In this modern day and age, we tend to spend much of our time seated before a computer or TV – some for work and some for pleasure. However, whatever our reasons may be, this unnatural position of our bodies takes its toll on our health and can even lead to back and neck problems.
Thankfully, there’s a way around these issues, and it comes at the price of a chair. Namely, there are various models of ergonomic chairs that can lessen the adverse effects of our sedentary lifestyle on our posture and health.
An ergonomically designed chair is one that’s designed with efficiency and comfort in mind. Its all about keeping your body in a comfortable position with minimal strain and misalignment to your spine. Productivity goes up when you work in an ergonomic setting with an adjustable chair. Hence, a high-quality ergonomic chair is a worthwhile investment to avoid developing or compounding back problems.
Whether we’re on desk duty at the office, or just gaming the night away, we can make the experience more comfortable by merely choosing the ergonomic chair that suits our needs best.
How to Choose an Ergonomic Chair
Choose a chair with all of the necessary adjustments to support proper posture.
When it comes to chair ergonomics, there is no one-size-fits-all. A good ergonomic chair should be adjustable in all directions. You should be able to adjust the backrests, armrests, tilt angle, and seat height. They also allow you to swivel around.
An ergonomic chair can be adapted perfectly for everybody using it.
Office chairs should have full lumbar support. Sitting for long periods without back support tends to contribute to slouching and strains in the lower back. Your chair should have a lumbar adjustment (both height and depth) that is explicitly shaped to fit the natural curvature of your lumbar region.
The backrest should be 12 to 19 inches wide.
Back angle adjustment will also provide ergonomic support. Reclining in your chair supports your upper body weight and thus relieves lower back pain. The ideal recline angle is 110-130 degrees.
You may also cushion your spine with a lumbar pillow.
Most office chairs are set too low, causing unnecessary tension and stress on your lower back. In contrast, if the seat setting is too high, it triggers instability and muscle tension in the legs. Adjusting your seat to the appropriate height helps to minimize stress on the knees and lumbar spine.
The seat of the chair should have a pneumatic adjustment lever that you can easily adjust while you sit on the chair.
The ideal seat height for most people is between the ranges of 16 to 21 inches from the floor. This allows you to have your feet flat on the floor, knees slightly lower than your hips, thighs horizontal, and arms even with the height of the desk. All your joints should ideally be at 90 degrees. Otherwise, the chair is either too tall or too short for you.
Seat width and depth
The seat should have adequate width and depth to provide proper support.
The seat pan should be broad enough to support most of your upper leg, but not so thick that it contacts the back of your knees when you sit back in your chair. The width of the seat pan should be at least one inch wider than your hips and thighs. Conversely, the seat pan should not be so wide that you cannot rest your arms on the armrests or your back against the lumbar support. Usually, 17 to 20 inches wide is sufficient.
To determine the optimal seat depth, sit down on your chair and lean against the backrest of the chair. The seat pan should allow two to four fingers to fit between the front of the seat to the back of your knee – this will enable you to sit with your lower back against the backrest of your chair.
The chair should have a seat pan with a waterfall front – one that curves down – that prevents the seat from rubbing you behind the knees. The edge of the seat pan should have a soft corner so that it won’t compress your thighs and buttocks. The seat pan should also be contoured to allow equal weight distribution.
The armrests of your chair should be adjustable so that you can rest your arms and shoulders comfortably while at work.
The height of the armrests should ideally be 7.1 inches to 10.6 inches above compressed seat height. Your shoulders should stay at a horizontal line while being relaxed and while your lower arms lie on the armrests. The angle between the upper and lower arm should be at least 90 degrees. The shoulders must be relieved without getting pushed towards your ears.
The width of the armrests should extend or contract lengthwise, so your forearms do not touch the armrest as you work.
Swivel chairs allow you to move around and rotate easily so that you can reach different areas of your workstation without straining your back.
The chair base should have a minimum five-spoke base.
The casters should effortlessly glide over various floor surfaces.
A headrest can provide support for your neck and head. Hence, its especially important if you are suffering from neck pain.
Make sure your neck is in the neutral position with the earlobe positioned between the collar bone and your neck muscles.
You don’t want the chair’s upholstery to be abrasive, itchy, or something that may cause your body to overheat. We recommend a breathable, medium texture upholstery of the seat and backrest. The padding should be soft enough to guarantee maximum comfort but firm enough to support your body weight optimally.
