Best Executive Chair for Lower Back Pain – Sitting in an office chair for 8+ hours a day can cause some serious back pain and possibly long term back problems. So, to help you relieve your pain from sitting for long hours, we purchased and tested 40 different ergonomic chairs to find the best office chair for lower back pain and good posture. You may also want to read about the best office chair under 500. All in all, you need to get the best office chair.
As a part of our tests, we sat and worked in each of these chairs for hours on end, measuring their pain-relieving functionality, overall ergonomics, and adjustability. After our hands-on testing, we narrowed down our list of the Best Office Chairs for Lower Back Pain to the top 10 products and discovered that the Herman Miller Embody Chair is the best for back pain relief.
With nearly 65 million American adults dealing with back pain, it’s only logical that designers are making furniture more in tune with our bodies, especially office furniture. Those with desk jobs often spend the majority of a given workday in a sedentary, sitting position, which can exacerbate existing back pain. Making a choice as simple as deciding to swap out our existing office chair for an ergonomic model can help make you significantly more comfortable throughout the day.
The second-ranked chair, the Eurotech Vera, was featured in our best overall back support post. Featuring the most comfortable backrest in a chair we’ve tested, Vera is also very good with lower support. With a score of 81 out of 100, the Vera managed to score well without a separate lumbar support system.
One of the things you first notice about the Vera is how perfectly upright the backrest positions your body. This allows you to comfortably scoot back into the chair and lets the natural curve of the backrest push against your lower back. Because of the mesh design, the support is spread out across the lower half of your back.
When upright, the Vera has medium to medium-strong lower support. As you recline in the chair, the lower support will start to diminish, with full recline offering minimal lower support.
Because of the upright nature of the backrest, the Vera does provide excellent lower back support when leaned slightly forward for tasking. Because the natural curve of the backrest only pushes so far forward, you need to make sure to scoot your butt back into the chair for excellent lower support.
Pros & Cons
- MODERN OFFICE CHAIR: Modern office chair with black frame, Piano gray mesh back, and black fabric cushion; Overall dimensions (W x D x H): 28 x 28 x 38.9 to 43.4 inches
- ADAPTS TO YOUR WEIGHT: Tilt tension control adapts recline rate according to the weight of the user
- ADJUSTABLE RECLINE & DEPTH: Synchro-tilt allows back to recline in a preset ratio and seat depth can be adjusted relative to back; Seat depth (W x D): 18.9 x 15.75 to 17.72 inches; Seat back (W x H): 17.1 x 25.8 inches
- CUSTOMIZE CHAIR HEIGHT: Adjust your seat height to the desired position relative to the floor; Seat height: 18.9 - 23.6 inches
- 6-WAY SUPPORTIVE ARMS: 6-way adjustable arms can be tailored to support your arms
The Ergohuman High Back Swivel chair is similar to the popular Amazonbasics Midback Mesh, or the Herman Miller Aeron chair, but better. It has a unique design with one purpose in mind: ergonomics. This is one of the high back office chairs that lets you customize almost every single component so you can create the most comfortable mesh seating experience tailored specifically to your preferences. You can adjust the backrest, the headrest, the seat depth, the armrests, and it has adjustable height.
The ergonomic chair features a comfortable mesh fabric that can be a little sticky at times, for lack of a better word. You may experience the mesh hanging onto your pants as you stand up or adjust in the chair, which can get annoying. The Ergohuman chair lacks adjustable armrests, but each arm rest does swivel, which is nice, but they don’t lock in place and tend to move too easily.
Aside from the adjustable arms, the overall construction on the Ergohuman is sturdy and attractive. You can use the tension control adjustment to control the amount of force to recline or sit up straight as well. Chairs with tension adjustment are very good at improving posture. It also has a pneumatic cylinder to adjust the height. Put the best paper shredders close by so that you remain comfortable while working. For people with different levels of scoliosis, you should check our guide on the best office chair scoliosis.
