3 Considerations to Help You Select the Right Office Chair & Prevent Back Pain

With all the time you spend at work sitting in an office chair and at home sitting at your computer desk, the ergonomics of the office chair you select can have a big impact on the health of your spine and back. Unfortunately, many people spend more money and time selecting an office desk rather than the office chair.

When choosing your office chair, it can be tempting to pick one based on how its design, style, and color—but these factors might not enhance your posture. Here are some tips to help you choose the right office chair to support your entire body for all the hours you will sit on it.


It is important to look at the covering of your seat chair and select one that is made of breathable fabric which will allow air to circulate within the cushion. This prevents your seat from getting too hot and uncomfortable while you work. Also, choose a chair that has plenty of memory foam padding, so your rear end does not get tired. If you can feel the bottom of the chair through the padding, it can cause you to sit uncomfortably and can lead to poor alignment in your spine and back problems.

The seat of the chair should also be long enough that your legs extend past the front edge of the chair by two to four inches or three to four finger-widths, if you don't have a ruler. If the seat of the chair is too short, your legs will hang off the end and cause circulation problems from the extra pressure on the backs of your legs, but if the chair is too long, it can cause you to sit forward in the chair and cause strain on your back as you don't utilize the backrest.

Next, make sure the seat height is adjustable, so you can raise or lower it to accommodate the length of your legs. It is important to adjust the seat so your feet rest flat on the floor and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle with your thighs resting horizontally on the chair seat. A typical office chair should adjust from the height of 16 to 21 inches from the floor, which is a height that most people require to sit comfortably.

Arm Rests

The arm rests of your office chair should be adjustable so you can raise or lower them so when you rest your arms on them, your arms are bent at a 90 degree angle. This prevents your torso from slouching or stretching in an uncomfortable manner and causing back strain.


The backrest on your office chair should have several requirements, including an adjustable lumbar support. Without a lumbar support for your back, which provides a curve to match the curve of your lower back, your back will flatten against the seat and you will end up slouching in your chair. Over time, slouching can cause back pain and strain. The lumbar support needs to be adjustable so you can adjust its height and depth to match your lower back's curve.

The backrest also needs to be adjustable forward and back, at an angle, and up and down. Once you adjust the backrest appropriately for your body, it should have the ability to be locked in place so it does not move when you move on and off your chair. The chair backrest should also be able to recline when you lean back into it. Your chair's ability to recline is important, as it reduces the pressure on your spine and pelvic bones while you sit at your desk.

Use these tips to help you choose an appropriate office chair to help the comfort and health of your back and spine .