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Office work is tough at the best of times. With long, tiring hours in the same position, many workers can experience muscle stiffness, numbness in the legs from poor circulation and aching in the lower back from increased compression.
Those risks are far higher when you have scoliosis.
Scoliosis is a misalignment in the spine that can occur at birth, although usually it develops during puberty. Most scoliosis sufferers can lead a perfectly normal, active life, but as they approach adulthood, back pain can be a recurring issue.
But with so many office chairs currently available on the market, it might be difficult to know which ones will support people with scoliosis and which ones won’t. Nobody wants to pay through the nose for an expensive chair only to find that it gives them increased pain throughout their workday.
Relax. We’ve done the research work for you. Below is our list of the top 5 ergonomic office chairs for scoliosis that will hopefully help you sort the wood from the trees.
We’ve also included buyer’s guide that will help you identify what to look for in a chair that supports this unique spinal condition.
Best Office Chair For Scoliosis
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
When it comes to sturdy high back support, you can’t go wrong with our first option: the Sihoo Ergonomic Office Chair. With an adjustable headrest, it is the chair that works with the spine to achieve maximum comfort and stability.
The backrest is fully adjustable, offering full-bodied support that can accommodate several conditions such as scoliosis.
With a mixture of upholstery on the seat and wire mesh on the arm and backrests, the chair cradles the posterior and keeps the hips firmly in the chair.
Its mesh skeleton also ventilates the skin, allowing the user to sit for longer without the discomfort of cumulative sweating that comes with a lot of leather chairs.
The seat tilt is also adjustable, which allows the user to lean the backrest forward or backward, thus correcting and supporting any pronounced curvature in the spine.
Everybody needs an adjustable armrest! To alleviate the pain of scoliosis, your chair’s arms will need to be supportive, taking the added weight of the torso and helping decompress the spine.
This chair’s adjustability is its main selling point. You can mold your four-wheeled friend into several different configurations that will support your particular needs.
This chair is reasonably-priced at around $300, which is what you can be prepared to pay for such a mid-range chair.
The mesh can be inflexible, which may cause the user discomfort over an extended period.
- ★ 100-DAY, RISK-FREE TRIAL - We know choosing your office chair can be a commitment. It’s something you’ll sit in for 8+ hours every day. So we give you 100 days to try it out at home or work. Don’t love it? Isn’t comfortable? We’ll give you a full refund and even pay the return shipping.
- ★ KEEP YOUR HARDWOOD FLOORS SAFE - Other swivel chairs use cheap, plastic wheels that can destroy your flooring. That didn’t seem to make sense. So instead, this ergonomic task chair comes equipped with our rollerblade caster wheels. Guaranteed not to scratch or leave marks on any surface.
If it’s style as well as quality ergonomic support you’re after, you should look no further than this plush, tan-colored Serta Style Hannah office chair.
With a thickly padded headrest to support the shoulders and neck, this chair goes the distance to ensure that the anterior portion of the body is not put under undue strain. You might have some difficulty leaving this chair – simply because it’s so comfortable!
The seat has a diminished front edge to prevent your circulation being cut off under the knees and around the thighs. Its cascading waterfall edge ensures that you won’t feel the pinch, even after hours of sitting in the same position.
The lumbar support in this chair is unparalleled, with a contoured lower back design that molds itself to you, supporting the excess curvature of the spine that occurs with scoliosis.
With an adjustable height lever, users can make sure their feet are firm to the floor, increasing stability and preventing the user from sliding down in the seat, putting undue pressure on the spine.
The cushioned armrests are something it’s rare to find on many chairs, so this luxurious feature puts the Hannah head and shoulders above the rest.
- The microfiber upholstery is this chair’s unique selling point. If you want a chair that feels like a bed, this is the chair for you.
- Adjustable height and waterfall seat aids circulation and gives the body support in areas that suffer strain after long hours of sitting.
- At an affordable price, this is great for someone looking for that cheaper armchair/office chair crossover.
- No adjustable neck rest.
- This chair is slightly less flexible than some of the others on this list.
See more of the best office chairs available from Serta.
