Is there any reason not to buy a used ergonomic chair?
May 17, 2006 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Is there any reason not to buy a used ergonomic chair?

I have back issues owing to a life of computer programming and bad posture. I'm looking into buying one of the high-end ergo chairs. Although I can probably afford to buy one new, I noticed that I can save > $300 if I buy one used off ebay. Is this a bad idea? Do these chairs' components generally wear out over time?

Also, do you have any reccomendations for which chair to buy? I'm currently favoring at the Steelcase Leap and the Humanscale Liberty. The Aeron comes in third, although I haven't been too impressed with this option.
posted by Afroblanco to Shopping (13 answers total)
Reasons not to buy? Your chiropractor's entertainment budget will drop.
posted by omidius at 10:32 AM on May 17, 2006

A good quality one should have decades of life, though that also depends on how it was treated by the previous owner.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:35 AM on May 17, 2006

Used is fine.

I wouldn't buy a chair that isn't identical to one I've been able to take for a test sit, though. For example, the Aeron really isn't for everyone, with or without the lumbar support option.
posted by mendel at 11:14 AM on May 17, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah, I think the Aeron is kinda overrated. Wasn't nearly as comfortable as the Leap, although the salesguy said that the Aeron sells better.

posted by Afroblanco at 11:19 AM on May 17, 2006

If it were my ergonomic chair, it'd be farted up something serious. I'd invest in some antibacterial Febreeze, at the very least.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:35 AM on May 17, 2006

jimmythefish speaks truth.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:02 PM on May 17, 2006

I love the Leap, but the Mirra and Aeron are great too. The Leap is more adjustable by far. It really doesn't matter in the end - the chair has to suit your needs. I swapped an even more expensive chair for an Aeron because the wide back on the latter is more comfortable for me and the way I sit - according to one of the ergo experts here.

Bottom line, before you buy anything, make sure it's right, and if it is you should be OK buying slightly used (I think 10 years is the average lifespan given 8x5 use).
posted by kcm at 1:14 PM on May 17, 2006

Best answer: I highly recommend trying out the chairs before you splurge. Apartment Therapy had a thread on ergonomic chairs and where to find them in NYC.

You may also want to check out Knoll. They should have showrooms all over.

With highly-adjustable chairs like the Aeron, you should get a demo on how to operate one. I remember reading in an issue of Metropolis magazine that a big impetus for designing the Aeron's successor, the Mirra, was that most people were using the Aeron improperly. Without proper configuration, it's not much more than an Office Depot chair with a mesh back.
posted by junesix at 1:25 PM on May 17, 2006

(I kind of liked the Mirra I had in my last position to the Aeron, and it's 50% of the price, FWIW - HTH HAND YMMV OMGWTFBBQ)
posted by kcm at 1:33 PM on May 17, 2006

I bought a Freedom Chair off of craigslist for half price from an architectural firm. It worked out because I got to test drive it before the purchase. If you can do something similar then I would advise it.

BTW, the Freedom chair relies on a system that actually has less adjustment options. The backing material (gel) conforms to your body type. Much easier in my opinion.
posted by quadog at 2:02 PM on May 17, 2006

I really like my Nightingale CXO chair. It has a mesh back like an Aeron (and in fact Herman Miller sued Nightingale over a previous version of the CXO, it looked so much like an Aeron -- they changed it) but the seat is memory foam, the same stuff they use in mattresses. Think about it. Memory foam. Under your ass.

It's really a nice chair, solidly built, comfortable (memory foam! under your ass!) very adjustable, and because it's not as well-known as the Aeron, a lot cheaper. You can get one NEW for $700 including headrest (probably $600 without). I paid $750 for mine but didn't shop hard enough. This is a steal compared to an Aeron.
posted by kindall at 3:34 PM on May 17, 2006

Ghost Farts or Office Sex Hauntings
posted by bloodniece at 4:27 PM on May 17, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks to all for your answers. I no longer fear the used office chair.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:48 PM on May 17, 2006

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