Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finding the Best Ergonomic Office Chair

Whether you are an executive or office worker or small business owner you owe it to your health and your spine to invest in the best ergonomic office chair for your body! If you work in front of a computer for long periods of time you need to invest in a quality ergonomic or orthopedic office chair. Sitting in one position for extended periods of time is actually very hard on the body. A high end ergonomic office chair offers the best solution for comfort and health for anyone who works on a computer.
Many spine injuries occur over time due to poor posture due to poorly designed office furniture.
Because I spend so many hours each day in front of the computer I decided it was worth my time to evaluate ergonomic office chairs. I began my research online of course! And what I discovered I am about to reveal to you.
But first I want you to know that it’s really hard to find a quality office chair at an Office Depot or a Staples. You need to search your city for Office Supply Companies. You’ll need to find the companies that supply office systems to large business in your community. These are the people that will have the high end quality chairs you need. Another way to find the chairs is to simply go to the manufacturers sites and see who the dealers are in your area.
Next you’ll need to do what I did. I gave the four chairs in this brief review a "Hands on Test Drive". You need to ask to evaluate the chair; see if you can take them home to see if they will truly work for you! This means taking it home and using it for a couple of days. Seems like a lot of work I know but it’s worth it. Because these chairs are in the $800 to $2,000 range and are typically sold by commissioned sales people this is actually much easier than you think. I had not problem getting 3 out of the 4 companies I’m reviewing to allow me to do this!
Buying a High End Ergonomic Office Chair is like buying an automobile in some respects. You really have to “test drive” them and see how they feel to you.
Herman Miller Aeron Chair
The contoured back takes the pressure off you lower spine. Armrests slope downward for a more natural fit. The front edge of the seat takes the pressure off your thighs, but for me was a deal breaker as it just felt uncomfortable. The Aeron chair has a mesh fabric that allows your body to breathe so you don’t get hot spots like you will with foam chairs. This chair is designed to move as your move your body. And at first it felt okay but over time for me it just didn’t equate in comfort. As ergonomic office chairs go this is a good one, but it is truly an acquired taste, you’ll have to “test drive” it to see if it’s the right chair for you. I had this chair about a week and out of the 4 chairs I’m reviewing here I’d say it was #3. It is very well built and looks cool, but left me short on overall comfort. You can’t really know this until you use it awhile.
Knoll Life Chair
The Knoll Life Chair is not as high tech looking as the Herman Miller Aeron it actually feels pretty similar as it is designed to move as you move. The advantage is it did not give me the weird pressure feeling on the under side of my thighs. I actually really liked this chair. Unfortunately for me I was not able to get a long term evaluation. So my review is based on a short term trial in the showroom. One big downside to all the chairs I tried except for the BodyBilt was the back is not high enough to have a headrest feature which I find very helpful in my home office. This is a solid chair but nothing really makes it stand above the others I tested. This is the #4 chair of the 4 I tested. You could probably think of this as the Toyota Camry of High End Office Chairs as it is priced lower, but still offers a lot of nice features.
Humanscale Freedom Chair
While not the most expensive of the group this in my opinion is probably the best chair for the average person to own. From the moment I sat down this chair just felt fantastic! The Human Scale Freedom chair is good looking and available in a variety of configurations and colors. I just loved the way this chair felt. The only downside is I have a very long back and I just didn’t quite fit the headrest correctly. If I was 2” shorter in the back I would have bought this one for sure. Unfortunately these are a one size fits all proposition. But if this chair fits your body I think you’ll love it!
Bodybilt Ergonomic Chairs
I tried the 3509 Big and Tall Ergonomic Chair. This is the only ergonomic chair that is truly built for tall people, and while I’m not a skyscraper I do have a very long back. I evaluated this chair for a full week. It feels good but in a very heavy duty way. I liked the headrest and the large back area, but it didn’t move and twist and bend like an extension of my body. It was more like a chair for executives who lean back in the movies and tell people what to do. It is comfortable, but in the way that a Cadillac Escalade seat is comfortable. This was in fact the best choice for my body size wise, but not for movement.
So which ergonomic office chair did I buy? That is a great question! Do you think you know from the reviews above? Here is the answer! None of the above. While they are great chairs in their own right and I really liked the Human Scale Freedom Chair, I actually chose a chair that is not an office chair, but is incredibly ergonomic. It’s called a “Perfect Chair” zero gravity recliner. Yes it doesn’t move around, and wouldn’t work in a business office environment. But it is extremely comfortable! I purchased a custom furniture set up from Anthrocart and a 42” monitor extension arm. So I have a very elaborate high tech and fully customizable office environment. I also spent over $3,000 for these three items and I know that most people won’t or can’t do this, but that’s okay I just wanted you to know my experience.


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