Is A Mesh Chair Right For You? Video

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In the short video below we're going to look at whether a mesh office chair is the right chair for you.

When did mesh chairs first appear?
Mesh office chairs really all began with the Aeron back in 1994 and it's still the 800lb gorilla of mesh office seating. Its open weave upholstery called the pellicle created an alternative type of seat covering. It allows excellent air circulation around the body and works well for people who sweat a lot. However it's not for everyone.

When can mesh chairs cause problems?
Many mesh office chairs including the Aeron are a lot firmer to sit on. So if you've got used to a well padded seat changing to mesh might cause you discomfort.

Light framed users often find this because they have less flesh on their bodies. They sometimes find they miss foam padding which used to form a cushioning barrier between their bottom and seat. For most people this shouldn't be a problem as long as you are aware it's likely to be a firmer sit.

Why are mesh chairs so popular?
As soon as the Aeron took off seating manufacturers rushed to create their own me too versions. Whilst some of these seats are very good the bulk of them are best avoided. The mesh doesn't support you properly even though it allows air to circulate.

Which are the best mesh office chairs?
With so many different mesh chairs to choose from these days it's difficult to make a finite choice. Obviously the Aeron has to be on your shortlist and provided you're happy you can handle its firmer sitting posture it should work well for you.

However if this is a problem there are a couple of hybrid mesh chairs worth looking at. Both have lightly padded seats and top quality form sensing mesh backs for great support. First there is the Liberty chair a very elegant looking chair which will support you comfortably for hours. Then there is the more recently introduced Diffrient World chair. This was named after its designer Neils Diffrient who designed both of these chairs. There is also an all mesh version of the Diffrient World too.

As you can see from the photos there is an absence of the usual levers and knobs on these chairs as they are both self-adjusting. Apart from seat and arm height you just sit and let the chairs do the support work. And the 3D mesh moulds to your body supporting it comfortably.

If you are on a tight budget Balt's Ergo Ex Ergonomic Mesh Chair is well with considering. It is highly adjustable and comes with a padded seat.

So let's summarize:

  • Mesh chairs all began with Herman Miller's Aeron
  • Bear in mind mesh seats are a firmer sit and so aren't suitable for everyone
  • Mesh chairs allow excellent air circulation which is great if you tend to sweat
  • Modern hybrids like the Liberty and Diffrient World offer all day comfort and if you are on a tight budget Balt's Ergo Ex is definitely worth a look.

Further information
For more information about mesh office chairs and which one is right for you, be sure to visit http://www.OfficeChairAdvice.com/mesh/

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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.

Summary
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

 

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Why Buying A Branded Office Chair Makes Sense: Beware Of Deception By Description

Brands are powerful in office chairs, just like they are in many types of product. However it's important you don't get suckered into buying the wrong thing.

When you shop at the supermarket for your favorite brands you'll often see the supermarkets own version side by side with the real thing. And if you're not careful you can end up buying the look alike because they made it look almost identical.

This happens with chairs too, the only difference is you won't see the genuine article and copy sitting side by side. Even so you still need to take care to make sure you don't get misled.

How chair names and descriptions can be misleading
Sometimes unscrupulous vendors will give their products very similar sounding names to the branded chair or use words like ‘type' or ‘style' to create the illusion that you're getting the same quality as the real thing. They're trying to take advantage of the branded product's reputation. You need to be careful and watch out for these sorts of tricks.

One of the commonest terms you see used with office chairs is ergonomic. The reason it's used so freely is it gives the impression of quality and comfort. And yet there is no laid down definition of what an ergonomic office chair is. Consequently it gets added to the description of loads of really poor chairs. And because people assume it bestows magical properties on any chair which includes the description ‘ergonomic' they take it at face value and end up buying and regretting it.

This must be very frustrating for those manufacturers who do take the trouble to produce a chair that is good quality and comfortable and worthy of being described as ergonomic. So be careful of chairs labeled ergonomic. Whilst many of them are great chairs a lot aren't. Sticking with well known brands makes sense.

How do office chairs gain brand recognition?
Any supplier hoping to develop an office chair into a respected brand isn't going to do so by turning out a poor product. Creating a brand that's going to last and become popular means it's got to be well received by potential buyers. This is best achieved by offering a great chair that performs well and offers long term value for money.

Early movers who are amongst the first to buy an as yet unproven product are soon going to shout up if things aren't right. With the Internet and the popularity of social sites like Twitter and Facebook anything that isn't what it's cracked up to be will soon be discredited.

On the other hand if the product is excellent those same channels will greatly speed up its acceptance and conversion into a brand that can be trusted. This is why the major players take so much care to do everything they can to get things right. By getting broad acceptance for a chair half the job of selling it is done.