- MICROFIBER UPHOLSTERY: Add a comfortable and homey touch to any home office
- SIGNATURE SERTA COMFORT: Swivel chair designed with a pillowed headrest and plush layered body pillows
La-Z-Boy is a leading light in the world of leather recliners. Now it has made a splash in the field of office chairs with this stylish behemoth that will add a dash of sophistication and success to any office environment.
Its design is unlike any other office chair, with a deep-layered ComfortCore memory foam under the seat cushion than molds to and holds your back in a comfortable seated position.
It has soft support at the front to encourage circulation and firm support at the back that will alleviate the usual pressure placed on the spine.
An adjustable height and seat tilt lets you shape this chair to your specifications, although the armrests are fixed, which might be awkward for taller users.
By way of compensation, the armrests are padded though, giving support and preventing certain injuries that occur with harder plastic surfaces such as cubital tunnel syndrome.
This La-Z-Boy office chair also utilizes AIR technology that gives this leather-like exterior that extra breathability that a lot of leather office chairs don’t possess.
This chair will allow you to sit in the same position for longer, decreasing the amount of sweat that accumulates in its recesses.
This is a solid, durable chair that, if maintained every few weeks, could last you years, or possibly even decades.
With scientifically-designed lumbar support, this leather-style chair is deceptively ergonomic.
Scoliosis sufferers will appreciate the attention to detail paid to the lower back region, as well as the armrests.
As with most heavy-duty leather chairs, this one comes with a substantial price tag. However, those with underlying skeletal issues might want to pay that extra $100 to prevent those issues from getting worse.
A lack of adjustability, especially around the armrests and neck, might not appeal to those who value ergonomics over style.
This chair is very bulky and you might end up putting your back out before you’ve even got it into the office!
- PREMIUM CUSHIONING: Ergonomic office chair with memory foam cushions that contour to your body
- FLEXIBLE AIR TECHNOLOGY: Lumbar cushions pivot when you move to support your back at every angle
The Modway is both ergonomic and economic and is the ideal choice for those who want all the health benefits of a decent office chair without the extortionate price tag.
With a high backrest and comfortable, breathable cushioned seat, this chair is both stylish and practical. It also comes in a range of bold, aesthetically-pleasing colors.
As with all our other chairs, adjustability is critical for optimal posture and the prevention of back pain, and this chair delivers on all fronts. It has an adjustable height and seat tilt, and the backrest also has a tilt lock mechanism.
That means you can lean your chair forward or backward to correct any postural anomalies you may have, and ease any pain from scoliosis.
The armrests are also adjustable, giving you that much-needed stability over your spine, hips and thighs. In short, with the Modway, you won’t find your body overcompensating for a poorly-designed chair!
This chair is the cheapest option available on our list, and is a must for anyone looking to avoid strain on their wallets as well as their lumbar regions!
A top-range adjustable chair, this will give you the lift and support you need to decompress the spine.
With no neck rest, anyone suffering scoliosis in the middle of the spine might want to skip this chair.
The mesh backrest gives minimal flexibility.
- ERGONOMIC OFFICE CHAIR - Featuring reliable ergonomic support, Articulate comes with a breathable mesh back, passive lumbar support, and generously padded and contoured 6” thick mesh seat cushion
- RELIABLE COMFORT - Designed with productivity in mind, Articulate is perfect for everyday use. Sturdy and supportive, this executive office chair holds up to 331 lbs and comes in a variety of colors
For those that enjoy a certain freedom of movement in the office, you should be under no ‘elusions’ when it comes to the Alera. This is the chair that gives maximum flexibility for those looking to glide through their workplace or home with very little impediment.
As with all our other chairs, this one has a potentially infinite number of positions for your spine and posterior region. The combination of soft cushioning and waterfall edge in the seat relieves leg pain and comforts under the seat.
With five castors on a durable base, this lightweight chair can be hurled from one side of the room to another at breakneck speed – just make sure to bring your crash helmet to the office!
Another mesh back that arches in line with the contours of the human spine, this chair will easily provide the firmness that’s so necessary for people with back issues such as scoliosis, giving support throughout the day.
Lightweight, mobile and flexible, this chair is perfect for those with a more active office environment who will need to jettison their chair at a moment’s notice.
Another highly-adjustable chair, this one will bend over backward, forwards and side-to-side to accommodate you.
This chair does not come with a neckrest, so again, one to be avoided if you are looking for that full-length body support.