Pros & Cons
- Made of Chrome/polypropylene base with nylon casters, this chair is made of 97% recyclable components
- Product dimensions – 29" D x 26.5" W x 46”-52" H | Seat dimensions – 18.5” D x 20.5” W | Seat height (lowest/highest) – 18.5”/22.2” | Back dimensions – 20.5” W x 28” H | Product weight – 66 lbs. | Weight limit – 250 lbs.
- Synchro-tilt mechanism and seat depth adjustment ensure users sit correctly and get the support they need, whether sitting upright or reclining
- Pneumatic cylinder raises and lowers chair quickly | Back, seat cushion, and headrest all adjust to fit an array of users and accommodate their individual needs
- Back angle adjustment with 3 position tilt-lock adjusts easily - lock the chair back into place in one of three positions, or simply use the tension control adjustment to control the amount of force to recline or sit up straight
The Steelcase Amia is sleek, simple and highly adjustable. If you have both back pain and hip pain or even neck pain, you’ll want to find a chair that offers a lot of adjustability in the seat to reduce back pain. The Steelcase Amia fits the bill, which is why it’s the best at addressing “lower back and hip pain”.
It allows you to adjust seat depth and height with the height adjuster, and it features a flexible seat edge that relieves pressure when you recline or lean forward in an upright position, further alleviating any pain you might experience in your hips so that you can have some pain management. Sitting vs leaning back can make a big difference when it comes to finding the right chair for you.
This chair for lower back and hip pain also features a unique feature that Steelcase calls “LiveLumbar.” The back of the chair adjusts with your back as you move, and you can slide the lumbar support to the position that gives you the most pain relief. These tilt mechanisms are important in an ergonomic chair.
Unfortunately, you don’t get a headrest and the chair itself is a little heavy, but it offers a wonderful option for anyone looking to relieve both lower back and hip pain during their working hours. It has a tilt locking feature that locks in in the upright position. Ergonomic office chairs are not easy to come by on a budget but this is one of the sleekest desk chairs out there at an affordable price and Steelcase also makes the popular Leap chair, so they know quality. The Steelcase Leap is a favorite of many workers. If you want to add a chair to your home too, check out this list to find the best reclining office chair.
Pros & Cons
- 10 Year Warranty Exclusively with DesignerSeating
- Arms telescope in and out, move forward and back, pivot and adjust up and down so you can find a natural position that comfortably supports your needs
- Live Lumbar technology contours to fit your spine for continuous lower back support as you move in your chair
- Weight tested and warranted up to 400 lbs. with no loss of performance
This office chairs may look simple and affordable, but don’t let those two things fool you. The SmugDesk office chairs offers an adjutsable back and is built with ergonomics in mind.
To that end its back is made of mesh, which means breathability. So if you run hot this chair will be a fit for you. Included is a headrest, which great for added support during long working sessions. The lumbar support will also help with lower back support as will the adjustable arm rests. If not, have a look at the best memory foam seat cushions that feature ergonomic designs, lumbar support, pain relief, durability, and breathability too.
Pros & Cons
- The high-density seat cushion is designed with a breathable mesh surface, so you will not feel stuffy and tired even after sitting for a long time.
- This office chair with a curved backrest can perfectly fit your back and avoid shoulder pain.
- A strong five-legged base makes this desk chair have a good load-bearing.
- This computer chair with multi-directional casters can run smoothly and low noise. It is suitable for most offices or homes and will not scratch the floor surface.
- This home office desk chair is easy to assemble through our detailed instruction manual. And we provide you with a free warranty service within one year.
The Humanscale Diffrient Smart chair is our third ranked chair in the lower back support list, with a score of 80 out of 100. Like the Vera, the Diffrient doesn’t have an adjustable lumbar support system, but it does have a unique pivoting backrest design. We found through testing that the Smart chair has medium support when seated upright.
The design of the Diffrient Smart allows you to sit nice and upright in the chair for tasking. This provides good lower support for these tasks as well. Like the Vera, you will need to push yourself back into the chair to experience the best support.
