I'm looking for a comfortable/ergonomic computer chair for my current setup (and neck/back pain)

Joined
Aug 6, 2021
Messages
1
So I recently found a new computer desk I really like for having a keyboard tray, USB/Power Outlet, and just generally being pretty spacious and ergonomic.

Here are two pictures of what my current setup looks like now: One. Two.

However, with my two current chairs (a kneeling chair and one supposedly good for my low back), trying different monitor positions, and chair heights... I always have issues with either my neck or low back tightening and getting pain.

I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions computer chairs that could work with my desk and my current neck/back pain issues.

Ideally I want a chair that has a good low back/butt cushion, chair height adjustment, and hopefully armrest adjustment.

I've just gotten burned by too many computer chairs that don't work out in the past. That's why I'm reaching out here for any ideas so I can actually find something that works for me.

Doesn't help I've had neck, shoulder, and back pain issues for quite a while, even before this current setup.

Budget? Honestly, I'll take anything at this point, but the more affordable the better.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
600
Just my 2cents, but in my experience, it's more about posture / sitting position, and location of the keyboard / monitors than it is about the chair. If you need something cushy for your butt, get a good cushion. Otherwise, pay attention to how you sit and placement of your hardware.
 

silentsod

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
406
If you don’t have physical limitations preventing you from doing so:

lifting, including deadlifts, face pulls, and other strengthening exercises can help relieve issues by improving your muscles ability to maintain healthy positions for longer.

stretching - pigeon pose and Sphinx will target lower and mid back. Work up to holding them for several minutes.
 

toast0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
1,344
If you really want a good chair, you need to find a chair that comes in lots of sizes and get the chair fitted for you. When I worked for Yahoo! they had an ergo program and had you sit on a bunch of chairs and then would order a SomaComfort tailored to you, and when it arrived, come by your desk and help you adjust it. Kind of spendy and I've not been willing to order one for home. If you've got a higher end office furniture store in the area, maybe they have a selection of stuff you can sit in and try; a used office furniture store might work too.

Like silentsod said, if you don't have physical limitations, stretching will help with immediate pain, and strength training the muscles involved will help you avoid it in the future. If you're good and disciplined, it can work pretty quick; if you're terrible at doing the work like I am, at least learning the stretches that work can help when the pain starts again, then do the stretches good for a week or so and be OK until next time. :whistle: Personally, the best way for me to stretch my back is from a downhill curl on my bike, which I should really do more often anyway. If you're not doing it already, regular exercise of all types will tend to help in all areas, as long as you're not doing things that specifically aggrivate the same areas.

That said, your chair looks like it should probably work, although I don't know how to setup a kneeling chair. I'd start by trying to get your chair set right, and adjust everything else from there (as much as possible). You want to adjust your chair so that your back is up against the back of the chair and your feet are flat on the ground, you should have a little bit of space between the back of your lower leg/knee and the front of the chair, around two to four fingers. Your upper leg should be about parallel with the ground, and your knees about 90 degrees.

I don't think your keyboard tray is adjustable, so hopefully it's in a good spot, but if you had an adjustable tray, in an ideal world, your upper arms are hanging straight down at your sides, your elbows are close to 90 degrees, and you've got a split keyboard so your wrists are flat and unbent. Personally, I've never been willing to try a split keyboard, but that's the ideal. Try to avoid reaching forward towards the keyboard, and try to minimize the amount of bend you put on your wrist. I see you've got the keyboard at the edge of the tray, and there's no wrist killing wrist rest, so you're probably as good as it's going to get there. You've got a vertical mouse, if that works for you, great. You weren't complaining of wrist issues, but just to be thorough, other things to consider would be try to reduce the distance from the home row to the mouse, either with left mousing or maybe tenkeyless (and a separate ten key if you use that occasionally, but not often); mixing it up with different pointing devices from time to time can be good too; I left moused at work and right moused at home which evened out mouse fatigue. You might consider removing the arm wrests, depending on your arm lengths; they're usually not comfortable for me if I'm typing, although if I'm just hanging out, they're fine.

The last thing is monitor height. You want somewhere around the middle of the monitor to be eye height, some people say 1/3rd of the screen down should be eye height, some people say center, but in that range is good to keep your neck in a neutral straight ahead position. You've got the adjustable height platform for your main monitor, so I suspect you'll be able to make that work. If you need it higher than you can make it, phone books (if you've still got those) or reams of paper make excellent monitor lifts with what you've got around. Your second monitor that's on the back shelf is probably too high, and awkward to look at anyway. My ergo training was a long time ago, and we didn't have dual monitors then, so I don't know the best way to set that up, but probably what you've got isn't it :D. I think you'd want to have the two monitors as close together as you can get them so you don't have to move too much to change focus, but you probably do want to shift more than just your head, but that's tricky because your arms are stuck on the keyboard and mouse. Also, don't be afraid to move the monitor(s) closer to you, it may make it more comfortable.

If this setup advice doesn't get things going well, maybe look for an ergo consultant in your area who can do an evaluation and recommend equipment/changes.
 
Last edited:

trandoanhung1991

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
1,272
From my experience working 8+ hours in an IT job, you basically do not want to rest back on the chair, period. What you want to do is find a chair with a good, comfortable, hard seat (soft seats screw up your posture), and then sit with your back straight, not touching the chair at all. Dinner chairs are pretty good at this, while "gaming" and "office" chairs are usually way too soft and cushy.

I find this gives me the most awareness about my posture, and whenever I start to slump due to fatigue, it's a good time to take a break.

From your pictures I'd say keyboard height is too high, so you might be subconsciously shrugging your shoulders to match the height, causing tension and knots. Your monitors also seem a bit low, so either you have to practice to sit with your neck straight and eyes looking down, or raise those monitors higher.

In your down time, practice some light dynamic stretches for your low back, hamstring, hip flexors, neck and shoulders. That should help alleviate the issues.
 

flyingears

Weaksauce
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
104
I have been very happy with the humanscale freedom chair.

A height adjustable desk and a monitor arm go a long way to encouraging good posture.

The desk lets you put your keyboard and mouse at the correct height while having your chair adjusted correctly for your height, not your desks height.

And a monitor arm is a must for a desk that has a keyboard and mouse at the correct height, as you want the monitor centered in your vision when your head is neutral. Most monitors will be too low if your desk is at the correct height.
 
Top