Two main office-hour culprits in the rising risks of lower back pain are the long sedentary hours and the ensuing bad sitting postures. Since consecutive sitting periods are inevitable, choosing the best office chair for lower back pain becomes the best bet.
What Type of Office Chair Is Best for Lower Back Pain?
Manufacturers have noticed the problems that people have with office seating. Therefore, they have made many different kinds of chairs for people to choose from. Without further ado, here I will tell you about some of the best ones.
1. Traditional Executive Work Chairs / Adjustable Lumbar Support
Most office desk chairs have lumbar support. However, the thing is to find the most suitable curvature for your back. After all, everyone has a unique back shape. Buying the chairs with lumbar support that does not follow your back at all will hurt rather than protect it. Imagine that the backrest has an outward curvature where your lower back has an inward one. There will be space between your back and the chair’s back. Under such circumstances, you are not resting your back on the backrest. Plus, the back design will be nothing but a white elephant.
Therefore, people start to make chairs that have adjustable lumbar support. Such designs have two main categories, the detachable lumbar pillow, and the built-in lower back support.
1.1 Detachable Lower Back Pillow to Reduce Pains
The detachable lumbar cushions are often height-adjustable. You can take them off when you feel they are unnecessary, like when you are reclining to 180 degrees. Also, you can secure them to the height you find most supportive. They are usually where your lower back curves towards your desk. With this adjustment, you can place some of the pressure from your upper body on the pillow. Thus, your lumbar area is less likely to suffer from pains thanks to the pressure load relief.
Recommend reading: 25+ Best Massage Office Chair Reviews with Heated Vibrating Functions
1.2 Built-in Lumbar Support to Deal with Pains
Another type of support your chairs can provide is the built-in options. This kind of support is adjustable in two ways: height and depth. These two types of adjustment are what make them as functional as the former detachable lumbar support. The height adjustment often allows a rough 2-inch range. So, you can adjust the support mechanism to where your lower back curves in.
After it is in the right place, you will want to give perfect support to your lumbar part. So, the chair back may allow you to move the support front and back. This is of great help if your back curvature is sharper or flatter than the chair.
Choosing among the various office chairs may be a hassle even if you know you want adjustable lumbar support. However, once you check my top pick below, you will find it a walk in the park.
With this chair, you can custom-make your seating by adjusting its headrest, lumbar support, armrests, and seat height.
However, a problem with the two types of lumbar support mentioned above is they will not ideally encourage your movements. When you are wary of your positions, you will find them less useful as they initially are. Besides, it is troublesome to adjust it every time you move. This is why I am introducing the next group of chairs. They are ideal chairs that encourage you to change your positions to avoid muscle stiffness.
2. High-end Computer Chairs with Intelligent Designs for Lower Back
These are the more advanced types of lumbar support on chairs. Here I would like to recommend two brands. One is Herman Miller, and the other is Steelcase.
Herman Miller is famous for its exclusive PostureFit SL lumbar support. Here, “SL” stands for the sacral/ lumbar region of your lower back. This mechanism is fully adjustable and will effectively support your lower back to promote good posture and reduce pains. You can engage or disengage it by turning the knob clockwise or counterclockwise.
When you are using the PostureFit SL system, you can adjust the radian of the chair’s back curvature. By doing so, the chair back will get to a point at which it best suits your spine curvature. This is how it works to support your back.
Meanwhile, the most popular Aeron chairs from Herman Miller have more designs to make for a unique and ergonomic seat for you. After all, in the world of office chairs, you get what you pay. These high-priced chairs will not do you wrong.
Steelcase is a runner-up in producing expensive and ergonomic chairs for office rooms. These gesture chairs draw their inspiration from the movements of the human body. Therefore, this is where these chairs are dedicated. They can support a broader range of motions than Aeron chairs.
The 3D LiveBack, together with the well-made seats and armrests, will respond immediately to the variation of your posture to support your body parts. Therefore, if you are the moving type, this is the best choice for you.
