The Best Office Chairs for Lower Back Pain
A perennial concern among most office workers is finding the best office chair for lower back pain. The time spent sitting for long hours throughout the day and the unnatural positions we put our body into to perform certain tasks at the desk take a serious toll on the back, especially the lower portion as well as the hips.
A lot of office chair manufacturers like to claim their products provide lumbar support or are ergonomic. The sad thing is that a lot of chair models actually fail in these areas. Besides, it may be hard to find out whether a product labelled the ‘best office chair for lower back pain in Australia’ is exactly what it’s promised to be.
However, it is possible to find excellent office chairs for back pain. All you need to do is conduct a bit of research, check the internet for impartial reviews or simply read through the guide below. Once you’re done reading this, hopefully, you’ll be one step closer to finding the best office chair for back pain.
How to Choose the Best Chair for Back Pain
For optimum comfort and support, opt for a chair with the following features:
- Adjustable seat height: For most people, the optimum seat height falls between 40 and 80 cm off the floor. Since the ideal seat level for you also depends on your own height, you’ll need an office chair with a height-adjustable seat. With an ideal seat height, you can have your feet flat on the floor, with your thighs horizontal to your hips (or a little lower).
- Optimum seat width and depth: For a computer chair to be comfortable, the seat should be wide and deep enough to support you. The standard width is around 43 to 51 cm, although what’s ideal for you depends on your girth or build. The depth (measurement from the front to the back of the seat) should be just enough for you to sit comfortably against the backrest. Whilst seated, there should be about five to ten centimetres between the back of your knees and the edge of the seat.
- Adequate lumbar support: Lower back support in an office chair is extremely important. Since the lumbar spine is curved inward, prolonged sitting without proper support for this curve can lead to slouching (which, in turn, flattens the natural curve). It can also strain the structures in the lower spine. Therefore, opt for the best chair for lower back pain. This would feature lumbar adjustment (height and depth) so you can achieve the optimum fit to support the natural inward curve of your lower back.
- Ideal backrest: The backrest of the best back support chair for office work is usually around 30 to 48 cm wide. If your chair has an adjustable backrest, the height and angle can be modified to fit your needs. With this feature, you can adjust the backrest to support the natural curve of the spine. In case your office chair has the seat and backrest together as a single unit, the backrest would most likely be capable of being adjusted in forward and back angles. Once you achieve the optimum angle, you can use the locking mechanism to secure the backrest and prevent it from going too far backward.
- Padded seat material: Since you sit on your office chair for the greater part of the day, choose one with a seat that has sufficient padding. Seats with a cloth fabric are preferable to those with a rigid surface.
- Adjustable armrests: If you use the computer all day, an office chair with adjustable armrests is of extreme importance. Your arms should be relaxed and supported comfortably by the armrests on either side. Your elbows and lower arms must rest lightly on the armrests, and the forearms must not be on the armrest whilst you are typing.
- Swivel base: Whether you have a conventional desk chair for back support or an ergonomic one, it should seamlessly rotate so you can easily reach different sections of your work area with minimal effort. This feature will help prevent arm fatigue.
When you’ve found the most comfortable chair for back pain, make sure you adjust its height, backrest and armrests to minimise the stress of a sedentary lifestyle on your body.
10 Best Office Chairs for Back Pain You Can Find in Australia
Now that you know what features to look for in the ideal office chair for back pain, you may be wondering how you should start your search. To help you out, check out the following list of the most highly recommended chairs for lower back pain.
1. Gryphon MK 1 Air Lumbar
Our bestselling Gryphon MK1 Air Lumbar is an armless computer chair with four chair adjustments: seat height, seat angle, back height, and back angle, and an easy-to-use Duomatic mechanism. With a moulded black outer back, air lumbar inflatable lower back support and a 5-star black base, the Gryphon MK1 offers optimum durability and support. It also comes with optional adjustable arms.
2. Sapphire MK 1 Air Lumbar
3. Synchro Mesh
The Synchro Mesh Executive is perfect for home and office work and built for frequent, prolonged use. With a comfortable mesh backrest, the Synchro Mesh works to keep you cool even during the hot summer months. Its custom comfort features include 5 chair adjustments for the seat height, seat angle, back height, back angle and the Synchro mechanism for the sliding seat and ratchet back.
The Synchro Mesh is extremely durable and versatile, tested to carry people weighing 136 kilograms. It comes with an optional adjustable headrest and height-adjustable arms.
