There can be no doubt that if you spend much, or even all, of your day sitting at a desk you will suffer from neck or back pain, or both, unless you can find a chair that really suits you. There are a number of ergonomically designed chairs available, including a number that are memory foam office chairs, which would be as suitable for use in your own study at home as they would be in an office.
The reason that we tend to suffer from discomfort if we spend many hours working at a computer is mainly due to the lack of support that most chairs give to the lower back. If this lumbar region is not supported - and generally speaking it is not well-supported if you are typing more or less continuously - the muscles in the upper back, neck and shoulders have to take on additional strain in compensation, thus causing the familiar back-of-the-neck pain that so many of us suffer from. Standing up, stretching and ruefully rubbing the back of the neck and shoulders is all too familiar a scenario.
The main purpose, therefore, of the ergonomically designed chair is to support the lower back since most health professionals agree that this is the area that causes problems if you spend most of your day in a largely immobile sitting position. There is a staggering variety of these chairs and you would do well to look into the matter very carefully before deciding which one would suit you. There is some excellent, and apparently independent, advice given on spine-health.com which can be recommended .
The question of whether or not you should choose a chair with memory foam is a rather vexed one. The whole principle behind memory foam is that, although it is a firm foam, it slowly adjusts to the shape of your body and then remembers that shape â€“ hence the "memory". This has been thought to be of enormous advantage over other foam fillings for mattress design, which has been its main use.
Clearly a chair is rather different, but one can see that a more or less personally tailored chair, adjusted to one's one body measurements and idiosyncrasies, may well be a most attractive proposition. The disadvantage of memory foam is that it does indeed have a long memory. It works by the weight of your body compressing the foam and once compressed, it remains compressed for a considerable length of time, needing time for the air to penetrate and, as it were, decompress it. If, therefore, you are in the habit of constantly shifting your position in your chair, there would be no advantage to having a memory foam office chair.
The ergonomic chairs do not come cheap. While you can buy an ordinary swivel office chair from, for example, Staples, for around $100 or even less, the ergonomic chairs start at $180 and go up to $600 or even more. It probably is, moreover, very much a question of getting what you pay for and the cheaper range may not be very satisfactory. Staples only offers one chair that has memory foam filling and that comes in at $329.92 plus the carriage charges.
There are literally dozens of offers on Ebay.ca and some of these are well worth looking at. As always with shopping on Ebay, you have to filter through them. A lot of their "ergonomic" chairs are only labelled as such because they have a back!
An alternative to the normal chair is a posture kneeling chair. If you don't know what these are, take a look at backinaction.co.uk - a British company which specialises in these and has several good illustrations, as well as a wealth of information. This is an interesting concept. Instead of the lower back being supported by the chair back, the weight is thrown forward and the back muscles are gently strengthened. Thesse chairs have not become very popular but probably deserve more attention. Interestingly enough, the only memory foam filled chairs that Ebay.ca currently has are posture kneeling chairs. Here, however, even more than with normal chairs, it is vitally important to buy the very best that you can afford. The kneepad in particular needs to be of the highest quality.