Will A Headrest Improve Office Chair Usability? Beware Of The Chimera Problem

Some years ago a supplier introduced a new range of office chairs called Chimera and was excited about it because the top model included a headrest. Whilst this wasn’t that unusual the pricing point was highly competitive and well below competing products.

It was good news as we had a client who particularly wanted a headrest but whose budget didn’t cover the cost of chairs with headrests. With the launch of the Chimera it seemed we had the answer and we hurriedly arranged for a sample to be sent over as well as making an appointment to visit the client with it.

When it arrived our enthusiasm evaporated, sure it had a headrest just like we’d seen in the photos, but there was a major problem. It was fixed, not only that the chair had a high back that was also fixed.

Running a tape over things it quickly became apparent that it would only suit someone between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall. Our client was 5 feet 6 inches making the chair totally unsuitable; his head barely reached the bottom of the rest.

The headrest was about as much use as a snow plow in the Sahara. This supplier just hadn’t thought about how a headrest should function.

What is the purpose of a headrest on an office chair?
Lets consider the main objective of an office seat headrest . In many respects it’s quite similar to the ones you find in vehicles, it’s there to support your head when it’s needed.

So, it won’t normally be in constant contact with your head, instead it’s there as its name implies to rest your head on when you feel like it.

When should you use an office chair headrest?
When you are actively typing in your chair your head won’t normally be touching the headrest and as a result it doesn't get in the way when you are working with a keyboard.
It’s there for those moments when you feel like relaxing and leaning back in your chair.

Typically, if you are maybe relaxing while thinking through a problem, or reading a book or a report the added support a headrest provides is most welcome. It also works well like this when you are talking on the phone.

Anytime really when you are reclining in your chair, it’s great having the additional support a properly designed headrest provides.

What makes a headrest great?
To work effectively a headrest needs to be adjustable in height as a minimum. However as they are usually fitted to high back chairs this may not be much use for short built people as we saw with our Chimera.

neckrest

Relaxing with a rest.

Let’s look at an example of a really well thought out headrest from HÅG of Norway. It's headrest is wider than most and there's a good reason this.

First, it lets you roll your head from side to side, providing some welcome movement to your head, neck and shoulder muscles.

Second, the extra width opens up new sitting positions, like sitting sideways on the chair and resting the side of your head.

It adjusts in height by a massive 10 inches, quickly and easily by pulling on it to alter the height. An adjustment knob at the base controls front to back depth so it's easy to set it to the ideal depth for your needs.

And as it uses a rubber mounting adjuster, it isn't rigid and yields a little as you rest your head on it.

Humanscale Freedom With Headrest

Freedom Headrest

The flexibility of this headrest will fit pretty much any height of office worker.

Another good example is the Freedom chair with headrest from Humanscale. Although it only adjusts in height, because the chair back isn’t too tall and is also height adjustable it works effectively for both tall and short users.

As we've already seen this isn't always the case with some rests.

When do headrests not work effectively?
Clearly fixed headrests should be avoided because unless you are the exact right height and body shape they will be ineffective and little more than a decorative feature.

Limited height adjustability may also be a problem, particularly if the chair has a fixed high back because it just limits the overall usability of the rest.

Also, how you prefer to use a headrest can make a difference. The classic position is for the back of your head to be supported. However, many like to use them as neck rests so it’s important to consider this when making your choice.

So, what have we covered?

  • Fixed headrests should be avoided they're little more than ornaments
  • A headrest normally works best when relaxing and reclining
  • Headrests won’t normally get in the way when working
  • The better the adjustment options the easier it will be to use
  • Always carefully check how a headrest interacts with the other features of the chair

By taking care of these points you should be able to avoid any Chimera moments.

Here’s where you can read more about HÅG's popular ergonomic chairs available with headrest options and here's where to find out more about Humanscale’s Freedom headrest chair.

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What Is The Most Popular Office Chair? Lifehacker Poll Result

Lifehacker the site dedicated to tips and tricks for getting things done has just produced the results of one of its Hive Five polls on what is the most popular office chair.

It had earlier published an excellent article about spending money where you spend your time. The article identified your bed and your office chair as major contenders for where you spend most of your life.

It argued that it made sense to invest the right money in the right solution for your needs.

