 lbsLeatherette360oPneumatic18”$$$

AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair

best office chair for back pain
Technical Specs
  • Bonded leather and PVC upholstered
  • Pneumatic seat height adjustment
  • Padded seat and back
  • Smooth rolling casters
  • 250 Pound weight capacity
  • Assembly required
  • 360 Degree Swivel
  • 1 Year limited warranty
  • 35.3 Pound chair weight
  • Height adjustable from 41.34 to 45.08 inches
  • 25.5” Seat width
  • 19” Seat depth

The AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair is a bonded leather and PVC chair with a 25.5” wide padded seat cushion. With a butterfly seat plate, adjustable settings, and curved contours your body stays properly aligned while working at your desk. This ergonomic chair supports your back all day. The height of the chair is adjustable from 41.34”-45.08 with a pneumatic control handle. To find your perfect height, pull the control handle to raise the seat height while standing and lower the seat pull the handle while seated. The same handle also adjusts the tilt of the chair, whether you want the chair to rock or not and also how easy it is to rock.

Both the padded seat cushion and contoured for support back cushion are upholstered in bonded leather and PVC. The armrests also have slightly curved padding for extra comfort.

With a 360o swivel, you get a versatile range of motion. If you need to roll about your workstation, the durable nylon casters have a fluid motion.

Pros
  • Tilt control - rocking tension and lock
  • No tool easy assembly
  • Attractive
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • Arm rests do not adjust
  • Back flexes too much as only held on by armrests
  • Seat padding wears away quickly

Office Star SPACE AirGrid Back Managers Chair

5 best office chair for back pain
Technical Specs
  • 360 degree swivel
  • 26.5” Seat width
  • 25.25” Seat depth
  • 19”-23” Adjustable seat height
  • Dual wheel carpet casters
  • Mesh fabric
  • Built-in lumbar support
  • Adjustable armrests
  • 250 Pound weight capacity
  • 39.9” Chair weight
  • Assembly required

The Office Star Space AirGrid Managers Chair is a high quality, durable chair that provides firm lumbar support. The comfortable back support is unparalleled and works for both tall and short people. This ergonomic chair has a pneumatic seat height adjustment to quickly and easily raise and lower your seat to your appropriate height.

A full 360o rotation allows you to easily access all areas of your workstation. The back reclines at 2 to 1 ratio to the seat angle, so you can recline while keeping the seat level to the floor. The pivot point is located directly above the center of the chair base. You can also adjust the tilt tension to your specifications and then lock it in place when needed. A single lever adjusts the seat and back angles to reduce back and thigh fatigue.

A one touch pneumatic seat height adjustment lets you easily find your perfect height. The PU padded armrests also adjust to your height needs, or you can remove them entirely. The heavy duty angled base with oversized dual wheel carpet casters make this chair attractive, durable, and rolling smoothly on any surface.

Pros
  • Incredibly soft and comfortable
  • Top notch mechanical aspects
  • Simple, no tool assembly
Cons
  • Chair height from floor is a bit high for shorter people
  • Starts to squeak, but is easily fixed with WD40

Boss LeatherPlus High Back Executive Chair

5 best office chair for back pain
Technical Specs
  • 250 Pound weight capacity
  • 20”-23.5” Adjustable seat height
  • 21” Seat width
  • 28” Seat depth
  • 27.5-31” Adjustable armrest
  • LeatherPlus upholstery
  • Lumbar support
  • Adjustable tilt tension
  • Pneumatic gas lift seat height adjustment
  • No tool assembly required
  • 48 Pound chair weight
  • Made in USA

The Boss LeatherPlus Executive chair has a waterfall seat design to help eliminate leg fatigue. LeatherPlus is their polyurethane infused leather which adds softness and durability. The extra cushioning under the LeatherPlus fabric is comfortable while supporting the back, easing the daily aches and pains from sitting for long periods of time.

The ergonomic back design has lumbar support with adjustable tilt tension to 30o. When you’re not lounging back, you can also lock the tilt in the upright position. Simply pull out the lever to unlock the chair and recline back.

Pros
  • Incredibly soft and comfortable
  • Top notch mechanical aspects
  • Simple, no tool assembly
Cons
  • Chair height from floor is a bit high for shorter people
  • Starts to squeak, but is easily fixed with WD40

TOPSKY Mesh Computer Office Chair

5 best office chairs for back pain
Technical Specs
  • 21” Seat width
  • 20.3” Seat depth
  • 330 Pound weight capacity
  • 360 Degree swivel
  • Adjustable headrest
  • Adjustable armrest
  • Hander on back
  • 39.8 Pound chair weight
  • Assembly required
  • 1 Year warranty

TOPSKY Mesh Computer Office Chair Ergonomic Design Chair has a skeletal back frame covered with high density strength mesh to allow air flow. The hanger on the back gives you easy access to your jacket, sweater, or bag. synchronous mechanism

The adjustable knob controls the lumbar cushion position for back comfort while the adjustable headrest relaxes your neck. You can also adjust the padded armrests from 10-13” with a push of a button. The high density strength mesh and thick sponge of the seat offers stability for weights up to 330 pounds (220 pounds is recommended).

Pros
  • Adjustable lumbar support
  • Quality mesh
  • Great for higher weights
Cons
  • Somewhat difficult assembly as pre-drilled holes don’t always line up

ZUO MODERN Lider Comfort Office Chair, Gray

5 best office chairs for back pain
Technical Specs
  • 18" Seat Depth
  • 18" Seat width
  • 44.5-47.75" Adjustable height
  • 250 Pound weight capacity
  • chrome steel rolling base
  • Leatherette wrapped seat and back cushion
  • adjustable height and tilt
  • 35.2 pound chair weight
  • 1 Year limited warranty

Zuo Modern Lider Comfort Office chair is a leatherette chair offered in three different colors. With a polished aluminum finish, and chrome steel rolling base, this chair is as comfortable as it is attractive. This is one of the few office chairs that comes fully assembled, for quick use.

The adjustable tilt tension allows easy recline without the push that causes muscle fatigue. You can lock your tilt to customize it for added comfort and support. The seat height is easily adjustable from 44.5 to 47.75”.

Pros
  • Durable for repetitive use
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • A little high for shorter people
  • Armrest does not adjust

Final Thoughts on the Best Office Chairs for Back Pain

While this list gives you a few budget friendly, traditional styled options, you can find a great office chair at almost any price range. You can also look into other styles of ergonomic, helpful chairs that help promote good posture. A few of these options are the kneeling ergonomic chair, which is just what it says - a backless chair that slides your hips forward to align the back, shoulders, and neck to distribute your weight between the pelvis and knees. This style chair reduces spinal compression, reducing lower back and leg muscle tension.

There is also the saddle ergonomic chair. This chair is shaped like a horse’s saddle which puts you in a stance between standing and sitting. Because your legs drop naturally and widen you get a healthy, stable position that can actually strengthen your back muscles. Other advantages are preventing slouching forward and circulation system issues that other chairs can cause.

Exercise balls are another type of ergonomic chair. These are large balls that support you for long periods of time. The greatest advantage of this type of seat is that is encourages active rather than static sitting. With a slight bounce that keeps your legs moving, it stimulates circulation and keeps muscles busy, reducing stress and fatigue. Slouching is nearly impossible which improves posture.

No matter whether you go with an untraditional chair or another style, your main goal is to support your back and neck. Just knowing the proper workstation setup will help you locate the perfect chair with the necessary features for you.

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