I Need a Better Chair!
January 30, 2004 12:43 PM   Subscribe

I want to sit better (correctly) when I am at my computer, and will be buying a new chair soon. Was considering a Herman Miller chair, should I get the Aeron, the Mirra, or a different chair altogether?
posted by benjh to Work & Money (12 answers total)
Don't neglect the Steelcase Leap and the other Aeron competitors from the various furniture manufactures. Pretty much everyone has them now.

Go to an office furniture store and sit in a bunch of them, and buy what feels good. Be sure to buy from a place with a liberal return policy. You'll pay full retail, but if the chair turns out not to be suitable for sitting in for long periods of time, you'll be able to take the chair back and try a different one.
posted by kindall at 12:47 PM on January 30, 2004

What kindall said. You need to sit on them. Probably any high-end ergonomic chair could be good for you, not just Herman Miller. I have two Steelcase chairs which I am mostly happy with.

I would add that it's important to be able to move around in your chair. Arms and height and other features that can be adjusted while sitting let you frequently change positions. (For example, I often lean on one arm or the other while reading mefi while I push both down for typing. I do not find my chair comfortable for reading actual paper which is on my desk.) I would love a chair that rocks, but I haven't found one that meets my other, more important, requirements.

Don't neglect the importance of keyboard height and other ergonomic factors while you're at it.
posted by callmejay at 1:12 PM on January 30, 2004

Try them all out if you can. If you live in a major city, it shouldn't be too hard. I got to try out the Steelcase Leap, the Freedom chair, the Aeron, and the Mirra. I ended up with the Mirra, which felt better to me than an aeron, even though the only difference was really just the back.

I have to say that these big ticket chairs are worth every stinking penny. I decided to buy a new chair because I've been having chronic back and shoulder pain from sitting poorly. I got the new chair, moved my keyboard and mouse close to me (where my arms naturally fall, instead of me needing to extend them onto my desk) and I felt much better after a few days.

I can sit and do web junk for hours and hours straight, more than 12 hours a day and not feel sore at the end of the day.
posted by mathowie at 1:17 PM on January 30, 2004

If you go with the Aeron, make sure to try the different sizes. One that's too small for you can be uncomfortable because of the way the seat edges are curved.
posted by staggernation at 1:37 PM on January 30, 2004

I've sat in an Aeron chair 5 days a week for almost 5 years now, and I couldn't be more happy with it. It's extremely comfortable -- and I have a history of back problems, so that's saying something!
posted by ScottUltra at 1:42 PM on January 30, 2004

I'm *really* happy with my Steelcase LEAP. Work has the high-end model (not the leather, though) for everyone. I'm a big guy, and mine's not had a single problem in over a year of (ab)use. I'll be buying one for home soon.
posted by mrbill at 2:03 PM on January 30, 2004

I believe someone asked the same question in December or early January. Check the archives as there may be a helpful answer in there.
posted by dobbs at 2:15 PM on January 30, 2004

Consider getting and sitting on one of thoes large inflatable exercise balls. The instability of the ball forces you to make minor compensating adjustments all day long, basically waking your propriocepters (I kid you not) up and telling you to sit up straight. Plus, the 2nd most important muscles in your body (core posture muscles) (at least for computer geeks) get exercise.

Buy it with the money you save when getting the LEAP. :-)
posted by daver at 2:17 PM on January 30, 2004

I've been very happy with my Aeron chair, which I bought for $400 from some guy in a van. One upside to the dotcom crash is you can pick up Aerons. I just checked Craigslist, and they had several for $500 or less.

I believe someone asked the same question in December or early January.

Discussed here.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:00 PM on January 30, 2004

Also, in the same vein as using an exercise ball as a chair is the Swooper chair. My wife wants one, and calls them "the boingy chairs". Can't help but sit on one and go "boingy boingy boingy boingy".
posted by mrbill at 4:10 PM on January 30, 2004

I asked this not too long ago. The thread is here.

I ended up wimping out and getting a cheaper chair, then regretting it. After this one dies I'm splurging. Best of luck.
posted by madmanz123 at 5:43 PM on January 30, 2004

For what it's worth, I've tried the ball. Fun, but I couldn't possibly use it for more than 20 minutes straight. On the other hand, it's only 30 bucks or so. YMMV.
posted by callmejay at 6:50 PM on January 30, 2004

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