Branded Office Chairs Part 3: Humanscale Top 3 Freedom, Liberty And Diffrient World

Continuing our series on branded chairs, this week it's the turn of Humanscale a relative newcomer to the office seating market, despite this it produces consistently good office chairs.

Humanscale's first move into office seating came in 1999 with the introduction of its Freedom chair which remains one of its most popular products. Let's take a look at it now.

Freedom chair
Humanscale's Freedom chair was quite a significant departure from the normal type of office chair in use in 1999.

freedom chair

Freedom Chair In Green Leather

Designed by ergonomics pioneer Neils Diffrient the chair's functionality is much more responsive than conventional chair mechanisms. It senses the user's weight and movements and adjusts to support you as you move.

It's a great chair to recline in when fitted with the headrest option as it gives excellent support to your neck and head.

As many of the adjustments are automatic it's really a very simple chair to use. There isn't the usual confusing array of levers, knobs and buttons. You just need to set the seat height and seat depth for your body height and leg length. All that remains is to slide the chair back to support your lower back and once that's done it automatically supports your every move from there on.

It's adjustable arms are also very flexible because if you want to work without them you can drop them out of the way. Clearly Humanscale got things right because a decade later it had sold its millionth Freedom chair.

Lets look at its Liberty chair next.

Liberty chair
The Liberty first appeared at the NeoCon show in 2004 and won a Gold award for ergonomic seating. Once again Humanscale chose to work with Neils Diffrient to create it.

liberty chair

Liberty Chair Blue Fabric & Mesh Back

It continues the idea of simplicity in use and once seat height and depth are set to your requirements it supports your automatically from there.

With the high use of specialist plastics and mesh back upholstery it a lot lighter than most office chairs.

Even so it's robust and well engineered. The back mesh is cleverly constructed from 3 layers of high technology material which gives great support as well as allowing good air circulation.

It's a very eco friendly chair with 95% of the materials being recyclable and over 50% of its parts made from recycled materials.

Finally, let's move onto Humanscale's latest chair the Diffrient World.

Diffrient World chair
Neils Diffrient spent nearly 10 years perfecting the design features of the Diffrient World which launched in 2011. In doing so he managed to get the number of components down to just 8 which is a fraction of what is in a typical office chair.

Diffrient World chair

Diffrient World Chair In White Mesh

This helps to simplify the way the chair functions and as with the Liberty the only 2 adjustments are seat height and depth. With the reduction in the number of components significant savings in the cost manufacture have been made resulting in the Diffrient World being 39% cheaper than the Freedom chair.

In use the chair senses the user's body weight and movements and has a unique ramp adjustment that automatically moves as you move. It uses 3 dimensional mesh back fabric giving excellent back comfort and eliminating the need for any separate lumbar support.

The front edge of the seat is frameless so no hard edges to dig into your legs.

Once again eco friendliness is part of the chair's makeup as over 95% of its parts are recyclable.

As with all Humanscale chairs there is a 15 year 24/7 warranty, so build quality and durability is assured.

Getting the design of its seating products right has enabled Humanscale to become the one of the world's top 3 manufacturers of high performance task chairs. That's a pretty impressive statistic when you remember it only entered the seating market in 1999.

Let's quickly run through what we've covered here:

  • The Freedom chair adjusts automatically as you work
  • Freedom adjustable arms are very easy lower out of the way
  • Liberty's 3 ply mesh is great for support and air circulation
  • Liberty is very eco friendly over 50% is made from recycled parts
  • Diffrient World has only 8 components helping to keep costs down
  • Diffrient World doesn't have hard edges making it very comfortable in use
  • All 3 chairs have a 15 year 24/7 warranty

Further information
Here's where you can find full reviews of these 3 Steelcase chairs:

And here are links to the two previous articles in this series:

  1. Herman Miller top 3 branded office chairs
  2. Steelcase top 3 branded office chairs



Herman Miller And Humanscale Office Chair Summer Sale Extra 15% Until 13 June 2011

What is on offer?
Herman Miller and Humanscale are running a Summer sale special offering an extra 15% of all their office chairs. The offer covers both companies seating ranges and is a great opportunity to grab an outstanding price on some quality ergonomic office seats.

How long does the offer last?
Both sales started on Friday 03 June and run until Monday 13 June 2011, so as of today that leaves you 7 days to take advantage of this special pricing.

Where can I find the details?
You can find a quick summary of the key points about the chairs on offer together with where to buy them using the links below:

Herman Miller Chairs
Aeron and Embody Range
Sayl Chair
Celle Chair
Mirra Chair
Eames Management Range

Humanscale Chairs
Freedom chair
Liberty Chair
Freedom Saddle Seat

So, if you have been hankering after a new chair now is a great time to lock in a great price. Don't leave it too long though because it all finishes next Monday.


