The Ultimate Guide to Choosing an Ergonomic Stool or Chair

May 02, 2021 10 min read

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing an Ergonomic Stool or Chair

Working in an office or from home usually involves spending a significant amount of time sitting in a chair, a position that puts a huge strain on your lower back and that can lead to numerous health issues. Ergonomic seating can help to decrease the stress placed on your body by offering improved comfort and the right support. If your work requires you to spend long hours sitting down, ergonomic chairs are not a luxury item – they’re vitally important for your wellbeing and overall health.

Hence, it is essential to have an ergonomic chair or stool that encourages good posture and supports your lower back to prevent developing back problems. But of course, not all models are equally effective.

In this guide, we will discuss some of the best ergonomic chairs and stools available as well as the various different types of ergonomic chairs. We’ll also look at specific criteria you need to keep in mind when purchasing an ergonomic chair or stool.

What Are the Best Ergonomic Chair or Stool Options for You?

Here are some of the best ergonomic stools and chairs that can help improve posture, alleviate back pain and keep you focused all day long.

Varier Move Standing Desk Chair

 

This chair from Varier features a saddle-shaped seat design with a rounded bottom. The seat pan and wooden base are made of beech wood. The base features an ash veneer top. It is coated with a non-toxic, water-based lacquer for a long-lasting finish.

This standing desk chair is a wonderfully portable option. Its lightweight and compact design make it easy to move from one location to another. This makes it a great option for individuals who frequently need to move from one part of the office to another for different projects.

The chair offers a generous height adjustment range because there are 3 cylinder height options to choose from. Last but not least, this stool is non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) certified. The NEAT certification assures that the design elevates energy expenditure and burns more calories compared to using a conventional chair.

Health Postures 5100 HealthPostures Angle Chair

 

When it comes to build quality, this ergonomic chair is at the top end. It is manufactured in America with excellent craftsmanship and premium components. The steel frame features a powder coat paint finish.

This chair comes with 3” industrial-grade casters for easy mobility. The foam on the back, knee pads, and the seat is soft and thick. This chair comes with four wheels; the front two move backward and forward while the back two wheels rotate in any direction. The seat on the chair is large, soft, and shaped like a normal office chair.

The chair offers a variety of positions. It lets you sit in a regular ergonomic chair position with your elbows, hips, and knees at 90°, but it can also be used in a variety of different ways.

Interestingly, it is the only standing chair that can be used as a kneeling chair. It has a wide adjustment range so you can kneel at any angle you would want.

Together with the regular kneeling and sitting positions, this ergonomic chair will support you while standing, all the way to a complete upright position, while still giving you support so that not all of your body weight is put on your feet, ankles, and legs. This makes it an excellent, versatile option if you choose to work at a standing desk.

Health Postures 5000 Stance Move Sit-Stand Chair

The chair has eight different settings to offer assisted standing, kneeling, and sitting positions, making it the only three-position chair on the market. Your body is meant to remain in motion and this ergonomic chair helps provide that motion all day long.

The seat can slope forward to reduce the risk for back pain and decrease the load on your lower back.

Another innovation of this chair is its ability to change into a kneeling chair with just the touch of a lever. This kneeling function helps strengthen the lower back muscles and encourages good posture. This chair is perfect for individuals who are 5'-9" or shorter.

Varier Thatsit Balans Kneeling Chair

 

This kneeling chair follows the movements of your body due to the runners. When leaning forward to actively work, the pelvis tilts forwards that keep your body balanced and your spine in its upright position. This activity prevents shoulder and back tension and strengthens core muscles.

The frame is built to bend to help you sit conveniently in your chair. The knee pads are built of good quality foam for maximum comfort. ​All in all, this kneeling chair is a great solution for a robust posture and an active mind.

VIVO Adjustable Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

This ergonomic chair features a mesh thick cushion to ensure all-day comfort. Moreover, it has four casters so that it can be moved easily around your office or home. With a seat cushion angled at 90 degrees, this kneeling chair features a functional design that promotes comfort and better posture.

It is designed with a robust metal base so it is built to last long. And this chair supports up to 250 pounds and ranges from 21 inches to 28 inches in height. You can adjust this ergonomic chair to the size that suits you. This adjustability will enable you to find the position that works for you.

