Ultimate Guide to Office Chairs for Back Pain + (Reviews 2020)

best office chair for back painLower back pain is the worst! It’s extremely uncomfortable, especially if your job requires you to sit at a desk for prolonged periods. In order to offer some relief, you need to find the best office chair for back pain.

Let’s take a look at our reviews that are well-selected office chairs for bad backs! We are sure that this site will help you determine which office chair for lower back pain and lumbar support for office chair would be ideal for you and your needs.

You’ll find that we have done all the work for you and will provide you with the pros and cons of each office chair that help reduce lower back pain.

In addition, we only list the best desk chairs and don’t bother with the ones not worthy of having their name mentioned. We are not here to promote products or sell you anything.

As a consumer, you have the right to be given an honest opinion of items prior to spending your hard-earned money.


Aeron Chair by Herman Miller

Classic Aeron Task Chair

  • Price: $$$$$
  • Dimensions: 27.6 x 26.9 x 24″
  • Weight: 56.5 pounds
  • Material: High tech mesh fabric
  • Color: Variety Of Colors
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SMUGDESK Office Chair

Smugdesk Executive Office Chair

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 29.2 x 21.2 x 13.6″
  • Weight: 45.6 pounds
  • Material: Mesh
  • Color: Black
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GTRACING Ergonomic Chair with Pillows

GTRACING Ergonomic Chair with Pillows

  • Price: $
  • Dimensions: 20.9 x 21.3 x 52″
  • Weight: 50 pounds
  • Material: PU leather
  • Color: 3 option
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VANBOW Leather Memory Foam Office Chair

VANBOW Leather Memory Foam Office Chair

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 29.9 x 27.6 x 45.1″
  • Weight: 43.7 pounds
  • Material: Bonded leather
  • Color: Black
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Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh Chair

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh Chair

  • Price: $$
  • Dimensions: 24 x 25.2 x 42.2″
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Material: Mesh
  • Color: Gray
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Serta Air Health and Wellness Office Chair

Serta Air Health and Wellness Office Chair

  • Price: $$$$
  • Dimensions: 30 x 25.8 x 42.8″
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • Material: Bonded Leather
  • Color: 6 option
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Reviews of Office Chairs for Bad Backs

1. Classic Aeron Task Chair

Aeron Chair by Herman MillerThe Aeron Chair by Herman Miller is listed as one of the best ergonomic office chairs available, and it’s also good for bad backs. This office chair is designed to support your posture, even when shifting positions, plus it can accommodate people of all sizes. It conforms to your shape and distributes weight evenly.

You can visually see the intricate elliptical weaving threads on the office chair that create a neutral surface for your body. Aeron has this patented tilt called the Kinemat tilt, which mimics the body’s natural pivot points, and moves with your body for a more natural flow.

In addition, the contoured back of the office chair takes the pressure off your lower back and the waterfall front edge alleviates the pressure off your thighs, creating a very comfortable seating environment.

The Aeron office chair is equipped with adjustable padded arms, forward tilt, and tilt limiter so you can control the comfort level of the chair for your specific needs. Furthermore, this office chair is built to last and the parts that get the most wear are the easiest to replace as well. We do have to mention that this chair is an investment with a higher price tag than a lot of the other chairs, but worth it.

Furthermore, this office chair is built to last and the parts that get the most wear are the easiest to replace as well. We do have to mention that this office chair is an investment with a higher price tag than a lot of the other chairs, but from what we have researched, it’s very well worth the money.

[Read more: Classic Aeron Task Chair]

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2. Smugdesk Executive Office Chair

SMUGDESK Office ChairIf you have a bad back this office chair will give you the much-needed comfort mainly because of all the adjustments that you can perform. That’s the only unit on our list that comes with such a segmented backrest. It consists of 3 essential pieces:

  • Lower back section
  • Mid-back part
  • Headrest

You have control over all three of them so that you can achieve maximum comfort for your back. The armrests are also ergonomic as not only you can adjust their height, but also the tilt. What we liked about the chair is the fact that the backrest doesn’t recline too much. This product is built to help people sit properly and this is why the maximum tilt you will get is 117 degrees. It’s a blessing that the weight limit is also pretty generous – 300 lb, although, there are chairs which are better in that department.

The breathable surface is also something we cannot skip mentioning. However, the warranty may seem short to some – just 1 year.

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3. GTRACING Ergonomic Chair with Pillows

GTRACING Ergonomic Chair with PillowsDon’t mind the fact that this chair is advertised as a gaming one. Actually, this is quite the advantage. Such chairs are built specially for heavy-duty “sitters” so to say. The unit features plenty of padding, two pillows and a ton of adjustable parts.

