Over the course of 20 years, the average office worker spends roughly 30,000 hours sitting in a desk chair! Spending those years in cheap and uncomfortable chairs can lead to serious health problems in the future. If you have a desk job or work in a home office, it is wise to invest in a high-end ergonomic office chair like the Steelcase Leap Chair.
Are you looking for an office chair that’s durable, supportive, and truly comfortable? Read on to discover the best ergonomic desk chair for you!
Why Choose an Ergonomic Office Chair?
Ergonomic chairs are designed to fit every individual in an optimal manner, increasing comfort while reducing stress and tension throughout the body. These chairs tend to provide better neck, shoulder, back, and arm support than standard office seating. High-end ergonomic chairs are often highly adjustable. Many ergonomic chairs feature lumbar adjustments, reclining features, body-conforming back and posterior support, movable armrests, and more.
Though regular office chairs may feel comfortable when used for brief periods of time, most chairs are not optimally designed for years of daily sitting. Office workers often develop chronic pain and other health problems over time. Many of these health conditions are preventable and only develop because of poor seating and posture. Some of the most common health problems caused by improper seating include:
- Neck strain
- Shoulder pain
- Upper back pain
- Lower back pain
- Spinal problems
- Disc damage
- Brain fog
- Varicose veins
- Muscle degeneration
- Heart disease
- … and more.
Even if you don’t yet suffer from pain or stiffness due to poor seating, it is likely to affect you at some point. Research has found that 85% of Americans experience back pain before the age of 50. For the vast majority of these individuals, this back pain is reoccurring.
Whether you’re looking for pain relief or are hoping to prevent pain before it occurs, an ergonomic chair is the right choice for you.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Ergonomic Chair
There are hundreds of ergonomic office chairs on the market today. Some of these chairs, however, are far better than others.
The principles of ergonomics are based primarily on comfort and fit. Due to this, some individuals may find one chair extremely comfortable, whereas others may find it highly uncomfortable.
Brands like Herman Miller and Steelcase are particularly renowned for their comfortable and supportive ergonomic chairs. These chairs are often quite expensive but offer the best assortment of features, design, and materials for the price. These chairs often come with the best warranties as well; the top-selling Herman Miller Aeron Chair, for instance, comes with an impressive 12 year warranty.
The most important factors to consider when selecting an ergonomic chair include:
• Size and Fit – Many premium ergonomic chairs come in a variety of sizes. Whether you are short, tall, or of average height, it is important to pick a chair that will be optimally suited to your size. Pay attention to measurements and weight restrictions as well.
The best way to find the right chair size for you is by trying out chairs at a local retailer. By testing chairs before making a purchase, you can find a chair that’s comfortable and fits your measurements.
• Materials – Materials vary greatly from chair to chair. Many chairs are offered with durable fabric covering. Popular ergonomic chairs with fabric covering include the Steelcase Amia Chair, Steelcase Gesture Chair, and the Steelcase Criterion Chair. Other chairs come with breathable mesh backing. Some of the most popular mesh-backed chairs include the Steelcase Think Chair and the Herman Miller Aeron Chair. Other chairs, such as the Leap Chair by Steelcase, come in a variety of materials, including fabric and leather. Pick a material that feels comfortable to you. Material choice is ultimately a matter of personal preference.
• Adaptability – Most ergonomic chairs possess at least a few adjustable functions and features. With higher-end chairs, multiple features may be adjustable.
Consider the features of a chair that are most important to you. If you struggle with back pain, be sure to find a chair that has a lumbar cushion as well as an adjustable back. If you’re a frequent armrest user, be sure to select a chair that has adjustable armrests. Ergonomic chairs can often be reclined and adjusted in height as well. Some chairs even offer moving or adjustable seats. Take all of these features into consideration when selecting your new ergonomic chair.
• Design – Ergonomic chairs often come in a wide variety of designs. Strive to find a well-designed chair that is comfortable and designed to fit the curvature of your body. Try not to get too hung up on the physical appearance of the chair. With an ergonomic desk chair, form follows function.
• Price – High-quality ergonomic desk chairs are rarely cheap. The very best ergonomic chairs generally cost between $800 and $2,000. Though budget ergonomic chairs can be bought for around $200, these generally offer fewer features, shorter warranties, and poorer overall support. If you’re looking for a high-end chair at a more affordable price, consider purchasing a professionally refurbished Steelcase chair. Reputable retailers often sell refurbished chairs for roughly half of the original retail price.