Types of Ergonomic Chairs
Kneeling Ergonomic Chairs
A kneeling chair has no back and positions the user in a modified kneeling position. The design encourages proper posture by sliding the hips forward and aligning the neck, shoulders, and back. It relieves the lower back muscle strain and improves your posture. If you tend to have lower back pain after a long day of work, a kneeling ergonomic chair is an excellent choice for you.
Saddle Ergonomic Chairs
The saddle chair is the shape of a horse’s saddle and places the user in a position between sitting and standing, similar to the position used when riding a horse – this forces the legs to drop naturally and widen, creating a healthy and stable posture. It’s useful for people with lower back pain.
Exercise Ball Ergonomic Chairs
The exercise ball chair is a ball, which encourages active sitting. It allows slight bouncing that keeps the legs moving, which stimulates circulation and exercises the muscles. The position needs to stay seated on the ball makes slouching difficult, therefore improving your posture. Some of these exercise ball chairs can be modified with a base frame with wheels for improved mobility.
PC Gaming Chair
These chairs are designed to make your gaming experience more comfortable. It’s built like a sports car’s seat, combined with an ergonomic design.
These chairs are often equipped with armrests and footrests for better comfort.
The Best Ergonomic Chairs
Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Office Chair
Most companies nowadays aim to provide their employees with the best conditions to boost their productivity. Still, for start-ups that have more than a couple of employees and limited resources, that might pose a challenge. Nevertheless, the Duramont Ergonomic Adjustable Chair is one of the best affordable ergonomic office chairs out there.
Adjustable Height and Lumbar Support
The very definition of an ergonomic chair implies lumbar support. Luckily, with the Duramont ergonomic chair, we can regulate the height of the backrest, depending on how tall we are. Moreover, we can even adjust its firmness to our liking.
Lie Back and Rest Your Head
Now and then, we will want to lean back into our chair at work and take a minute for ourselves. Like any ergonomic office chair on the market, this model comes with a knob beneath the seat. With it, we can adjust the tilt tension as the chair reclines and place our heads comfortably on the headrest.
Even though it’s an inexpensive model, this ergonomic desk chair doesn’t lack quality. It has a mesh seat with thick cushioning that offers much comfort. Additionally, the rollerblade caster wheels won’t damage the floor.
One feature that is a tad disappointing is the limited recline angle of only 120 degrees. Another thing is that the depth of the seat is not adjustable.
Though it comes at a reasonable price, the Duramont ergonomic office chair still delivers quality features beyond expectations. If we can look past the few shortcomings it has, this model is great for businesses on a budget.
Best Office Drafting Chair
Modway Veer Drafting Stool Chair
For all those creative souls, the Modway Veer drafting chair is one of the best ergonomic chair out there. It has all the features that meet the needs of designers, painters, architects, and others who use drafting tables.
The most important feature of this model is the added height it provides. To be more precise, the gas cylinder extends to match the level of drafting desks. To top it off, there’s also a chrome-plated ring where we can rest our feet.
Waterfall Mesh Seat
The additional comfort this model delivers is due to the well-padded seat with a waterfall edge that doesn’t cut through the blood flow in our legs.
Most Adjustable Features for More Comfort
Other than the height of the chair, there are a couple more elements that can be suitably adjusted. These include the armrests that can be either folded or leveled to a particular height. Also, the seat tilt and tension comfort can be modified to our liking.
Another reason this model is listed as one of the best ergonomic desk chairs is its sturdiness. It should be noted that the chair can hold up to 330 pounds while leaving a few if any marks at all on carpets or wooden floors.
We can hardly find any downsides to this model. Still, tall people might find the backrest too small.
Modway Veer Drafting Stool Chair seems to be the perfect choice for architects and other artists who want to pair it up with their drafting desks. That is unless they are too tall.
Best Exercise Ball Chair
Mantra Sports Exercise Ball Chair
We’re all fully aware of how detrimental sedentary life can be to our health. So why not do something about it – and still get the work done?
Work and Workout
Mantra Sports Exercise Ball Chair is the best ergonomic chair for those of us who work from home. However, this is not your regular office chair. Rather, it’s an exercise ball with additions that make it office-friendly.