However, as you can see from the above two recommendations, this type of chair is relatively more expensive. If you are not in the mood for shelling out such a big fortune, read on to find out more types of office chairs for lower back pain relief.
Recommend reading: Top 10 Best Massage Gaming Chair Reviews For Computer and Gaming PC
3. Exercise Balance Ball Chairs for Active Sitting
As more and more people are taking balance ball lessons, it is a rising trend to use these fitness balls as office seats. These Swiss balls can improve the quality of your life in two ways. One is to encourage active sitting. The other is to give you easy access to exercises.
When you sit on the balls, your core muscles are forced to work. On regular chairs, however, poor sitting postures will tolerate their laziness. Because of that, other muscles on your lower back are overly stressed. By sitting on the balance ball chairs to work for long hours, you can see improvements in your core strength and muscle tone.
This, in the long run, will improve your overall health and help you keep fit. Besides, the enhanced blood flow that comes along makes for refreshing working hours and thus enhances your productivity.
Recommend reading: Is Sitting on an Exercise Ball Good for Back?
4. New Kneeling Chairs for Immediate Pain Relief
This is a revolutionary way of sitting. When I first used the chairs, I was amazed by people’s creativity in making posture-friendly chairs. Trying them dispels all the doubts I have over these seemingly weird chairs.
The most significant doubt I had before I try is whether it will cause leg pain. As you can see, we need to sit in a kneeling posture on the chairs. Therefore, our legs are sharing some pressure from our upper body. However, this is no big deal at all. In my imagination, I need to lay many loads of weight on my legs.
Yet the truth is the other way round. I am merely placing my legs on the knee pads for support. My weight is evenly distributed all over the chair seat, which also has thick padding. In fact, I can feel that the weight distribution is more ergonomic than before as my butts, especially my tailbone, are less likely to feel pains after long hours of sitting.
Therefore, I can guarantee that this is a good piece after using them for 3 months. Be sure to check it if you consider buying something new for your office.
Recommend reading: The 11 Best Kneeling Chairs Reviews with Adjustable Ergonomic Design
5. Sit-Stand Desk Chairs to Improve Your Overall Health
Many reports have shown that sitting for too long will increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It might be hard to see this in the short term. However, the obvious troubles from this are the increasing pains in the lower back and other parts of our body. Contrary to sitting is standing and moving.
So, is it good to stand to work all day long? Sure, the answer is no.
Our body is neither designed to sit all day nor suitable for standing for long durations. Plus, we can’t move around all the time while working. Thus, the solution is self-evident: alternate between sitting and standing.
How can we stand for office hours? Sure, it is tiring to sit on the floor with no support. Therefore, manufacturers have made chairs for sharing your load. Once you pick the high-quality ones, you will find it easy to work whether you want to stand up or sit down. If you are not in the mood for a new chair, then a specially designed mat will satisfy your needs, too. Such mats are different from regular decorative mats. They boast some functional designs to help with your standing sessions.
How Do You Relieve Lower Back Pain in the Best Office Chair?
Having known the importance of choosing the best office chair for lower back pain, you may wonder how to reduce your back issues further. Here are some workable suggestions.
1. Sit in the Proper Posture.
Lower back pain is no joke. Once you get accustomed to bad sitting postures like slouching over or down in the chair, bad backs will ensue. A study shows that as many as 50% to 80% of people have suffered from lower back pain at some point in life. Experts have attributed a large part of this to the poor sitting postures that we form unconsciously.
What is good posture? The illustration below will give you some clues.
1.1 Place Every Part of Your Body in the Right Posture
As you can see, your feet should be flat on the floor. Then, the angle of your knees should be 90 degrees. Don’t place it on the base of your chair or sit cross-legged. Both bad postures will add excessive pressure to your lower back and shoulders. Plus, they will impede blood circulation and make you uncomfortable.
