Are you suffering from back pain as a result of sitting at work all day? You’re not alone. According to the American Chiropractic Association, half of all working Americans report back issues each year. Sitting for most of the day can ruin your posture. The constant force of gravity puts chronic pressure on the intervertebral discs and the supporting mucles of the spine. As a result, aches, soreness, and pain are commonplace for office workers.
Luckily, there are chairs that are ideal for your achy back.
5 Awesome Chairs for Back Pain Sufferers
1) The Kneeling Chair
The kneeling chair is designed to help you keep your spine in an upright, neutral position. When you “sit” in the chair, you’re really more in a kneeling position, hence the name. The knee stool has a fixed seat that slopes 30 degrees and also has pads to support your knees and shins. There’s no back support so it encourages you to maintain your posture, which in turn helps to strengthen the muscles in your core.
The key feature of the knee stool’s design is its sloped seat. The wider angle between the torso and the lower body means the hip flexor muscles are less constricted which helps to alleviate aches in the lumbar region (read about how the hips are directly related to lower backache here). Also, when you sit on a kneeling stool, there’s less pressure on your lower back because the structure of the chair transfers a portion of your weight to the lower body.
The products are very affordable and even the best ones are retailed for under $100. Learn more about kneeling chairs.
2) The Swooper Stool
A brainchild of German designer, Henner Jahns, the Swooper Stool is an innovative alternative to the traditional ergonomic desk chair. Even though it looks like a mini pogo stick, sitting on a Swooper Stool is like sitting on an exercise ball but with even more stability. The structure of the stool allows for lots of movement when seated. The seat is convex shaped which encourages a healthy alignment of the spine. It enhances the spine’s flexibilty, strengthens the muscles in the lower back and gets you fit while you sit.
3) The HAG Capisco
Distinctly European in design, the HAG Capsico was created to be a perching chair. This means that when you sit on it you don’t put all of your weight on your butt, hips and thighs. It divides the weight between the saddle seat and your feet. Think of sitting on the edge of a bed or on a stool and you’ll understand what it feels like to sit on this chair.
The HAG Capisco has lots of adjustment options. You can slide the seat pan forwards and backwards and to the sides. You can also adjust the entire configuration from a seated position to a half-standing position. It’s made in three different types: the stool version, the seat and back-support version, and a version with a seat, back-support and headrest.
4) The Herman Miller Embody
The Embody is the newer, hipper version of the grandaddy of ergonomic desk seats, the Aeron. Designed to improve on some of the Aeron’s deficiencies, the Embody has been called the world’s first “health-positive” office chair. It was specifically created for people who spend long hours sitting in front of a computer. It’s back emulates the shape of the spine and it’s multiple levers and knobs to give users optimum control over their seat position. It also conforms to the user’s movement which enhances blood circulation.
The Embody is a bit pricey and retails between $1,000 and 1,200.
5) The Leap by Steelcase
This product looks the most like a traditional deskchair but don’t be fooled. The manufacturers invested four years into the ergonomics of this product. They employed scientists and hordes of product testers to understand how the body, and more specifically the back, is affected by sitting for long periods of time. Through this study they discovered key facts about the human spine which they applied to the design of the Leap.
The shape of the support ensures that the entire spine is fully supported. It doesn’t conform to your body movement but you can adjust almost every aspect from the seat depth to the arm rest position. The Leap can cost you $1,100 in a retail store but you can find them used from $700 to $900.