Featuring a smaller backrest than our other chairs, there is even less to recommend this to someone who wants full back support.
- Multifunction mechanism with seat glide allows back angle adjustment relative to seat, adjustable tilt (free floating or infinite locking positions) and forward tilt.
- Cool, breathable mesh back.
Office Chairs For Scoliosis Buying Guide
Now we have covered the breadth of office chairs available to those with scoliosis searching for optimal support and comfort.
But what should someone with other complex back issues be looking for in an office chair?
If a chair’s seat pan is too wide or deep, it will leave the user with their feet dangling off the floor like a toddler in a high chair. This causes circulation issues as the front edge of the chair cuts into the soft tissue underneath the legs.
For people who want optimal lumbar support, we recommend a seat depth of less than 18 inches, with an adjustable option, so that it can be further customized for you.
Measure the seat from the tip of your buttocks to the backs of your knees to get the correct size. Ideally, there should be 2 inches of space between the back of your knees and the front of the seat.
The average office chair is retractable to between 18-22 inches. If you are shorter, you should be looking for a chair that can be lowered further than this!
If your chair is limited in terms of height, you might want to consider investing in a footrest, which will elevate your feet from the ground and prevent circulation issues.
You can find out the correct chair height for you by measuring the distance from the floor to the backs of your knees. Remember to take the thickness of your shoes into account before you start measuring though.
A Tilting Backrest
Ensure that the back of your chair can tilt forwards and backward. If the back of your chair leans too far back, it can result in an awkward reclining position that will increase pressure on your spine and knees.
Scoliosis is a malformed spine, with a larger than normal curve that will increase pressure on the shoulders and neck. Sufferers will also need a chair that gives them what is called a ‘neutral pelvis’, that is, a pelvis with a slightly forward tilt to it. This can be achieved by a proper ergonomic chair.
Lower back support is crucial for sitting for long hours, and you should ideally have a chair with an adjustable lumbar cushion or hump that can accommodate the bottom of your spine in several different configurations.
Adjustable armrests are also very important, as they should be adapted to the differing elbow-to-waist ratios of different chair users. Try and find padded armrests if you can, as harder plastic rests can pinch the nerves and result in repetitive strain injuries such as cubital tunnel syndrome.
If you are fitted with a comfortable office chair suited to your specific needs, you’ll find yourself less distracted by any pain that might be caused by a lower-quality chair. As a result, your focus will be increased and you might find that so will your productivity – something that might please your bosses as much as a reduction in pain pleases you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Sit In A Chair With Scoliosis?
With scoliosis, you don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on your spine, especially at the apex of the curve. Ideally, when sitting, you want your backrest locked in the 90 degree, fully upright position, as leaning back will compress the spine and cause further discomfort.
The best option is to have a cushioned backrest, as very often mesh can be too rigid. However, for some, a firmer backrest can provide the rigidity and support needed for easing the pain of scoliosis. You might want to try out different chairs at the shop before committing to buying. Then search online to find your best price.
You will want to opt for a wider chair base, one that accommodates you and lets you sit deep in the chair, flush to where the backrest meets the base. Some chairs might have a gap between these parts, which will cause bulging in the back and increase your pain levels.
What Else Can Help Me With Scoliosis?
Stretching before, during and after sitting will help alleviate scoliosis. So will leaning forward and backward for a few minutes to maintain that range of motion and encourage healthy blood flow to the areas that remain motionless during sitting.
Getting up and moving around on the hour will also help improve circulation and prevent muscle aches that develop because of compression and a lack of movement.
You might want to invest in a handheld electric back massager that you can keep under your desk to use regularly throughout the day. You can also buy electric massage pads that can deliver a small electrical pulse to the curvature where scoliosis occurs, relieving pain and relaxing the surrounding muscles. These pads are also fairly discrete and can be used while working.
Our Final Say
Ergonomic office chairs for scoliosis sufferers are limited, but they are out there. Most office chairs come with multiple adjustable features, although people who want a highly-customizable chair might be spending a few thousand dollars.
Such chairs are built to last though, so prospective chair-buyers should look at these purchases as an investment in their general health and wellbeing.
We hope this list has helped give you ideas about what you need in an office chair for scoliosis. Good luck shopping for your new chair!
Other Products We Considered
The Office Chair Picks editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.