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Mid-Back vs. High Back: Which is Better for Individuals with Back Pain?

29 August 2023

If you frequently experience back pain and are shopping for an office chair during the upcoming shopping season, you must be asking yourself, "should I go for a mid-back or high-back office chair?"

This is an important question to ask as the two types of chairs significantly impact how you sit, especially if you are already fighting back pain. You would already know that several different types of chairs are available on the market, and each one caters to the needs of different individuals. Moreover, several factors differentiate office chairs, including their material, design, feel features, and budget.

However, another factor that can help differentiate office chairs is the type of back. You can choose between low, mid, and high-back chairs depending on the comfort you are looking for.

In this post, we look at mid-back and high-back office chairs and their features which will help you decide which one is best for you, especially if you are someone experiencing back pain.

Let's look at the critical differences between the two types of office chairs so you can make the right choice for yourself.

So let's get started.

Mid-Back Office Chair – Overview

A mid-back office chair is one of the most commonly used types of office chairs that feature back support. However, they do not offer a headrest to support your head. Hence, the height of this type of chair is slightly lower (lower than your shoulders); however, these chairs offer appropriate lower and mid-back support.

A mid-back office chair provides reasonable support to the mid and lower back and makes a good choice for individuals with back pain; however, there are better choices. Since it doesn't provide enough support to your upper back, if you are involved in tasks that require you to move back and forth, the lack of upper back support can strain your back despite having mid-back and lower back support.

However, with that said, mid-back office chairs make a great choice for individuals who have to spend a shorter time at the desk as the chair is designed to provide support and comfort for a short period.

Why Go for a Mid-Back Office Chair?

You need to know a few benefits of mid-back office chairs

It makes a perfect sitting solution for smaller workplaces where there's little room for moving freely,

It offers flexibility to move around from one desk to another,

It provides support to the mid and lower back, which makes it an excellent choice for short-term sitting,

Available in different materials such as leather and mesh. Moreover, you can find mid-back office chairs in multiple designs, including ribbed, modern, and ergonomic.

High-Back Office Chair – Overview

On the other hand, a high-back office chair is an office chair with a taller backrest intended to support your entire spine, including your lower and mid back, as well as your head and neck. Given that a high-back office chair offers support to a broader area, it is higher and wider in terms of appearance compared to mid-back office chairs.

The high-back office chair features a tall backrest that supports your head, neck, and shoulders. Hence, high-back office chairs are more comfortable. Moreover, if space isn't a constraint, high-back office chairs are also more practical.

High-back office chairs feature several adjustment options compared to mid-back office chairs, so if you are a taller person, a high-back office chair is designed to support your body optimally.

Moreover, if you are struggling with back pain, high-back office chairs provide optimal support to your entire spine, especially if your job requires you to sit for extended periods.

If you are looking for an ergonomic high-back office chair, go for the Standard Office Chair (C5). The ergonomically designed, high-back office chair features an adjustable headrest that encourages a comfortable sitting experience even when you have to sit for long hours. Moreover, you can tilt it up and down depending on your needs and provide ultimate support for your head and neck muscles.

The chair also features 3D lumbar support system that is uniquely designed with a soft rebound system, 3-tier height adjustment and bionic-engineered curve to keep the back in a healthy upright position.

Offering greater adjustability features in terms of height and tilt adjustment, the chair is designed to enhance a comfortable sitting experience, especially for individuals who often experience back pain. The Standard Office Chair (C5) makes a great choice for tall and heavy people as it also features multifunctional castors that allow the chair to roll and move quickly and quietly.

Why Go for a High Back Office Chair?

The primary reason why individuals may choose a high-back office chair is the enhanced back support it offers. A high-back office chair offers enhanced support for your entire spine, including your lower back, mid-back and upper back, neck, and shoulders.

Moreover, compared to a mid-back office chair, a high-back chair offers enhanced adjustment options so you can adjust the chair according to your needs, making it a great choice if you are required to sit at your desk for extended periods.

Since high-back office chairs provide greater support and enhanced adjustability features, they make an excellent choice for individuals who struggle with back pain.

Some of the benefits of high-back office chairs include

Enhanced support features such as a headrest that allows you adequate neck support so you can comfortably sit for long hours,

Lower risk of slouching as there is enhanced back support for the entire back that allows you to maintain an upright posture,

It helps maintain a good posture that reduces your risk of developing posture-related health concerns, including back pain,

It makes an ideal choice for taller and heavier individuals.

Mid-Back vs. High-Back Office Chair: Which is More Ergonomic and Right for You?

Mid-back and high-back office chairs are ergonomically designed, and you cannot determine which is more ergonomic.

While both types of office chairs are ergonomically designed to support you while you are sitting, a high-back office chair offers enhanced back support and provides upper back, shoulder, and neck support.

Another essential aspect that you should consider when deciding between mid-back and high-back office chairs is your height. If you are a taller individual, you will need enhanced back support hence a high-back office chair makes the right choice for you. Moreover, if you experience posture-related back pain, a high-back chair makes the perfect choice for you as it provides enhanced support to your entire spine.

Furthermore, you should consider the number of hours you will spend at work. If your desk job requires you to spend minimal time in a sitting position, choosing a mid-back office chair would suffice your needs. However, if your job requires you to spend long hours in a sitting position, it is best to opt for furniture that provides enhanced support for a longer time, and a high-back office chair makes the right choice.

Lastly, you should consider the nature of your work. If your job requires you to float around desks without getting off your chair, a mid-back office chair will suffice your needs. However, if you have a job that requires you to frequently get off your chair and move around, it makes a better alternative to choose a high-back office chair.

Final Verdict

When choosing between a mid-back and a high-back office chair, know that only you can decide which is best for you. If you are a tall individual who spends a longer time sitting and experiences back pain, getting a high-back office chair is the right choice. After all, your spine, including your lower, mid and upper back, needs more support. Moreover, your neck and shoulders also need adequate support to get the job done perfectly.

And even when you are an individual with an average height, a high-back office chair will still be a great choice because, with appropriate head support, you are less likely to slouch and more likely to maintain a good posture.

The only con associated with a high-back office chair is that they are often more expensive than mid-back office chairs, but the extra cost is absolutely worth it, for the benefits you get far outweigh the cost.

Decide whether to go for a mid-back or high-back office chair depending upon your needs and save yourself from the inconvenience of back pain and other posture-related concerns.

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