If you have a job that has you sitting down for several hours on end, be it at home or in an office, chances are your choice of seat hasn’t been doing your back any favors. A 2009 study found that an alarming 80% of Americans are prone to experiencing some form of lower back pain at some point in their lives, and not only because of strenuous physical activity. Without adequate lumbar (or lower back) support when you are sitting down, your spine has a harder time keeping itself properly aligned, risking damaging the joints, discs and nerves working overtime around your lower vertebrae to keep everything stable.
Even if you have had the foresight to invest in an ergonomic office chair, either in response to the first symptoms of back pain or to maintain proper posture, this is often not enough. We do a ton of sitting at home too, be it when watching TV, reading a book or using our laptops as we lean back into an armchair, and contrary to the perception drilled into our minds that soft and plushy equals luxury and comfort, our soft-pillowed chairs aren’t doing us any favors either. In fact, sinking into and struggling out of them might actually exacerbate any existing or budding back problems. Thankfully, ergonomics can be combined with a good armchair for the house, without sacrificing anything in the looks and aesthetics department. Here are our top picks for the most stylish armchairs which just so happen to be good for your back, too.
Mac Motion Oslo Collection Recliner with Matching Ottoman
This is one of the most popular armchairs around for lumbar support, and not just because it’s so good for your back. With tasteful top-grain leather upholstery and a sleek walnut wood frame finish, this chic armchair is as much a beautiful addition to your home’s décor as it is a pragmatic and effective solution to your back problems.
A common recommendation for lower back issues is to go for reclining seating rather than upright options – this supports our spine, lets it hold its shape and allows the muscles and nerves around the region to catch a break and work to repair any damage around the area. The 360-degree swivel setting gives anyone bogged down by backpain better flexibility in reaching for things and turning at a time movement otherwise becomes difficult, while the adjustable back lets you lean the armchair as far back as you need to suit your comfort.
Ergonomically designed for the optimum lumbar support, the recliner is structured with memory foam, an orthopedic option which won’t lose its shape or resilience and over time molds to the shape of your body to offer maximum support, while solid cored foam in the wide, roomy seating ensures you’re snug and relaxed as you settle into the chair. The matching ottoman included with the chair is the cherry on top – if you find your feet dangling off the edge of the armchair and putting strain on your back, you can level them up by resting your legs on the ottoman, elevation particularly helpful if you’re seeking relief from a pinched nerve in your lower back. Your upper back and shoulders aren’t neglected either, the high, supportive back holding them up for full-body relaxation as you kick back and watch some TV.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Best Selling Davis Fabric Recliner Club Chair
This armchair wins all the points for not just being a great solution for a sore back, but also being a stylishly minimalistic, gorgeously designed armchair we’d love to have in our homes even without all the ergonomic goodness rolled into it. The fabric and wood combination appeals not just to our aesthetic senses, but also our pockets, being incredibly budget-friendly without sacrificing any quality. The foam filled high back, broad armrests and wide, roomy seat give you just the right amount of plush to sink into after a long day at work, while still firm enough to support your sore back and body, the fully adjustable reclining back letting you rest your spine as you work on your laptop or read a book. We also love the built-in, adjustable foot-rest – this helps keep your body properly aligned and prevent any unnecessary strains or improper posture, the ingenious design cleverly camouflaging this recliner as a classy armchair when you don’t need it to soothe your aching back.
The foam filled high back, broad armrests and wide, roomy seat give you just the right amount of plush to sink into after a long day at work, while still firm enough to support your sore back and body, the fully adjustable reclining back letting you rest your spine as you work on your laptop or read a book. We also love the built-in, adjustable foot-rest – this helps keep your body properly aligned and prevent any unnecessary strains or improper posture, the ingenious design cleverly camouflaging this recliner as a classy armchair when you don’t need it to soothe your aching back.
GDF Studio Elizabeth Tufted Fabric Recliner
This brilliantly designed chair looks at first glance to be a vintage armchair upholstered with rich Persian-style fabric in a myriad of patterns and colors sure to impress any visitors and maybe convince them that you’re housing a collector’s item. Classically flattering and plain beautiful though this comfortably cushioned item is, it does more than your old-fashioned armchair would, the high, firmly cushioned back with structured lumbar support designed to let you push it down to three adjustable reclining positions, depending on your comfort and needs. With wide and plush seating and broad armrests, you can recover from a sore back in style in this fashionable armchair, available in 6 classic Persian-inspired styles.