If you’re a programmer at home, or even at the office, you know how long and grueling a typical work day can be. You can spend hours at the desk without a break poring over tedious lines of white code over black. Sometimes it’s just one small error, and sometimes you’re constructing something much larger that will take months and months of work.
Every one of these hours you’re going to be sitting in an office chair, and if it’s a cheap one, your programming is going to feel much harder than it should if you have lower back pain, neck pain, or even hip pain. Sure, no one chair is the perfect device, but the difference between a $50 office depot chair and an ergonomic chair is like comparing a $200 Chromebook to a $2000 gaming PC.
Just like you just can’t do the same things on a Chromebook that you can on a gaming PC, you can’t–or rather, shouldn’t (if you value the health of your back) do the same things in a cheap office chair for 8 hours that you would do in a REAL chair.
Most high-end offices or companies that hire programmers understand that they don’t want to be held responsible for work induced injuries, or a loss of productivity, so they usually buy a good amount of chairs in bulk for their workers. They know 8 hour days, sometimes even 10+ hour days, are expected, so workers will need a good chair.
The only problem is that when people start working from home, like you or me, we forget some of these ideas and reasons and we buy cheap chairs that give us back pain. In fact, most people who sit in offices with nice chairs don’t even really notice that their chairs are super nice. A good office chair is sort of like a good pair of underwear–if it does the job, you shouldn’t notice it there. It just fits to your body!
So whether you have 8+ programming days ahead of you, or you really just need a simple office chair for programming, we have some good recommendations lined up for you.
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#1 8+ Hour Work Day – Steelcase Leap
The Steelcase Leap is one of the best ergonomic office chairs out there, and if you are a well-paid programmer you might even find this chair at work. However, if you work at home, you still need the same features and comforts that this chair provides.
This is without a doubt, my favorite chair out there because of how many features it blends together. While some other Steelcase chairs lack features for a lower price point, the Steelcase Leap really has everything you need, and it’s still cheaper (and better) than the newer Steelcase Gesture.
The Steelcase Leap has excellent lower back support, adjustable arms (forward and back, up and down, and SWIVEL!), a moveable seat that can be adjusted for your leg length, and a seat that moves in accordance with the back of the chair to keep you ergonomic.
One of my favorite things about the Leap is how flexible the chair feels. The design is so unique that when you lean back, you can feel the chair bending to support your back.
See the full Steelcase Leap review here!
#2 6+ Hour Work Day – Ergohuman Chair
While the Steelcase Leap might stretch some programmer’s wallet at $942 on Amazon, the Ergohuman has many of the same features at a cheaper price. Sure, the chair doesn’t look quite as sleek, but the mesh design and adjustable back supports means it’s still very comfortable for a wide range of users.
One of the best things about the Ergohuman is that it has a headrest. If you want the best chair but cannot afford the Leap, I would recommend the Ergohuman HIGHLY.
See the full Ergohuman review here!
#3 4-6 Hour Work Day – HON Ignition
The HON Ignition isn’t the best chair for a 8 hour work day, and you’ll notice some serious quality drop in various build parts. The arms aren’t quite as adjustable as the previously mentioned chairs, but the chair still contains important adjustments like seat panel adjustments, and an adjustable back support.
This is a good chair for someone who wants a much better chair than a $50 chair, and you’ll find a lot of retail offices like Credit Unions, Banks, or small offices using these chairs for their workers.
See the full HON Ignition review here!
#4 2-4 Hour Work Day – Alera Chair
Maybe you just started programming and want a cheap chair. If that’s the case, then the best cheap chair for programming has to be the Alera Chair. The Alera chair is often called “the poor man’s Aeron chair”.
I didn’t mention the Aeron chair in this article since I think it’s a bit outdated, but it compares to the Steelcase Leap in terms of ergonomic adjustments. The Alera chair features a lot of adjustments seen in higher end chairs which makes it a worthy purchase for people who want a cheap ergonomic solution on a budget.
See the full Alera Chair review here!