Where the Diffrient Smart shines is when you begin to lean back into the chair. As you do this, the backrest naturally pivots, with the lower portion of the back pushing harder into your back. From 25 to 100 perfect of recline in Diffrient, the lower support moves from medium to medium-strong to strong.
Pros & Cons
- The Different World chair has just two manual settings: one each for seat height and seat depth, all other are automatic
- Package Dimensions: 74.422 H x 59.69 L x 69.85 W (centimeters)
- Package Weight: 17.645 kilograms
- Country of Origin : China
6.Steelcase Leap V2
Our fourth-ranked chair, the Steelcase Leap, technically tied the Humanscale Diffrient Smart with a score of 80 out of 100. While these two chairs scored the same for lower support, they couldn’t be more different. With a more traditional padded upholstered backrest, the Leap was still able to offer medium to medium-strong support, depending on how you configured the lumbar system.
With Leaps intuitive lumbar support system, you can make precise adjustments to how much and where you want your support. The height-adjustable lumbar support allows you to move the pressure up and down your back. There is also a lumbar tension system, which will increase or decrease the curve in the backrest. Depending on how you adjust this it will change how pronounced the lumbar support feels.
If you like to recline in your office chair, the Leap is a good option with up to about a 50 percent recline. Beyond this point, you begin to lose some of the medium to medium-strong support in the lower region of the backrest. Unlike the Vera, at 100 perfect, the Leap does still provide light to potentially medium support in the lower lumbar region.
Pros & Cons
- The Leap is Steelcase's #1 Ergonomic office chair. Available in the standard size Leap 300 Weight Capacity or Larger Leap Plus with a 500 Weight Capacity.
- Hard Floor Casters Added. Live Back technology that allows the back of the chair to mimic the movements of the spine.
- Recline to PROZero - BEYOND zero-gravity to experience an unprecedented range of motion of recline and elevated leg positions.
- Arms telescope in and out, move forward and back, pivot and adjust up and down so you can find a natural position that comfortably supports your needs.
- Designed with the planet in mind and is up to 98% recyclable by weight and made of up to 30% recycled content.
Top 5 Things To Consider When Buying Office Chairs For Lower Back Pain
Before you make a decision on your next office chair to relieve your lower back pain, it’s important you consider these top five things first.
1. How you sit in your chair while you task
Not all users task the same way. While some work in perfect posture with their back up against the chair, others tend to slouch. Maybe you like to lean to the side when you type. It’s essential to understand how you like to sit when finding the perfect office chair.
One of the most significant issues we’ve seen is that customers try to adapt to an office chair. This is the quickest way to failure, as most habits can be hard to break. Some sitting habits aren’t bad, and the expectation that you sit perfectly for long hours throughout the day is unrealistic. Finding a chair that provides proper support for the way you sit, is likely to improve your support while seated.
2. Does the chair offer good support while reclined?
Do you like to recline in your chair? Is this something that you spend a lot of time doing? If you are taking a lot of phone calls, in meetings or even working from this position, proper support while reclined can be important if you have lower back issues.
Just because a chair offers great support while you’re sitting upright, doesn’t automatically mean that you will see the same support when reclined. We’ve found through testing all of the chairs in our office, there can be significant differences in lower support as you recline back into the chair.
Depending on how the recline function moves on your chair, the lower support can change in various ways. Whether it’s diminishing support or that the support actually moves up the back, both can have a significant impact on your lower back pain.
3. Is the lumbar support height and depth adjustable?
While not always true, having a lumbar support system that is height and depth adjustable can be important. If the lumbar support system doesn’t provide a good fit for your body, you will need the ability to move it up and down your back. Having depth adjustment will allow you to add and reduce the amount of pressure applied to your back. Depending on the amount of support needed, this can be a nice feature to have.
4. Does the backrest and/or lumbar move with you in the chair?
Depending on the type of tasks you perform in your chair, you may want to consider how the backrest and lumbar moves with you. If you are doing a lot of twisting and reaching, having a backrest that moves with you and provides continuous support is good if you really need a lot of lower support.
