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Work in comfort in 2020

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If we’re going to spend so much time sitting, why not sit in a chair that offers adjustable and comfortable support?

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So often, the home office doesn’t get the love it deserves. Whether you work from home full time, use your home office a few days a week, or you use it sparingly for your own creative endeavors, a comfortable chair is a staple you’ll need to get your best work done. A good office chair is arguably just as important as a good laptop and good WiFi.

The health of sitting

Many people outfit their home office with any old chair that’s sitting around the house. But did you know that a comfortable office chair can lead to more productivity, better focus, and better overall health? It’s scientifically proven that , and a bad chair exacerbates these issues. That’s why an ergonomic chair is the first step to a healthy work-life balance.

Those with a full-time desk job spend more than 1,700 hours a year sitting in their office chair. That’s assuming you stick to 35 hours a week, never work late, never eat lunch at your desk, take two weeks of vacation, and never work a weekend. So in reality, that number can be much higher for many. It’s important that those hours are made as comfortable as possible with a chair that helps to relieve stress on the body.

The importance of ergonomics

Ergonomics is the science of making a tool or device adjustable to the individual. An ergonomic office chair will have features such as adjustable seat height and depth, adjustable armrests, back angle adjustment, and lumbar support, as well as other adjustable characteristics.

The purpose of these adjustable features is to support the spine, as well as to encourage posture changes throughout the day, rather than to help the sitter find the perfect position and to leave the chair that way forever. Changing positions from time to time helps to increase blood flow and alertness and to decrease stress to the spine, hips, and other parts of the body.

A study of workplace ergonomics published by found that “Changing your posture throughout the day is positive because when you change postures, the loads of sitting shift to different parts of the body, allowing your body to recover from extended static postures.”

It’s important that the chair fits the user; not every chair is right for every body. It’s great to try out a chair first before buying, if at all possible, but we’ve reviewed some of the best chairs out there, if physically trying out the chair isn’t on the agenda for you.


Available in three sizes • 20 years of research • Mesh material gives a cooling effect • Forces proper posture

Armrests may not be as adjustable as other chair models • Intentionally uncomfortable to sit cross-legged, as it is designed to encourage proper posture • Cannot adjust seat depth • Not cheap

This is a chair from a trusted brand, built with 20 years of research into office chair perfection.

Herman Miller Aeron Task Chair

A trusted classic chair, remastered from the casters up.

  • Dimensions:
    18.5 x 28.25 x 43 inches
  • Weight:
    39 pounds
  • Features:
    Mesh, 12 year warranty, adjustable tilt, sacral/lumbar support, armrests.
From a well-known and trusted brand, the Herman Miller Aeron Task Chair has been remastered for the modern world. The seat is made entirely of mesh, giving it a hammock-like quality that lends comfort as well as cooling for those who run hot. 
A 12-year warranty speaks to the chair’s popularity and longevity. More than 20 years of research on the science of sitting has gone into this chair, conducted by Don Chadwick and the chair’s original co-designer, Herman Miller, as well as research in advancements in materials, manufacturing, and technology. 
Aeron’s tilt allows the chair to move seamlessly with your body as you shift between forward and reclining postures. The tilt limiter with tension control adjusts between three angles: upright, mid-recline, and full recline. Sacral/lumbar support is adjusted independently via two individually stacked pads to fit the curvature of your spine. Armrest height can be adjusted from 6.8 inches above the seat to 10.8 inches above the seat, and are able to slide forward and backward at a range of 2.5 inches. The armrests also pivot 15 degrees outward and 17.5 degrees inward. 
The chair is available in three sizes (we’ve featured the large here), further driving home the point that office chairs are not a one-size-fits all deal.

Extremely adjustable • Comes in a variety of colors • Made with a variety of devices in mind

Seat may feel angled downward • Some users feel it lacks sufficient lumbar support • Lacks the cooling effect of mesh chairs • Pricey

This chair is comfortable, reliable, and built to last.

Steelcase Gesture

This is one of the best and most adjustable chairs out there, and is built to suit most bodies.

  • Dimensions:
    23.6 x 34.6 x 44.2 inches
  • Weight:
    61 pounds
  • Features:
    Four incline settings with locking capabilities, 360 degree arm movement, intuitive controls.

