4 June 2021
The Ultimate Guide to the Best Office Chairs for a Better Posture
Since WFH started, have you noticed that you’ve worked longer hours than usual?
Do you continue to sit at your desk past working hours because you’re trying to finish up something that’s due early the next day?
Not to alarm you or anything, but your posture could be at risk because you're sitting in your office chair for prolonged periods of time – Much more than what you usually do. Perks of WFH, am I right?
We know your pain.
So, we’ve compiled a list of office chairs that can help with your posture over time, even if you have to work overtime (please don’t if you can – work-life balance is important!).
Table of Contents1. Why is my posture so important? 2. How bad is my posture? 3. A good lumbar support is a long-term investment 4. An office chair to help improve your posture
4.1 ErgoTune Supreme
4.2 Steelcase Leap
4.3 IKEA Markus
4.4 Herman Miller Sayl
4.5 Secretlab Neuchair5. More tips to maintain good posture
Why is my posture so important?
Before we get into the list, it’s important that we first fill you in on why exactly you should strive to maintain a good posture while seated.
Besides the obvious reason that is to avoid looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, here's the actual science behind it:
1. Having a good posture allows your body to function normally. When your joints and ligaments are aligned properly, they are at their least stressed. This equates to a lower risk of overuse, which decreases the risk of abnormal wear and tear of your joints! You’ll also get fewer headaches, back pain, and improve your spine health overall.
2. You’ll feel more energised. Good posture means that your bones and joints are aligned in its original, ‘neutral’ position, which reduces muscle fatigue. This keeps you going for longer, plus it also boosts your mood, which is great for mental health and productivity. Working OT won't feel as miserable!
How bad is my posture?
Now, you might now be wondering, how bad is my posture? Have I neglected it for too long?
Almost everybody slouches, whether they're standing, walking, lazing on a couch, or seated on an office chair at work.
The question is, how have the years of poor back support affected each individual?
Here’s a simple test you can do to check your posture, famously known as the wall test:
1. Stand with your back against a wall.
2. Check what parts of your body can rest against the wall with little to no effort.
3.If your feet, hips, shoulders, or the back of your head cannot rest against the wall, it’s a sign that your posture has deteriorated over time. The more effort you require to rest these parts against the wall, the greater the need to remedy your posture ASAP!
But fret not, there's no need to panic! Switching to an office chair with good back support is one of the most effective ways to start improving your posture, so you’re on the right track.
*Warning: If your posture starts to interfere with your day-to-day activities, we highly recommend you to go see a doctor for professional medical advice instead!
A good lumbar support is a long-term investment
We say this because an office chair with good back support, otherwise known as ‘lumbar support’, helps to maintain the natural curve of your spine while you’re seated.
We usually slouch because it’s tiring to keep our backs straight for long, right?
However, if you sit flushed against the backrest just like you’re recommended to, the lumbar support fills the gap between the backrest and your lumbar region. This naturally allows you to maintain an upright, proper sitting posture without conscious effort on your part, which results in less stress on your back muscles!
For ordinary office chairs that do not come with build-in lumbar support, stand-in support can come in the form of memory foam cushions, and even towels. (Read more on how you can get better lumbar support here.)
It’s not recommended as a long-term solution, though, especially if you’re going to be relying heavily on it every day.
At the end of the day, an ergonomic chair with lumbar support is still the most worthwhile investment for improving your posture and alleviating the pains that come with it!
An Office Chair to Help Improve Your Posture
So, what are some of the office chairs that boast proper back support?
We’ve listed a variety here, from premium options to affordable ones for those who are on a tight budget.
Just keep in mind that as the saying goes, you get what you pay for!
1. ErgoTune Supreme
The ErgoTune Supreme is one of the most value-for-money office chairs out there.
An affordable ergonomic office chair that is guaranteed to provide amazing back support while you work, a notable feature of the ErgoTune Supreme is its ATLAS Auto Tuning Lumbar Area Support!
This adjustable lumbar feature shifts simultaneously with your body and supports you as you move around in the chair. It automatically fits the natural curve of your spine, so that you don’t have to consciously make an effort to keep your back straight while you type away on your laptop.
With 11 points of adjustability, it's also capable of providing support for anyone and everyone, so long as you’re under 150kg and between 150cm-190cm tall.
This ergonomic office chair also comes with a headrest, which helps to support your neck and spinal column while relieving any stress or tensions in those areas. Together with its top-tier lumbar support, both your upper and lower back will always have constant support.
At just $599, you'll get an office chair with crazy adjustability that can last for years while providing relief for any back pains you may have.
