Backcare Week 2014: 8 best ergonomic office chairs

Say goodbye to back pain at work with our pick of seating for the daily grind

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The Independent Online

Everyone knows that sitting for hours in the office is bad for the back, but we rarely do anything about it.

Backcare Awareness Week, which runs from 6 to 12 October, is a good time to change your usual office chair for one that offers better ergonomic support.

But there are a lot to choose from, so to help you out, here’s our pick.

1. Humanscale Freedom Office Chair, £999, John Lewis

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With a backrest that automatically adapts to your body shape and headrest that moves according to how far you recline, the Humanscale Freedom Office Chair offers the latest in ergonomic technology. Plus, the snug cushions mould to the shape of your body. At nearly a thousand pounds, it’s a lot to cough up for a chair, but worthwhile if you want one of the best on the market.

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2. Herman Miller Aeron Office Chair, £925, John Lewis

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If you are a design buff, this is the one for you. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has an Aeron in its permanent collection, so its design credentials are well established. But this chair is not just pretty to look at – its cushions are made from Pellicle, a high tech material which avoids heat build-ups, helping prevent muscular discomfort.

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3. Comfort Operator Chair, £49, Office Furniture Online

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It’s not a thing of beauty, but the Comfort Operator Chair is good value for its specification. The three levers allow you to vary the height of the chair and tilt the back rest and seat. Also, the curved foam provides good ergonomic support. This is the reliable Volkswagen – rather than the flashy Ferrari – of the office chair world. Available with or without arms.

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4. HÅG Capisco Saddle Chair, £291, Wellworking

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If you find yourself fidgeting in your usual seat, try the Saddle Chair. The unique design, modelled on a horse rider’s saddle, allows you to sit equally comfortably whether facing forward or turned to the side. Free movement does not have to cost the planet though – this product is made from recycled car bumpers.

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5. Classic Balance Ball Chair, £80, amazon

 

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You are sure to be greeted with a few raised eyebrows when you bring this into the office, but bemusement could soon turn into envy. Not only is the Classic Balance Ball Chair comfortable, but the act of balancing on it also gives you a powerful core-strengthening workout.

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6. Herman Miller Sayl Office Chair, £383, Wellworking

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Effective spine and neck support needn’t result in a sweaty back. Inspired by the design principles of suspension bridges and modelled on a ship’s sail, the webbed chair back allows good air circulation, keeping you cool. Comes in four colours.

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7. Markus Swivel Chair, £130, Ikea

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This is one of the cheapest executive style office chairs on the market. Offering easy height adjustment and a lockable tilt function – plus a headrest for good neck support – you get all the basics for a reasonable price. Also, this product comes with a 10 year guarantee, so it won’t risk your hard earned cash.

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8. Back App Ergonomic Stool, £556, Back2

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When you sit on the Back App your feet are placed on the footboard rather than the floor. This allows the chair to rotate around as you move, allowing a greater freedom of movement than that offered by conventional office chairs. At first this can make your lower back feel tired, but after a week or so this should go away.

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Verdict

For wacky style with green credentials, go for the HÅG Capisco Saddle Chair. If you are on more of a budget, the Comfort Operator or the Markus Swivel Chairs are your best bet. Office chair technophiles with money to spend should consider the Humanscale Freedom. But for sheer workmanship and iconic design, the Aeron is my top pick. 

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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