When you have a bad back, finding the most comfortable office chair is a necessity, not a luxury. Sure, the top office chairs might come with glossy tufted leather and fancy accents, but is it actually the best office chair for back pain? You sit there like a king (or queen) for a few minutes…. until the aches kick in. It’s amazing how something as simple as sitting can be so difficult and unpleasant. Standard office chairs can leave you tense and uncomfortable, affecting the quality of your work. The best chair for your back needs to be all-over adjustable for total support, and the best office chairs for a bad back are usually more mesh than leather. We researched and tested the best ergonomic office chair options and the ErgoHuman ME7ERG topped our list. However, we also discovered another prime contender for the most comfortable computer chair at an amazing value: the Viva 1168F1.
EuroTech ErgoHuman offers fully adjustable office chairs for a bad back in a range of mesh color choices. The ME7ERG combines style with comfortable ergonomic support. It’s one of the best office chairs for lower back pain since the back, seat, and head are all adjustable. It also comes with a touch of leather on the armrests and a mesh seat and back. It has a taller overall seat height adjustment than the Viva chair (18.5 to 22.2 inches versus 16 to 20 inches), seat depth adjustment options, and has a fully mesh design rather than a cushioned seat. If you want stylish color options and as much breathability as possible, the ErgoHuman chair is one of the best office chairs for back pain. Plus, it’s made in Europe, which is fancy.
The Viva reclining office chair is very similar to the ErgoHuman chair while coming in at a weight that is 20 pounds lighter. The two immediate drawback you will notice is that it only comes in black and the seat isn’t depth-adjustable, but that doesn’t prevent it from being one of the best ergonomic office chair options available. The Viva Office brand is based in Sweden, so the Viva office chair is an import like the ErgoHuman chair. The most obvious benefit of the Viva is going to be the amazing price. So our pick is the Viva 1168F1 for the smart buy that will save you money. It is the best office chair for your back with a little extra cushioning in the seat and a lightweight frame that makes it relatively portable.
You can adjust the ErgoHuman chair into three different positions using a tilt-lock mechanism. Lumbar support is integrated into the back panel of the chair, though it looks like two separate panels. This limited range of back-angle adjustment was a noticeable missing feature in our testing compared to the Viva.
The Viva chair has a handle for adjusting the back angle and integrated lumbar support. The back position isn’t limited to three positions, plus you can lock whatever angle you choose for comfortable lounging. The wider variety of angles might be a plus for people who like to put their feet up on their desk every once in a while.
Use the ErgoHuman chair’s tilt tension control feature to adjust how much force it takes to recline or sit up. It also comes with “synchro-tilt,” which allows the backrest to recline while keeping the seat close to level with the floor. If you’ve ever leaned back in a rocking chair and felt terrified of toppling over, you’ll understand why synchro-tilt is a nice feature.
The Viva chair also has a tilt tension control feature and synchro-tilt. If tilting gives you vertigo, you can lock the chair in the upright position. The back tilt mechanism can be locked after you change angles, unlike the ErgoHuman chair. This additional locking feature may not be used frequently but would be a nice to have when needed.
The ErgoHuman chair comes with a headrest with adjustable height that can be removed entirely, too. This is a nice feature for tall people. Note that it has a convex shape, curving outwards towards the back of your head.
The Viva chair headrest is also removable and height adjustable. It has a concave shape to cradle the back of your head or support your neck. If you like to have the back of your head or neck braced rather than cradled, you may prefer the ErgoHuman chair.
The ErgoHuman chair’s leather armrests are height adjustable, pivoting, and can also be left out of the installation if you want to avoid them entirely.
The Viva chair’s plastic armrests are height adjustable, too, and can be left out.
The ErgoHuman chair has a seat with adjustable height and depth. The seat can be adjusted as low as 18.5 inches or as high as 22.2 inches.
The Viva chair’s seat is only adjustable by height, from 16 inches to 20 inches.
A pneumatic cylinder allows for smooth and quick adjustment of the height of the ErgoHuman chair. Woosh!
Just like the Ergohuman, the Viva chair also uses a pneumatic cylinder for height adjustment.
The ErgoHuman chair’s bottom and back panels are all cushioned with highly breathable mesh. Mesh has become a modern office chair material because it keeps you cool, supported, and comfortable while you work. It’s also more durable than traditional upholstery like leather or vinyl and requires less maintenance.
The Viva chair has a mesh back and an upholstered mesh seat for extra comfort. The mesh helps excess heat and humidity escape, preventing sweat (or “moisture,” as some like to call it) from accumulating against your back or behind. The cushioned seat is softer than the ErgoHuman’s mesh seat without being suffocating and is still covered in a layer of mesh for similar benefits.
The ErgoHuman chair has sturdy plastic rolling wheels. Don’t like ’em? They’re replaceable!
The Viva chair also has plastic rolling wheels. Feel free to replace them with different ones if they don’t cut it for you.
The ErgoHuman chair’s maximum capacity is 250 lbs, suiting a range of different heights and weights.
The Viva chair has the same maximum capacity. If you’re close to or over the weight limit, you will need a chair with a higher capacity.
The ErgoHuman chair requires some assembly, but our office chair review team found it relatively quick and easy. You can also purchase assembly for a low price if you have mobility issues or just don’t feel like fiddling with hardware.
The Viva chair comes unassembled, too, though you can also purchase assembly or put it together yourself without too much trouble.
The ErgoHuman chair comes in black, blue, burgundy, copper, green, or gray. The mesh color changes while the frame and base of the chair remain the same. Keep an eye on which colors are available with Prime for an extra-good deal.
The Viva chair is only available in black, but you could always spray paint it… or not. If you’re craving a reclining office chair with a hint of color, the Viva chair might not cut it. But if you’re more focused on comfort and features, the Viva chair certainly met our standard for the best chair for posture.
The ErgoHuman chair measures 26 x 27.5 x 51 inches (W x D x H). This makes the chair slightly bigger than the Viva chair we reviewed. The difference is only about four inches, but some people may look for a chair with a little bit more room, so keep an eye on those dimensions.
The Viva chair measures 25.2 x 22.8 x 45.7 inches (W x D x H). Note that this chair is slightly smaller overall than the ErgoHuman chair. If you’re concerned about having a chair that is wide enough and tall enough for your frame, the ErgoHuman chair may be a better option.
The ErgoHuman chair weighs 64 pounds. The extra weight is due to the more complicated design having more pieces, and a much heavier base.
The Viva chair weighs 41 pounds, making it a little more portable than the ErgoHuman chair. If you like to roll back and forth between one task and another, the Viva chair seems like it would be easier to glide in.