These Are the Best Office Chairs for Back Pain
Get back support while sitting with these best ergonomically-friendly office chairs for back pain, approved by experts, for every budget.
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Living with back pain
Back pain is ridiculously common—about eight in 10 Americans will experience sometime during their life. Experts estimate that 16 million adults in the United States experience persistent back pain to the extent that it limits their everyday activities. Work is one of the areas most dramatically affected by back pain, with an estimated 83 million workdays lost per year as a result, according to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.
“Lower back pain is often described as any discomfort or pain centralized in the lower back,” says Dustin Martinez, a chiropractor at Whole Health Chiropractic in Los Angeles. “It can sometimes radiate down one or both of your legs and at times can be sharp and shooting.” He notes that low back pain is the most common pain he sees, accounting for about 75 percent of his patients. In his practice, it’s the most common in athletes and people who sit at a desk all day.
Since so many Americans sit at a desk in the name of making a living—and for up to 15 hours a day, according to research published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice—it’s incredibly important to be mindful of the chair you’re sitting on. It’s also important to make sure it’s conducive to back health.
Causes of lower back pain
The most common causes of low back pain are related to repetitive and overuse activities. But lower back pain can also be caused by sitting without the proper support, especially if done so for long periods of time.
“We often see lower back pain present itself when someone has a change in daily activities, for example when a formerly active person transitions to a desk job or when your daily ergonomics change and you have to adapt to working from home,” says Martinez.
“Giving your body the right support can really make a difference in how you feel—something as simple as a proper lumbar support or adjustable armrests can really make a difference in your back pain,” he says. (These are the best stretches for lower back pain.)
How to choose the right office chair for back pain
“An easily adjustable ergonomic chair that allows for freedom of movement is the office chair of choice for those with lower back pain,” says Jordan Duncan, chiropractor and owner of Silverdale Sport & Spine in Silverdale, Washington. “The chair should be adjusted so that your knees are bent to 90 degrees and your torso is upright when your feet are on the ground and your hips are positioned in the back of the chair.”
Freedom of movement is key, according to Duncan, because it allows you to change positions frequently throughout the day. It’s also conducive for maintaining the health of your joints and tissue.
“Changing postures is vital in order to avoid the phenomenon of creep,” he says. That’s “defined as the continuous displacement of collagen fibers in response to sustained load—for example, during prolonged sitting—which includes spinal ligaments and other soft tissues of the lower back.
“Under most circumstances, collagen fibers gradually resume their original shape and length when the individual moves out of the posture,” he adds.
This phenomenon of creep can lead to a progressive reduction in the tissue strength, he explains, which may eventually result in injury. With a variety of position options available, an office chair can be beneficial for low back pain as opposed to being a factor in causing it, he notes. (Here are surprising reasons for back pain.)
Best office chairs for back pain
Here are some of the top-recommended office chairs for those who suffer from back pain, specifically lower back pain.
Furmax Office Mid Back Swivel Lumbar Support Chair
You can’t beat the price when it comes to this office chair from Furmax. It’s hailed for its lumbar support, which helps keep the back in proper alignment and reduces the chance of a back injury. It comes in 10 colors and has a support mesh back that allows for maximum breathability. And you can be sure the comfy padded seat is also durable, thanks to its BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association) certification.
Recommended for: People who weigh up to 265 pounds.
(Try these best back massagers for lower back pain.)
Amazon Basics High-Back Executive
If you’re not looking for anything fancy, but still want an office chair with lower lumbar support, this is an excellent choice. This Amazon Basics office chair comes in three basic colors: black, brown, and white. It’s made from a polyurethane-bonded leather upholstery and a pewter finish.
Other noteworthy features include a padded seat, pneumatic seat-height adjustment, 360-degree swivel, and smooth-rolling casters.
Recommended for: People who weigh up to 275 pounds.
CJS KIRO Foldable Folding Swivel Home Mesh Back Task Chair
Working in cramped quarters? This foldable office chair from CJS KIRO is a space saver. The chair includes a mesh back for breathability, adjustable lumbar support, and seat height adjustment. Plus, it can swivel and tilt for better movement.
Recommended for: People who weigh up to 250 pounds.
(Here’s how your brain helps with low back pain.)
Hbada Ergonomic Office Recliner Chair
One look at this office chair from Hbada and you can tell it’s all about comfort. It has an ergonomic recliner that tilts the backrest so you can increase the angle between your mid-section and your thighs. Plus, it has multiple height adjustments, lifts, and a lock setting.
Once you find the position that’s most comfortable for you, you can use the tilt lock function to help secure it into place. If you tend to get overheated while sitting, you’ll appreciate the breathable mesh back that allows for maximum airflow to keep you cool and comfortable.
Serta Ergonomic Executive Adjustable Mid Back Desk Chair
You can visually see the lower back support provided by this swivel-oriented ergonomic office chair from Serta. It has a push-button that allows you to easily adjust the armrests and adjustable height settings so that you can customize it. It also has back-in-motion technology that tilts the seat forward to help strengthen and enhance flexibility in your core while you’re sitting throughout the day.
(These are the everyday habits that are damaging your spine.)
$375 to $440
This chair promotes active sitting which can help some people with their back pain, according to the manufacturer, which also notes that The Ariel incorporates physician research. It also uses a patented RedRocker™ technology to give users the ability to rock for minor seat height adjustments. It also has an ergonomic design that helps prevent back pain and is comfortable enough for all-day sitting.
Not sure it’s right for you? The company offers a 60-day trial period so you can fully test the chair before committing. If it’s not for you, the company will provide a full refund.
Eurotech Seating iOO Chair
This office chair from Eurotech offers decent lumbar support that’s height adjustable so you can adjust it to where you need it the most. You can also set the seat depth, arm width, height, and depth. Plus, there’s a tilt-lock feature. You can choose from two colors, a white frame with an aluminum base or a black frame with a black base.
(Here are some desk ergonomics for a better workspace.)
X Chair X4 Leather Executive Chair
If you’re open to splurging, then the X Chair is an excellent office chair to consider. It allows for better posture and support thanks to an adjustable backrest and seat height, which will help people with low back pain, notes Allen Conrad, certified strength and conditioning specialist at Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, Pennsylvania. “It allows for lock and tilt lumbar support,” he adds. “And its reinforced neck and low-back design is ideal for those who spend long hours sitting at the computer.”
Another perk: It allows variable armrest settings and can support up to 340 pounds.
Herman Miller Aeron
Another splurge-worthy chair: the Aeron from Herman Miller. It comes in three sizes for a more tailored sit. (Des sure to check the sizing guide before you buy.)
And it provides excellent back support with adjustable lumbar support. It’s important to note that the armrests have limited adjustability. The chair also has a mesh back that allows for better breathability.
Recommended for: People who weigh up to 350 pounds.
Next, here are the surprising ways back posture can affect your health.
- Georgetown University Health Policy Institute: "Chronic Back Pain"
- Dustin Martinez, DC, Chiropractic Physician at Whole Health Chiropractic in Los Angeles
- Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice: "Too much sitting--a health hazard"
- Urban Studies: "Non-exercise physical activity in agricultural and urban people"
- Ergotron: "Ergotron JustStand® Survey & Index Report"
- Jordan Duncan, DC, chiropractor and owner of Silverdale Sport & Spine in Washington
- Allen Conrad, BS, DC, CSCS of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center in North Wales, Pennsylvania