Without a doubt, your focus should fall on the lower back pillow as it will significantly alleviate your back pain issues. You will be happy to find out that the high of the cushion is also adjustable. IF you feel like you don’t need it or simply get bored with it, you can remove it.

The seat cushion in the middle has 4-inch thickness and it won’t wear off in time. Even though this part of the chair is well-padded, the armrests aren’t. Still, for a chair with excellent lumbar support, your forearms should not be the focal point of your experience.

What you get here is incredible value because of the sturdiness. Gaming chairs are built to take a lot of “beating” and your back is guaranteed to have plenty of support regardless of how long you sit.

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4. VANBOW Leather Memory Foam Office Chair

VANBOW Leather Memory Foam Office ChairThis Vanbow office chair stands out because it uses memory foam to accommodate your whole body. It is specifically designed to relieve the pain in your lower back so that you can continue working as much as you have to. Although the seat cushions might seem a bit too hard for some people, they will still reduce the tension in your thighs and calves.

The chair is equipped with lumbar support that performs pressure on your lower back. It is a great thing that you can adjust the intensity of the pressure according to your health requirements. The chair allows you to smoothly lower or increase the height thanks to the standard-approved gas lift. You can rest assured that the chair is safe. However, it might not be able to support too much weight.

Although the base is made from quality nylon, it does not seem very sturdy. Another disadvantage of the package is that the instructions are not as straightforward to follow. Once you assemble it, however, you can benefit from every significant feature of this chair. With overall dimensions of 27.6″ x 29.9″ x 42.1″- 45.1″, this chair will embrace your back and legs during long days of work. If there is something that troubles you once you purchase the product, you can call the manufacturer in regards to the 1-year warranty.

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5. Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh Chair

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh ChairThis is a quality item that will definitely not give you the best bang for your buck. That doesn’t mean that the unit is not worth your attention. Here you get a simplistic chair which is BIFMA certified. Nothing fancy – it gets the job done.

The lumbar support is built-in but it is not adjustable. What you can do is change the tilt of the backrest and go from there. Since Flash Furniture understand the correlation in the positions between lower back and arms, the armrests are adjustable and covered in mesh padding.

The very same mesh padding is used on the seat of the chair. The backrest is made of breathable material. We found the base to be steady and stable. What we didn’t like that much are the plastic castors which are no different from the ones you’ll find on your typical cheap chair. Also, the wheels don’t lock.

When it comes to weight capacity, this one isn’t very impressive as it stands at only 250lb. Additionally, that’s not the deepest seat that you will have – 19 inches.

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6. Serta Air Health and Wellness Office Chair

Serta Air Health and Wellness Office ChairHere is a chair which is designed especially for lumbar support. But the best part according to us is the excellent level of comfort that you also get regardless whether you have back pain or not. All of this is due to the padding that you see on that backrest. The cushioning here is triple the size of the one you will get from regular leather chairs. During a cool day the leather upholstery is exceptionally useful but definitely not on a hot day.

On the downside, barely anything is adjustable here. The armrests are padded but you can’t change their position. Also, the chair doesn’t recline even though it tilts back and forth a little. Size is not one of the drawbacks, though, because the seat is 24 inches deep and 18 inches wide.

For such a broad chair, you would expect it to hold more weight, but the capacity is only 260 lb.

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Stretches and Exercises for Lower Back Pain

lower-back-pain-exercisesLower back pain is not uncommon. In fact, many people suffer from it. But since you certainly want to put an end to this struggle, you need to exercise. Here are some stretches and exercises to make your life easier.

  • Trunk Rotation

This exercise can help you relieve tension. You will have to lie on your back and extend your arms out to the sides fully. The palms have to lie face-down on your floor.

Keep your knees together, and make sure to roll them gently over to your right side. Hold the position for 15-20 seconds. Then, do the same for your left side. Repeat these for about 5-10 times each.

  • Flexion Rotation

In this exercise, you will have to lie on your right side and keep your legs straight. Bend your left leg while hooking the foot behind the right knee, and then use your right arm to grasp the left knee. Put your left hand behind your neck, and then rotate your upper body backward by touching the left shoulder blade to the floor. Do this rotation stretch for a total of 10 times and hold each stretch for 1-3 seconds. Then, do the same on your left side.

  • Belly Flops

This one involves you rolling up a blanket or towel lengthwise and put it in front of you horizontally. Then, you should lie front side down over to the material, making sure you press into it with your hip bones. Relax your body and turn your head to either side and stay like that for 1-2 minutes. Repeat about 1-3 times, and rest for about 30-60 seconds between these sets. This helps decompress your lower back because of supported elevation.

