Best Office Chair for Back Pain – If you are struggling with lower back pain, the reasoning for this may be poor posture. Office workers tend to sit for extended periods, the result of this may have adverse effects on your physical health. There is a lot of evidence that the use of an ergonomic chair reduces lower back pain. A chair with lumbar support and cushioning aids posture control and can help alleviate strain and provide relief for lower back pain.
Depending on the amount of support you require and where you need it most, finding a chair with excellent lower back support is always a good idea. Each chair in our list offers, at a minimum, excellent lower back support for long hours of tasking. If you’re interested in reclining, the list shrinks somewhat. Finding how much support you need, where you need it most, and what type of material to have the chair upholstered in will ensure a good sitting experience. I hope this list has helped you narrow down the best choice for your lower back needs.
The best office chair for back pain is a very worthwhile investment. Whether it’s at home or at the office, we spend so much of our day sitting down at a desk that it makes sense to think about what we’re sitting on and what it’s doing to our back.
The best ergonomic office chairs can help with back pain, or can help prevent you from developing back pain to start with by improving how you sit.
Bad posture can cause serious and unnecessary health issues in the long term. The best ergonomic office chairs help counteract that by providing lower back support that allows your lumbar spine to remain in a neutral position. By supporting its natural curve, they can alleviate stress on the spine. They’re also highly adjustable, ensuring that you can put the chair at the right height for you so that your feet are on the ground and your knees are not strained.
The highest-ranked chair in our list for lower back pain, the Ergohuman LE9ERG, scored 82/100 overall. Just looking at the design of the lower lumbar region on the LE9ERG is impressive. Naturally protruding beyond the upper backrest, the lumbar support system is the first part of the backrest to make contact with your back.
The backrest on the LE9ERG is height adjustable, allowing you to move the lumbar support on your back. The design of it also allows for it to be automatically depth adjustable, based on the user’s weight and how much you push into the backrest. Additionally, there is some flexibility with how it moves with you as you twist and move around in the chair.
If you tend to lean forward while tasking, the lower support of the LE9ERG stays with you even if you cheat forward. This feature is perfect if you prefer not to lean back in the chair unless you’re on a call or browsing the internet.
Because of the design of the lumbar and upholstery, the support is very specific on the LE9ERG. It doesn’t spread across your lower back as a mesh alternative would. This is important because some users may not like that feeling. If you’re looking for a little less pronounced lumbar support, the ME7ERG Ergohuman does a better job at flexing and spreading the support through the lower back.
When you lean back in the LE9ERG, the motion of the chair will pull the lumbar support up your back some. At about 50 perfect recline, I noticed the support became less pronounced, but it was still good. Depending on the position of the lumbar to start, it could require you to lower it down your back for the right support.
Pros & Cons
- High Back Leather Chair
- Ergonomic, Adjustable Options
- Executive, Office Chairs
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 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
- Featuring Humanscale’s weight-sensitive, mechanism-free recline, Smart automatically adjusts to the body weight of each sitter to provide perfect recline support
- Free of manual controls, Diffrient Smart has a striking, sleek aesthetic
- Contoured seat cushions offer long-term comfort, reduce pressure points and provide weight distribution
- Supports up to 300 pounds
- Composed of 39% post-consumer, 23% pre-consumer recycled content
4.Steelcase Leap Office
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
- Buzz2 fabric is 100% polyester
- Wheels for carpet flooring
- Ergonomic chair – features include adjustable seat depth, fully adjustable arms, height adjustable lumbar, lower back firmness control, pneumatic seat height adjustment, recline tension adjustment, 5 position recline lock, upholstered back and seat
- All day comfort and back support - Leap's contoured backrest changes shape as you move to support your entire spine, ensuring long-term comfort
- Quality & durability – designed to withstand 24/7 use while providing maximum comfort
5.Herman Miller Classic Aeron
Likely the most recognizable chair in our list, the Herman Miller Aeron came in at number 6, with a solid score of 79 out of 100. The model we tested included the PostureFit SL, which is the best lumbar support add-on available for the Aeron. This is very important if you’re interested in purchasing an Aeron and want excellent lower support.
The Aeron offers medium lower support when in the upright tasking position. One added feature that isn’t common with most chairs is the ability to the chair in a forward tilt position. This is a useful feature for those who really like to sit forward and task. It isn’t for everyone since it gives the feeling of falling from the chair and requires you to engage your legs more than a traditional seated position.
Arguably one of the best features of the Aeron is the fluid tilt function that keeps your feet planted to the floor, and the backrest in perfect unison with your back. As you recline in the Aeron, the support felt when seated upright remains the same. Users that enjoyed the lower support when seated upright will get the same experience, no matter what reclined position they choose to work in.
Pros & Cons
- Size B
Eighth on our list is the Eurotech iOO chair, with a score of 78 out of 100. At first glance, the iOO is easily mistaken for the Ergohuman series, with similar features throughout. With a pronounced lower lumbar region, the iOO offers a similar feel as the mesh series from Eurotech’s Ergohuman series.
When seated in an upright position, the iOO has a medium to medium-strong lower support. Like the Ergohuman series, the lumbar system protrudes beyond the upper portion of the backrest, hitting your lower back even when sitting slightly forward in the chair. The mesh upholstery does a better job of spreading throughout the lower back than the LE9ERG, featured at number one on our list. If you are looking for a wider range of lower support, this could be a better option.
The lumbar support is also height adjustable, which allows you to fine-tune where it provides the most support. As you recline in the chair, the support remains fairly consistent, with medium support even when in a fully reclined position. The motion of the recline allows for the lumbar support to move minimally, offering more consistent support for the lumbar region than that of the Ergohuman series.