Why buying a branded office chair is a good idea
Building a successful brand can take years so any supplier who has done so will want to make sure they don't risk jeopardizing it. Look at one of the best known brand names in office seating the Aeron chair. Launched in 1994 it's still one of the most popular chairs on the market.

miller aeron

Herman Miller Aeron

It wasn't always like this though. Did you know when it was first developed Herman Miller sounded out the market and the feedback was pretty negative. However Miller bit the bullet and introduced it anyway and it soon became accepted. With over a million Aerons sold worldwide it stands to reason it must have a good bit going for it.

Major suppliers often spend years and millions of dollars to make sure that their new brand will perform as people expect. Steelcase's took 4 years to develop and test its Leap chair to make sure everything was right about it

Other companies like Humanscale, Knoll, HÅG and Neutral Posture also take great care of their brands to make sure their users are happy.

Summary
Let's recap on what we've covered here:

  • Beware of look alike products with similar names
  • Recognize that ‘ergonomic' when applied to an office chair means very little
  • Brand recognition is rarely built around a poor product
  • Buying a brand name ensures a good level of quality

Remember just like supermarkets some suppliers will try and create their version of a brand, usually at a fraction of the quality and price. Here's where you can find more about some of the most popular office chair brands from the likes of Herman Miller, Steelcase, Humanscale, Knoll, HÅG and Neutral Posture.

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Thanksgiving Office Chair Sale Offers From Herman Miller, Steelcase And Humanscale

What deals are available?
Herman Miller, Steelcase & Humanscale are all running Thanksgiving Sale Specials with a chance to grab up to an extra 15% off all their office chairs. Miller and Humanscale are offering a 15% saving with Steelcase giving 10%.

This is a great chance to get a top deal on a wide range of high quality ergonomic office chairs

How long do they last?
Each manufacturer’s sale has slightly different dates.

Herman Miller starts their sale today finishing on Monday 12 December 2011
Steelcase starts Thursday 24 November and runs for 1 week until Wednesday 30 November 2011.
Humanscale’s sale starts on Friday 25 November and ends on Monday 12 December 2011

Where can I find the details?
You can find a quick summary of the key points about some of the best chairs on offer using the links below:

Herman Miller Chairs
Aeron chair
Embody chair
Sayl chair
Mirra chair

Steelcase Chairs
Think chair
Amia chair
Leap chair

Humanscale Chairs
Freedom chair
Liberty Chair
Freedom Saddle Seat

So, if you are ready for a new chair this is an excellent opportunity to lock in a great price. Don't leave it too long because the special pricing will soon be finished.

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Humanscale Finally Launches The Diffrient World Chair

Diffrient World Chair

Diffrient World Chair

Humanscale has at last launched its latest office seating creation the Diffrient World chair.

Designed by Neils Diffrient after whom the chair is named, it represents his latest ideas on comfortable eco-friendly seating.

He previously designed Humanscale’s Freedom and Liberty models which continue to remain popular ergonomic chairs appealing to a wide range of users.

It’s taken a lot longer than first expected for the Diffrient World to appear.

Why was the launch delayed so long?
It’s been two years since Humanscale first announced the impending launch of the Diffrient World. Whenever a product is developed from scratch, as this one was you can never be 100% certain that everything will turn out as originally planned.

What you expect to work sometimes doesn't and so it’s a case of modifying and changing things to take care of potential problems. Although Humanscale hasn’t gone into detail on the challenges it’s had it wasn't going to go to market with a product that wasn't totally right.

And when you offer an industry beating 15 year warranty on your products, almost right is not enough. So praise to Humanscale for ironing out the glitches first. Let’s take a look at what’s new about the chair.

What’s different about the Diffrient World chair?
The chair is designed to do the thinking for you. Apart from setting the height and the seat length to suit your body everything else is automated. It becomes a case if sit and go.

Simplicity is at the core of the chair. In total there are only 8 components helping to keep costs down. Not only that it only weighs 27 pounds for easy maneuverability. This is a far less than conventional office chairs.

The added benefit is that over 95% of the chair is recyclable when it does eventually need to be replaced.

The chair is suitable for users from 5’ 0” to 6’ 4” tall and weighing between 100 and 300lbs.

Where to find out more about the Diffrient World
Here’s where you find a full review of the Diffrient World chair explaining all about it.

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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.

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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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Clash Of The Office Furnishings Industry Titans: 2 Major Exhibitions Next Week

Next week sees two major office furnishings exhibitions, one each side of the Atlantic and both well represented with office chairs.

ON chair by Wilkhahn

The Wilkhahn ON Chair

First, Orgatec 2010 in Cologne, Germany runs from 26 – 30 October, it’s held every two years and is Europe's leading office furniture exhibition. Although it covers all facets of the office furnishings market, chairs for the office will be well represented.