Supplements for Back Pain

Suffering from back pain can be tough, but there is a solution. Aside from stretches and exercises, you can also choose to take supplements. Yes, there are even supplements for this type of pain. Here are some of the most common ones used for this issue:

  • Vitamin D

Lacking vitamin D could be one of the reasons for your back pain, in some cases. However, if you already suffer from back pain, the lack of this vitamin will only make it worse. You can take this supplement as it will help relieve some of the pain – it is recommended to take 15 micrograms daily. However, depending on your particular needs, your doctor will recommend the dosage.

  • Glucosamine/chondroitin

These compounds are occurring in your body naturally, as chondroitin is found in the cartilage surrounding the joints and glucosamine in the fluid around the joints. Although there aren’t any studies that show these supplements are actually effective against back pain, there is research showing its effectiveness against chronic knee pain. Still, a lot of people might use it for low back pain, and it helps sometimes. It all depends on what your health care provider says. If you have to take these supplements, the doctor will determine the recommended dosage.

  • Capsaicin

Many people use capsaicin because of its ability to desensitize the channels responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. It can be taken from food, but it isn’t a nutritional supplement. For topical application, you can even find it as a cream. This can be applied 3-4 times a day and a lot of people use it against back pain.

Back in 2011, the Journal of Pain Research has shown that this supplement was able to relieve pain in 38% of the participants in the study, specifically the ones with musculoskeletal pain.

A Guide to Best Office Chairs For Back Pain

Office Chairs For Back Pain

No one is going to stay young for the rest of their lives and one day, everyone will, most likely, face acute aches because of bad lifestyle choices and bad sitting positions. Episodes of back pain may be acute, sub-acute, or chronic depending on the duration. Back pain is common with about nine out of ten adults experiencing it at some point in their life, and five out of ten working adults having it every year. This is a very concerning issue for the youth of our nation, especially, given the rise of IT industry and desk jobs. As they say – “Prevention is better than cure”, let us shift our focus to some comfortable office chairs to help you avoid back pain.

Choosing An Office Chair For Lower Back Pain

There are several different office chairs that help reduce lower back pain, some offer high backs; others are more of a mid-height back. There are also other selections regarding the material, or whether or not armrests are in included.

The most important factor when it comes to selecting the appropriate chair for lower back pain is to make sure that it’s comfortable for you. After all, you are the one who will be utilizing it for many hours a day if your job requires you to sit at a desk or in front of a computer. Or, if you drive a lot, back support is very beneficial for that circumstance as well.

In addition, other less conventional office chairs are available as well, such as the exercise ball chair and the saddle chair. These chairs really don’t resemble a regular chair at all; in fact, the ball chair is what it sounds like, a big ball. The ball chairs promote active sitting by forcing the user to maintain good sitting posture by using core muscles for balancing.

These chairs are a big help for those who have a hard time sitting due to back pain. To take the strain off of the knees and to distribute weight evenly, an ergonomic knee chair can be used. Saddle chairs are another ergonomic selection for relieving and preventing back pain. The seat of these specific chairs is shaped to resemble the seat of a saddle, hence the name. They are designed to promote healthful sitting, the chair keeps your spine alignment straight. Sometimes, they are preferred as a work chair over other conventional office chairs.

Regardless of what your preference is as far as lumbar support or ergonomic chairs go, you should know that there are several options available and it basically comes down to what makes you comfortable.

Key Features of the Office Chairs for Back Pain

best office chair for lower back painSome office chairs are not ergonomic but do offer an adjustable back. If you are using one of those then adjust the height of the back so that the curve of the chair meets the curve of your back.

If you don’t have the options associated with an ergonomic office chair or a chair that has an adjustable back there are other options that are available to you. Portable lumbar cushions can be placed on the back of your chair that will provide the support your lower back or lumbar needs. Furthermore, these products come in a wide selection. They can be pre-formed, come in various materials, or inflatable for you to adjust the support according to your needs.

One of the last options that you have to incorporate back support to your chair is simply use a towel or a small blank it. Just roll it up and place it between the back of the chair and the curve of your back. It’s not the greatest of support, but it is certainly better than nothing.

Remember, lower back pain is one of the most common conditions for office workers or those that sit at a desk most of the day. Make sure that you are taking time out of your day to move and stretch so that your back does not become stagnant and stiff. In addition, try not to sit in the same position for more than 30 minutes at a time. However, pay attention to the way you are sitting, and by all means, do not slouch. Keep your spine aligned and balanced at all times.