Varier Gravity Balans Chair

This kneeling chair features an adjustable neck-rest and a backrest that support your body and keep it cradled. The chair, when upright, tilts the pelvis forward and promotes an upright spine that strengthens and activates back and abdominal muscles.

It is also one of the best reclining chairs around, and is perfect if you need to accommodate a power nap into your workday! According to studies, power naps boost your energy levels and productivity. This ergonomic chair lets you rest while feeling completely weightless.

HumanScale Freedom Chair

 

 

This chair from HumanScale features a self-locking recline mechanism that supports you in any position. It has a pivoting backrest that moves with you all day long and provides lumbar support in all positions.

This chair has contoured cushions that offer excellent stability and weight distribution, and also work to decrease pressure points and provide extended comfort. Its synchronous armrestsmove in tandem with the recline option for continuous comfort and support.

Cherryman Eon Ergonomic Task Chair

 

This ergonomic task chair is manufactured from heavy-duty metal components and comes with a cast metal base to provide a weight capacity of 300 pounds. The Eon Ergonomic Task Chair’s mesh back is cool, allowing for airflow and comfort for hours on end. The chair includes pneumatic seat height adjustment that moves your seat up and down to adjust to your body heights.

The chair also features a synchro-tilt mechanism with a seat slider that provides a complete range of reclining positions.

HÅG Capisco Chair

 

The Capisco offers both comfort and flexibility, but equally importantly this chair is a great environmental choice because it is built from 50% recycled material. It promotes active and healthy sitting to improve your posture, performance and productivity.

Good seating and posture are important to your health and well-being, and being able to move around and change seated positions are a big part of this. There are many different ways to sit on this chair, whether backward, sideways, or you can sit in a usual way when at your desk.

What Should You Consider When Purchasing an Ergonomic Chair?

Ergonomic chairs have lots of different features and specifications. Here are some core features to consider when making your purchase.

Ensure Your Chair is Height-Adjustable

The height of your chair should be easily adjustable. For maximum comfort, you should be seated so that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure your chair can deliver this for you regardless of your height. Plus, your chair should have a pneumatic adjustment lever to allow the height of the seat to be adjusted smoothly and quickly.

Look for Adjustable Backrests

A chair typically has a separate backrest and seat or one that’s attached. If the backrest is attached to your chair, it should be adjustable both backward and forward. It should also have a locking mechanism for stability. And if the backrest is not attached to your chair, it should be adjustable in terms of both angle and height.

The Chair Should Offer Lumbar Support

Your lumbar spine (lower back) stabilizes and supports your upper body. Additionally, it regulates leg movements and protects your spinal cord. Your lumbar spine curves inward naturally.

In the absence of lower back support, it is easy to round your back when you sit for extended hours, which can place stress on the lumbar spine. An ergonomic chair should offer lumbar support that is adjustable for depth and height.

The Chair Should Have Sufficient Depth and Width

Your chair should be deep and wide enough to allow you to sit in comfort. If you are short, you should look for a shallower seat. On the other hand, if you are tall, you should opt for a deeper seat.

The chair should be deep enough so that you can sit with your back against your chair's backrest while having 2 inches to 4 inches between the seat of your chair and the back of your knees. For more customization, you should look for an office chair that lets you adjust your seat's tilt backward or forward.

Opt for Material that is Breathable

A good ergonomic chair should be made of durable material. Additionally, it should be built with sufficient padding on the back and seat. Materials that allow your body to breathe are the best when it comes to staying comfortable.

Choose an Office Chair With Armrests

You should choose an ergonomic chair that comes with armrests to take some of the stress off your shoulders and neck. The armrests need to be removable as well as adjustable.

The ideal armrest height is 7 to 10 inches above the height of the seat. Armrests should be comfortable and broad so that the forearms and elbows can rest comfortably on them while typing.

Types of Ergonomic Chairs

Let’s now take a look at different types of ergonomic chairs, some of which you’ll have seen already in the examples above.