The Best Office Chair: The Steelcase Leap v2 Chair
After extensive research, we have concluded that the Leap Chair by Steelcase is the best ergonomic office chair overall. This flexible, highly adjustable chair comes with a number of forward-thinking ergonomic design features.
With the latest v2 model, the Leap Ergonomic Office Chair has only gotten better. The updated Leap Chair has a slimmer, sleeker design, comfortable LiveBack back support, and a Natural Glide System that makes it easy to recline and relax without strain.
Users can adjust the lower back firmness on the Leap Chair as well as the flex in the upper back of the chair. The chair also comes with highly adjustable armrests, which current users praise. The seat’s depth can be adjusted, and the front edge of the seat flexes, preventing excess pressure on the thighs. The chair also offers an adjustable lumbar support feature and a breathable chair back.
Steelcase Leap Chair vs Aeron by Herman Miller
It is challenging to compare the Steelcase Leap Chair vs Aeron by Herman Miller. Even though both are top-selling ergonomic desk chairs, their designs are entirely different. Though the Aeron Chair is highly popular, many users find the mesh backing uncomfortable. The Aeron also comes in three distinct sizes (A, B, and C). Users rave that the Aeron is very comfortable, but only when they purchased the properly-sized chair. The Aeron does have many respectable attributes, including great lower back support, a stunning design, and unbeatable breathability. The incredible variety of practical ergonomic features offered by the Steelcase Leap Chair, however, make it the clear winner.
The Steelcase Leap Chair: Pros and Cons
The Steelcase Leap is an incredibly well-engineered chair. Before you buy an ergonomic chair, consider these strengths and weaknesses of our number-one ergonomic chair.
• Pro: Multiple Upper & Lower Back Adjustments – Both the upper and the lower back regions can be adjusted separately on the Leap Chair. The back of the chair moves dynamically with the spine as well. Many ergonomic chairs offer little or no adjustment for these areas of the back, instead focusing solely on lumbar support. The firmness of the lower back can be adjusted, and the flexibility of the upper back can be customized for optimal comfort and flex.
• Pro: Flexible Seat with Glide – The Leap’s seat has both flex and glide, perhaps its two most unique and intuitive features. The seat of the chair glides forward whenever the user leans back, optimizing comfort and eliminating strain. The front edge of the chair also bends forward whenever the user does. This prevents strain on the thighs and knees and reduces the risk of acquiring varicose veins.
• Pro: Long Warranty – When purchased from a certified dealer, the Leap generally has a lengthy 12 year warranty.
• Pro: Good For Many Sizes – Unlike the Aeron Chair, the Leap is better suited to individuals of all sizes. The adjustable height, incline, and seat depth are just a few of the many features that make the Leap good for a wide variety of individuals.
• Pro: Allows for Natural Movement – The gliding seat, flexible LiveBack spinal support, and highly adjustable armrests make the Steelcase Leap a very movement-friendly chair. The chair encourages natural movement, improving health and comfort overall.
• Con: Price – The Leap Ergonomic Office Chair is a costly investment. The value of the chair, however, is immeasurable. The price is also equal to that of all high-end ergonomic chairs. If you can afford the Leap Chair, it is worth purchasing.
• Con: Armrest Shifting – Though most users praise the Leap Chair’s highly adjustable armrests, some users dislike the fact that the armrests sometimes shift on their own.
• Con: Unreliable Online Refurbished Chair Sellers – Buyers warn customers to purchase refurbished Steelcase Leap Chairs only from reputable dealers. If you want to purchase a refurbished chair, seek out a store near you. It is better to see the chair before buying it.
Overall, the Leap’s benefits vastly outweigh its drawbacks. The Steelcase Leap v2 is the ideal chair for office workers who spends hours each day at their desks.
Investing in an excellent ergonomic chair is an investment in your future health. Though professional seating like the Steelcase Leap Chair can be costly, it is ultimately worth it to ensure your well-being and comfort.
Whether you’ve suffered from pain for years or are just beginning to experience lingering stiffness, an ergonomic chair is a purchase you won’t regret. Find a local store and try out some chairs today.