Back to the poll.

How did it conduct the poll?
Lifehacker invited readers to nominate their favorite office chair and from these submissions it then produced its Hive Five shortlist of the five contenders. Readers then cast their votes and in total there was an impressive 4884 votes.

Here are the chairs that made the final five

  • Herman Miller Aeron
  • Herman Miller Embody
  • Steelcase Leap
  • Raynor Ergohuman
  • IKEA Markus

And how did it all turn out?

Which chair came top of the poll?
Herman Miller's Aeron came first with a commanding 41.84% of the votes cast.

Aeron chair

Reclining In An Aeron Chair

It's perhaps not altogether surprising that it won the most votes as it's probably the best known office chair in the world. It's likely many of those who voted have used one where they work.

Mind you there were plenty of dissenters about the merits of the Aeron, like these.

“Although I love the customization of the Aeron, I hate how it feels sitting in the chair. The seat is essentially elastic mesh, so bigger, taller, and larger people sink into the center; being 6ft 3 the frame cuts into the back of my legs.”

“I was so uncomfortable in my Aeron chair at work that I replaced it with a $20 yoga ball. Best decision I've ever made.”

It's always been a chair that that tends to attract both positive and negative reaction from users, most love and yet some hate it.

Miller also took second spot with its Embody chair attracting 13.84% of the poll's voters.

What about chairs that didn't make the shortlist?
A number of people were surprised about the chairs that weren't in the list like the Humanscale Freedom. This is always going to be a problem with a poll like this, a worthy contender will often get overlooked.

Nonetheless it's good to see a lively discussion about quality office seating for a change. Far too often people end up sitting in rubbishy chairs for long hours and wonder why they suffer discomfort and back pain.

Further information
Here's where you can find the Lifehacker article with poll results for the most popular office chair. And in case you maybe feel it's not worth investing in a good chair take a look at the Lifehacker article The Comfort Principle: Spend Money Where You Spend Your Time it's paints a convincing picture of why it makes sense to invest in a proper chair.

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What Makes HAG Seating Unique? It’s All About Dynamic Ergonomy

You would think that remaining comfortable when riding a horse for hours would be difficult. Sitting in the same position for long periods at a time usually causes discomfort. So how come it doesn't cause horse riders a problem? After all if they are stuck in the saddle for hours it's only natural to think it would soon become very uncomfortable.

In reality when you ride a horse the whole of your body is kept moving. The stirrups help the legs to keep moving and the motion of riding keeps muscles on the move, even at walking pace.

HÅG understands why riding a horse for hours without discomfort is possible. It's all about movement.

What is Dynamic Ergonomy?
HÅG's thoughts on ergonomic seating are summed up in what it calls dynamic ergonomy. Key to this is the principal that the next sitting position is always the best. In other words if you want to remain comfortably seated for long periods of time then you need to keep moving. We're not talking huge changes in position more a case of lots of subtle small movements.

It designs all of its chairs to encourage continual movement or what it calls dynamic sitting. This all begins with moving in perfect balance and all its chairs have Balanced Movement Mechanisms™ with easy to adjust settings. Users simply need to adjust the chair to their personal body weight. Once set the chair then naturally follows your moves and supports your whole body as you lean forwards, backwards or side to side.

Why whole body movement matters
Nearly all office chairs will allow you to easily move your upper body. However what makes a HÅG chair different is its ability to keep the lower body, legs and feet active too. When you've spent the whole day sitting it's often your lower body that complains the loudest. This is largely due to most chairs not being designed to keep your legs and feet active.

By observing how people ride horses HÅG realized how important the stirrups are in keeping movement in the feet and legs. And don't worry you don't need to know how to ride a horse to use one of its chairs! However by some simple tweaks in design when you lean back the front edge of the seat tilts backwards and downwards when you lean forwards. This stimulates movement in your ankles which then activates the circulation system in the lower legs.

Once this kicks in it promotes circulation through the rest of your body. By keeping the circulatory system active this enhances energy levels and helps keep you more engaged with your work.

It is these subtle design features in the balanced mechanisms in HÅG chairs that make sitting in one of its chairs a unique experience.