Another 90-degree angle should be on your elbows. This is what makes your shoulders most relieved. Between your arms is your lower back, which should be resting on the chair back in full comfort. In this position, you will also free your butts from unnecessary loads of weight. Therefore, sciatica pain will be less hurtful.
However, it might be difficult when you first start to make revisions to your old postures. This is where the ergonomic office chairs with ergonomic lumbar support shine. Plus, the kneeling chairs, though you need some time to get used to them, are best at propping up proper postures.
Recommend reading: What Is the Best Office Chairs For Posture & Top 17 Reviews
1.2 Ensure the Computer Monitor Is at Your Eye Level
Besides, make sure the computer monitor is at your eye level, or else your neck pain will be worsening. This may be hard to adjust when your desk height is fixed at a relatively low level. Then, there are three solutions I can provide.
One is to buy a low-height office chair that can work with the desk height. However, keep in mind that this is not recommendable for tall guys for their legs and feet will be extremely uncomfortable in that.
The second is to change your desk to a tall one so that it will fit your height and the chair height. This can be a significant expense if you want to buy a quality alternative. However, if budget is not a concern for you or if you like your chair and don’t want to change it, I’d suggest you buy a height-adjustable desk. This will make for a sit-to-stand workstation that is better for your health.
Solution three is to buy a holder that puts your laptop on a higher level. This is the most convenient and economical answer to this question. The only drawback is that your place might become a scenic spot in your office and people would like to come and ask you where you get this witty gadget.
Recommend reading: Choose the Best Ergonomic Computer Chair with this Latest Guide & Reviews
2. Active Sitting Is Highly Recommendable.
As you know, we are spending long consecutive hours sitting in front of our desks every day. However, our human body is not designed for such static postures. Luckily, the concept of dynamic sitting is gaining more recognition and popularity nowadays. People have made chairs for this too.
While traditional seating is designed for sedentary activities, newer types of chairs like balance balls encourage moving while sitting. That is, the seated occupant, who was confined to only a few moves on the chairs, is now able to vary their positions more frequently.
Although research and studies on this topic need further improvement, experts have made considerable progress in this field. Chairs varying from the easily affordable exercise ball chairs to expensive Steelcase 3D Live Back chairs have come out. All such chairs are on hand to encourage people to vary their positions while sitting to promote health. Such movements will make for more smooth blood circulation and lower the risks of heart diseases. Meanwhile, fewer pains are causing problems while working.
Recommend reading: Ergonomic Benefits of Sitting on Stools
3. Alternate Between Sitting And Standing.
Studies have proved that both sitting and standing for prolonged hours will do harm to your health. Therefore, health experts have suggested people alternate between the two. Standing up is the position that adds the least pressure to your lower back, but this may cause pain in your legs and feet. Sitting, however, may reduce the adverse effects on the calves but put your lower back at a higher risk of pain. So, this is the reason why mixing them two at a scientific rate is more recommendable.
And this is when the sit-to-stand desks and chairs come in. With these pieces of office furniture, you can conveniently vary your positions to make the best of the ergonomic workstation. The only two things you need to take notice of are the quality of the furniture and the time distribution.
Recommend reading: Best Ergonomic Executive Chair Reviewed & Comfortable for Long Working Hours
3.1 Chairs for Sitting And Standing to Relieve Lower Back Pain
For the above question, I would like you to read about how to choose the best office chairs for standing desks. There are mainly two types of chairs for the sit-stand workstation.
One is the upgraded version of the traditional office chairs. They have an adjustable height for sitting and standing desk heights. These chairs are comfortable to get used to.
Another type is the particular kind of chair that has smaller seats and an anti-fatigue mat. They need you to take time before getting accustomed to them. However, it is worth the effort.
Also, you can choose the mats for standing while you work. They have the ergonomic designs to make for long-time standing without causing pains or fatigue. Plus, they may have a massage function to relax your feet further.
