An ergonomic office chair can help you avoid all sorts of work-related pain. Sore lower back because you've been sitting too much? Achy wrists due to improper armrest height? Perhaps a stiff neck from inadequate spine support? Yeah, we've all been there.
But the good news? These ailments can be a thing of the past. These days, your seating should do more than serve as a parking spot for your rear. There are chairs that can help you maintain proper posture and prevent/eliminate neck pain - all while increasing productivity!
If you feel that your chair leaves you sore and tight, which causes losses in productivity, you badly need an ergonomic chair.
But how exactly does an ergonomic chair prevent neck pain? And what is the best ergonomic chair for neck pain? Not to worry. We have all the answers you're looking for in this complete guide. First, let's define what an ergonomic office chair is.
What Exactly Is An Ergonomic Chair?
Ergonomics is the process of designing jobs, environments, systems, and products so that they are more suitable for the workers that use them. The main goal of ergonomics is to make work safer & more pleasant by reducing the risk of work-related injuries and discomfort. For many work environments, this often means implementing ergonomic solutions like better seating or desks.
That said, an ergonomic chair can be any type of chair that is designed to maximize comfort, productivity, and efficiency. This type of chair uses the science of ergonomics as the basis for its design. For instance, an ergonomic chair takes into consideration the physical strains that the human body goes through while sitting and then aims to prevent them by supporting the body in all the right places.
Having said that, can an ergonomic office chair really prevent neck pain?
Can You Use An Ergonomic Chair For Neck Pain?
Poor posture puts strain on the muscles and ligaments that support your neck. This can be from forward head posture - where your head extends out in front of your body. Those who spend all day looking at screens or using their cell phone suffer from this, which is why you'll hear it referred to as "tech neck". Poor posture can also be represented by slouching or rounding your shoulders as you sit at your desk for 8+ hours a day.
So, to give you a short answer, yes - you can definitely use an ergonomic chair to relieve and avoid neck pain. But how exactly does an ergonomic chair do this?
Let's take a look at the basic features of an ergonomic office chair and how they help prevent neck pain:
Adjustable Lumbar Support
Proper lumbar support is vital to maintaining the natural alignment of the entire spine. This in turn helps you maintain good posture. An ergonomic office chair provides proper lumbar support by filling the gap between the seat and the lower portion of the spine. This adjustable lumbar support "bump" supports the natural inward curve of your spine, keeping you from slouching or leaning forward on your chair.
Without lumbar support, it is difficult to maintain good posture. As a result, your spine and lower back muscles will have to work harder to support the correct curvature and alignment of your spine. Soon enough, your body will tire, and the head and upper back will lean forward as the lumbar muscles weaken.
So, how does lumbar support prevent or fix neck pain? Simple. If your spine is in the proper alignment, there is less tendency to lean your head forward. Hence, you are less likely to develop an ache not only in your neck--but in your upper back as well.
A standard ergonomic office chair also features adjustable armrests. To maintain the correct sitting posture, your arms must be resting at a 90 to 110-degree angle at the elbow. At this angle, there is minimal pressure on your neck and shoulders. This takes the weight off your shoulders when compared to having armrests at the wrong height - or not having armrests at all. And if your shoulders are carrying too much weight, the pain will likely travel up to the muscles that support your neck.
Ergonomic office chairs often have headrests to give users a form of neck support. This prevents neck and shoulder pain caused by letting the head drift in front of the shoulders (as one does without proper neck support). Furthermore, a headrest is a physical reminder to lean the head back instead of forward while sitting, thereby contributing to proper posture.
Many office chairs have headrests, but only ergonomic ones have adjustable headrests. These headrests can adjust up and down, in and out. If there are times when you don't need support for your neck, you can simply adjust the headrest backward. Or if you are taller and require a higher headrest, you can pull the headrest upward so that it supports your head properly.
Adjustable Seat Height and Depth
It's not an ergonomic office chair if it doesn't have adjustable seat height and seat depth. These two features are vital to finding the perfect alignment of your body relative to your chair, the floor, and your desk. First, your seat has to be the perfect height so that your knees are just a bit lower than your hips and your feet are flat on the floor. You can't achieve this if you don't have a chair with an adjustable seat.