Designing chairs with the user in mind
As we've already seen HÅG designs its chairs very much with the user in mind. You might think that this would mean its chairs were ugly or basic in appearance. Far from it, once it has incorporated the vital functions into one of its chairs HÅG goes to great lengths to make sure the design looks highly attractive.

There is something about its chairs that sets them apart and gives them the unique HÅG look and appeal. You won't find it taking an existing product and just reworking it. It takes the design element very seriously employing world renown designers to create seats that look great visually. And it doesn't end there the chairs give great full body support and are always easy to use. Some of its models even adjust automatically.

All this hasn't gone unnoticed by the design community. Over the past 5 years it has won several design excellence awards for chairs like its Futu and H09 models.

HÅG's pays attention to detail to make sure everything works as it should. It spent 7 years developing its Futu chair until it got things absolutely right.

Summary
Let's quickly list the key points we've covered here:

  • HÅG understands the importance of movement and variation for comfortable sitting
  • Its chairs make it easy to sit for long periods and still maintain good energy and concentration levels
  • HÅG chairs are healthy chairs to sit in
  • Each product is a unique design where user comfort is everything.
  • HÅG has won multiple industry awards for its seating products

Further reading
Here's where you can read more about HÅG's unique ideas on office chairs as well as our reviews of some of its popular chairs.

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An Ergonomic Office Chair Offers Great Benefits: How Do You Find One?

Got A "Mike Tyson" Chair?

Do you ever feel like sitting in your office chair all day is like climbing into a boxing ring with Mike Tyson?

It buffets you from pillar to post, inflicting pain on your body. No matter what you do, the longer you're in it the more it hurts.

Until by the end of the day your dying for the bell to end the final round so you can get out of it and head off home.

Maybe it's time you went out and got an ergonomic office chair.

What exactly is an ergonomic office chair?
This is actually quite a difficult question to answer. Truthfully an ergonomic office chair has no proper definition and so is actually meaningless when describing any chair. If this wasn't bad enough, there is no government or industry standard to describe such a chair.

Consequently you have to be very careful when attempting to buy one to make sure you don't get stitched up.

How can you be misled when buying a chair described as ergonomic?
All too easily I'm afraid. Because there is no proper definition it means that suppliers can use the term to describe just about anything that has a seat, back and swivel base.

You see this all the time in discount warehouses, cheap shoddy chairs with little more than bamboo springs bearing the epithet ‘ergonomic' which magically transforms a piece of junk into something apparently worth owning.

I don't think so. So, just because it says ergonomic on the wrapper guarantees nothing. Great! How do I sift the wheat from the chaff?

Solving the ergonomic chair dilemma
Let's begin by giving the term ergonomic office chair some kind of definition. Here's how I would describe such a seat.

“An ergonomic office chair is an office chair that has been carefully designed for the user to be able to work productively, efficiently and safely as well as minimizing any feeling of fatigue or discomfort.”

OK why don't we take things a stage further and consider the actual functions such a chair needs. I believe there are 5 essential functions our chair needs to be truly worthy of the title ergonomic. Here they are:

  • Adjustable seat depth for optimal leg comfort
  • Adjustable back height to allow the lower back to be correctly supported
  • Adjustable Arm Height for ease of movement and minimize the risk of RSI
  • Pneumatic height adjustment to suit your body height and weight
  • Adjustable tilt tension allowing each individual user to set the correct pressure

Some high-end chairs actually automate back and tension adjustments, making it even easier to set up to your personal needs. And bear in, you are going to need to invest $300+ if you want of get all the advantages that an ergonomic office chair offers.

What benefits will you gain by selecting the right chair?
You will find is very easy to adjust the settings for the way you like to work. Once correctly configured you'll notice as you move, the chair moves with you to safely and comfortably support you at all times.

You will be less aware of the chair due to its superior comfort and so find you can concentrate throughout your day's work. This results in much better productivity and focus on your work.

Because the chair is designed to give you proper support, muscles don't tire nearly as quickly. This also improves blood flow helping to keep you feeling much more alert and fresh even when tackling complex problems.

You'll know when you have everything set up to match with your body because the chair will feel like it fits like a glove. And insisting on the 5 essential functions will greatly increase your chances of doing so and avoiding the wrong chair.

Making sure you don't end up with the wrong product
Let's quickly summarize the points I've covered so you don't get landed with a liability but instead find a chair that will serve you for many years to come.

