Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why My Ergonomic Chair is the Favorite Thing in My Home Office

Why My Ergonomic Chair is the Favorite Thing in My Home Office


I'm fortunate enough to make a living writing for my own websites, so I work entirely from home. Well, sometimes I change it up and work from the local coffee shop, the library, or even (if I'm traveling) a campground with wifi, but mostly I hang out in my home office.

Because of that I've been able to justify expenditures such as speedy computers, oversized LCD monitors, fancy ergonomic keyboards and mice, and a few toys for when it's time to take a break. A friend was over and drooling on the large monitor the other day (I'm still cleaning off the water marks), but really the home office product that I've purchased that I appreciate the most is my office chair.

A few years ago, I started having trouble with repetitive stress injuries (RSI) in my hands, and my back also bothers me from time to time (thanks to a car accident and some snowboarding mishaps), so I really needed to start paying attention to my workstation set up. A part of that was investing in a good ergonomic chair.

I looked at quite a few models and read lots of reviews (you'd be surprised how many ergonomic chair options there are out there), and I ultimately ended up buying a Herman Miller Aeron.

It was a pretty pricey purchase (especially since I wasn't making much money from my writing yet at that time), but it's one I haven't regretted once.

Here are a few of the reasons I love my Aeron chair:

It has all the ergonomic features the pros recommend

According to the folks who do studies on ergonomics, a computer chair should be height-adjustable, forward/backward tilt adjustable, have proper lumbar support, have a correctly proportioned seat pan (when your back is against the rest, the seat should end 2-4 inches before it touches your knees), and of course be comfortable!

Thanks to adjustability features, the Aeron fits me just right.

It promotes proper posture

I am not someone for whom good posture comes naturally. I slouch in seats, throw my legs up over arm rests, and lean back and prop my legs on the desk (yes, while typing at the computer and, yes, sometimes all at the same time!).

Fortunately the Aeron is comfortable to sit in without assuming weird positions, and it is most comfortable when you sit correctly. It just seems designed to encourage you to sit up and assume an ergonomically correct work position.

It doesn't hurt my back

This is the big one for me. With most chairs, my back will start to ache if I sit in them for more than an hour. I mentioned taking my laptop to work at coffee shops, but I rarely stay for more than an hour, because I'll always end up squirming and uncomfortable on those dining-room style chairs and stools.

With my Aeron, I can sit at the computer for hours, and it won't bother my back at all. In fact, I have to remind myself that it's a good idea to get up and take breaks, because I won't get that achy feeling that I get in other chairs.

This alone was worth the purchase price.

This chair is durable, baby!

When I unpacked this chair, I couldn't believe how heavy it was. Thanks to the casters, it's easy to roll around, but you can definitely feel how sturdy the construction is.

The mesh seat is great because it doesn't develop dents the way padded seats do, and there's nothing to rip or tear. Yet, it's very comfortable to sit in.

After more than four years, this chair literally still looks like new.

So, there you have it: the reasons I love my computer chair more than the rest of my home office goodies!

I'm not going to tell you to go out and buy a Herman Miller chair, but I will recommend that you invest in a good ergonomic chair if you spend any time at all at the computer on a regular basis.

1 comment:

Annabelle said...

I'm so glad you feel the same! Everyone thinks I'm crazy for raving about my chair so much. I bought my chair at officedesigns.com and I keep telling everyone in my office to check it out because I had the best buying experience with them. The chair is fabulous. I totally feel so much better after working and sitting and working and sitting all day. Its totally worth the price since I spend most of my time in it anyways.