We have seen a lot of different types of backrests that will provide this function. From the entire backrest bending and flexing, to only the lumbar support automatically adjusting in depth. If this is important to you, you’ll want to pay close attention to the back of the desk.
5. What material is the lumbar system made from?
The last thing to consider is what type of material the lumbar and backrest are made from. Certain types of materials will flex more, spreading out the support through your back. We have seen upholstered lumbar systems with padded backing that can feel more stiff and will focus more on a certain area. Depending on your needs, this type of focused support can be good or bad. This is especially true if you’re able to fine tune where you can place the support.
ower back pain is incredibly common—over 28% of U.S. adults report experiencing back pain, and it’s most common among older adults and women.
The effects of back pain are expensive, too. In 2016, U.S. healthcare costs due to low back and neck pain reached an estimated $134.5 billion, the highest amount among 154 different health conditions.
Back pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including (but not limited to):
- Skeletal irregularities like scoliosis
- Injuries like sprains and strains
- Degeneration of the spine
- Nerve and spinal cord problems like sciatica
- Non-spinal issues like pregnancy and kidney stones
The risk factors for back pain are incredibly varied as well, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Age, genetics, fitness level, weight gain, mental health, smoking and psychological factors are all cited as contributors, along with job-related factors.
It makes sense that having a job requiring heavy lifting, pushing or pulling—particularly when it involves twisting or vibrating the spine—can lead to injury and back pain. But working at a desk all day can contribute to back pain as well, especially if you have poor posture or sit in a chair with a lack of back support, according to the NINDS.
How Your Office Chair Can Help
Having the right office chair and setting up your workspace properly to optimize back health is of the utmost importance, says Karen Jacobs, an occupational therapist, board-certified ergonomist and clinical professor of the Occupational Therapy and Distance Education Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Programs at Boston University.
And it’s a problem she and her colleagues have seen exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as many people moved their offices into their homes and had to get creative with makeshift home-work spaces.
“In my conversations with people working at home, they’re saying they don’t have the lumbar support like they did in their chair in their office or they don’t have a sit/stand desk,” says Jacobs. “They also don’t get up and go to the water cooler for tea and take those breaks. The boundaries have blurred. That’s why we’ve been seeing a lot of lower back pain in people.”
How to Choose an Office Chair to Support Your Back
Often, people use whatever office chair is provided in the workplace, or if they’re at home, they use any chair that’s available, says Jacobs. But the key to finding a good office chair for back pain is identifying the one that works for you—and you don’t know it until you try it out.
In the workplace, that might mean borrowing a co-worker’s chair with features you’re interested in. For a home office, it could mean asking a store salesperson if you can do a trial run for a few days on a demo model before committing to buying one, she says.
When trying out chairs, there are a number of things to consider beyond comfort. Examine its materials, whether it has an ergonomic design, adjustable parts and, of course, the cost.
One of the first things to consider when trying a new office chair for back pain is the material. There are a lot of options—leather, polyester, mesh, foam and everything in between.
“Especially for the pad in your chair, I like a breathable material and a nice cushion that’s firm and contours to your lower back,” says Jacobs. “Make sure it’s comfortable but breathable.”
Researching what a chair is made of is particularly important if you have allergies to certain materials or fabrics, she adds.
Having an office chair with a solid ergonomic design is essential. However, just because a chair is labeled “ergonomic” doesn’t mean it actually is, says Jacobs.
“Anyone can use that [term] on a product,” she says. “So consumers need to understand what they’re looking for.”
She recommends workplaces invite an ergonomics expert to come in and evaluate workstations, as well as educate employees on a proper workstation setup and use.
“One of the best ways to ensure an office chair is ergonomic is to find one with a lot of adjustable options,” says Jacobs.
“Get your back in the back of the chair and then look at adjusting everything else,” she says.
Areas of adjustability should include the seat height, the seat pan’s (the part that you sit on) tilt, removable armrests, a headrest and a recline option for the seat.