Amongst the exhibitors is Wilkhahn and its funky new ON chair looks intriguing. The chair’s revolutionary support system really does move wherever you move and Das Büro magazine voted it the clear winner in an evaluation of 10 different swivel chairs. The ON and other Wilkhahn products can be seen in Hall 6.1 Stand B88/89.

Meanwhile in the US NeoCon East 2010 runs for 2 days on October 28 and 29. In all there are 250 exhibitors at the Baltimore Convention Center, covering a very wide range of Architectural Products, Floor coverings, Furniture, Lighting, Textiles and Wallcoverings.

Despite the wide variety of products office seating plays a leading role as 10% of the exhibitors are office chair companies, including major players like Haworth, Herman Miller, HON, Humanscale, Knoll and Steelcase.

So, whichever side of the pond you are, each exhibition offers an excellent opportunity to see a wide range of office seating at first hand.

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Is Your Office Chair Eco Friendly? How You Can Help The Environment

On the face of it office chairs don't appear to be the most eco friendly products. This is certainly true of mass produced budget office seats where the manufacturer's and supplier’s energy is spent working out how they can reduce costs.

They are much more concerned with getting products to fit a price bracket and more often than not this means cutting corners.

Such products tend to contain nasty foams, glues, PVC and chrome or involve processes known to be highly environmentally unfriendly and low cost and so attractive to them.

And yet there are a number of highly responsible manufacturers who go to great lengths to make their chairs as eco friendly as possible.

A good example is HÅG of Norway who takes the environment very seriously and always produces comprehensive data on the eco friendliness its products.

Take its Futu chair which only uses 7 different materials, not only that 33% come from recycled materials and the finished product is 97% recyclable.

The majority of its products are Greenguard and ISO 14025-EPD certified so you know that they are truly friendly as these certificates aren't issued lightly, it must do what it says on the box.

Herman Miller is another manufacturer who takes the environment seriously, its Embody chair uses 42% recycled materials and is 95% recyclable and carries a Greenguard certificate.

Humanscale is yet another company whose products are highly eco friendly both its Freedom and Liberty chairs are Greenguard certified and are at least 90% recyclable.

Hopefully this is a trend which responsible manufacturers will continue to support and make our world a better place to live in.

How Can You Tell If A Chair Is Eco Friendly?

Make sure that supplier’s claims are backed up with proof, qualifying products will carry certificates like:

You are unlikely to find qualifying chairs in low cost entry level products and this sector of the market won't change much unless forced to do so by legislation. The downside of becoming more environmentally aware is it costs more to do so, however by supporting such products you will be doing your bit to help planet earth.

And there is also another big benefit from doing so, you will find the majority of these chairs extremely comfortable and supportive in use and will give you many years of great service long after the initial outlay is forgotten.

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How Modern Task Chair Design Leaves Traditional Models in the Dust

Office chair design has improved in leaps and bounds in the past 20 years, and yet there are still a huge amount of task chairs being made today built around the same old technology that existed 30 years ago.

Why is this? A lot of it has to do with the cost of tooling to make new components. It just costs a lot of money to create a new chair from the ground up.

It’s far easier to take what already exists and just tweak its appearance a little, rather like an automobile design where cars get facelifts every couple of years to prolong the life of a model.

Exactly the same thing happens with chairs. The basic guts of the thing, the bits you don’t see, stay the same. However, by reshaping the seat and back and maybe changing the base design, it’s possible to make the old appear new.

Fortunately, some companies are prepared to start with a blank sheet of paper and to do something radically different. Not surprising these tend to be the bigger players in the market who have the necessary resources and have a genuine desire to produce a substantially different and innovative chair.

Typically these manufacturers will do extensive market research into what problems users face and then go about creating a solution.

One of the big trends in recent years has been the launch of much simpler chairs, where the user just adjusts the height and maybe a couple of other things.

The chair has an inbuilt ability to anticipate what the user is doing by sensing their body movements as it self-adjusts and supports the user comfortably during the working day.

This is largely a good thing, as the majority of people don’t want to fiddle with loads of levers and buttons. Examples of these types of chairs include the HÅG Futu, Knoll’s Generation, and HumanScale’s Freedom and Liberty chairs.

Other manufacturers like Herman Miller and Steelcase prefer to create new models based on new technology and yet still let the user have lots of control over the settings.

Modern products like the Embody from Herman Miller, and the Think and Leap from Steelcase allow more user adjustment.

The one big downside with all of these new innovations comes down to cost. All that expensive design and tooling has to be paid for and as a result, chairs like these tend to start around the $500 mark.

This is why old, outdated seat design continues to be commonplace. Most of the components used in old-style seating can simply be bought off the shelf from component manufacturers who are geared up to turn out the various mechanisms and parts cheaply and quickly.

This results in a gulf in prices between old style models and newer ground breaking chairs, and once you try out one of these new breed of chairs and discover how superior they are, you will truly understand why they leave the same-old, same-old in the dust.

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