Has The Office Chair Been Reinvented? Introducing The Freedman Chair

Freedman Chair

Just when you might have thought that everything about office chairs has already been discovered, prepare for a surprise because something really unique in office seating has recently appeared.

And it's called the Freedman chair, named after it's UK based inventor Simon Freedman.

It would be easy to think of it as is simply another funky design.

However as an Osteopath for the past 20 years who could doubt Simon's qualifications to know what is needed in an office chair?

And at The British Invention Show it won International Award of the Year 2011.

So it looks like others feel he's on to something.

Why did he feel the need to invent a new chair?

How did the Freedman chair come into being?
As an Osteopath it's hardly surprising that Simon sees more than his fair share of people with back problems. Many of them spend long hours each day in the office sitting. He was convinced that what they were sitting on was a significant part of their problem.

It wasn't just down to them having a poor chair, he felt it went further than this. It was the way their body was positioned when sitting.

Simon felt he could do better and so began the seed of an idea that ultimately became the Freedman chair.

What makes the Freedman chair different to other office chairs?
Nearly everything is different. First it doesn't have a gas lift height adjuster, it does of course adjust in height using a method common in office seats from a long time ago. It uses a screw mechanism so you spin the chair around to change the height. It may be old fashioned nonetheless it's effective.

Second, it is made almost entirely from aluminum so there is no seat padding, upholstery or hard plastics. This all helps to keep the overall chair weight down to an incredibly low 5kgs about a quarter of the weight of the usual office chair.

Third, there is no conventional chair back. Instead it has 6 back balls designed to keep the user's trunk moving and maintaining blood circulation and a healthy body.

Fourth, it's carefully shaped seat pan is split into two pads. It's designed to make it easy for users to sit on their sit bones. By doing so it places the whole body in a natural posture making sure muscles aren't overworked and function as nature intended.

It also places the body at what Simon refers to as the Golden Angle, a downward angle of 27° and by doing so holds your natural lumbar shape correctly.

Forward tilting seats can often be difficult to use as it's easy to slide forwards in them. The seat pads of the Freedman chair are drilled with a pattern of holes to increase grip to get round this problem.

It all sounds great, are there any disadvantages?

What does it cost?
Currently orders are being taken for the chair to enable the initial batch of seats to be made. And at £1500 ($2400) it certainly isn't cheap, however developing a new product like this from scratch always costs a lot of money. Simon has been working on it for over 8 years developing prototypes and fine tuning the design. It's probably fair to say that if the product takes off and volumes increase it would be possible to reduce unit costs. Right now it's a bespoke product and so this is reflected in the price.

Even so anyone with a chronic back problem will likely be able to justify spending this kind of money to get relief.

Further information
Here's where you can find out more about the Freedman chair and how it's design will help you to sit more comfortably.

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2 Responses to “Has The Office Chair Been Reinvented? Introducing The Freedman Chair”

  1. This chair is insanely cool! Unfortunately, I can’t afford the price tag. I like the idea of a back support, which is awesome, but would a mesh back be better or no support at all?

    There’s this one which is pretty basic: http://www.wishack.com/Mobile_Kneeling_Task_Chair_with_Curved_Mesh_Back_p/fla-wl-3425.htm
    but is it really worth it?

    This one has casters which I like a lot more cause it’s easy to move and seems more like an “office chair” which I’m used to having casters. http://www.wishack.com/Mobile_Wooden_Ergonomic_Kneeling_Chair_p/fla-wl-sb-310.htm

    Any suggestions?

  2. Both of these kneeling chairs have casters so they should both be easy to move in.

    The mesh back one is probably the best option as it’s more robust.

    I would check the warranty period on them because as kneeling chairs go they’re fairly cheap, so you need to be sure they will last.

    The length of time a manufacturer warrants the product is a good indication how long it may last.

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