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.

Herman Miller - The Undisputed Champ

Herman Miller is the undisputed champion manufacturer of ergonomic desk chairs.
Herman Miller Chairs have a huge cult following, are made with high ergonomic quality, is hugely popular and also has a large resale market.
So if you bought their popular Aeron Chair some years ago - rest assured that someone (actually many) will still buy it from you for at least $500.
This is more to be said that one of those $80 chairs you may buy from Office Depot. Of course - the original Aeron may have cost you upwards of $899.
Most people have hard of the Herman Miller Aeron but let's take a look at all of their popular ergonomic chairs.

The Ergonomic Desk Chair Candidates
Aeron Chair - The most popular ergonomic desk chair of all time.
This chair was created in the early 90's and was hugely popular during the dot-com era - as it was a symbol of success & luxury.
Today, the Aeron Chair has help up very well and still manages to outsell all other high-end office chairs. The chair is chock full of knobs and levers - to make sure every aspect of the chair is adjustable.
It also comes in three different sizes - to accomodate different body sizes. This chair has been featured in 30 Rock,The Office and many other tv shows.
You can tell it's an Aeron by looking at the popular mesh type curved back seat.. Cost: Start at $629 for an armless Aeron (don't get one of these) to $1198 for a fully adjustable polished aluminum base Aeron.
Most people buy an Aeron that costs around $899.

Mirra Chair - Mirra is the second most popular selling Herman Miller Chair. This chair holds up very well in the high-end ergonomic chair market.
The difference is that the Mirra has a flexible back that is supposed to match your body. The Aeron is also supportive but more like a hammock.
The cost for the Mrra chair varies from $599 for the basic model to $799 for the higher end. Comes in one size.

Embody Chair - Herman Miller is touting the Embody as the next generation of high-end ergonomic seating - supposed to replace their iconic Aeron.
The sales haven't lived up to the hype but the chair has gotten rave reviews. The chair features a high back seat which is supposed to be great fit for your back and spine.
It comes in a one size fits all model with 6 ergonomic adjustments - supposed to help your body be more productive while seated for long periods of time. The Embody costs $1099.

Celle Chair - The Celle is Herman Miller's lower-priced entry in the high-end chair market - if that makes sense. Costing $449, the celle chair is one of the lowest costing ergonomic desk chairs from Herman Miller.
The chair's seat and back are interconnected - supposed to resemble cells. It's flexible to match your body weight and pressure.
Some complain though that the chair feels very plastic-like. Comes in one size.

Setu Chair - The Setu Chair is Herman Miller's newer creation - different from all their other chairs.
This chair is elegant and sleek, does not have any knobs or levels like the Aeron - but rather balances on a cylinder according to how you sit.
This chair is more suited for meeting rooms rather than a workhorse for your desk where you would be sitting for long periods of time.

Sayl Chair - This is the newest of Herman Miller's creations - coming out in 2011.
The Sayl is an unframed chair that seems to combine the seat back from mirra & celle with the seat of an embody/setu.
The price point is also very low - costing $399 - with a one size fits all model.
Final Thoughts
There you have it - a list of all the herman miller ergonomic desk chairs available today.
I would say that if you sit a long time in front of a computer as your job and really want to treat yourself - go ahead and buy yourself a high-end Aeron Chair. Second options = Mirra or Embody.

If you're looking for a big office meeting seating - go for the Setu chair. If you're on a tight budget and want to get into the ergonomic seating arena - go with the Sayl chair.

