We all know it well: the familiar “crick” in our neck, the lower back pain, the trying to stretch or take a quick round-the-office walk while also trying to enjoy our lunch break. How is it that we can be in so much pain from simply sitting in a chair? Well, according to Painscience.com, just sitting in a chair can do a lot of damage on its own. From a colorful array of musculoskeletal damage, to serious problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer, sitting in a chair (or the wrong chair) is quite dangerous.
Of course, you’re not going to suddenly start standing at your desk, all day, are you? That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do the dirty work for you. Having the right, ergonomically-designed chair can help fix these potential problems before they happen.We’re asking you to sit for a few more minutes in that uncomfortable office chair and read through this guide. We promise it’s worth it! Let’s take a look at the best office chairs for lower back pain.
Two studies, one in 1990 and one in 2003, showed that productivity increases more than 17% when people use an ergonomic, adjustable office chair. We’ve compiled a table of the best chairs for back problems below, so you’re on your way to a happy, healthy office life!
|Model||Material||At a Glance|
|DXRacer Racing Series DOH/REO/NB Newedge Edition Racing Bucket Seat||Breathable PU, Aluminum Base||Headrest and Lumbar Cushion, Extra-high Backrest, Flexible Seat Back with Adjustment, Soft Armrests with Adjustments|
|AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair||Bonded Black Leather and PVC, Nylon Casters||Butterfly Seat Plate, Adjustable Settings, Curved Contours, High and Tilt Adjustments, 360-degree Swivel|
|Herman Miller Embody Chair||Graphite Frame/Base, Skin-like Textile||Stimulates Blood and Oxygen Flow, Six Ergonomic Functions, 95% Recyclable, Conforms to Your Body|
|Herman Miller Sayl Chair||Breathable Mesh, Plastic||Mesh Back keeps you warm, Organic Shape, 93% Recyclable, Adjustable Height, 3D Intelligent Suspension|
|Serta 44186 Back in Motion Health and Wellness Mid-Back Black Office Chair||Bonded Leather||BIM Active Lumbar, Ergo Layered Body Pillows, Adjustable Seat and Armrest Height, Enhanced Breathability and Airflow|
|Alera Elusion Series Mesh-Back||Mesh, Fabric, PU||Breathable Mesh Back, Contoured Seat Cushion, Waterfall Seat Edge, Adjust Seat Back Tilt and Height, Adjust Armrest Height and Width|
Now that you have an idea of the best ergonomic computer chairs on the market today, let’s get a more in-depth review of each individual chair that can help with your lower back health issues.
DXRacer Racing Series Newedge Edition - Most Versatile Product
The Racing Bucket Office Chair is a great option no matter if you’re an office executive in the day or a hardcore gamer by night. Coming in a variety of colors, not only is it great for your body but easy on the eyes. Made from PU and aluminum, it’s sure to provide you years of comfort. In fact, the high-density cold cure foam filling makes this chair ideal for work/gaming sessions of 8 hours or longer. Its wide and tall backrest makes this ideal for larger users. Its tubular steel frame offers supreme stability, so there’s no chance of you falling out of your chair, no matter how excited you are when it’s time to leave work. If you’re a dedicated gamer, you should look at our guide on selecting the best gaming chair in 2018.
You may just be excited to sit in this office chair, because of its integrated headrest and adjustable lumbar support cushion. If it turns out you’re going to be pulling an all-nighter, no problem. Just switch up the angle adjuster to lower the backrest to a lounging position. While this is undoubtedly one of the best chairs for long sitting periods of time, some find that the style is not as “elegant” as some other options out there. This all comes down to personal preference. Some have also reported the adjustable lumbar support pillows migrating downwards at times, after moving around.
