Best Office Chair for Back Pain and Heavy Weight

Best Office Chair for Back Pain and Heavy Weight – Whether you’re working from home or back in the office, there’s one thing likely missing your attention: what’s supporting your body while you sit.

That’s right, we’re talking about your office chair—and not just for comfort reasons (although that’s important, too). Your office chair plays a major role in your overall wellness, especially when it comes to the health of your back. In fact, the right office chair can help prevent lower back pain in the first place. And if you’re already suffering, the right office chair can make a huge difference in alleviating your discomfort.

To help you on your hunt, Forbes Health analyzed nearly 100 best selling office chairs on the market, evaluating them on metrics including price, adjustability and features geared towards those with back pain. Here are our top picks (note prices are accurate as of publication and are subject to change).

If we were to define comfortable office chairs with one word, the word would be “invaluable”. In fact, this is especially true if you have a few extra pounds under your belt. No matter if you need to work on your income taxes, give the finishing touches to that corporate report, or even evaluate your student’s coursework, something is clear: a comfy, ergonomic office chair specifically made for heavy folks is paramount in order to do those tasks efficiently!

That’s why I decided to write this article. I decided to find the very best office chairs for heavier folks like me. I also talk about why they are the best ones, with detailed information about pricing, ergonomics, weight capability, and style, among other things. If you are looking to spend your hard earned money on an office chair that will feel comfortable to sit for hours on end, then this is the article for you!

ROUND UP

1.Hегman Millег Mirra 2

If you work long hours at a desk every day, it’s worth investing in an ergonomic chair for back pain that will support your body properly, and our top recommendation is the Herman Miller Mirra 2. Yes, it’s expensive. But as you’d expect from a Herman Miller chair, it’s fantastically comfortable and looks stunning too. And it provides the best back support we’ve experienced.

The butterfly-shaped backrest responds effortlessly to your movements, making your spine feel cradled and supported, and preventing you from slumping or slouching. We also found that this chair comfortably holds you with knees slightly lower that hips, while your feet are flat on the ground – a key requirement ot sit properly on a chair straight from the UK’s National Health Service (for more on that, scroll to the bottom of this page).

The mesh is lovely and breathable, so you can stay cool on warm days. The chair offers excellent lumbar support, which can be adjusted for height (many of the cheaper chairs in our list include lumbar support but that isn’t adjustable) and the arms are fully adjustable too. The seat cushion distributes your weight beautifully, and it also takes the largest maximum load (159kg / 350lbs) of all the chairs on this list.

In short, this is the best ergonomic office chair that money can buy, bar none. For more Herman Miller options, see our dedicated guide to the best Herman Miller chairs and our Herman Miller Mirra 2 vs Aeron showdown.

Pros & Cons



2.SIHOO Ergonomic Office Chair

Concerned about your back but don’t have enough funds for the first chair on our list? Here’s the best quality office chair for back pain at an affordable price. This stylish chair looks the part for office use and it compares favourably with many pricier models in terms of functionality as well as looks. After using it for a few days, we think the highlights here are the mesh back, which is breathable, and the good level of lumbar support that comes with it. This, as detailed at the bottom of this page, has been identified by professional physiotherapists as an essential criteria for judging a chair to be beneficial for alleviating back pain.

It’s also super adjustable: you can tweak the back support, headrest, armrests, height and tilt of the chair. You can’t adjust the seat depth, but the features that are adjustable do at least let you make most of the adjustments that health experts recommend, for example allowing you to adjust chair height so your knees are slightly lower than your hips. This adds up to excellent lower back support for office chair users and at a price point much lower than its features would suggest.

The level of finish is quite evidently not up to the standard of more expensive designer chairs, which is unavoidable at the price. But in general, it not only looks the part but provides an excellent level of comfort and protection given the reasonable price.

Pros & Cons



3.HAG Capisco Silver

You may have noticed that the HÅG Capisco looks a little different from the other chairs on this list. That’s because it’s a saddle chair, which allows you to sit as if you are saddling a horse. This has been found to be very beneficial for countering and preventing back pain in research such as this study from Cardiff University(opens in new tab). In our HÅG Capisco 8106 chair review we found we had to keep adjusting how we sat, which in turn helps with posture and eases back pain.

Saddle chairs are most popular amongst medical professionals, but their use has spread to other types of workplace. They’re especially good for use with standing desks. The HÅG Capisco has a wider saddle while the HÅGCapisco Puls has a firmer, narrower saddle that allows you to sit with your legs closer together.

Providing good lumbar and lower back support, it’s very comfortable and very adjustable too. The seat tilts, with a tilt lock, and you can tweak its height and depth too, from a low sitting position to a sit-stand position. Plus, from an aesthetic point of view, this radical and minimalist Scandinavian design will certainly put your home office setup on the cutting edge of cool.

Pros & Cons



How We Selected the Best Office Chairs for Back Pain

The Best Office Chairs for Working From Home | PCMag

When selecting an office chair for back pain, we spoke with physical therapists and other experts and spent hours combing the web for the best and most effective products. After taking all of our options into consideration, we determined which to feature based on a few key criteria as recommended by dermatologists: cushion and frame materials, design, adjustability, and additional features.

