March 4th, 2013 by

On the heels of a recent article I posted about how sitting is the new smoking, combined with a recent bout of back issues, I’m in the market for a new chair for my office.

Fact: My work requires me to sit on my ass. A lot. I’m guessing this is the case for… well… all of us.

Fact: As much as I get up to stretch, take walks, even use a stand-up desk arrangement part of the time, I need a truly great chair in which to sit. Comfort and support for my back.

I don’t care how much it costs. I spend so much time sitting, I want what’s best for my body.

I tweeted a request for information and several people suggested Aeron chairs. I’ve had them before in other work environments. Seem fine to me. But then a few folks tweeted Aeron chairs are basically evil, cut off circulation to your legs, etc.

So are there some chair possibilities I’m missing? What type of chair do you use? What do you recommend?

Thanks for your feedback and suggestions!

14 thoughts on “Chairs?

  1. I hurt my back recently. Chiropractor had me switch over to a fitness ball instead of my office chair.

    Back feels better, and my core gets a little exercise from the balancing.

    Now working on a plan to have a desk I can stand at and type.

    1. Shaula Evans says:

      I was just logging in to rave about my fitness ball, too, nicholasofpain. I’ve used one happily off and on for years and just picked up a new one.

      The only trick to starting out is you may find your muscles get tired at first, so build up to longer sessions with it over time.

      If your combination of leg length, torso height, ball height and desk height don’t align for an ergonomic combination, look into a cheap adjustable-height laptop stand. We got $49 dollar adjustable laptop stand for me from an office supply store and it’s perfect. My whole set up came in at under $100.

      You can spend a lot more money for a swapper chair (a stool on a heavy spring) but I don’t think it accomplishes any more than an exercise ball does.

      1. Cool, Shauna. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Santamoniker says:

    Tighten your core and back issues will disappear. I can’t recommend a chair, because I type on my laptop sitting on my couch. To loosen your back AND tighten your core, you should buy the book, The Pilates Body, by Brooke Siler. My doctor recommended it. There are illustrations which show you what to do. 20 minutes a day should do the trick. I had back problems for years before I discovered this solution.

  3. TeelaJBrown says:

    Have you considered a treadmill or cycling desk? I really want one but lack space in my condo. Here’s the bike workspace I’d like to get: Fit Desk

  4. I’ve had back surgery and this is what I have and love:
    Yes, love. I’ve considered renaming one of my kids’ middle names to be HermanMillerAeronChair.
    It’s expensive, but check your craigslist and the internet in general for discounted or gently used chairs.

    1. Follow up about “evil Aeron chairs,” maybe the anti-Aerons were in the wrong size chair. There are different sizes of chairs A,B,C I believe. You should talk to a Herman Miller rep and find which size is best for you.

  5. I love my Aeron chair and work in it for hours on end. If price is not an issue, get the Polished Aluminum Base for a stylish look – totally worth it.

    I also have an Ergohuman that comes with a nifty headrest for those moments when you lean back and just think. It’s a bit stiffer than the Aeron and the seat is not as soft, but I like it for office work cause it keeps my back straighter.

  6. Scott says:

    Thanks, everyone! I’ve ordered 2 pilates books including one recommended here [another aimed at men]. I’m going for the Aeron chair.

    1. hey scott, this might be a bit late but you might also want to invest in a good glider/rocking chair with ottoman. I have that and an office chair and when my butt starts to hurt, I switch to that and stretch my feet in front of an electric fire . It’s made my life!

      1. Shaula Evans says:

        Aarthi, that sounds positively decadent. What a great idea!

        1. Ha, Shaula! It’s fairly recent, loving it so far though!!!

  7. A colleague’s husband bought her a Herman Miller Aeron chair to use at work because the chairs supplied by our employer aren’t body-friendly. She cannot praise the chair enough; she says it has completely changed how she feels about sitting at her desk.

    I tried sitting on one of those fitness balls, and I found it to be extremely uncomfortable, so I personally wouldn’t recommend that.

    Aarthi – I have been looking for a good glider/rocker. Where did you get yours?

    1. Hey Kristin, I actually picked the cheapest one I could find about four-five years ago. It was sitting, all scribbled up by my kids, gathering dust in our basement and then when I redid my office, I was dying for something. Not too helpful, I know:) – the small electric fireplace helps a lot though!

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