Second, there must be around 2 to 4 inches of space between the back of your knees and the edge of the seat. This is important to maintain proper circulation to the knees, as well as avoid putting unnecessary pressure on them. So, since not everyone has the same thigh length, an ergonomic office chair must be able to adjust the seat depth to accommodate every user.
With your seat at the proper height and depth, it is much easier to maintain proper posture and - at the same time - avoid pesky neck and shoulder pain.
To learn more about how an ergonomic chair can help posture, read our complete guide.
What Is The Best Ergonomic Chair For Neck Pain?
Now that you know exactly how an ergonomic office chair can help you prevent neck pain, you're probably already thinking about where you can get one. Well, let's start off by saying that not all ergonomic office chairs are created equal. If you want your chair to actually provide the benefits we've discussed, you have to choose the best of the best.
But before we reveal the best ergonomic office chair for neck pain, let's talk about the factors that you should take into consideration when choosing an ergonomic chair:
How to Choose The Perfect Ergonomic Chair
People with average heights can make do with almost any ergonomic office chair. But if you are taller or shorter, you need to make sure that the office chair you choose is just the right length for your back.
If the back of your chair is too short, you won't get enough support for your spine. On the other hand, if it's too long, you'll probably get support in the wrong places (e.g. the built-in lumbar support digging into the middle of your back instead of the lower part of your spine).
The perfect ergonomic office chair should be fully adjustable. In this way, you can tailor-fit your chair based on your height, weight, and seating preferences.
Look for adjustable armrests, seat height, seat depth, headrest (if there is one), and lumbar support.
The material on your chair should have enough padding to keep you comfortable for long periods of time. Leather is durable and suitable for a more formal office. It's also very easy to clean and dries rapidly. But if you want a fabric that is more breathable and more comfortable to sit on for hours, we recommend an office chair made of mesh. Choosing the right fabric will also make it easier to clean your ergonomic chair.
The Best Office Chair For Neck Pain Revealed
Now that you know what to look for in your chair, we've compiled a few choices for you. If you truly want to get the best office chair possible, consider one of these:
The ErgoTune Classic might not have a headrest, but it has everything you need to maintain proper posture (which is basically the best way to prevent neck pain). It features 7 adjustment points and ATLAS™ lumbar support, designed to beat neck and shoulder pain before they even occur--as well as other types of pain, for that matter. Plus, it's made with DuraWeave™ hybrid mesh so you will never have to worry about sweating in the office!
Not sure if it will fit your body type? Let us erase those doubts right now--the ErgoTune classic can fit a wide range of body types (150 - 190cm height, <150kg weight), making it the perfect ergonomic chair for everyone!
- 4D armrests (adjustable up-down, in-out, left-right, forwards-backward)
- Lightweight nylon polyamide base
- TrueTilt™ recline support
- Comes with a 12-year warranty
Want something even better? The ErgoTune Supreme features 11 adjustment points plus ATLAS™ lumbar support, all designed to give you optimum support everywhere you need it. And unlike the ErgoTune Classic, this ergonomic office chair boasts a TriTune™ 3D Support headrest, just the type of neck support you need to avoid those pesky neck aches. It's also fully adjustable, allowing you to fine-tune the angle and height however you wish.
Similar to the Classic, ErgoTune Supreme features DuraWeave™ hybrid mesh for max ventilation and can fit bodies up to 190cm in height and 150kg in weight. Plus, if you want to go with something other than charcoal black, the ErgoTune Supreme comes in aqua blue and coral red as well.
- GyroBrace™ 5D armrests (pivots freely)
- Light and sturdy aluminum base
- TrueTilt™ recline support
- Comes with a 12-year warranty
Final Thoughts on The Best Ergonomic Chair For Neck Pain
- Promoting good posture
- Giving your head and neck something to lean on
- Preventing excess weight on your shoulder and neck muscles
And in order to maximize these benefits, you need a top-of-the-line chair to keep your spine in the perfect position all day long. Choose from ErgoTune Classic or ErgoTune Supreme today and see for yourself how much of a difference a top-quality ergonomic chair can make!