- Wide and tall backrest for larger users
- Made of durable PU, aluminum, with a tubular steel frame
- Adjustable lumbar support pillows
- Adjustable backrest can even be used in a lounge position
- Some reported lumbar support pillows moving around
- Not as "elegant-looking" as other office chairs
AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair - Best Budget Office Chair
The AmazonBasics High-Back Executive Chair is the ergonomic computer chair you’re looking for if you want simple, elegant-looking, and easy on your body. Not only is it sleek with its bonded black leather, but provides contoured back support to get you through the day. You’ll feel comfy with the padded back, seat, and armrests. With a butterfly seat plate and adjustable settings, you’ll receive adequate support and keep your spine in line. Not only the height of the seat is adjustable, but also the tilt. A 360-degree swivel means that you can multitask with ease and promptness, accomplishing more tasks in a quicker amount of time.
With the addition of durable, nylon casters mean that when you’ll undoubtedly want to take your own chair with you to office meetings, it can easily roll from room-to-room. A downside to the chair, is that some reported the bonded black leather/PVC upholstered material cracks after a few months of use. It is also a bit short/small for taller individuals.
- Well-padded on back, seat, and armrests
- Adjustable height and tilt
- Butterfly seat plate and contoured design keep your body inline
- 360-degree swivel makes multitasking a breeze
- Material can crack after a few months of use
- Not ideal for taller users
Herman Miller Embody Chair - Best Design
Herman Miller is known for his incredibly-designed ergonomic desk chairs, so it’s no surprise that his designs made the list not one, but two times. If you’re not working with any kind of budget, his Embody model is one for the books. While just about everything is impressive about this chair, what really stands out is its ability to support healthy oxygen and blood flow, while keeping the spine in good shape. The back features an exoskeleton, designed to look like the human spine. Maybe that’s because physicians and engineers had input on this design? It’s so great for the back, that its several awards for its technology. Its textile covering promotes airflow, keeping you at a comfortable temperature while you work.
Its six ergonomic settings create an ideal posture for any preference. Worrying about pressure points? Not with this chair. Its matrix of pixels conforms to any body, and distributes weight evenly. Its patented Backfit adjustment positions the backrest so it jives with spine’s natural curve, even when you move your head. With the Embody’s incredible engineering, it’s easy to see why this is one of the best desk chairs for back problems, if not the best. Oh, and its 12-year-warranty doesn’t hurt either.
- Backfit technology adjusts backrest inline with spine's natural curve
- Encourages blood and oxygen flow
- Textile covering promotes airflow
- Distributes weight evenly
- While worth the investment, on the higher end of the price spectrum
Herman Miller Sayle Chair - Best Technology
We said there were two Herman Miller designs on this list, didn’t we? Well, here’s number two: The Sayl Chair. Made in the US from recyclable materials and available in a variety of colors, this chair is well-made and attractive. Have you ever felt “trapped” inside your office chair? The Sayl will liberate you. The breathable, unframed back is largely to blame for that.
Its 3D Intelligent suspension backrest simultaneously supports the back while molding to each individual’s spine, eliminating pressure points. The Y-Tower is the “spine” of the chair, if you will, stretching the fabric, creating an almost hammock-like feel. Its modern feel and design will look good in any setting, from corporate office, to a stylish start-up.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a chair this good, in this economic range. The downside? Some users reported it being more ideal for sessions in the 1-5 hour range, not the 8+, like the others. If you’re looking for a modern chair with the technology to match, the Sayl is a good choice. Remember that 12-year-warranty? It applies here, as well.
- Modern design looks good anywhere
- 3D Intelligent suspension supports and provides comfort
- Molds to natural spinal curvature
- Breathable, unframed back
- Not as comfortable for long sessions, like the other options
Serta 44186 Back in Motion - Best Overall Support
You may have heard the name “Serta” before. Where? It turns out they’re pretty well known for their comfortable orthopedic mattresses. Easily put, the brand is synonymous with quality and comfort. This translates easily over to their line of office chairs; specifically the 44186 model. Upon first glance, it begs you to sit down in it, with its ergo-layered body pillows and its eco-friendly bonded leather. Not only that, but it features a BIM active lumbar support, that moves with you, ensuring you receive comfort and support throughout your work day.