  • PICK THE RIGHT CHAIR- Pick one that allows your lower back to rest against a lumbar support. Then tilt the back of the chair so that it is slightly reclined. If you need help locating the most comfortable office chair out there, just read our comprehensive buying guide.
  • STRETCHING THE SHOULDER- Roll them back and down, and square them over your hips. Imagining that you’re balancing a plate on your head, and it can’t fall off.
  • RIGHT WAY TO SIT– Sitting cross-legged makes it difficult to keep your spine straight and shoulders squared, and you risk overstretching the muscles around the pelvis. So uncross and relax.
  • SITTING WITH SUPPORT– When sitting at your desk, your feet should be flat on the floor, and the height of the chair should allow your thighs to angle down slightly. This position will allow you to place your weight on your sitting bone, rather than rounding your lower back and causing your shoulders to round out and your posture to slump forward.
  • KEYBOARD TRAY HEIGHT- Set the keyboard high enough so when your elbows are bent approximately 90 degrees, you aren’t forced to slump down through your shoulders to touch the keys. If the tray is too low and cannot be adjusted, place the keyboard on your desk. The mouse should be placed at the same level as the keyboard.
  • LOOKING STRAIGHT AT THE MONITOR- The monitor should be placed in such a way that the bottom is approximately at the level of your chin. This positioning can vary slightly, with a 13-inch monitor slightly higher than chin height, and a 24-inch monitor slightly lower. If the monitor is too low, you will slump down to work.
  • WALKING AROUND- Sitting in an office chair seems simple, but it can be tiring. Your posture suffers the longer you sit. If you have back, neck, and/or shoulder pain, it’s best to stand up and walk around the office every half hour.

5 Common Causes For Back Pain

best chair for back painHas your mother ever told you when you were younger to stand up straight, you’re slouching? Probably, it’s what most every mom tells their children, and it’s for good reason. Standing up straight, keeping your head straight, and your shoulders slightly tilted backward keeps your spine aligned the way it was naturally meant to do.

Over time, and we are all guilty of it, we begin to relax our bodies, letting them fall where they may.

Unconsciously putting our bodies in very unhealthy positions can lead to back pain, discomfort, and long-lasting health problems. Whether you believe it now or feel it later, you will learn by practicing good posture while you’re sitting, standing, walking, driving, etc. will increase the chances of you maintaining a healthy well-balanced spine. Not only is good posture good for your back, but it’s also more attractive.

As we mentioned before, alignment is everything when it comes to good posture and reduction of back and neck pain. Below are some examples of bad posture that you should do your best to avoid.

  1. Slouching

    Whether you are sitting in your office chair, walking, or standing, pay attention to what your body is doing. If you’re allowing your spine to hunch forward into a C shape instead of a well-rounded S shape, you are slouching. This is why we believe that quality office equipment is a must. Check out our other guides for home office furniture and see if you can pick a desk or maybe a lamp as well.

  2. Kink your neck

    A good example of this is holding a phone between your neck and head while talking on the phone. This will eventually create pain, or kink in your neck that can lead to headaches. Also, you can kink your neck by not using the appropriate pillow. Again, balance and alignment is the key.

  3. Not bending your knees when lifting

    A big no-no is leaning forward to pick up an item without bending your knees. You need to lift with your legs instead of straining your back.

    You may also like our reviews for recliner office chairs with footrest

  4. Carrying an item on one side

    Many people carry items on one side of their body, whether it is groceries, a box, or a child. If you have to carry something, keep it forward so you don’t twist your spine into awkward positions. However, the best advice we can give you is not to lift or carry anything that is too heavy. Use a cart other means to carry.

  5. Lack of movement

    Your body is meant to move and not stay in a stagnant state for prolonged times. When your body sits or stands, or even when it’s laying down for long periods it gets stiff and uncomfortable. Take some time to move, stretch, change positions.

It’s so important to pay attention to your body. While at work, use the buddy system and have your co-workers bring bad posture or bad habits to your attention. It’s so much easier watching and noticing others than noticing yourself.

Remember, you only have one body and it’s imperative that you take care of it to the best of your abilities.

Read further: Healthy back at work

How to Sit at an Office Chair If You Have Lower Back Pain

How to Sit at an Office Chair If You Have Back PainThere are several ways to incorporate back support into your office chair. Now, typically you want the best office chair for lower back pain with all the adjustments and support features available.

If you do have one of those chairs, you can’t just sit and go; it needs to be adjusted to your specific measurements.

Not everyone is built the same. You have to take into consideration height. Not just your overall height, but the length of your legs, spine, arms, and back. That is why office chairs for reducing back pain have so many adjustments available. To be certain that a specific office chair is right for lower back pain, follow these rules.