4. KAB Controller
Made for the boardroom, the KAB Controller is made with luxurious upholstered leather and features a 5-star black aluminium base. With the KAB Controller, you can discuss plans or evaluate strategies with confidence and ease as you enjoy its body-contoured cushions, height and tilt-adjustable headrest, 16-degree backrest angle adjustment, and tie-up armrests. Its built-in air lumbar system inflates or deflates based on your comfort requirements.
5. Zenith MK 1
You can also add other comfort features like adjustable armrests and air lumbar lower back support.
6. Austen MK 1 Air lumbar
The Austen MK1 Air Lumbar is highly recommended for home and office use. With its air lumbar inflatable lower back support system, users can say bye-bye to lower back pain. Aside from providing four chair adjustment options (seat height, seat angle, back height and back angle), it also features a moulded black outer back that’s sturdy and supportive.
If you want to increase seat depth, you can request a sliding seat. Another optional comfort feature worth considering is adjustable armrests.
7. Humanscale Freedom
The upholstered black fabric adds to the cosiness of Humanscale Freedom. It also comes with adjustable arms, a seat slider, a 5-star black base and polyurethane castors ideal for hard floors. It also comes with an unbeatable 15-year warranty.
8. Sterling High Back
The Sterling High Back has a locking swivel and tilt mechanism. This makes it easy to adjust the seat tilt and lock the seat angle. It also features a seat height adjustment control, making it one of the best office chairs for bad backs.
9. Sapphire High Back Executive
The Sapphire High Back features comfort elements that make it ideal for extended use: adjustable arms and chair adjustments for the seat height, seat angle, back height and back angle. Its heavy-duty Tiltamatic mechanism ensures optimum support for the back at any angle.
10. Alpine Mesh Chair
The Alpine Mesh Chair is a task chair with a contemporary design and durable mesh backrest to help keep you cool all summer long. It has three chair adjustment features, namely for the seat height, seat tilt and locking seat angle. It also has a synchro tilt mechanism to open the angle of your torso for better spinal alignment and proper circulation.
Office Chairs for Back Pain vs. Normal Office Chairs: What’s the Difference?
Since the development of ergonomic office chairs for bad backs is relatively recent compared to that of the typical office chair, there are clear differences between the two.
What office chairs designed to alleviate back pain have are adjustable features, such as the seat height, armrests, backrest and the seat width and depth. Other comfort elements available in ergonomically designed office chairs are air lumbar support, back bar extensions and additional seat foam or padding.
Although conventional office chairs offer some level of back support, the fact that the backrest is fixed doesn’t help optimise this feature. A lot of common task chairs do not even have armrests, so that’s one major element that’s missing, especially if you need to work on a computer for the greater part of the day.
Other Tips on Alleviating Back Pain
In addition to finding the best office chair for back support, there are things you can do to alleviate back pain associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
- Maintain good posture: When seated at your desk, always look forward. You know you’re in the optimum seating position if you are seeing the centre of your computer screen. Avoid slumping over your keyboard. Relax your shoulders and keep your body supported against the backrest.
- Physical therapy: Aside from giving expert advice on the proper way to sit, stand, and move to keep your spine properly aligned, physical therapists can teach you specialised exercises to strengthen your core muscles. With a strong core, you’ll have a well-supported back and avoid more back soreness.
- Take anti-inflammatory drinks: Anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce inflammatory reactions in your body, including back pain, when consumed regularly. Examples of these healthy drinks include turmeric tea, tart cherry juice and ginger-green tea.
- Sleep better: There are many benefits from getting a good night’s sleep, and one of these is a less sore back in the morning. If you sleep on the side, put a pillow between your knees to support the back and hips.
- See a chiropractor: Getting your back checked by a chiropractor can also help with pain as they can conduct spinal manipulation for treating acute low back pain.
- Enrol in Reformer Pilates: Just like certain physical therapy exercises, Reformer Pilates movements that strengthen the core muscles can help reduce and prevent back pain.
Other methods you can try to reduce back pain include a massage and cooling or heating patches.
A Better Office Chair for a Healthy Back
While there are a lot of things you can do to reduce back pain, prevention is still better than cure. One way to prevent that nagging pain is by using the right office chair that provides the best kind of lumbar support.
With the tips shared here, you already know what kind of chair is best for your back. Now, it’s time to shop for the best office chair.
If you need help with finding the perfect chair that’ll provide the best kind of back support, please contact us at Arteil.