Herman Miller Chairs Review

Herman Miller Chairs are better than other ergonomic chairs. This is a bold statement considering there are many otherbrands but until you've sat on one, you will not understand. The Miller chairsare made from a combination of innovative materials to give it the strength, flexibilityand simplicity of the perfect chair.
The Herman Miller Chairs are ergonomic and allows you to sit naturally and erect on the chair, fitting the natural curvature of your spine. You won't have to experience that bent forward feeling that can lead to hunchbacks. I don't know about you but after sitting in a regular chair for an hour, I already feel like my blood is pooling and I need to get it moving again. With the Herman Miller Chair, I feel more relaxed and energetic. I think it's because this chair doesn't cut off blood circulation like other chairs.
Herman Miller Chairs

Aeron Chair by Herman Miller - Highly Adjustable Graphite Frame - with PostureFit - Carbon Classic (Large)
Amazon Price: $899.00
List Price: $1,346.00

So aesthetically pleasing to your eyes, they are not your clunky pieces of furniture. They compliment rooms and give it a zenful aura. The chairs are a piece of art you can physically experience. With their air holes, the Herman Miller Chairs are well ventilated. Most chairs made of leather or with cotton padding get quite hot after an hour of sitting. Miller chairs are not suffocating. They are open and free so there is plenty of room between the armrests and seat. The wheels on the Herman Miller chairs are smooth and can be easily moved around rooms. You can glide across most surfaces on this chair.
The Herman Miller Chair initially takes some time for you to adjust everything to fit your natural curves on your body. You want to make sure the padding is in the right places and your buttocks are firmly in place. There are plenty of adjustable knobs on this chair to move in every single direction. This is like a piano that needs tuning but once tuned, you will hear beautiful music. Before you purchase one, make sure to get right size, small, regular and large.
Other chairs are waiting for you to fit a mold into the seating. You can call this type, a passive chair. Herman Miller Chairs are more active in the sense; you have to adjust for height, arm positioning and tension. The manual is a must read since most people don't immediately figure out all the settings.

Executive Aeron Chair by Herman Miller - Polished Aluminum Frame - Leather Arms - PostureFit Lumbar - Blue-Black Tuxedo Size B (Medium)
Amazon Price: $1,205.00

Back view of Herman Miller Aeron Chair
Do you always lean back on your chairs, only to topple over? Herman Miller chairs will provide great back support. You can lean back on this and it will not topple back unlike other chairs. You don't have to worry much about weight either.

Boss Black LeatherPlus Executive Chair
Amazon Price: $129.42
List Price: $360.00
  Angled View of Herman Miller Chair
The Miller Chairs can support quite a heavy load. I have had friends who weighed over 300 pounds and the Herman Miller Chair supported their weight like a champ. I expected the chair to buckle a bit under the weight but it replaced in place. They also said they could fall asleep on this chair. Others have said, they felt like there were floating in the chair. It was that comfortable!

Mirra Chair by Herman Miller - Basic - Graphite Frame - Graphite
Amazon Price: $639.00
List Price: $907.00
 Everyone should go to the nearest office supply or chair store and test it for yourself. I can honestly say I've never felt a more comfortable chair. You truly get what you pay for. Herman Miller Chairs are backed by a long lifetime warranty and are quite sturdy. The chairs are perfect for anyone who has to sit in their seats for long periods at a time. Video editors, programmers, office workers, gamers and internet enthusiasts will love this chair.

Herman Miller Aeron Review

The Aeron computer chair takes chairs super seriously! That is the reason the Aeron office chair embraces a lot of patented technologies which are used to retain proper physical posture, which allows for adequatecirculation of blood and oxygen, while at the same time allowing for amazing comfort to whoever is lucky enough to be sitting in the Aeron!
My Mistakes That Led To The Best Purchase Of My Life
In order to really offer a lil worthwhile information, I will divulge how my thought process came to be. What I realized was, after purchasing two varying "ergo chairs" from 2 individual companies and after wasting damn near a thousand dollars between the 2 chairs, I was suddenly aware that both ergo office chairs were super uncomfortable after 10-15 minutes of sitting. Not absolutely sure why, however, I slowly started to suspect that neither chair was truly created with my particular body structure in mind. With all that said, I started on the quest for a better chair, a chair able toreward me with what I had been desperately questing for: the truly comfortable ergonomic office chair. What I found was Herman Miller and their great selection of truly ergonomic task chairs.