With rave reviews, this chair is one of the most adjustable chairs out there. Its specs make it suitable for a variety of body types. 
The seat’s cushion and backrest are both firm and comfortable. The chair offers an advanced synchro-tilt, allowing the chair back and seat to move in a 2.8:1 ratio, so as the user leans back, the seat rises slightly to keep the user’s feet on the floor at all times, forcing proper posture.
Intuitive adjustments make it easy to find your ideal sitting position. The core equalizer adjusts with the angle of the seat and back to provide less lumbar support in a deep recline and more lumbar support in an upright position. 
Perhaps the most innovative part of the Steelcase Gesture is that it is intentionally designed for comfort as the user switches from device to device throughout the workday. According to Steelcase, the average worker uses about three devices a day, switching from laptop to desktop, phone to tablet, and beyond. This chair is made to adjust from device to device, as the user’s posture changes with each task.


Budget-friendly • Comfortable, waterfall-edge seat • Free-floating and locking options

Adjustment bars and knobs are not intuitive • Not as adjustable as other chairs

This is a comfortable and adjustable chair, and comes with a more digestible price tag.

Alera Elusion

A more budget-friendly option that offers comfort and adjustable features.

  • Dimensions:
    26.18 x 24.8 x 15.75 inches
  • Weight:
    56.2 pounds
  • Features:
    Mesh back, cushion seat, free-floating and locking adjustments.

This multi-functional chair offers the best of both worlds, with a cool mesh back and a comfortable cushion seat with a waterfall edge that relieves pressure on the legs. The seat’s gliding effect allows back angle adjustments relative to the seat, as well as adjustable tilt that free floats or locks into place both in forward-leaning positions and reclining positions.
The armrests are both height- and width-adjustable with soft, polyurethane padding. The height-adjustable ratchet back offers superior lumbar support.
While this chair is comfortable, it may not last forever. You don’t have to spend over a grand for a good office chair, but you may be able to tell the difference between this and some of the higher-end chairs.


Widely adjustable • Budget-friendly • Mesh back

Materials may not last forever • Some users find the seat cushion too firm • Better for taller people, as minimum height is high

This chair features the adjustment capabilities of a much more expensive chair.

HON Mesh High-Back Task Office Chair

This chair is better than most budget models.

  • Dimensions:
    26.75 x 26.5 x 42.5 inches
  • Weight:
    40 pounds
  • Features:
    Breathable mesh, modifiable seat position, seat height and width, as well as recline, adjustable lumbar support.

With a mid-range price tag, this chair doesn’t skimp on the adjustable features. You’ll be able to modify the seat position, height and width, recline to your optimal position, and adjust the lumbar support to properly support your lower back. The chair features tilt tension and tilt lock as well as height- and width-adjustable armrests. 
The backrest is made entirely of breathable mesh, so you’ll stay cool as you work. The seat features a comfortable, yet firm cushion.
This chair is more comfortable for longer periods of time and more adjustable than other budget models. However, it may lack the quality materials of other chairs, and we can’t speak to longevity.


Adjustable to most heights • Headrest adds extra comfort • Available in several colors

Not as suitable for shorter people • Some users say it lacks lumbar support

Taller people need more support. This chair does the trick.

Steelcase Gesture with Headrest

This chair comes in lots of colors, and works especially well for tall people.

  • Dimensions:
    23 x 23 x 40 inches
  • Weight:
    78 pounds
  • Features:
    Headrest adds height, available in three heights, armrests move like human arms.

This chair offers all the amazing features of the Gesture chair listed above, but the added feature of a headrest makes this chair better for tall people. Height can affect posture and can be tough on the spine, especially if you’re not in the correct chair for your body. 
The chair features an abundance of adjustment options that make this great no matter how tall you are. It’s available in three heights, so you’ll be able to pick the best size for you.
The Gesture is designed with a system of synchronized interfaces that together provide customized, continuous and persistent support for any posture you’ll assume throughout the day. The flexible seat perimeter allows users to sit in various positions.


Striking profile • Balance between support and freedom to move • Three recline settings

Not as adjustable as other models • Not everyone’s aesthetic

If you’re looking for something unique and futuristic, this is the chair for you.

Herman Miller Sayl

A modern and comfortable take on the ergonomic office chair.

  • Dimensions:
    26 x 24.5 x 37 inches
  • Weight:
    38 pounds
  • Features:
    Striking visual aesthetic, three settings of recline, balance between support and freedom.

This is the kind of chair that’s either exactly your style or not at all. The designer was inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge to create this unique profile. Very modern and eye-catching, the chair strikes a balance between giving the user support and freedom, allowing a full range movement in seated positions.
The chair’s 3-D intelligent suspension back provides passive PostureFit sacral support, which allows the spine to maintain its natural S-shape and encourages the body to maintain a healthy posture with less fatigue. The seat height is adjustable between 15.5 and 20 inches high, and the tilt limiter allows for three recline settings: 91, 101, and 124 degrees.