Once we narrowed down our options, we compared each chair’s benefits to its price tag. While some choices on our list may be more expensive, we wanted to give a wide range of options that would fit all needs and budgets. Based on all of these factors, we compiled this list of the best office chairs for back pain.

What to Look for in Office Chairs for Back Pain

Adjustable Height

Of all the features to consider, adjustable height might be the most important when it comes to long-term ergonomics; if your chair is too high or too low for your desk, your spine will end up curving or arching in an uncomfortable position (and your neck and shoulders will be affected, too).3

“Height adjustability is key, both for individual comfort and for compatibility with the desk or work space,” says Eby. “When using a computer keyboard, your upper arms should rest at your side and your forearms should be parallel to the floor in order to prevent stress in your shoulders and neck.”

Eby adds that your feet should also rest flat on the floor, but this can be tricky for shorter people, especially once they’ve adjusted the chair height properly for the height of the desk. In this case, she suggests, you may want to get a foot rest or stool so your feet can sit flat.

Adjustable Backrest

DEA. Ergonomic office chair - BOS Barcelona: The executive furniture company

There are three ways the back of a chair can provide support, says Eby: with the location of lumbar support, the tilt of the backrest, and the depth of the seat.4 You may not be able to find a chair that’s adjustable for all three of these features, but you should definitely make sure your chair is adjustable for the one that affects you the most. In other words, people with low back pain should prioritize adjustable lumbar support, while petite people may want to focus on adjustable seat depth. People with more generalized needs can look for a chair with a flexible tilt to accommodate movement.

“Adjustable tilt of the backrest allows for a change of position while in the chair,” says Eby, “for example, a more upright position when using a computer and a more reclined position when on the phone or reading.”

Arm Support

Should you get a chair with armrests to support you all day long, or will they just get in the way of your comfort? It’s a tricky question, and even Eby admits armrests can be the most challenging feature of an office chair.

“Armrests provide upper body, shoulder, and neck support, [but they] must be positioned so that the chair can be pulled up fully under the desk,” she explains.

To get the support of armrests without any interference regarding the height of your chair or desk, Eby recommends finding a chair with adjustable armrests, so they can be raised or lowered to provide support where needed (without messing up the rest of your ergonomics).

Firm Cushioning

Even though your office chair isn’t made for Netflix binges, it should still be comfortable, says Blessen Abraham, DC, of Brunswick Health & Physical Therapy Center in New Jersey: “The first thing you need to find is a good, comfortable chair [that] supports your low back, buttock, thighs, upper back, and shoulders.”

Today's Best Office Chair for Core Hemorrhoids - Home Office HQ

Speaking of support, you’ll also want to find a chair that offers plenty, either in the way it contours to your body or in the density of its cushioning.

“I always recommend people to get a chair that’s a little bit firmer than softer, because you’re going to be sitting on it for a long time and usually the cushioning will wear out the softer it is,” Dr. Abraham explains.

What other ways can I prevent back pain throughout the workday?

The best way to prevent back pain is to move throughout the day. “The human body is designed to move,” says Eby, “[so] no matter how good a chair you sit in, it’s important to stand up and move around every so often.”

Dr. Abraham seconds this suggestion, saying that the best way to prevent back pain throughout the day is by just taking a break, getting off your chair once in a while, walking around, and stretching.

He also recommends having a designated space just for work (if you’re working from home) and reserving your desk at the office just for work, not for your lunch break. This not only forces you to take breaks throughout the day, it allows your body to be positioned in other ways—like at the kitchen table rather than the desk for eight hours—and gives you the space your body needs to spread out in ergonomically-friendly ways.

What kinds of office chair materials provide the most support?

Eby says the ideal office chair material is firm enough to support your body but with enough give or cushioning to be comfortable at the same time. It also helps if the material is breathable, so your body temperature stays comfortable, too. The most popular materials that meet these criteria are mesh, leather and fabric, she explains.

Why is it important to have a back supportive chair?

If your spine is not well supported when sitting, you will tend to fall into positions that further stress the discs and stretch your tissues,” Eby explains. “Long-term, these positions can result in muscle imbalances and postural changes, with muscle shortening at the front of the hips, the chest, the pectoral area, and the back of the neck, and weakness [developing] in the gluteals, mid-back, and neck flexor muscles.”

In other words, poor posture while sitting doesn’t just hurt your back, it literally changes your body—and not for the better. To combat this, anyone who sits at a desk on a consistent basis should invest in an ergonomic chair, especially if you suffer from back pain.

The right ergonomic chair will offer support to your back’s natural curve, eliminating any pressure on your spine.

If you’re already suffering from back pain, it can make a significant difference in alleviating the pain and ensuring that your back does not lose its shape.

Many cheap office chairs make you feel like you’ve been crammed into a torturous economy seat on a cross-country flight, but quality office chairs upgrade you to first class—they’re designed to support your body comfortably for the long haul. We’ve researched dozens of office chairs, interviewed four ergonomics experts, and asked test panelists with a variety of body types to sit in deliberation for over 175 collective hours.

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.

The best office chairs of 2022

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.”

WRAP UP

Best Office Chair for Back Pain and Heavy Weight – Finding the best office chair, that will help reduce  back pain, is a quest for many office workers. While most office seating companies claim to have lumbar support, they almost always lack in this area.

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.

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