3.2 How Long Should You Stand
And for the latter issue, I have done a lot of research for you and found the two best ways of alternating sitting and standing. You can try both ratios for a fortnight and see which one suits you better.
Both suggestions have won high praise from desk-bound fellows who try to change their work style. However, as you can see, the distribution has much difference. This is because people have varying tolerance to the two postures. Besides, the pains people are suffering from are different. So, please try both and find out which is the most suitable for you. Plus, you may need to vary the ratio as time goes by. Timely adjustments will do you a power of good.
4. Do Some Exercises in Your Office
As you can see from the illustration above, doctors have suggested moving from time to time during office hours. Feasible ways include taking the stairs and walking around the room to grab a coffee in the lounge. Also, you can park your car further away from your office building and walk there. If you live near your office, riding instead of driving or using public transportation is also recommendable.
Besides, there are many exercises you can do on your chairs. The yoga moves taught in the video below, for example, will stretch your back and thus make for more refreshing workdays. I would strongly recommend you to try them. They are easy to follow.
Additionally, if you have exercise ball chairs in your office, you will have easier access to exercises during the break.
5. Massage Sessions Are A Great Relief.
Much as we have talked about ways of creating ergonomic seating, sitting for long durations is inevitably damaging for your health. The prompt symptom is lower back pain and shoulder and neck pains. Standing for hours at a stretch, meanwhile, will even take a more significant toll on our well-being. Therefore, a solution to such unavoidable problems is to get a massage.
However, I don’t know if the same goes for you, but I can hardly squeeze out time for a massage reservation. It takes time and effort to travel the distance to meet masseurs. So, in comparison, I’d prefer lying in bed at home, hoping the sore muscles will recover by themselves. This lazy side of me will not do me a power of good, so I choose to buy a massage chair as an alternative.
The result turns out to be amazing! Now that I have spent so much money on a massager, it seems a loss if I do not use it. Therefore, I consulted a doctor and started a schedule for massage sessions. Since the massage chair is readily available, I am more in a mood for a soothing session than before. The heating function will warm my stiff muscles and prepare them for the massages coming next, like me doing warm-up exercises before running. Then, the various massage techniques, including shiatsu massage, kneading massage, and vibration will cure the pains in my muscles.
Plus, the high-tech zero-gravity positions allow me to lie flat more comfortably and make the massage more effective. I have tried receiving massages with and without it to figure out which mode is better. Sure, the answer is to buy the massage chairs with zero-gravity positions. So, here is what I bought. I would highly recommend you to give it a shot.
Recommend reading: Why Is the Five Star FS8812 Massage Seat Cushion So Popular?
Choose the Best Office Chair for Lower Back Pain with Lumbar Support
It’s well known that sitting in an office chair for long periods can lead to back pain. You may feel as though you’re immune to such problems if you’re young and fit. Eventually, however, all the sitting issues will catch up with you. It doesn’t help that when people have been sitting in an office chair for long enough, they have a natural tendency to slump or slouch down in the chair. This posture can wreak havoc on the lower back, and it only gets worse if you don’t have a chair built to help support you.
Luckily, you don’t have to suffer if you can get the best office chair for lower back pain. Specifically, a good office chair requires excellent lumbar support. While many people get the idea that they can handle a little bit of pain, sitting for long periods without proper lumbar support can cause strains on the muscles. The result of that can be difficulty walking or standing. While that’s an awkward situation, it’s possible, so you want to make sure to get a chair that can support you properly.
Buy this best office chair for lower back pain that is comfortable and decently made at less than $100.
Recommend reading: Best Hot Selling BackGuard Lumbar Cushion from SimplePosture
So how do you go about choosing the best office chair for lumbar support? The most straightforward but most flippant answer would be to sit in them and check. But of course, if you’re not sure what proper lumbar support is, you may not have any clue how to tell if the chair will have appropriate lumbar support or not.