Its push-button adjustable armrests ensure there isn’t any added stress on your neck, and the lift features on the chair make sure you’re always at the ideal level relative to your computer. Their Back in Motion Active Seating Technology ensures your pelvis is tilted slightly forward, placing you in a positive neutral position. With its one-year warranty, you can feel safe purchasing, knowing that Serta’s customer service is there to help.
- Made of eco-friendly bonded leather
- BIM active lumbar keeps you supported all day
- Cushy ergo-layered body pillows ensures all-day comfort
- Back in Motion Active Seating Technology keeps you in a neutral position
- Shorter users may find the chair is still a bit tall
Alera Elusion - The Most Basic Product
Alera’s Elusion is a great option if you’re on a budget, but still looking for a great ergonomic computer chair. Its breathable mesh back ensures you’re not overheating while hard at work, and allows some flexibility and support for the natural spinal curve of your back. Its contoured seat cushion provides comfort, and the waterfall edge on the seat relieves the pressure placed on the legs. No more dead legs when you stand up to go on your break! This also promotes blood flow.
The height and width-adjustable arms relieve excess pressure on the neck and its soft, polyurethane pads make it more comfy to type. The seat adjusts, in a matter of seconds, which provides comfort for users of various heights. There is also an option to adjust the seat depth, however it is not as simple as the pull of a lever. For this, you must adjust the three screws on the bottom of the seat, with the packaged hex key. While this is undoubtedly a great office chair for back pain, some have reported the mesh showing signs of wear after just a few months. Some also have the tendency to squeak. Overall, though, it is a great bargain and design.
- Breathable mesh provides airflow
- Height-adjustable arms and seat
- Contoured seat cushion and waterfall edge provide comfort and support
- Some reported mesh showing signs of wear after a few months
- Can tend to squeak
Best Office Chair for Lower Back Pain - Buyer's Guide
There are many details to take into consideration when buying an ergonomic desk chair. All are important, as like a body, each component works with each other. With that being said, if one part of the chair isn’t working on the same level as the others, it could all be in vain. We understand that picking the best office chair isn’t a simple task, so let’s take a walk-through of each section before you commit to one.
Reclining reduces the pressure placed on the neck, spine, and other bones and muscles in the body. It’s important to make sure that the chair naturally reclines on a glide mechanism, rather than having to make adjustments each time. Sometimes, we don’t realize we need to change the tilt on our back rest, until we’re already in pain.
Your chair should be adjustable to fit your body and put you in the ideal, ergonomic position that works for you. Your feet should be flat on the floor, with your thighs parallel to the ground, with your forearms parallel to your desk or table. If the chair is too high, it could restrict blood flow, or place too much pressure on the back or knees. If the seat is too low, it can cause your body to lean back and put pressure on your bones.
Make sure there is a three or four-finger width between the back of your knees and the edge of your seat. If the seat is too long, it can cause you to sit forward, which places excess strain on your legs and back, as well as reduce blood flow.
Armrest height and width is also very important, which means being able to adjust the two is necessary. Shoulders should never be hunched, and should always be parallel to the ground. Good armrests ensure you’re close to your workspace and can pivot.
As previously mentioned, every aspect is important, but lumbar support may be the most important of them all when selecting a desk chair for back problems. Ideally, what you should have in an office chair is support, firmness and position control. In addition, you lower back should sit comfortably against the support. This ensures proper blood and oxygen flow, which can improve creativity, focus, and energy.
While all of these are excellent options if you’re looking for a comfortable office chair, the Serta 44186 is just about the best office chair you can get your hands on, without breaking the bank. Not only is it sleek and sophisticated with its bonded leather, but the ergo-layered body pillows will give you a comfy, cushy ride the entire time you’re at the office.
Its BIM Active Lumbar Support Technology proves that it’s not just leather and squishy pillows, but has the science to back it up. The lumbar support pivots with you, no matter which way you move. The chair height is easily adjustable, as is the height and width of the armrests.
The Back in Motion Seating Technology ensures that you’re rested in a neutral position, with no added pressure being placed on your body. With a one-year-warranty, there’s really nothing to lose with the Serta 44186. You can buy in confidence, knowing you’re off to a land of comfort!