Remember there is no official description of an ergonomic office chair, so maintain a healthy skepticism about any products labeled ergonomic, especially cheap chairs.

Use my definition to point you in the right direction.

Insist on getting the 5 essential functions on any chair you buy.

Remember the benefits you will gain by picking a proper ergonomic office seat and realize you need to make an investment to get the right product.

By applying these guidelines you will give yourself a great chance of finding the right chair. After all, you surely don't want another of those Mike Tyson chairs do you?

Here's a summary of some excellent ergonomic office chairs which have been carefully designed to give you great working comfort for those long hours in the office.

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The Trend Towards Self-Adjusting Office Chairs: Why They Don’t Work For Everyone

Have you ever taken your vehicle in for a service and when you went to collect it felt like you just got into the wrong car? What is it about auto mechanics that seems to make them want to set your seat up as though they were racing drivers? It takes ages to get everything back to how you had it, unless you are lucky enough to have a memory button to restore your personal settings.

Self-adjusting chairs are a bit like memory button auto seats because they know how you like to sit.

We’re going to check out these 3 aspects about self-adjusting office chairs:

  1. What exactly is a self-adjusting chair
  2. Who is best suited to a self-adjusting chair
  3. Who will find them to be awkward to use

 

Let’s begin by looking at what exactly a self-adjusting chair is
More and more manufacturers are building in automation to their office chair designs with the idea being that the user no longer has to worry about making endless adjustments to their seat.

Typically this sort of chair senses the user’s weight and movements and the chair’s mechanism moves to support you as you work. This is a good thing because it means that your body maintains a good posture due to the chair moving to support you properly.

Another feature which is becoming more common is the use of advanced polymers and plastics in the chair’s back. This allows the chair back to adapt a much greater level of movement without harsh frame components digging into your body.

Some adjustment will always be necessary like setting the seat height and arm position, however these are largely one off settings. So who will benefit most from these auto-adjusting products?

Who is best suited to a self-adjusting chair?
Most chair manufacturers like the easy life and so consequently design their products to suit the average built person. So what is deemed to be average build?

There are no hard and fast rules, however most use data compiled about members of the military as it is an easy way to categorize the shapes and sizes that people come in.

As a rough guide a self-adjusting chair is probably going to work best for people between 5 feet 6 inches and 6 feet tall and weighing between 100 and 200 pounds. What if you fall outside these averages?

Is there hope for those of us who are ‘non-average’?
These types of chairs can be something of a challenge for both short built and tall users.

Short built people may find the chair doesn’t move easily as they work in it, especially if they are light framed. Additionally the height adjustment of the seat may not go low enough to allow you to rest your feet properly on the floor. This latter point can be fixed by using an alternative gas lift if available.

Tall users may find the opposite where the chair just seems to move too easily, this will be particularly true for heavier built people. People with very long legs could also find the chair doesn't compensate enough for good leg comfort.

And even if you are of an average build there can still be problems. Many models don't have any form of override or fine-tuning adjustment. If you are the sort of person who likes to adjust things either make sure you look at models with some form of user fine-tuning or stick with a more conventional chair.

Here’s a mistake self-adjusting chair users often fall into
Because an auto-adjusting chair automatically gives you support as you work it’s easy to think you can just spend all day in it and assume it will give your body some magical healthy workout.

In many respects it’s little different to a good quality manually adjustable chair, it just saves you the hassle of tweaking loads of settings.

Consequently, it’s just as important as it always was to get out of your chair several times a day and break up your routine. Doing simple exercises and stretching your legs won’t go away and it’s still important to do both, lest you get lulled in to a false sense of security.

Summary

  • A self-adjusting chair automates many of the mundane adjustments on your chair
  • Average built people are the most likely to benefit from this type of seat
  • Short built and tall people may well find auto-adjusting chairs too inflexible

Here's where you can read more about some great self-adjusting chairs like the HÅG Futu, Humanscale Liberty and Knoll Generation they may well help you get closer to that memory button control found on some autos.

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Is Your Office Chair Stopping You Getting Your Work Done? Eliminating The Distractor Factor

On your marks
Get set
Stop!

When you have the wrong office chair it's like getting off to a false start in a race. You're ready to get on with things and yet something is holding you back.
And the problem is your chair, but it's not that obvious.