Pros & Cons
- Tilt tension control
- Feature- Tilt Lock
- Back angle adjustable
- Synchro-tilt. seat height adjustable, waterfall seat, ratchet back height adjustable, ratchet back height adjustable
- Seat depth adjustable, width adjustable arms, arm height adjustable, swivel arm, arm depth adjustable
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.
We’ve considered ergonomics, build quality and style, but we’ve also been sure to include options at different price points because the best office chairs for back pain do tend to be expensive. If you need some pointers on what you should be looking for, scroll down to the questions section at the bottom of our guide. And if you want to help your poor back even more, see our guide to the best standing desks, which can also be good for your posture. We also have a guide to the best office chairs (not specifically for helping posture).
Consider the following features as you do your research. Office chairs with these features are the best choices when it comes to relieving pain your lumbar and hip areas.
- Lumbar Support
If you’re looking to relieve chronic pain in your lower back throughout the day, you absolutely need to buy an office chair that features some kind of lumbar support. Most office chairs are curved in the lumbar area to provide this support, but the best chair for back pain will do more than that. If you have poor posture these chairs will help. Consider finding a chair that offers adjustable lumbar support or lumbar support that contours to the shape of your body automatically. These chairs will relieve your pain the best.
- Comfort and Blood Flow
It may go without saying, but you’ll want to buy an office chair that’s comfortable. Increased comfort typically leads to increased blood flow (and vice versa), which will help you stay healthy while sitting for extended periods of time. For this reason, a padded seat is recommended. Again, you may not be able to gauge specific comfort without sitting in the seat itself, but you can form a pretty good idea of overall comfort based on the materials used in the chair’s construction. The most comfortable office chairs encourage blood flow and increase breathability using a mesh-fabric hybrid that is both durable and well-ventilated.
Most people suffer from back pain because they sit too stiff in their office chairs. The best ones let you lean back and adjust a wide range of comfort settings to prevent ligaments and hip flexors from shrinking and pulling on your back. As such, adjustability is an important component to consider. Chairs that offer more adjustments also make good standing desk chairs due to their flexibility. It should have the proper height and width to seat you comfortably. The top chairs for back pain will allow you to adjust almost every single component of the chair, including the lumbar support to help correct poor posture. Consider chairs with plenty of adjustable features that also allow you to adjust seat depth, seat height, and have adjustable armrests. Seat height adjustments will make sure your legs are perpendicular to the ground which is essential for good ergonimics. When you buy a fully adjustable chair, you can customize your sitting experience to target your comfort needs and wants. Some people may prefer a kneeling chair, treadmill desk or an electric standing desk to stay upright and exercise, but most of us have to sit. Speaking of standing desks, a standing desk mat is great for your feet while using any chair as it encourages your feet to be in the proper position.
What is an executive chair?
An executive chair is a premium, high back chair that supports the entire upper body. An executive chair comes with more features and tends to be of a higher quality than other standard desk chairs. In layman’s terms, it refers to the “bosses” chair when the quality and cost of office chairs corresponded with seniority.
One main feature to consider is adjustability. Chairs with adjustable heights are key in helping keep pressure off of your lower back, according to Joel Giffin, PT, DPT, a physical therapist and founder of Flex Physical Therapy.
“You need to make sure the seat can adjust up and down, because you want your feet to be flat ideally on the ground…,” Giffin says. “If your feet are just dangling, it pretty much puts direct pressure onto the low back, and, believe it or not, even up into the neck, so that’s why the seat height is important,” Giffin adds.
Additionally, finding a chair with adequate lumbar support is important if you want to prevent back pain. This is going to help check your posture and keep you from slouching, which is something that can ultimately lead to pain in your back and neck in the long run.
“You don’t need a lot of [lumbar support], but you probably need more than what the average chairs [have]. Some chairs say [they have] lumbar support but [there’s] really hardly anything there. So you want something real. If you have a distinct back problem like a herniated disc, you might want more back support.” In that case, Giffin says you can use something like a back cushion or pillow to tack onto your chair as a substitute lumbar support if your chair doesn’t have any.
When you’re glued to a desk for most of the day, having an office chair for back pain (rather, for relieving or preventing back pain) is not a luxury, but a must. Sitting for long periods without the right support can wreak havoc on your back muscles, reinforce bad posture and end up causing a lot of pain and potential damage. But while so many office chairs promise to be ergonomic and comfy, how can you really tell if a chair is good for supporting your back?
If sitting is the new smoking, back pain is the cancerous pandemic. Studies show that 65 million Americans suffer from debilitating back pain, with that number expected to rise as more of us spend our days hunched over a desk. The good news? There’s still time to reverse this troubling trend and lessen hardship for those affected.
When it comes to back pain from extended sitting, a supportive office chair makes all the difference. Equipped with proper ergonomics, your chair can bring instant pain relief, followed by long-term health benefits with continued use. This list goes over the best office chairs for lower back pain — options that help soothe the ache and prevent pain from occurring in the first place.
There are hundreds of office chairs out there, and most of them claim to offer some form of back support. To sort through these claims, I physically tested dozens of chairs, sought the advice of ergonomic professionals, and read hundreds of real user reviews.
Best Office Chair for Back Pain – Finding the best office chair, that will help reduce lower 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.
Considering that many of us spend over half of our waking hours sitting down, if you suffer from back pain, the right ergonomic office chair can be a godsend in managing your pain and relieving tension. The question is, just what is a good office chair for back pain?
The fact is, almost every ergonomic office chair claims to help with back pain, but that doesn’t make it true.
Unlike most guides on the web, in this post, we actually spent hours pouring over the latest research to find out scientifically just what the best office chairs for back pain should look like. Is a high back really better? What about an office chair that reclines versus one with a 90 degree straight back? Just how important is lumbar support in back pain relief?
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.