Extremely adjustable • Automatic headrest • Contoured cushions ensure weight distribution

May not be ideal for shorter, lighter people • Users have reported armrests breaking • Seat is too firm for some

With some of the best ergonomics available, this chair is sleek, comfortable, and effective.

Humanscale Freedom

With adjustable features, a headrest, and contoured cushions, this is the model for those looking to address pain.

  • Dimensions:
    26 x 26 x 43 inches
  • Weight:
    40 pounds
  • Features:
    Headrest, contoured cushions, responsive backrest.

If healthy sitting is of utmost importance to you, this chair has the superior ergonomic features to address issues such as back pain and discomfort. 
The automatic headrest is sensitive to your position, and will adjust to cradle your head and neck as you recline, and will automatically move out of the way when you sit upright. As you recline, the chair will enable you to maintain near-constant eye-level with your screen.
Contoured, Technogel seat cushions make for optimal comfort, as they’re sculpted to closely follow the body and ensure even weight distribution. A responsive, pivoting backrest automatically adapts to provide continuous support for your spine’s needs as you recline.


Adjustable and ergonomic • Forces correct posture • Thick cushion • Very affordable

May be uncomfortable for taller people • Assembly is a bit difficult • Some users have experienced shin pain during use

This is a great alternative to a regular office chair, and it may ease back pain.

DRAGONN Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

Switch it up with a kneeling chair at an amazing price.

  • Dimensions:
    27.56 x 19.13 x 8.27 inches
  • Weight:
    18.92 pounds
  • Features:
    Tilted seat, supports up to 250 pounds, height adjustable.

If you’re looking for something different that supports a healthy posture, why not give a kneeling chair a whirl? 
This chair gives you the benefits of standing and the comfort of sitting all at once, by helping to take stress off of the knees, hips, buttocks, and spine, placing you in a different position than a normal chair would have you in all day. The chair positions the seater to hold their back in an upright position, distributing weight evenly all while keeping the spine aligned and strengthening the abdominal muscles. 
This kneeling chair features a comfortable three-inch thick cushion, as well as four casters so you have the freedom to move about the office as you would in a traditional office chair. It is adjustable from 21 inches to 31 inches.


Air pump included • Reinforced base with locking casters • Very affordable

Some users have experienced the base breaking • Casters may not roll easily

When it comes to alternative office chairs, a balance ball is a go-to. But with its sturdy base, this chair gives you the best of both worlds.

Gaiam Ultimate Balance Ball Chair

You’ll love how much a balance ball changes your work day, and it may even alleviate back pain.

  • Dimensions:
    2.5 feet tall. 20 inches wide
  • Weight:
    18.67 pounds
  • Features:
    Durable, reinforced base, removable balance ball, lockable casters.

The benefits to using a balance ball instead of a traditional chair are both physical and mental. This seat promises to engage the core, align the spine, and stimulate blood flow, increasing energy levels and focus and leading to a more productive and energetic day. The balance ball may even relieve back pain and encourage a more engaged mind and an active body.
It also just makes the work day a little more fun.
This chair includes a durable, reinforced base with lockable casters and a supportive backrest, but you’ll be able to remove the balance ball when you want to sit on it without the base. A desktop guide is included, which illustrates multiple stretching and strengthening exercises to help you stay active and engaged throughout the day.
Some readers may be thinking, what’s the point of the base? Why not just work with the balance ball? But that’s what makes this device ergonomic and versatile. You’ll be able to fully balance without the base, or take a bit of a break when you use the base. The casters also make it a bit more office-appropriate, and you’ll be able to roll around from task to task as easily as you can with a regular office chair.


Less than $100 • Breathable mesh • No frills

Arms aren’t adjustable • Reclines only about 15 degrees • Seat is very firm

This is a chair for the infrequent home office user.

This is a no-frills option that offers just the basic adjustments, such as raising and lowering the seat and tilting into a recline. You can also lock the chair against tilting by pushing the control handle inwards. A tilt-tension knob underneath the chair adjusts to make it easier or harder to rock back in your chair. 
Both the padded seat and the back of the chair are covered in black mesh. Some sections of the back support are mesh only, to allow for advanced breathability. 
The chair has a sophisticated and modern profile, but it will probably only last you short-term. If you’re not someone who frequently uses the home office, but you want a chair just for sometimes, this will do.





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