Kneeling Ergonomic Chair

The kneeling chair is an office chair without a back. It puts you in a modified kneeling position. The design promotes good posture by aligning your neck, shoulders, and back, and sliding your hips forward.

This kind of ergonomic chair distributes the weight between your knees and the pelvis, which decreases spinal compression, and therefore reduces the stress in the leg muscles and lower back.

Saddle Ergonomic Chair

The saddle chair is an ergonomic chair that you can use as a computer chair or a desk chair. It puts you in a position between standing and sitting, similar to the position used when riding a horse.

This enables your legs to drop naturally, and widen, forming a stable position. This position is helpful for individuals who might already have lower back problems. The chair is height-adjustable to be appropriate for different individuals.

Exercise Ball Ergonomic Chair

This ergonomic ‘chair’ is a ball that is big enough to support you in any long-term sitting position. In addition, it works great as a computer chair or desk chair. The major advantage of this kind of chair is that it encourages active sitting and movement.

How to Synchronize Your Office Chair And Work Station? 

If you work a desk job that entails long periods of sitting, it is essential to concentrate on your spinal health.

Here are a few key things you can do to keep your spine happy and healthy while sitting.

1. Adjust your chair’s armrest to support your elbow and shoulders

Armrests play a significant part in decreasing shoulder and neck strain and decreasing the chance of slouching forward in your office chair.

Adjust the armrest of your office chair to the point where your arms are raised at the shoulders. Doing so will let the armrest take the weight off the shoulders and support just the elbow.

2. Watch the height of your screen

Find out if your screen is at the correct height. Adjust your office chair to the height of your table, keep your back supported, and make your legs comfortable. After that, shut your eyes and take a deep breath.

Face forward with your eyes shut, and then open your eyes. Your eyes should be directed at the center of your monitor. If they are not, adjust your monitor accordingly. This can be as simple as lifting your laptop by putting a stack of books under it to level it with your gaze.

3. Keep an ergonomically supported posture

You should press your bottom against the chair's back. Additionally, you should avoid slumping as it can put strain on your lumbar discs. Keeping an ergonomically supported posture is important for good spine health.

Make sure to get up and take a walk around every half an hour or so to make sure your posture is fully supported while you sit.

4. Raise your working desk to match your height

You should think about lifting the height of your working desk if you have to continuously bend forward to do your work.

Lifting your working desk will then let you lift your office chair to a more suitable height, which will decrease stress on your back.

5. Ensure your upper arms are parallel to your spine

You should make sure that your office chair lets you comfortably put your upper arms parallel to your spine and rest your hands and forearms on the work surface when you sit at your desk. Also, your elbows should be bent at a 90° angle. If they are not, you need to adjust your chair lower or higher, as needed.

It is important to note that putting your arms extremely low or high can put stress on your upper back and shoulder joints, leading to pain.

6. Use a footstool to support your feet

Sometimes, your working desk or office chair may be too high and lack an adjustable option. In such situations, you should think about using a footstool to rest your feet instead of leaving them hanging throughout the working day.

Using a footstool will decrease pressure on your feet and legs, which may reduce foot pain at the end of the day.

7. Adjust your chair height to support your sit-to-stand movement

If your office chair is positioned very low, you will find yourself bending your upper body more while standing up, which in turn leads to more stress on your ankle joints, knees, and hips. With extended use, a lower-level seat will lead to pain in these joints and recurrent stresses.

An adequate chair height is a level at which you can comfortably bend your hips and knees at an angle of 90° and put your feet on the ground.

Conclusion

Ergonomic chairs and stools are built to help you sit comfortably for hours on end while you work. As a matter of fact, they can improve your job satisfaction and boost your productivity. More importantly, ergonomic chairs and stools will also decrease your risk for back pain and take care of your health.

They can improve your back pain by encouraging a sitting posture that allows correct alignment of your spine, hips, and shoulders. This decreases abnormal strain on your body and prevents harmful positions such as slouching.

There are many ergonomic chairs and stools currently available on the market. However, there are some things that are essential to look for in an ergonomic chair, such as lumbar support, seat material, and seat height. These things will enable you to make the stool or chair work well for your particular requirements.

Which ergonomic chair or stool do you like best? Let us know in the comments section.

 

 


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