How can your office chair distract you?
With the wrong chair you can often find you are distracted from your work. When you start an important task everything seems to be flowing along nicely. After a while though your attention starts to wander and maybe you feel the need to check your email or Facebook account. Something just seems to distract you and yet there doesn't appear to be a reason for it.

How lack of comfort stops your workflow
One of the biggest causes of distraction when working in the office is an uncomfortable office chair. The problem is as soon as you start fidgeting and shifting to try and get comfortable it breaks your concentration. You find your mind starts to wander and this is when you begin to slip into bad habits like checking email, looking out the window etc. So, why are some desk chairs uncomfortable?

Poor adjustability results in inflexible working
The primary reason office chairs cause discomfort is a limited range of adjustability. If you only had to work for 30 minutes in the office you could get away with pretty much any sort of chair. However when you have to put in 7 to 9 hours or more a day at your computer, it’s essential to have a seat that is fit for purpose.

After all you wouldn’t run a marathon in flip-flops and jeans. No you’d make sure you had proper running shoes and clothing. And it really is no different with a heavy workload in the office. You need a seat designed for working long hours in comfort.

Consequently, a chair that only has seat height adjustment, fixed arms and back just isn’t going to hack it. It simply isn't man enough for the task and will soon let you know as it inflicts pain on your body. And even when you can adjust the arms and back there can still be problems. How can this be?

Chair deterioration creeps up on you over time
When you first get your chair it feels great and certainly a whole lot better than the old one. And yet now you’ve had it a while those annoying traits your previous chair had seem to be returning. This doesn't happen all at once, but gradually over time as your chair seems to age prematurely.

This is really a quality issue. One of the biggest culprits in this untimely deterioration is the foam used in the seat and back. For the first few months it’s springy and supportive then as time goes on it stops springing back and instead goes flat and hard.

This is because cheap foam has been used and its low quality just isn't designed to last more than a few months before giving up the ghost. Suddenly you find you are sitting on a hard lumpy surface and the lack of comfort becomes distracting and you find it difficult to concentrate.

Low cost components begin to wear with continual use and what was initially a good firm support instead feels like a teaspoon in a tin of treacle.

Is there really that much difference between office chairs?
It’s easy to think all office seats are the same and something you replace every couple of years. And when you buy the wrong one that's exactly what happens and you get into an endless cycle of buying another new cheap chair.

A couple of years back I enrolled on a part time course at the local college and when the students met up for the first class everyone was excited to see the classroom was kitted out with new chairs.

The euphoria lasted for less than a month and it became necessary to get to class ten minutes early. Why? Because in that short period the backs had broken off at least 4 chairs, so unless you fancied sitting at a backless chair you needed to be early to grab one that still worked properly. Even when you found one that was intact they were awful to sit in for a two hour class as they were so uncomfortable.

The apparent bargain price paid by the college turned out to be anything but. And because of the price there was no guarantee. A bit like buying a dodgy auto – sold as seen. There really is a world of difference between good and poor office chairs.

So, there are good reasons why some chairs stop you getting your work done
Let’s quickly recap:

  • Uncomfortable chairs cause you to lose concentration allowing your mind to wander
  • Lack of adjustability makes it impossible to remain comfortable for long
  • Recognize cheap chairs deteriorate rapidly over time
  • All chairs aren't the same, be careful of falling continually into the same trap

Avoid hearing the double shot of that starter’s pistol signaling another office chair false start. Take care and eliminate the distractor factor when you need to replace you chair.

Here's where you can find information on picking the right ergonomic office chair that will support you in comfort, no matter how long you work.

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The Perfect Office Chair: Why Is It So Difficult To Find One?

Imagine you’ve just left your tailor’s shop wearing a $3000 suit he just made to measure for you. As you walk down street you feel like a million dollars, everything fits perfectly. The fabric feels great and you sense people’s admiring glances as you stroll on in your new suit. Perfection doesn't get much closer than this. Back at work you’ve been sitting for a while and start thinking about finding the perfect office chair.

Everyone wants the perfect office chair
Most office workers would love to own the perfect office chair, and many strive to find it. Some even achieve it. Unfortunately any office chair will by its very nature always be a compromise, a one size fits all solution.