Did I mention it also comes with free delivery in Singapore?
Need a chair for that all-day comfort? Get the top rated ergonomic chair today!
2. Steelcase Leap
Source: Steelcase Singapore
Despite its rather minimalist design, the Steelcase Leap has many points of adjustability so you can freely adjust the office chair to maximise your comfort while you sit in it.
To promote active sitting, its LiveBack technology allows the backrest to automatically mimic the natural movements of the spine and adjust the recline tension accordingly, so that you don’t have to trouble yourself with the hassle.
But what’s active sitting?
TL;DR, it’s moving about every now and then while you’re sitting to promote blood circulation and more.
As wonderful as the Steelcase Leap sounds, it comes with a rather hefty price tag, starting from $1,478.
That’s more than twice the price of an ErgoTune Supreme!
Plus, if you’re someone who prefers a mesh office chair over other materials, or if you’re looking for something that’s breathable and durable, the Steelcase Leap unfortunately only comes in a choice of fabric or leather.
We’ve previously written an article comparing the different types of materials of office chairs, so check that out to find out more!
3. IKEA Markus
The IKEA Markus is a well-known budget office chair that pops up on many office chair forums.
Though it is not an ergonomic office chair, the IKEA Markus still provides incredible lumbar support because of its design. The upright seating position, high back, and integrated headrest help to provide good support for your back.
With the high back design, it also encourages you to sit up more and not slouch while you’re working. Thanks to the built-in lumbar support and mesh back, your back is also always supported.
That said, due to the lack of adjustable features, those who have purchased the office chair said that you may need to purchase more neck and back support pillows for your chair. It may also not be suitable for all body shapes and sizes.
Some users also commented that another downside of the office chair is that the seat cushion tends to become a bit uncomfortable after sitting in it for a long period of time.
That aside, this office chair comes with a rather impressive 10-year warranty!
4. Herman Miller Sayl
Source: Herman Miller
Don’t let the unique design throw you off, because the backrest of the Herman Miller Sayl office chair does provide good lower back support.
Utilising a special 3D Intelligent design, it provides support however you move, giving you ample room to stretch and move around without compromising your posture.
It’s also adjustable so you can move it up or down to fit your spine’s natural curvature, and is a more affordable alternative to the ever-popular Aeron model! Compared to the Aeron which starts at $1,780, the Herman Miller Sayl starts at a more modest $1,068.
Because of how its rubberised mesh backrest is designed, the chair is also rather breathable, keeping you cool all day, every day.
On the downside, the chair lacks a headrest. This means you'll lose out on extra support for your neck, and the backrest may be a little too short for taller users.
Despite that, it comes with a 12-year warranty and can even be recycled!
5. SecretLab Neuchair
The SecretLab’s Neuchair is another mesh ergonomic chair with good lumbar support, but is priced slightly higher at $799.
Its adjustment levers are also placed under its armrests, making it more convenient to adjust the chair whenever you feel like it.
The lumbar support also does a very good job at keeping your lower back supported comfortably throughout the day.
One shortcoming found in many reviews, though, is that while the lumbar support may feel firm upon sitting down, it moves up when you actually lean back against it. This makes it a bit uncomfortable for some users, since the support constantly feels like its sliding up and down.
Its armrests can also only be adjusted up and down and left and right to a certain extent, instead of having a wider range to suit all positions and movements.
More tips to maintain good posture
Of course, getting a new office chair won’t be a miracle solution.
Just because you’re getting a new office chair doesn’t that mean your posture will improve after a day.
However, it’s a step in the right direction!
In addition to getting a new chair to help with your posture, you could also do these things:
1. Practise active sitting, in which you fidget or vary your posture throughout the day. Reclining in your seat in a good example! This encourages better breathing and blood circulation, and allows your muscles to take turns to relax and recuperate.
2. Consider getting a standing desk along with your chair, as it helps you to alternate between standing and sitting! If you’re looking for a standing desk, check out our newest launch here.
3. Make sure you’re always seated upright with your shoulders relaxed and elbows supported at a 90-degree angle.
4. Sit all the way back in your (new) chair so that your back support is flushed against your spine.
5. Make sure your computer or laptop screen is at eye level without having to bend or tilt your neck! Accessories like monitor arms and laptop stands will help you to achieve this, which can be purchased here.
6. Make sure your feet is never left dangling and your knees are always bent at a 90-degree angle! Use a foot stool if necessary.
Again, improving your posture isn’t something that can be done overnight. Be patient and resilient, and you’ll gradually see the changes!