Pay close attention to your knees—they should have a 90-degree bend with your feet flat on the floor in front of you or on a footrest. Also, the crease of your knees shouldn’t rest against the seat pan. If you go with a seat pan that adjusts and tilts, make sure you can lock it so it doesn’t move around once you get it adjusted properly, says Jacobs.
She also prefers chairs that can swivel so people can move their chairs easily when they need to shift positions instead of turning their heads, which is a less natural way for the body to move.
Adjustability isn’t just a set-it-and-forget-it, one-time thing. In fact, Jacobs recommends making it a habitual part of your workday, which is why she helped design a mousepad for Boston University featuring recommendations on how to set up your workstation.
“Each time you come into the office, ask yourself if your chair is comfortable,” she says. “Have a reminder on how to set up your computer workstation.”
An office chair to reduce back pain can cost less than $100 to more than $3,000. Some materials like leather are more expensive, and chairs with more features and adjustability options can certainly cost more.
Jacobs doesn’t endorse any particular office chair, but she says good office chairs for back pain can be found at a variety of prices. Again, it’s all about finding the right fit for you because everyone and every body is a little bit different, she says.
Don’t be afraid to get creative to save money, she adds. Using a pillow on a seat or against the back of a chair can make it much better suited to supporting your body’s proper alignment—and much more comfortable, too.
Does Lumbar Support Help?
Lumbar (lower back) support is ideal no matter the type of chair you find yourself in, as it helps keep your body properly aligned and better maintains the natural inward curve of your lower spine, says Jacobs.
If you can’t find a chair where the lumbar support feels comfortable or you sit in a chair that doesn’t have any lumbar support, you can use a nicely rolled towel to add it, she says.
To further improve alignment and support, Jacobs also likes to use a footrest. At home, she uses yoga blocks for a footrest because they’re comfortable and she likes that she can move them around no matter her sitting position.
And as you adjust your position—whether to recline or lean forward to take a closer look at your screen—be sure to continue to adjust your office chair and lumbar support to keep you and your back supported, she says.
Consider Your Entire Environment
Even with the best office chairs for back pain in the world, Jacobs says you may still develop back pain if you’re not addressing other risk factors or paying attention to the rest of your workspace.
Jacobs strongly recommends starting your day with some gentle stretching or yoga (with your doctor’s consent, of course) to prepare your body for the day. Once in the office, take breaks and change your position every 20 to 30 minutes by getting up and walking around. You can also try using a sit-stand desk.
Don’t forget other wellness measures, too, says Jacobs. Remember to stay hydrated and get outside when you can. Even add an indoor plant to your desk space for an overall health boost.
“It’s all connected,” she says. “You can’t just look at one body part. It’s mental health as well as physical.”
When to See a Specialist
Because the causes of back pain vary dramatically, sometimes even the best office chairs for back pain don’t fully resolve it. If your pain is ongoing and becomes chronic, Jacobs recommends calling your primary care physician to explore the cause(s) more thoroughly and discuss possible treatment options.
It’s hard to do good work when you’re in pain. So take care of yourself, listen to your body and set up your entire workspace not just for your back’s health, but for your overall well-being.
Best Executive Chair for Lower Back Pain – The best office chairs for back pain are ergonomic chairs with built-in lumbar support. The lumbar region, also known as your lower back, needs support between the chair and the natural inward curve of your spine. Having this support helps you maintain a good and healthy posture. Without lumbar support, the natural tendency is to either slouch or lean forward, and the muscles in your back have to work even harder to support your spine’s correct alignment, which tires them out.
While you may find other lists on the internet, almost all of them will be built to push you into Amazon products. It’s important to note that most, if not all of these websites, have never tried the chairs they promote. As someone who has sat in hundreds of chairs, I know there is no way you could ever know what chair is excellent or bad without sitting in each first hand.
Chairs that offer better lower back support do exist, and today we will take a closer look at the ones we have found to provide the best lumbar support. I will show you chairs that are available at different price points so that no matter your budget is, you can start to work more comfortably.