Steelcase Launches The Leap Plus Chair For Users Weighing Up To 500lbs

leap plus

Leap Plus 500lbs Rated

Steelcase has recently added a new model to its highly successful Leap office chair range.

The Leap Plus is designed to safely support users weighing up to 500lbs. This represents a significant increase on the capacity of the standard models where the limit is 300lbs.

It's a welcome addition to the range as the vast majority of office chairs don't go above the 300lbs limit which often means heavier built users end up having to find a custom solution.

What's different about the Leap Plus?
In appearance it looks pretty much the same as the standard Leap models, in reality there are some relatively minor dimensional changes.

Here's what's different

  • The overall chair and seat width are 3.75 inches wider
  • The lumbar support goes slightly higher
  • The chair back is 2 inches wider
  • It doesn't recline quite as far as the regular model
  • The gas lift is uprated to carry up to 500lbs

With the changes and uprating it means that the Leap Plus starts at over a $1000, so it's by no means cheap. Nonetheless it is a quality build and with a 10 year warranty on mechanism and gas lift it will last many years.

You can find out more about the Leap Plus here.


Steelcase, Knoll & Humanscale Office Chair Fall Sale Extra 15% Until 02 October 2011.

What's the deal?
Knoll, Steelcase & Humanscale are running their Fall Sale Special with a chance to grab an extra 15% off all their office chair ranges. The offer covers their office seating ranges offering a great opportunity to get outstanding prices on some quality ergonomic office seats.

How long does the offer last?
Steelcase and Knoll are running their offers until Sunday 2 October 2011, leaving you 10 days days to take advantage of these special prices. Humanscale’s sale runs a day longer finishing on Monday 3 October 2011.

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:

Steelcase Chairs
Think chair
Amia chair
Leap chair

Knoll Seating
Generation chair
Life chair
Barcelona classic seating

Humanscale Chairs
Freedom chair
Liberty Chair
Freedom Saddle Seat

So, if you looking for a new office chair this is an excellent opportunity to lock in a great price. Don't wait too long though because there’s only 10 days left.


Replace The Office Chair Turkey – Day 2 Steelcase

Today in the second of my replace the office chair turkey posts it's the turn of Michigan giant Steelcase who has been making quality office chairs for decades.

It has literally hundreds of different model variants to choose from and so let's get a bit selective and look at a few of the most popular ones.

As the world's largest office furniture manufacturer Steelcase does a lot of research when developing new products. Typical of this is the Leap® chair which was 4 years in development and the subject of a study over an extended time period resulting in an increase in productivity of 17.80% in one organization. So you can be sure of getting you work done more efficiently and with greater comfort.

Here are links to check out reviews of some of its most popular models.

On Monday I'll have the other US giant Herman Miller in the frame, so be sure to check back then.


Are People Overlooking the Real Value of a Quality Office Chair?

“aeron chair may be smartest investment i ever made, 7 years later,
it is still going strong. $0.31 / day… i got my moneys worth”

This recent tweet on Twitter shows the importance of applying the right mindset when buying an office chair.

Here is someone who bit the bullet and shelled out $800 for an Aeron® and was prepared to do so because they viewed it as a long term investment.

And 7 years later they are still deriving the benefits that a good chair can bring long after they got over the shock of the initial outlay.

Whilst I realize not everyone has $800 to spend on an office chair, those who can afford it should bear in mind it's likely they would buy 3 budget chairs over the same time period as well as suffering from a lack of comfort cheap chairs usually bring.

An Aeron® is far from the only quality office chair in town, simply the best known, here are several others which will last you 7 years and more along with their daily cost of ownership.


And when you take into account the great comfort, support and productivity any of these chairs will give you then the price no longer seems so daunting.


Tired Of Back Pain And Discomfort From Your Office Chair?

Even the best office chairs will give us some discomfort occasionally, especially when you sit in one for hours without getting up for a stretch or break, the human body simply isn't designed to be locked in the same position for hours at a time.

If you study yourself as you work, you'll likely discover when pain and discomfort begin to set in, your unconscious reaction is to move and vary the way you are sitting. This is your body's way of telling you what you're doing is unhealthy and you need to activate your muscles, get things moving and blood flowing through the arteries.

So, it's important to make sure you sit in a high quality office chair ergonomically designed to move as you move and give proper support to your body all day long.

