How do I Choose the Best Orthopedic Office Chairs?

Lainie Petersen

Orthopedic office chairs, sometimes known as ergonomic office chairs, are designed to provide healthy support for the human body and, in some cases, address the needs of specific employees. Companies should take steps to ensure that they choose the best orthopedic office chairs in order to protect the well-being of their employees and avoid lawsuits and disruptions in employee workflow. Choosing the best ergonomic office furniture is often a matter of working with ergonomics consultants, doing due diligence on the reputations of furniture manufacturers and retailers, and being responsive to the needs and suggestions of employees as well as reports by occupational therapists who work with individual workers.

An ergonomic office chair promotes good posture.
An ergonomic office chair promotes good posture.

Many organizations have found that orthopedic office chairs contribute to employee comfort, health, and safety. This, in turn, can result in better employee performance and productivity. Companies may also be required by various workplace safety and disability discrimination laws to provide ergonomic office furniture for employee use. Ergonomics consulting firms specialize in assisting companies with understanding the needs of their workers and finding furniture that maximizes the ability of workers to safely and efficiently do their jobs. Ergonomics consultants will probably come into your office and spend time getting to know your workforce and watching how they do their jobs. From there, the ergonomics consultant can make recommendations for orthopedic office chairs and other appropriate furniture.

Orthopedic office chairs may contribute to employee comfort, health, and safety.
Orthopedic office chairs may contribute to employee comfort, health, and safety.

Responsiveness to individual employee needs is also an important part of choosing orthopedic office chairs. It may be that your office chairs meet the needs of most workers, but are unsuitable for employees with disabilities, mobility issues, or who are much larger or smaller than other employees. Hiring an occupational therapist to work with these employees can assist you in determining what sort of chair is suitable for an individual employee. Fortunately, many manufacturers of ergonomic chairs offer chairs that can accommodate the requirements of employees with special needs.

Both ergonomics consultants and occupational therapists can offer referrals to retailers of orthopedic office chairs and recommend specific brands and models. However, it is important that the company from which you buy your ergonomic office furniture is flexible in working with you. Ideally, the retailer should be willing to provide chairs that can be used on a trial basis in your office so that your employees can test them out for comfort and productivity enhancement. A good retailer should be sensitive to these needs and provide suggestions for different types of chairs and accessories such as orthopedic cushions.

Orthopedic chairs should be chosen to fit with any existing furniture.
Orthopedic chairs should be chosen to fit with any existing furniture.

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Discussion Comments


@bear78-- I've been wanting to try a ball chair for some time. It's supposed to be very good for posture. But a friend said that one must have strong back muscles or the ball chair might cause issues. I have a narrow spine and it's weak so I don't know if this is a good option for me.


Our company is very good when it comes to ergonomic furniture and meeting employee's needs. In our office, everyone uses a different kind of chair depending on what their issues are. When I first started working also, they had an expert come and meet me and talk to me about what type of seating I prefer and what I would be most comfortable with. I decided on a kneeling chair because it makes me sit up straight. I have a tendency to crouch my back while working which causes upper back pain.

A few other people use the kneeling chair in the office, but there are also people using regular ergonomic chairs. We even have people who work standing up or who sit on a ball chair.


My husband gifted me an ergonomic office chair for my home office. I have a lot of back problems and chronic back pain. In the beginning, the chair seemed very helpful but not any more. When I sit on it for too long, I still get back pain. There is a small gap between my lower back and the chair which is where I have the most issue. I put a thin pillow to fill the gap and support my back but it doesn't work as well as it would like to.

It's such a shame because the chair wasn't exactly cheap and it's supposed to be ergonomic. I will certainly be testing the next ergonomic or orthopedic office chair I buy. I want something that actually works.

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