No one individual variable causes these chairs to be different from others, rather what you will find is that it is a whole lot of different technologies and ergo philosophy of design that has been melded into a whole bunch of amazing chairs for various types of office environments. The Aeron office chair for example is almost 100% recyclable and is made to meld to essentially any body type. With that statement out there, it not only adapts, it is manufactured in 3 completely different sizes. A B C are the 3 available sizes when buying the Aeron ergonomic computer chair. Not solely featured in the MoMA permanent display, it has subsequently been awarded in various mags and won a good amount of awards for incredible design. Allow me now to share with you a handful of the innovative features that make the Aeron computer chair such an innovative ergonomic chair!
PostureFit Technology Eliminates Back Pain
PostureFit patented technology basically eradicates neck pain by allowing forward tilting of the pelvis which in turn allows the spine to remain aligned properly, even if you decide to recline or sit up. By removing pressure from the lower back it attributes to true lumbar support that moves and glides with your body's natural movements. To keep you interested, the edge of the seat is designed to relieve uncomfortable unnecessary pressure on the thighs which facilitates the flow of blood and oxygen. With patented Kinemat tilt mechanism in place, the knees, shoulders, ankles, and hips are free to naturally pivot.
More Reasons Why Herman Miller's Aeron Rocks The House
In order to break down this Aeron chair review, if find yourself somewhat uncomfortable or feeling neck or back pains caused by extensive sitting in your poorly manufactured ergonomic chair - you really need to purchase an Aeron ergonomic chair as it will almost certainly change your life dramatically. Just after a few short weeks of sitting in this amazing chair a few days a week while working, my neck feels a thousand fold more comfortable than it did in my previous self proclaimed ergonomic office chair. Now I'm able to stay sharp and on topic for hours and hours while working at my desk. Do yourself a favor and buy an Aeron.
Herman Miller Aeron Review
The Best Ergonomic Chair Also Known As The Herman Miller Aeron Chair
After way too many years sitting in a poorly designed office chair, I ended up with a great deal of back and neck pain which I resolved by buying a true ergonomic chair: the Aeron chair by Herman Miller. Herman Miller has been in the business of creating outstanding ergonomic office chairs for quite some time and they have truly perfected the ergonomic office chair. After the initial release of the Aeron over ten years ago, the Aeron has generated well over one-billion dollars in revenue which has given Herman Miller plenty of resources with which to pursue their endless dream of creating the ultimate chair. After taking a dive back into the Aeron chair and incorporating new ergonomics technology, the chair has truly been perfected.
I use a size C as this marvelous chair is available in three different sizes, of which, the size large size C is the best fit for me. Once I found the right size and adjusted all of the numerous adjustments, I was able to finally find comfort when sitting on the computer for hours on end. Most importantly, after adjusting the PostureFit lumbar support system, my back was actually comfortable in addition to straight. My posture was terrible before I bought this amazing chair and now it's essentially back to normal. The wrong chair can damage your back and body. Fortunately, this office chair is anything but wrong. This is the best ergonomic chair in the world.
PostureFit lower back support is an innovative back support system that moves automatically with your movements in order to maintain proper back support. If you want to recline and relax, the back support is there for you making sure your body is in the proper position. Proper posture is crucial to your health and take it from me when I say that the Aeron chair will help ensure that you are comfortable and healthy regardless of how long you have to sit in this outstanding chair.
There are many alternatives when it comes to the world of ergonomic office chairs so be sure to check out some of the major competitors such as the HumanScale Freedom chair which is by far one of the most reputable chairs around. Additionally, you can always check out the Embody chair by Herman Miller as it is supposed to be the new Aeron which has resolved all of the minor issues with the original. In particular, you are able to twist and turn as the Embody twists with you.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this ergonomic chair review and that it helps you find the best ergo chair for you and your unique needs.
If you're interested in buying this wonderful ergonomic chair, I suggest you read the following Aeron chair review first.