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Best Desk Chairs for Back Pain

Updated on August 16, 2011

Causes for Back Pain

Sitting at a computer for long periods can produce back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and repetitive strain injuries. Consequences of back and neck pain from prolonged tension working with keyboard and mouse can produce muscle spasms, soft tissue inflammation, and referred pain to buttocks, thigh or spine.

Because most people slouch as they tire, back and neck pain increases as the spinal ligaments are stretched and the discs in the spine are strained. Although prevention of these pains is not totally measurable, ergonomic desk chairs allow control in adjusting the keyboard and mouse exclusive of one another. They also provide support and promote comfortable posture. There are several features in these chairs are important.

Features to Look For in a Desk Chair

The seat on the ergonomic office chair must be adjustable. Its height must be sixteen to twenty inches off the floor permitting the user's feet to rest flat with arms even with the top of the desk. The arm rest must permit the arms to rest comfortably with shoulders relaxed.

The seat should have enough padding to permit the user to sit for extended periods without being uncomfortable. The back of the seat ought to be twelve to nineteen inches wide so that it supports the natural curve of the spine especially around the lumbar region.

If the seat and back are one piece, then adjustments should be both forward and backward; however, if they are separate, the back should be adjustable for height and angle.

Popular Desk Chairs for Back Pain

With these requirements in mind, here are some of the best desk chairs for back pain available in today's market. The Aeron, which is used at NASA mission control and by techies throughout the world, is expensive at around $880.

Next, the Mirra, which sells for around $830, works better for those folks with shorter legs. A big jump downward in price might make the SwingChair at $495 more appealing. These are probably the most popular of ergonomic office chairs available.

Three other ergonomic desk chairs, which are not as popular and somewhat more expensive, are worth a mention.

The Liberty sells at $900; the Freedom Task Chair and Headrest is priced at about $1000, and finally, there is the Embody, which costs $1,800.

If price is not a consideration, all of these ergonomic chairs get good reviews.

Proper way to sit at computer
Proper way to sit at computer | Source

Cheaper Solutions for Back Pain

Cheaper options do abound. For example, if the user's chair does not provide necessary lumbar support, a rolled towel or cushion will provide structure for the curve of the spine. If the chair in use has seat that forces work with unsupported feet, it is possible that the use of a foot rest will afford support for the feet.

If the seat bed is not correctly sized, it may be uncomfortable, restrict movement or not support the legs. Just switching to another seat may be the correct option. Remember that the seat pan must accommodate both short and tall users providing a foundation for most of the thigh without touching the back of the knee. If the armrests are not adjustable and are causing awkward posture, consider removing them.

At worst, simply consider not using the offending arm rests. One last concern may be the number of legs on the user's current chair. Chairs with four legs or fewer than four legs may be prone to tipping. Additionally, either the wrong casters or none at all can affect the chair's position in relation to the desk. The solutions to these problems are to use a chair with at least a five-legged foundation and to check the casters assuring that they will work in conjunction with the flooring under the computer.

While the final solution to the back pain caused by extended computer use problem may be an investment in one of the chairs discussed here, there are some interim possibilities. However, just as there is no single type of ergonomic chair that is optimal for all users, likewise putting the purchase of an appropriate chair off is not wise. The problem of the pain can ultimately only get worse.


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