When it comes to office chairs -- be sure to try it on

By Jeff Hansel

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Ever gone to work, sat down at your desk and felt an ache inching up the lower part of your back?

It’s never a problem until it happens to you. Then, you’ve got to either deal with it, pop pills or approach human resources for an ergonomic chair, risking portrayal as a costly employee. has suggestions. Back specialist Dr. Jerry Swanson answered a question online about the best solution for back pain — try an ergonomic chair or fitness ball.


"If you work at a desk, your choice of desk chair is important," Swanson wrote. "For back pain relief, a properly fitted ergonomic chair will help you maintain correct posture and provide maximum support for your back."

But Swanson says a fitness ball could still be used at work because it encourages good posture "and promotes core strength."

HOM Furniture recommends going to a furniture store and trying out the chairs, said sales associate Crista Mondt, whose focus is office furniture.

"That’s why we have everything on the floor here ," she said.

"Back in our HOM office department, we’ve probably got about 30 chairs that are just simply for testing," Mondt said.

HOM offers a seven-day trial period. Buy the chair, take it home (or to work) and try it out. If it eases your back discomfort, you can keep it. But if it doesn’t help, you can trade it in for a different one.

She notes that each person’s back is a little different. A perfect chair for one person might not work at all for another person who’s taller, shorter or has a different back curvature.

That’s why trying out potential chairs is essential, and Mondt wants customers to feel welcome to sit down, wiggle, spin, rock and slide their way into the most-comfortable chair possible.


Reporter Jeff Hansel covers health for the Post-Bulletin. Read his blog, Pulse on Health, at .

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