Which ergonomic chair should I choose?
February 15, 2005 8:39 PM   Subscribe

I've got a day to decide between which of two ergonomic chairs I want to use in the office (doing IT/coding work). (+)

My boss took me down to the chair store today, and after sitting in six models that were in our price range, i chose two to take back to the office and try out for a day or so.

what sorts of adjustments should i try and what kind of things should i be looking for to determine which of these chairs is a better fit?

if it helps, i tend to lean forward while i'm working on the computer.
posted by fishfucker to Shopping (11 answers total)
 
ps. i already checked out the other ask.me chair threads -- what i'm really looking for is specific advice of things to adjust/try in order to make sure the chair i decide on is ideal. each chair has four adjustments, up/down, backrest forward/back, tilt up/locked/forward, tilt resistance (when unlocked). one chair has an adjustment for the seat to slide forward/back (like in cars) and has upper back support.

i tend to get a lot of pain in my mid back because i slouch like jughead.

posted by fishfucker at 8:45 PM on February 15, 2005


midback = just below and on the scapulas/shoulder blades.
posted by fishfucker at 8:46 PM on February 15, 2005


I would assume chair stores and ergo-oriented chair tags might present you with some basic information on work posture, but if not, it would be a good place to start. This PDF might help you make a checklist to run down when trying out the chairs. I can't vouch for the PDF, it's just a quick google.

Consider your time spent at the machine, do you have different "modes"? I naturally arrange my chair, keyboard, and use a different mouse when doing different work. If you do something similar, spend some time in each of your typical positions.

A related non sequitur: I had a bowling ball under my desk for a long time, and would set my shoeless feet on it, keeping it still, or basically fidgeting with it. The movement was great for circulation, and the angle of your thighs has a large effect on back shape. Tilting the seat down (front edge towards the floor) is recommended for lower back pain, but it's nice to be able to change things up. If you don't bowl, maybe a box, pillow, roll of bubble-wrap, whatever.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 9:27 PM on February 15, 2005


Nova sequitur? Nevermind...
posted by Jack Karaoke at 9:31 PM on February 15, 2005


i've tried the tilting the seat forward thing, which i think is good for my back (because otherwise I lean so far forward that my back isn't being supported at all) but it's hard on my butt.

maybe it's just a matter of finding the sweet spot. FWIW i like having a chair that isn't locked down -- i like to be able to rock/tilt back in my chair. No idea what this means for ergonomics.
posted by fishfucker at 9:42 PM on February 15, 2005


Depending on how severe your pain is, you might want to not focus exclusively on your work chair. In "The Chair" by Galen Kranz, she mentions "backboards", essentially upholstered planks of wood you can toss in your car to help mitigate their generally poor design.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 10:03 PM on February 15, 2005


Lots of information at the Cornell University Ergonomics Web, produced by an ergonomics research group there.
posted by grouse at 10:06 PM on February 15, 2005


Which chairs? I hope one of them was a Nightingale CXO. Memory foam in the seat and an Aeron-style mesh back? I bought one of those, it was clearly the most comfortable chair I sat in, and I sat in a dozen while I was shopping.
posted by kindall at 9:07 AM on February 16, 2005


I just want to note that no chair will help if you keep slouching. Good equipment is much better than bad equipment but you can completely overwhelm its advantage by using it wrong.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 9:31 AM on February 16, 2005


yeah. i read the thread on slouching, and i'm tempted to just get one of those exercise balls. but i don't know if that's an option.

thanks for the replies, everybody!
posted by fishfucker at 11:32 AM on February 16, 2005


Choosing an ergonomic chair" from grouse's Cornell Egro Web link was *exactly* the kind of advice i was looking for! thanks again, guys!
posted by fishfucker at 11:37 AM on February 16, 2005


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