If you’re uncertain of how to check for lumbar support, it’s not that difficult. Make sure that when you’re sitting in the office chair, the back of the chair contours fully to your own back. Many office chairs only support the upper back, either because the lower back is left open, or the chair doesn’t fully contour. You want to test every chair and make sure it presses against your lower back just as much as your upper back. You also want to make sure the chair is built in such a way as to discourage slouching. This will ensure that your lower back is adequately supported.
When it comes to choosing the right office chair, it’s important to remember that a right chair is a tool that helps you succeed. Some people may think of an office chair as merely something to sit on, but it’s much more than that. People who are dedicated to working to rise to the top will be in their office chair quite a bit. Such people like that will want to make sure that they have the best chair they can get.
Recommend reading: How Can You Choose the Best Ergonomic Desk Chair for Back Pain Relief
Ergonomic Features the Best Office Chair for Lower Back Pain Should Have
Working in an office requires sitting in a chair for most of the day. This position is terrible for your spine, as it puts a lot of stress on the discs, ligaments, and back muscles. In order to avoid problems, you have to use an ergonomic office chair and control your posture multiple times a day.
1. Effective Lower Back Support
Lower back support is the first and foremost feature all office chairs should have. Your lower back must be supported, as this is the only way you can maintain proper posture while working. As not all these chairs are alike, let’s see what some ergonomic features the lumbar support chairs should have been.
Recommend reading: Buying Guide for the Best Office Chair for Lower Back Pain
2. High Adjustability
First of all, they need to have the backrest adjustable to suit your body. This means you should be able to maintain good posture naturally, without special efforts.
Next, you need your arms to be comfortable, so your chair should have adjustable height to enable you to find the best position so that your forearms are parallel to the floor. Moreover, you need to pay special attention to your legs. Your feet should sit on the ground, with the shins perpendicular to the floor. You shouldn’t feel any pressure in your leg muscles, as this could influence the ligaments and the spine.
If the chair is too high, you should consider buying exceptional support to rest your feet on. Anyway, if you choose a chair with a pneumatic adjustment lever, you’re going to be able to adjust it to fit your body.
Recommend reading: Here’s the Best Looking High-Quality Adjustable Swivel Bar Stool You Need
3. Suitable Seat Size
The width and depth of the best office chair for back pain are also important. They should allow you to sit comfortably. Make sure the depth is enough for you to sit with your back against the backrest. Moreover, choose a chair that will enable you to adjust the forward and backward tilt of the seat.
Your main goal should be to provide proper support for your back, as this is the purpose of all lumbar support chairs. The backrest should follow the inward curve of your lower back, thus maintaining the structures in the lower spine in the correct position.
Recommend reading: 10+ Traits on Buying the Most Comfortable Bar Stools
4. Premium Materials for More Comfort
Since lower back support chairs imply direct contact between the backrest and your back, you should choose a chair made from high-quality materials. The backrest should have good padding, to be comfortable. Moreover, it should employ breathable materials to avoid skin rashes and other similar problems.
If possible, you should choose a cloth fabric or a mesh, as they are much better than leather or plastic. Breathability is essential, as you’re going to spend a long time sitting on your chair. You have to be comfortable, so choose the best office chair for back pain relief you can find.
Recommend reading: What Are the Most Recommendable Types of Office Chair Material?
5. Particular Types of the Best Office Chair for Lower Back Pain Relief
Last but not least, consider getting one of those sit-standing desks and chairs. In this way, you can spend part of your workday standing instead of sitting. Then, this would help you be healthier and prevent muscle strain and cardiovascular problems caused by too much sitting.
In a nutshell, choosing the right office chair isn’t incredibly difficult. You just have to take your time and do your research. Don’t settle for anything less than perfect lumbar support!
Recommend reading: Best Herman Miller Brand & Picking the Right Aeron Office Chair
With so many chairs available on the market, it is difficult to choose the best ones. So, I sincerely hope this article has helped you make an informed choice.
Recommend reading: How to Buy the Best Budget Ergonomic Chair Under $100 & Under $200