And therein lies the problem because humans come in all manner of sizes but the majority of office seats only come in one size. Of course they all adjust so it is possible to get much closer to that perfect seat.

How close can you get to the perfect office chair?
When you buy the right office chair you can actually get pretty close to the ideal chair. It’s always going to be easier for people of average build to find a good chair, because most manufacturers cater to the average. So for them the choice will be wider and the opportunity of acquiring a great chair will be that much easier.

For those not falling within the typical parameters of the average chair size adjustment range things will be more difficult.

Who will find it more of a struggle?
Both short and tall people will find many office chairs just don’t cater for their body size and so that perfect office chair is a lot more difficult to track down. Nonetheless, some manufacturers recognize that this group of users risks getting shortchanged and so have taken steps to accommodate short and tall users by producing models specifically made to suit their frame size.

One of the best specialists in this corner of the chair market is Neutral Posture, which makes some excellent seats to serve not only short and tall people, but also light and heavy framed users too. Its seats provide a huge range of adjustments.

BodyBilt another specialist, as well as having an excellent range of ergonomic chairs, will even tailor make a chair to suit your body’s dimensions. Thus making it possible to find the perfect office chair provided cost isn't a problem. Whatever size you are, you must insist on certain features to ensure you can tailor your chair for your body.

What key features must the perfect office chair have?
Any good office chair must have 5 key features to give the user the ability to set up their chair to fit them properly. Here's what your chair needs:

  • Adjustable seat depth for optimal leg comfort
  • Adjustable back height to allow the lower back to be correctly supported
  • Adjustable Arm Height for ease of movement and minimize the risk of RSI
  • Pneumatic height adjustment to suit your body height and weight
  • Adjustable tilt tension allowing each individual user to set the correct pressure

Some top end chairs actually automate some of these features or provide fixed full height backs with lumbar adjustments to achieve the necessary user comfort. Here's where you can find a quick summary of quality office chairs, which have the essential functions needed.

Let’s end by reviewing the key points in our quest for the perfect office chair.

  • Average built people will always find it easier to find the right seat, due to greater choice
  • Short and tall users will need to look to a specialist to get the ideal chair for them
  • Make sure any chair you consider has the 5 key features listed above

Although you may not find the seating equivalent of a custom tailored suit, follow these simple guidelines and you will come pretty close and may even end up with a chair that is perfect in all respects.

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Humanscale Makes Excellent Office Chairs: And For The Next 19 Days It’s Spring Sale Time

Freedom Chair With Headrest

Humanscale Freedom Chair

Over the past decade or so Humanscale has built an enviable reputation for producing top class office chairs. You won’t find it offering any ‘me too’ products, each seat it launches is meticulously designed and tested down to the last detail.

How does it manage to keep turning out excellent seating?

By employing top designers like Neils Diffrient
Unlike many office seating manufacturers who use off the shelf components, Humanscale always starts with a clean slate. And by using top designers like Neils Diffrient it’s always able to offer chairs that have been painstakingly thought out. As a result its products are always supremely comfortable as well as being highly functional and easy to use.

What makes a Humanscale office chair a good long-term buy?
Quite simply it expects its chairs to last you for many years. And to show its faith in their quality all of its products carrying a 15 year warranty.

Such a level of confidence means you won’t find any low quality components. It simply couldn't afford to take the risk when they are guaranteed to last 15 years.

So, no nasty cheap seat foam that goes flat and brittle in months. Instead high quality foam that keeps bouncing back day in day out no matter how often or long you sit on it.

Buying a Humanscale chair is an investment, you spend once and forget it. You could likely get through half a dozen cheap chairs over the lifetime of one of its chairs. And never achieve anywhere near the same level of comfort.

And for the next 19 days your investment will cost you 15% less
Right now Humanscale is running a Spring sale which finishes on Monday 13 March 2011. Until then you can grab an additional 15% off already heavily discounted prices. This makes its Freedom and Liberty chairs outstanding value for money.

Here's where you can read a review of the Freedom and Liberty as well as how to lock in these great prices.