With that said, simply having a good chair doesn't mean you can ignore the way you sit in it and interact with it. You need to address your work properly making sure you have your monitor set at a comfortable reading distance so you aren't craning your neck forwards as you strain to read the screen.

Slouching is another common bad habit and this is all too easy to slip into particularly with cheaper budget chairs as they tend to force us to sit in a fairly rigid way usually at 90° and slouching is a means of trying to escape this straight jacketed posture.

More and more office chairs are being designed to give people a more open seating position where the angle at the hips is 110° or more. In the past this has presented manufacturers with a challenge because as users recline in their seats they lost visual contact with their screen and reclining tipped them up in the air.

Fortunately, a number of quality products now allow you to recline and stay in contact visually and bodily with your work area. Additionally, they also correctly support the back, neck and shoulders moving as you move allowing you to decide how you choose to sit and this all helps to greatly reduce niggling back pain, aches and discomfort.

Chairs worth taking a look at include the Embody, Leap, Aeron and Futu.


Why Aeron Chairs and IBM PCs Are Intrinsically Linked

Back in the day, IBM made a lot of sales to big corporations because it was perceived as a safe bet, it was the biggest and made quality products. The underlying rationale of many buyers was nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.

And I'm the first to admit I still use an IBM clicky keyboard, date of manufacture 19 May 1993, still looks like new , weighs 2 kgs and it's built like a tank.

In many respects the same logic is true in office chairs Herman Miller's Aeron, is if you like the IBM of office seating. It's probably the best known office chair of all time and with over a 1,000,000 in use worldwide it's also likely sold more than any other model too.

For all that, good as the Aeron is, it's not necessarily the best chair ever, but it's certainly the most successful.

In the quality end of the chair market there is a number of chairs which are its equal and some would argue are better.

Some like Steelcase's Leap and Think or Humanscale's Freedom chair are quite well known, others like HÅG's Capisco and its excellent recently introduced Futu model are less well known.

And while it's true to say you probably wouldn't go wrong buying an Aeron, it's also fair to say there are a lot of very good quality alternatives many will overlook because the makers lack the big budget marketing machines to make them better known.

I would encourage anyone looking to replace their chair to by all means look at the Aeron as well as giving consideration to some of these models as they could even become tomorrow's stars.


More Thoughts on Why Quality Office Chairs Cost More

In a recent Blog post I wrote an article “Why Are Some Office Chairs So Expensive?” Following on from this I subsequently came across this great interview Josh Mings of had with the design team at Steelcase showing just what goes into the planning and development of quality office seating.

It shows how Steelcase developed the Leap chair, initially using 3D CAD modeling but ultimately physical modeling at real life size was the answer to getting things right.

This photo shows one of the test set ups which allowed the shape and action of the chair's back to be tested. Further special test rigs were set up to actually test what they expected to happen did so in reality.

In all Steelcase spent 4 years developing the Leap chair partnering with 4 universities as well as input from 27 scientists and 11 individual studies with over 700 testers.

All this costs a lot of money and helps explain why better quality seating costs so much.


Why Is It Some Office Chairs Are So Expensive?

On the face of it some office chairs appear incredibly expensive and you may find yourself asking how they can possibly charge so much for an office seat.

At one end of the spectrum you've got the cheap chair where the maker just goes out and buys some off the shelf, mass produced stock components produced for the lowest price by some far eastern component producer. All this creates in reality is just another clone chair – investment research time and cost, pretty much nil.

At the other end of the spectrum is the major manufacturer striving to produce something different, innovative and hopefully ground breaking.

As an example Steelcase spent 4 years developing, researching and testing the Leap® chair making sure the chair was truly different to other products. This involved hundreds of testers and together with all the tooling costs for the new components represented a huge financial outlay.

It's all too easy to overlook these behind the scenes costs when making a snap value judgement.

Ultimately the proof is in the finished chair and it's only when you sit in some of the better products you really appreciate just how much better they are and how comfortably they support you.

As I've frequently stated in the past when you spend long hours working in an office chair you need to see it as a tool, an investment in your health and productivity, instead of adopting a limited life mentality.

Sometimes it can be tough to see it like this, however once you bite the bullet and invest in a quality office chair you'll be really glad you did.

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