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.


High End Office Chairs Pick Up Recent Mentions In The Media

The February 2010 edition of Men's Journal takes a look at 9 different office chair models:

  • Herman Miller's Embody
  • Knoll's Generation Chair
  • Humanscale's Freedom Chair
  • Zody from Haworth
  • HÅG Futu
  • Steelcase Think Chair
  • Evolution Ball Chair
  • Kore Stool


Pick of the bunch not surprisingly was Miller's Embody chair scoring a near maximum whereas the least favored was the Kore Stool mainly because it requires the user to balance on it which can be tiring after a time when muscles aren't toned, mind you at little more than 10% of the cost of the winner maybe the result wasn't so surprising.

Also the UK's Financial Times weekend edition for 13 February 2010 carried an article on 4 top end models:

  • Herman Miller's Embody Chair
  • Herman Miller's Setu
  • Steelcase Think Chair
  • Humanscale's Diffrient World Chair (not yet officially released)


With more and more senior managers spending part of their week working in their home office demand for better quality office seating appears to be on the rise.


Why You Need a Good Home Office Chair if You Have a Bad One at Work

Whilst we would all like to think that corporations supply employees with quality chairs, like an Aeron or Freedom Chair, the reality is that there are still an awful lot of employers out there who supply staff with lousy office chairs, buying on price with little thought for user comfort.

So if this is you, chances are you are already spending six to eight hours each working day sitting in discomfort with inadequate support, which is not good. Now maybe when you get home, you spend a few more hours at the computer surfing online or working at an online business to escape working for the man.

Well, after the pounding your body has taken at work all day, the last thing it needs is to be given more of the same when you get home. So if you're sitting in a dining chair or on a breakfast stool or in a cheap office chair, you really ought to think about giving your body a break.

By treating yourself to a new quality office chair, you will find it a pleasure to sit in after that back-breaker at work, and it may even motivate you to work harder on that online business too so you can sit in it even more. Here is a quick summary of some ergonomic office chairs worth considering.


Padding Doesn’t Make An Office Chair Ergonomic

Remember back in school when you had to write an essay usually it had to be a minimum number of words.

You would sit there thinking how am I going to write that much on this subject? And then after a while you would resort to padding and stuff it full of unnecessarily long sentences and repeat things to get the word count up and make it look good.

Reality was your teacher saw straight through it and you were in trouble for stuffing it full of useless content and told it was all padding.

Guess what a lot of office chairs are just the same, you see them all the time in the discount office supplies stores, great puffed up padded low grade foam and usually with very poor quality leather upholstery. And yet as you try it out sinking into that heap of foam it feels like it's really comfortable.

And for the first 10 or 15 minutes it probably is comfortable, it is only after you have been sitting in it for a couple of hours comes the realization it's not comfortable at all.

Why is this? It's because there is no real structural support it's a bit like sitting on a giant sponge, it just moves to wherever your body weight is forcing it. Before you know it your body has adapted a most unhealthy posture as your lower back rounds like a medicine ball and the discs in your spine start bulging into a really unhealthy shape resulting in back pain.

It only gets worse because in time what generally happens is the low quality foam flattens out with repeated use and your once fluffed up padding becomes more like sitting on a rock.

There is nothing wrong with padding on an office seat as long as it is of good quality and well designed. There is a world of difference between low grade packing type foam rubber and high quality polyurethane foam carefully sculpted to follow body contours and of high density designed to retain its shape for years. This is why companies like Humanscale are able to offer a 15 year warranty on its Freedom chair.

So don't get taken in by a so called ergonomic computer chair with loads of padding as chances are the initial comfort it gives will rapidly disappear.


When Office Chair Fiction Is Dressed Up As Fact

It's perhaps not surprising people feel confused researching and buying something like a humble office chair when you consider the amount of misinformation on the internet today. And this is true of many things you find on websites presented as factual which are often anything but.

To an extent this is understandable, for example chairs described as ergonomic office chairs can be almost anything as there is no finite definition of what ergonomic means when describing office seating and believe me some stretch the imagination to its limits with their “ergonomic” offerings.

However, some things are clear cut and so there is no excuse for getting it wrong. I was struck by this today when reading an article about Herman Miller chairs, in which the author refers to Herman Miller the person in the present tense as though he is still a key member of staff at Herman Miller Inc.

Whilst it's true to say he was one of the company's founders in the early 1920s its highly unlikely he is still alive, nonetheless I'm not going to say he is or isn't as I simply don't know.

The article goes on to give the impression that Herman Miller is responsible for producing the Liberty and Freedom chairs, which are in fact products from Humanscale.

All this is highly misleading for someone starting out researching office chairs and whilst we can't be expected to get every little detail right, such obvious inaccuracies do nobody any favors.

Do you have any good examples of fiction presented as fact?

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