We don’t have to miss out on our workout because of our workload, as the ball comes with resistance strap bands and a base ring that keeps it in place. That way, we can tone our arms and abs while we work.
Exercise balls, in general, are great for building up your strength and endurance, as well as improving your posture. Strengthening our core muscles helps relieve our back pain. In the same manner, this exercise ball can be used for prenatal exercises since it helps with alleviating labor pain.
Quality Material For a Lifetime
Mantra Sports Exercise Ball Chair is made of multiple layers of phthalate-free PVC for maximum resistance. On top of that, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
The exercise ball comes with an inappropriate air pump that, according to users, often malfunctions.
Surely many will find this model to be quite an unusual office chair. Still, for those of us who work from home and wish to stay in shape and eliminate back pain, this is the perfect solution.
Best PC Gaming Chair
Killabee Big and Tall
We don’t have to look deep to realize why Kilabee Big and Tall is one of the best ergonomic chairs on the market. Its modern design and numerous adjustable features make it the ultimate gaming chair, regardless of our height or weight.
Adjust to Perfection
When it comes to height, the backrest can be modified to fit the tallest of people, while the armrests can be positioned into three different levels. Furthermore, the high reclining angle of 180 degrees is perfect for taking a nap after an exhausting workday.
The manufacturer was mindful of the needs of overweight and tall gamers. Namely, an integrated metallic frame, along with reinforced caster wheels, allows for the chair to hold up to 400 lbs. Additionally, the gas spring cylinder is there as an extra safety measure against any risk of explosion.
Comfort Comes First
Most ergonomic chairs have padded seats and backrests. With this model, we also get the lumbar and the headrest pillows. But why stop at that? For even greater comfort, there’s padding on the footrest. Talk about spoiling ourselves.
Quality Above All
The quality of the materials used for this model is top-notch. The seat, the backrest, and the included pillows are covered with stain-resistant high-quality PU leather, while the padding is made out of exceptionally resistant foam with a great bounce. Thus, the seat springs back to its original form instantaneously.
There are none!
It is safe to say that this is currently the best gaming chair on the market. Though it’s designed predominantly for gamers, the versatility of the chair makes it perfect for all of us who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Best Kneeling Chair
SLEEKFORM Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
Trying to find the best ergonomic office chair for back and neck support can prove difficult even for an experienced buyer, but the SLEEKFORM Ergonomic Kneeling Chair is designed to encourage posture and reduce pain as a main feature of the product.
One of the coolest features of this ergonomic chair is that it can be customized to suit your preferences, so if you want to adjust the seat angle to make it appropriate for your height, or the height of your office desk or workspace, you can!
It’s not limited in functionality like other ergonomic desk chairs, though; the SLEEKFORM Ergonomic Kneeling Chair is durable enough to be used for almost every sitting activity, including reading, gaming, and sewing. It comes on wheels, so there’s no need to worry about portability – and you won’t damage your flooring by moving it, either.
Most impressive of all, the chair is designed to last, so you won’t find yourself sinking through the cushions one day and coming into contact with its core. No matter how often, and how long, you might sit for, you can rest assured that you’ve got yourself an ergonomic office chair that’s built to last.
Buy Now: Amazon
Best Saddle Chair
Grace & Grace Rolling Stool Chair
It’s about time there came an ergonomic office chair that caters to a different audience than the usual! The Grace & Grace rolling stool chair is small, nifty, comfortable, and backless, giving you the ultimate freedom to adjust and move around as you wish.
By far one of the most efficient and convenient ergonomic desk chairs money can buy, this rolling stool chair can be used for almost every task at hand, including hairdressing, massage, factory, and office work, and at-home hobbies.
Designed to offer lasting comfort over the years, the ergonomic char combines permanently MOLDED brand new high-density sponge and finest thick PVC leather coating for an impressive shape-retaining sitting spot.
Those looking for the best ergonomic office chair will be pleased to know that the Grace & Grace stool chair is smooth rolling, and offers full rotation and height adjustability, allowing it to be adapted to suit all its user’s needs. There’s no need to worry about safety, either – it allows a weight capacity of up to 400 lbs, and is fitted with an anti-exploding plate attached under the cushion.
The Bottom Line
Even the best ergonomic chair won’t help much if you have poor sitting habits. Don’t sit cross-legged in your chair or a slump position. Get up and take short breaks throughout the day to improve circulation.