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Why A Good Ergonomic Office Chair Is Like GPS In The Office

Imagine you're on a long drive to a city you’ve never visited before. You're on a tight deadline and you can’t afford to be late or make any wrong turns and you don’t need the pressure of driving against the clock. The natural thing to do of course would be to set up your GPS device before leaving and just relax as it guides you and takes the strain. No need to worry about what to do or where to go because your faithful GPS has it all covered, all you need to do is fuel up and steer your vehicle.

Instead what if you only had a compass to guide you? Even if it was fixed to the dash you would need to keep looking to make sure you were headed in the right direction. And with all the twists and turns in the roads it probably wouldn’t be very practical at all.

A good ergonomic office chair is a bit like GPS for the office
When you have a quality ergonomic chair it helps take the strain of those long days in the office. You have an important project to complete it’s probably the best part of 10 hours work. However the very tight deadline means you have to get it all wrapped up in 8 hours if at all possible.

The last thing you need is to be uncomfortable and constantly moving and shifting as you struggle to relax and concentrate on the task ahead.

With the right chair you're in safe hands because many modern chairs have self-adjusting features. They sense the way you are sitting and provide continuous support to make sure your body maintains a healthy posture throughout the day.

In fact as you become absorbed in the task at hand you'll likely barely notice your chair as you concentrate on getting everything completed.

A bad office chair is more like a compass
If you have a poor quality office chair that tight deadline is going to seem much more like making that road trip with a compass. It’s probably going to be OK for the first half hour, or so. And yet as the day wears on it starts leaving you feeling worn out.

Maybe the foam in the seat and back padding has flattened with continual use and no longer provides good comfort and support. Or the back seems to have a mind of its own, when you recline to relax for a moment.

And if only those arms adjusted, they always seem to get in the way and the hard plastic tops are killing your lower arms.

As the project deadline approaches you become more and more pressured as you begin to get further behind.

What sort of features makes good ergonomic office chairs different?
For a start they are likely to have top quality foams which bounce back to shape even after years of use. And in the case of a chair like Herman Miller’s Embody the 4 ply support suspension makes it feel like you are floating rather than sitting.

A lot of chairs have automatic adjusting recline functions, so as you lean back the chair senses your weight and where you are applying pressure and automatically compensates giving proper back support. A good example of this is HÅG’s Futu chair which even includes some fine tuning if required, however most will find the standard auto adjuster fine.

Adjustable arms can help make the work experience much more enjoyable, especially the more flexible ones which don’t just alter in height. They also adjust in width, angle and front to back as well, making it easy to get perfect arm comfort.

Here's where you can find a quick summary of Herman Miller chairs as well as other quality office chairs from a variety of different manufacturers to help you work long hours without distraction.

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Are You Undoing The Benefits Of Your Ergonomic Office Work Chair Every Night At Home?

If you are fortunate enough to have a good ergonomic office chair at work this is obviously great as you are likely able to work long hours in comfort.

And yet, when you get home are you perhaps undoing all that good, through unhealthy sitting?

How sitting at home can be unhealthy
Sitting at home can quickly undo the benefits of healthy sitting at work. The chief culprit is your sofa because it just isn't designed to support you properly.

Sofas and easy seats tend to be spongy and lacking in structure and as a consequence you end up sitting with a rounded back. This is not a healthy posture because it opens up the spine’s disks in an unsupportive and unhealthy way.

So sitting like this for a couple of hours watching a movie, rapidly undoes all the benefits you gained from that healthy task chair at work.

What’s the best way to counter this problem?

balans

Varier Balans Kneeling Chair

What you really need to do is make sure you continue to sit healthily at home too. OK, you don't want to sit in an office chair to watch movies, even though a good one would help your body if you did.

This is where a kneeling chair can provide an excellent alternative to your easy seating.

It promotes a much healthier way of sitting and once you get used to it you will find you can sit in it for long periods safely and comfortably supported. Not only that, it’s very easy to vary your sitting position by moving your legs and feet into new postures.

All this helps keep muscles on the move, blood circulating and instills a feeling of being generally more alert.

The other great thing with some kneeling chairs like for instance the Varier Balans, is they are light and portable so it’s extremely easy to move it from room to room. You can use it sit and eat your evening meal then pick it up and use it watch TV or maybe check emails and FaceBook.

Kneeling chairs make excellent healthy home chairs, here's a quick summary of some of the most popular knee chairs.

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