Our top pick is the Herman Miller Embody because it ticked all of the criteria we set for this review. This office chair is fully adjustable including the height, armrests, backrest and seat depth. We also loved the seat material which is comfortable to sit on for long hours and breathable so it doesn’t get too hot or uncomfortable. We were impressed with the lumber support and the technology that has gone into designing the backrest. The fact that this is an eco-friendly option earned it additional points.
Ergonomic Office Chair Buying Guide
What is an Ergonomic Office Chair?
An ergonomic office chair is a type of office chair specifically designed to support the lower back and spine, and ensure good posture.
The typical office worker spends up to 8 hours or more sitting in a chair. Over time, poor support and bad posture can lead to back, arms, wrist, hands and neck problems. Ergonomic chairs are designed to alleviate these potential problems.
Most people don’t realize that these chairs offer more than comfort and pain relief. The ergonomic chairs we reviewed all offer additional benefits including improved blood circulation, better focus, enhanced creativity and boost productivity.
How to Choose an Ergonomic Office Chair
The first thing you notice when trying to buy an ergonomic office chair is the sheer number of possible options. The problem is that the word Ergonomic has become a bit of a buzzword and many manufacturers are happy to slap it on the label when the chair doesn’t fit the bill. There aren’t strict regulations as we see with food and beverages so many unscrupulous manufacturers are happy to cash in on the craze.
Fortunately, there are a few fundamental qualities that make an office chair truly ergonomic. We used these same criteria in picking out our top 5 best ergonomic office chairs.
Adjustability is arguably one of the most important factors to consider when looking for an ergonomic office chair. There are a few sub-categories you need to look into in this case.
- Chair Height : You should be able to plant your feet firmly and flat on the ground and thighs parallel to the floor when sitting on an office chair. Forearm position should be parallel to your work station. You can only achieve this posture if the office chair is adjustable to your height. A chair that is too high or too low can interfere with blood flow, apply pressure behind the knee and apply undue stress on sitting bones.
- Recline-able : You should be able to recline the office chair just enough to reach the work station without straining the arms, shoulders, and eyes. Reclining also ensures that you don’t put too much pressure on your sitting bones and spine. Ergonomic chairs are designed to gently correct your posture if you recline too far back or forward.
- Seat Depth : An adjustable seat depth is meant to cater to the length of your legs. You can either move the seat forward or back depending on your height. A seat that is too long means that you have to lean forward so that the backrest can’t do its job. The result here is straining your legs and back. A quick way to check that you are in the right position is to put two or three fingers between the edge of the seat and the back of your knees. Your fingers should fit snugly if the seat depth is correct.
- Armrest : Finally adjustable armrest ensures that you can move your arms closer to the work station. The armrest should set for correct arm height as previously discussed.
Lumber support simply means the amount of support the office chair provides your lower back. A good lumber system should have position control, firmness control, comfortable back support and flexible as you switch postures. Lumber support is incredibly important if you want to avoid lower back pain.
You, of course, want a seat material that goes with your office décor. Black is a solid color that fits in any room although some of the options here offer a good range of colors. Looks aside, you want a material that is comfortable to sit in all day long. You want breathable material that doesn’t get too hot or uncomfortable.
Our picks for the best ergonomic office chair are all easily sliding if you need to move furniture around. Adjustable armrests also improve mobility such that they don’t get in your way while you work.
Any office chair worth its name should rotate to allow you to reach various areas of the work station. Swivel is standard with ergonomic office chairs, or at least in the ones on our top 5 list.
You might have noticed that we didn’t factor in price too much when coming up with this review. If you buy the right chair the first time round, it will be a long time until you need to buy another. We included a few affordable options on our list such as the Herman Miller Sayl Chair. Whatever the case you shouldn’t feel bad about splurging on a good ergonomic chair. The potential savings in massages and doctor, chiropractor bills make economic sense in the grand scheme of things. It’s also difficult to put a price on health and comfort.
We put in a lot of time and effort to wade through the endless ergonomic office chair options to come up with this list. Should you choose to find one on your own, be sure to use the criteria we suggested on the ‘Buyer’s Guide’. A good ergonomic chair offers comfort and support and encourages good circulation. You may also enjoy the benefits of boosted creativity and concentration.
The good news is you don’t have to spend tons of money to get a good ergonomic chair. Consider the budget options we have outlined here. Most of all make sure you buy from a reputable dealer. This guarantees that you have some sort of recourse in case the chair doesn’t arrive in the condition it was promised.