Sitting at a desk all day typing away might feel tedious at times, but with carpal tunnel syndrome, can devolve into an actual struggle. A condition characterized by numbness, tingling and feelings of weakness in the fingers, hand, wrist and/or forearm, this syndrome arises when there’s too much pressure on the median nerve in our wrist.
Excessive wrist and hand movements, especially if the wrist is bent, might spark off carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, making it difficult to continue with activities involving repeated use of the fingers and wrist, such as typing and writing. But this doesn’t mean we have to give up on getting work done – adjustments to our lifestyle, including setting up an ergonomic workstation and being mindful of our posture and how frequently we take breaks, can let us work around carpal tunnel syndrome and go about life unhampered. And one of the ways of ensuring this is picking the right chair.
Keeping your wrist in a neutral position, with your hand raised slightly higher than your wrists, is critical when you’re typing to ease off pressure on the median nerve, while occasionally resting your arms and wrist at intervals during work is crucial to keeping pain flare-ups at bay. The right chair, with adjustable and comfortable armrests, can help you achieve just that. Take a look at our picks of the best office chair for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Alera EL42BME10B Elusion Series Swivel/Tilt Chair
Adjustability is of supreme importance when picking the right chair for dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, and this chair delivers brilliantly. With armrests adjustable for both width and height, you can draw up your chair and work out the right armrest settings to properly support your wrists and forearm, without having your shoulders slouching or scrunching up and potentially triggering stiff necks and shoulder aches.
The armrests aren’t the only adjustable features the chair has to offer, though – adjustable height features let you ensure you’ve got the seat at the right level, so your feet are planted on the ground with your knees at ninety degrees, the ideal position to keep pressure off your lower back and hips during prolonged periods of sitting, and making it easier to get back on your feet.
The waterfall edge of the padded seat also enables healthy blood circulation, so your muscles and nerves don’t cramp up from the time spent seated, the comfortable but resilient cushion just firm enough to support your hips and upper thighs without letting you sink into it and having to struggle out later. A smooth swivel feature, combined with durable and sleek rolling caster wheels, also gives you greater mobility, letting you easily access different parts of your desk or environment without having to twist yourself around or strain to reach for anything, which might otherwise have risked you hurting yourself or exacerbating carpal tunnel syndrome related pains.
This all-rounder of a chair is also breathable and perfectly comfortable to spend long periods of time in without getting overheated, thanks to the ventilation provided by the mesh backrest. The ergonomic structure of the backrest, designed to offer lumbar support appropriate to the needs of users of different heights and builds, and the tilt feature that lets you set the chair to a reclining position, make this a brilliantly multifunctional unit not just for tackling carpal tunnel syndrome, but also preventing and alleviating back and joint pains, by supporting the natural curves of the body and allowing you to relax at intervals, keeping pressure off the lower back. The only downside we can find with this unit is that it probably won’t be suited for use by taller individuals.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
EBS High Back Office Chair
This no-fuss, practical and comparatively inexpensive office chair still packs an impressive number of features earning it a spot on this list, with its adjustable arm height headlining its pros. Intuitive and easy assembly and adjustability make this a great versatile chair for use by anyone of any height, working out the right armrest level comfortable for them to keep their shoulders even and forearms and wrists relaxed.
Adjustable seat height also lets you set the appropriate level, working with the waterfall edge of the chair to negate leg fatigue by keeping pressure off your lower back and promoting healthy circulation. A breathable mesh backrest keeps you airy and comfortable even in warm environments, the high, ergonomically structured back giving your spine, shoulder and head the appropriate support to keep your body aligned and posture healthy, the tilt feature letting you recline and giving your muscles and joints a chance to relax in between periods of work.
Office Star ProGrid High Back Managers Chair
A roomy, comfortable office chair with a breathable mesh back and firm but cushy padded seat, this high-backed chair is wonderfully versatile in terms of adjustability, letting anyone work out the right combination of seat and armrest height for them to comfortably sit and work away, catching the occasional break to prevent flare-ups of carpal tunnel syndrome pains and maintaining a healthy posture and good spinal alignment.
In-built lumbar support holds the natural curvature of the spine, waterfall edged seating and height adjustment ensuring you get to keep your lower body and all the muscles, joints and nerves there from cramping up from long periods of sitting. Back and forth seat adjustment also lets you work out the most comfortable seating dimensions for you. The tilt function lets you recline and give your back a chance to relax, while 360-degree swivel and smooth-rolling caster wheels give you better mobility without risking straining yourself.
Hon basyx High-Back Leather Office/Computer Chair
Combining convenience with the classy appeal of supple SofThread Leather, this chair comes not just with comfortable, padded and adjustable armrests to let you give your forearms, wrists and shoulders a break, but also adjustable seat height, lumbar support, and a fully adjustable backrest recline option. Segmented padding gives you full body support, the scope of adjustability letting you figure out the best and most healthy posture for you while you work or rest, the multiple adjustment options meaning anyone of any height can comfortably use the chair. Comfy but not so plushy that you sink into the seat and risk straining your back or hips, this chair also features smooth-rolling caster wheels and 360-degree swivel to give you perfect maneuverability.