Those with back pain: what chairs are you using?

null

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
470
Hey folks,

I'm starting to develop lower back pain when sitting for more than a few hours and it's affecting my productivity. Are there any chairs any of you recommend to help mitigate back pain? Or maybe just a chair you've found most comfortable?

It looks like Aerons are the go-to, but before I spend that much I'd like to know if there are less expensive alternatives any of you have had success with.

And if any of you use a standing desk, how comfortable are you able to stand? Do you transition to a seated position after some amount of time?
 
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crimsonyoshi

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
150
Chairs are 100% subjective. I was in the same boat as you with what chair should I get and asking around for others opinions.

There's one cardinal rule to any chair you're in for extended periods. You should be able to get up after however many hours with no back (or any other kind of) pain. It doesn't necessarily have to be plush or comfortable to achieve this, and that's where your price points really start to kick in.

What you'd want to start with looking at are Task Chairs. These chairs are built for 8+ hour sitting sessions and typically offer great lumbar support as well as a range of features (tilt, height, seat depth etc). Some of them come with more modifiable things - and cost more as a result - others have fewer modifiable things. Our office just got a whack of task chairs for around the $300 mark with loads of customizable options ($300 as they are built and 100% made in Canada as well as come with a limited lifetime warranty). The brand we have is: Freeway, and the specific model is Moda. Multiple employees sit in these things for 8 hours at a crack and nobody has problems with them.

I however at home have more of an executive style chair which has lumbar support. I've sat in that thing for 8-16 hours and it's just fine, no difference than my work chair in terms of any kind of back pain.

Really you need to go down to your local store and ask to try task and executive chairs. The worst thing you can do is go buy something you've never sat in and tried.

Just my 2 cents!
 

dodonpachi

n00b
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
61
Hi, I am a generally reasonably fit and active 160lb individual. I used various £100 mark office/ikea chairs for years and would semi regularly get lower back pain that was somewhat worrying. Getting up and walking around long enough would ease it as you might expect. And doing regular activities and exercise would not cause me pain.

This long winded preamble is just to say that the cause of my pain was quite clearly the chairs I was using. I bought a 2nd hand aeron off ebay and it basically solved my problems. Beyond checking you get the right size for your frame/weight and that it is in decent condition I would strongly recommend you do the same. I now have zero issues and often sit in the chair for extended periods.

My 2 cents.
 

null

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
470
Thanks guys.

I spent my work days this past week in an Aeron and man, it's a night and day difference compared to my home office chair. It's very comfortable and I experienced no back pain after sitting in it all day. By contrast, I've been sitting in my home office chair for the past several hours and can already feel the back pain creeping in.

So I went ahead and ordered a new Aeron (size C) on Amazon, fully featured with lumbar support, for $670 shipped. I found some used on Craigslist for about $450, but I felt better paying the extra $220 for a new one with a 12 year warranty.

I look forward to more comfortable coding sessions. :)
 
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qkslvr221

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2010
Messages
155
Went through so many fabric/leather chairs over the years, they fell apart and gave me nothing but worse back problems. Got a Hyken mesh chair from Staples 3 years ago, and what a difference. No fraying, sagging, or discoloration to speak of.

Only caveat I'd add is the headrest- if you are over 6ft or have a longer torso vs legs, your shoulders may rub the bottom of the rest.
 

caddys83

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
3,524
I used to have back pains after long hours sitting at my desk. Then I saw the light and went Herman Miller Aeron :D
 

evilsofa

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
10,078
Fair warning to anyone else shopping for expensive chairs: test them properly before you buy. That means an absolute minimum of 30 minutes of continuous sitting in one to start, and preferably a full day like null was able to do. What is comfortable for someone else (even a lot of other people) may not be comfortable for you; yes, even the Aeron or Leap or Freedom chairs, there's no such thing as a universally comfortable chair. What feels extremely comfortable in the first minute or two may not be comfortable after a few hours. If you go to a chair store and spend an hour sitting in a dozen different chairs, you'll only learn what is immediately uncomfortable to you; for the better candidates, you need to bring a book or a laptop or something and just sit in them for at least half an hour, if not a couple of hours. There are no shortcuts to finding the best chair.
 
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