  1. Sit up straight in the office chair with your back against the backrest.
  2. The curve of the office chair should fit nicely into the curve of your back, which is located just above the pelvis bone in your lower back.
  3. Your eyes should be able to look straight ahead at a computer if you’re using one.
  4. Your legs need to bend at a right angle, feet flat on the floor and your upper thighs should be aligned with your buttocks.
  5. Optional, but recommended: The right office chair for back pain should have arm rest that you are able to rest your elbows on to alleviate pressure.

What’s Available for Office Chairs to Avoid Bad Backs?

We can’t emphasize enough on how important maintaining a healthy posture is for your body and back. The human body is not designed for prolonged sitting and sometimes adjustments need to be made to the chair in order to support the lower lumbar area of the back. Though it is possible to sit correctly and still keep the natural curve of your spine without lumbar support, an ergonomic solution or other back support options are recommended.

Without proper support, people tend to become unknowingly lazier with the way they are seated at a desk or a computer. Over time, the body tends to lean forward pushing the natural curve in the opposite direction, which is better known as slouching. After allowing your body to unnaturally curve in the wrong direction, pain and discomfort will soon follow.

Lumbar support can be obtained with several different products or office chairs for relieving back pain. They can be in the form of a small pillow placed in the lower portion of the back, or even a towel rolled up and there are products that are specifically designed for lumbar support that can be purchased. Basically, anything that will conform to your spine and help or remind you to sit correctly can be used.

Office chairs are designed in such a manner that they mimic your spine, and when sitting all the way back with your feet flat on the floor, head facing forward, shoulders balanced will take the strain and pressure off of your back and spine allowing you to concentrate on the task at hand.


office chair for lower back pain reviews


Back Pain Triggers and Spine Health

Your spine is constructed out of many parts such as bones, nerves, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It’s divided into sections, and the most common area for back pain is in the lumbar region of the spine. The lumbar region is the lower part of the back at the curve. It’s very flexible and strong, designed for twisting, bending. Parts of the lumbar area are made to support the weight of the torso.

The lumbar area of the spine is also one of the most prone to degradation and injury. Interestingly enough, the spinal cord does not run through the lumbar spine, so there is not a risk for spinal cord injury or paralysis, however, that doesn’t mean there isn’t significant pain associated with a lumbar injury.

You can feel lumbar pain in the lower extremities, including the buttocks, legs, and feet. There are several ways that people try to alleviate lumbar pain. Some go to chiropractors, some have surgery, and some try to maintain good posture, and follow ergonomic rules when it comes to moving, sitting, or lifting. Preventative measures are always the best way to go, that way you are taking care of your spine prior to getting a debilitating injury.

There are other factors when it comes to pain in the lumbar area. Degenerative Disc Disease is one of them. This happens when the spongy area between the vertebrae starts to break down and the vertebrae begin rubbing together. A herniated disc is another condition that would cause pain. This usually occurs with an injury to the lumbar area. It commonly causes leg pain known as sciatica. Muscular problems can also cause pain in the lower back as well.

Read further: How to Sit at Work If You Have Back Pain

Best Office Chairs for Back Pain Comparison Chart For 2020

Classic Aeron Task Chair

$$$$$27.6 x 26.9 x 24″56.5 poundsHigh tech mesh fabricVariety Of Colors
Smugdesk Executive Office Chair

$$29.2 x 21.2 x 13.6″45.6 poundsMeshBlack
GTRACING Ergonomic Chair with Pillows

$20.9 x 21.3 x 52″50 poundsPU leather3 option
VANBOW Leather Memory Foam Office Chair

$$29.9 x 27.6 x 45.1″43.7 poundsBonded leatherBlack
Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh Chair

$$24 x 25.2 x 42.2″27 poundsMeshGray
Serta Air Health and Wellness Office Chair

$$$$30 x 25.8 x 42.8″41 poundsBonded Leather6 option

Wrap Up

As you can clearly see, the lumbar spine is very vulnerable to injury and pain. Furthermore, it doesn’t have to be some major traumatic injury to cause the bad back; it could be something so minute as picking up a piece of paper off the ground. Pay attention to the way you move, sit, walk, and lift as it can surely save you from a lot of pain in the future, plus check out the reviews of the best office chairs for back pain as those can also be of some assistance.

There is no one perfect office chair for everyone — everybody is different, so the right office chair for lower back pain is not the same for everyone!

Comments (3)

  1. Avatar Marty Figueroa October 17, 2016
  2. Avatar Choe November 21, 2016
  3. Avatar Janet Chua January 31, 2017

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