As someone who sits for over 10 hours a day at a computer, I know how important it is to have a chair that gives my body the support it needs. You don’t really think about how important it is until you start having problems. From a stiff neck to signs of carpel tunnel syndrome to lower back pain, when you sit on a low quality chair, these issues are amplified and come a lot more quickly.
I’ll first dive into some of the best ergonomic office chairs and from there give you tips on how to avoid pain and injury while sitting at a computer or laptop all day. I’ll start with the more affordable office chairs and get to the more expensive ones. My advice is to get the most expensive one you can comfortably afford.
This one has a breathable mesh back. Its ergonomic design will help keep you comfortable and support your body where it needs it most.
- Ergonomic design adjusts to fit multiple users
- Contoured seat cushion with premium fabric upholstery and waterfall edge to help relieve pressure on legs
SPACE Seating Professional AirGrid Chair
Comes with leather seats instead of the mesh seat and for that reason, it’s a bit cheaper in price.
- Eco Leather seat with mesh siding for breathability and comfort
- One touch Pneumatic Seat Height Adjustment
- 2-to-1 Synchro Tilt Control with Adjustable Tilt Tension
Office Star Mesh Back Manager Chair
This is one of the best rated office chairs. Aside from the comfort, a big reason is because of its relatively low price. It’s a great affordable chair and comes in two different colors and has a lumbar support.
- Made with 100% polyester
- Adjustable seat height from 17.75 inches to 21.75 inches
- Comes in 3 different colors
Argomax Mesh Ergo Chair
Unlike the other chairs mentioned on this page, this one has the added benefit of coming with a head rest. Personally, I don’t care about head rests since I never use them but if it’s a feature you want, this chair is a great option.
- Comes with head rest.
- Breathable fabric
- Built in lumbar support
WorkPro Quantum 9000
This Quantam 9000 chair isn’t as popular but in terms of quality, comfort, and longevity, it’s one of the best chairs for the price. It’s more expensive than the chairs mentioned above but the added quality is worth the extra money.
This chair is made for people who sit at their desk for 8 or more hours a day. You can use this chair every day and it’ll still feel like new years from now. This is best home office chair in my opinion if you want to still keep your costs relatively low.
I personally have 2 of these. The first one was bought about 5 years ago. I was hesitant at first since I’ve never spent that much on an office chair before but I read about the importance of a quality chair especially for long sitters like me so I went for it and I’m so glad I did.
So much so that I recently got another one for my wife and my 5 year old one was just as good as the brand new one surprisingly. I don’t expect it to be this way forever but to hold up its quality after 5 years is pretty damn good for a chair in my book.
These chairs really last a while so although it’s a bit more expensive than the ones above, the price is worth it in my opinion since it lasts so long. And remember, I sit over 10 hours a day so when I say it’s high quality, I mean it.
Herman Miller Aeron Chair
If you’ve done any amount of serious research into the best office chairs, then you must’ve heard of Herman Miller. It’s a chair company that makes some of the best chairs in the world. Many top companies buy their chairs for their employees to make sure they are comfortable while they work.
This chair is by far the most expensive of the ones featured here but they have models that are even more expensive. If you want the top of the line office chair, this is the one to get. If you’re looking for the best office chair for lower back pain, this is probably it.
It comes in different sizes (small, medium, large which could accommodate tall people) and colors. They also have add on parts like a head rest. You can also choose between a graphite frame and an aluminum frame. It has a lot of moving/adjustable parts that will enable you to customize your chair to give you maximum support.
If you like this chair but can’t afford it and want some that is somewhat similar, than the Quantum 9000 above is what you’ll want to get. I seriously considered getting the Aeron chair years ago but after some research, I went with the Quantum 9000 mainly because this one was out of my price range.
The Importance of a Good Office Chair
Sitting for long hours on a daily basis isn’t exactly good for your body. The problems constant sitting causes on your body intensifies if you use a bad office chair. Over time, you’ll likely start experiencing neck, shoulder, back, arm/wrist, and leg pain. Pain from one area of the body can start a chain reaction and affect other parts of the body.
Many companies invest a good amount of money to provide their employees with high quality office chairs because they know what sitting for long hours can do to our body and posture.
There are plenty of things you can go cheap on but an office chair isn’t one of them. They’re one of the few things that you must be willing to invest in. Get a quality chair and your body will thank you for it.
Trust me, I’ve had cheap chairs before, the ones you can get for under $50 and although they felt comfortable for the first few months, whatever support it was giving my body quickly deteriorated. It was painful to sit on before it was even a year old.
If you don’t sit for long periods of time (less than an hour or two a day) then you can probably get away with a cheap office chair but anyone who sits more than a few hours a day should seriously reconsider getting a cheap chair just to save some money. It’s more expensive in the long run since you’ll have to keep replacing it and of course, there’s the cost of potential future pain, not to mention possible medical expenses.
Now even if you get a great chair, you can still hurt yourself if you use it incorrectly. The following are some tips to help you get the most out of your office chair. It might take some getting used to but it’s absolutely worth it.
Tips of Better Sitting Posture
Even if you buy a quality chair, if you sit on it with bad posture, you’re still going to end up with a lot of ache and pain later on.
1. Sit Up Straight
This one should be obvious since everyone says to not slouch our backs. This comes down to habit more than anything else. If you slouch your back, it’s because you’re fallen into the habit of doing so. Try to remember to sit up straight. This helps your spine do it’s job of supporting the rest of your body. If you need help, there are shoulder braces you can wear that help bring your shoulders back which will in turn help remind you to sit up straight.
2. Take Breaks
Even if you have to work for 8 hours a day in front of a computer, it doesn’t mean you have to sit for 8 hours straight. You need to get up and stretch every hour. Stretch your arms, legs, shoulders, neck, and back. You can even just walk around for a few minutes. This helps by relaxing your muscles. Sitting in a one place for a long time tends to stiffen up our muscles which is why a lot of people feel like they need a massage every time they get off of work.
3. Proper Posture
If you use the computer all day, what you’ll want to do is set up your desk, chair, and monitor in a way that your eyes are about level with the top of your monitor. This isn’t too hard with regular computer monitors but if you have a laptop, this might be difficult. What you can do is place something under your laptop to elevate it up to eye level.
The reason for this is so you don’t bend your neck down to look at your screen. Doing this for hours every day will put a lot of strain on your neck which will affect the rest of your body.
When typing, your keyboard should be low enough that your arms are parallel to the floor with your elbow at a 90 degree angle. Again, with a desktop computer, this isn’t an issue but with a laptop, it’s hard to have the monitor at eye level and at the same time have the keyboard at almost waist level. The solution is to get a USB keyboard. that way, you can separate your keyboard and your laptop monitor.
When using a mouse, move the mouse with your whole arm instead of your wrist. Using your wrist repeatedly will likely lead to carpel tunnel syndrome.
Your chair should be adjusted in a way where your feet are flat on the floor.
Here is a picture so you can easily see what the right posture looks like.
4. Stand Up
You’ve probably heard of people standing when working in front of a computer rather than sitting. This is lower the amount of sitting since studies have shown that people who sit a lot have a higher chance of developing health issues down the road. To reduce this risk, stand up every now and then.
This isn’t easy to do if you don’t have the right setup. Even when standing, you still want the top 1/3 of the monitor to be at your eye level. What you can do is buy an adjustable desk or an adjustable platform that can be placed on a regular desk. If you want to save money, put your monitor or laptop on some boxes.
It’s easy to fall back into our whole ways. What you can do to help remind yourself to use good posture is to put a post it note on your desk where you can’t miss it. Every time you look at it, notice if your posture is good. If it isn’t, fix it.
Choosing the Right Office Chair
The office chairs mentioned above are some of the best rated office chairs so if you don’t know where to start, just buy one of those. Obviously, you’ll need to take your budget into consideration but again, don’t be too cheap. None of the office chairs above are under $100 but some are under $200 or $300.
If you go to an office supply store, you’ll easily find chairs that are under $100 that actually feel quite comfortable when you sit on them but don’t be fooled. Almost any chair feels good and comfortable when you sit on them for a few seconds which is why it’s hard to judge a chair unless you’ve spent hours sitting on them.
The cheaper chairs, although comfortable at first, will quickly deteriorate within the first year. Once that happens, you’ll be back to buy another chair and that can add up. It’s much better to spend a little extra money and get a quality chair that can last you for 5 years or more while retaining its original level of support and comfort.
If you only sit on your office chair for a few minutes to an hour a day, any chair will do actually but if you sit for 4 or more hours a day, you need to get one of the higher quality chairs. The Quantum 9000 and the Aeron chair is what you’ll really want to get if you sit for that many hours. So it really just depends on whether or not you’re a light or heavy sitter.
Those 2 chairs have plenty of adjustable parts to fit your body with the Aeron chair having more options. The first 3 chairs mentioned are also good which is why they’re so highly rated and at the prices you can get them for, choosing one of those over one of those cheap $50 ones from Office Depot should be a no brainer.
You already spend a lot of time and energy getting and staying fit as well as becoming stronger. It would really suck if you start developing problems due to bad posture and sitting on a bad chair that start to negatively affect your performance in the gym. Back and neck injuries are no joke and it can happen gradually where you’re feeling fine one day and the next day, you’re in pain and have to take a long break from your fitness routine all due to neglecting the importance of sitting on a quality chair with good posture.
Don’t make the mistake so many other people have. An office chair, a mattress, and good running shoes are 3 things I highly recommend not going cheap on.