After being in hospital for an extreme pain condition brought on by an old back injury, I have decided to purchase a new work chair. The chair I currently have has apparently aggravated my back, according to my doctor.
So here is my question, which is the best ergonomic work chair on the market. I am currently considering the Herman Miller Mirra chair?
the Aaron chair is over priced and over rated. If you have used one, you will know that over time they sag a bit and become uncomfortable. Anyway that is my experience with them. Plus, all the people I don’t like seem to have them?
i’ve been a task seating designer for three years and two years ago I broke my back in two places. Three months after my spinal fusion surgery (fusion of l1,l2 and t12) I was at the Orgatec furniture fair in Cologne. After trying many task chairs out I’d say The Aaron ‘Posture-fit’ was the best and then the Human Scale Freedom chair. I liked the Aaron ‘Posture-fit’ the best because it rotates the users pelvis to facilitate good working posture instead of forcing it with the traditional lumbar support.
First off, it’s AERON not AARON, and I think that this chair is over-rated. I would take a Mirra over the Aeron any day. I sat down with a Herman Miller rep for almost an hour and I was never able to find a size or adjustment for the Aeron that made me feel as comfortable as a standard Mirra.
I would have to agree with l1 that the Humanscale Freedom Chair was one of the most comfortable chairs I have experienced. It seemed to be fairly affordable compared to other “ergonomic” task chairs. I really like the whole HumanScale chair line. I can’t wait until the Liberty chair becomes available in January. I am trying to talk a few clients into this chair and I am crossing my fingers that I get one for myself.
I also really enjoy the Steelcase Leap chair. The interface for this chair seemed to have too many adjustments, but all the controls were quite intuitive. I seemed to understand what I was adjusting by the design of the controls even before I began any adjustment. I loved the aesthetics and materials of this chair. It does have a pretty heafty price tag however, but if I had 2G’s to spend I would chose this chair.
My big butt is sitting on an Aeron as I write this.
First the good news:
If you are a card carrying member of IDSA you get a nice discount from your neighborhood Herman Miller dealer. This amounted to about a Benjamin.
I have a bad back too, and it’s great once you find the sweet spot with all of the chair adjustments.
The bad news:
Until you find the sweet spot the damn chair can do more harm than good. I’m fine now that I’ve locked the tilt control. Before that I was stretching a pulled muscle as I rocked back-and-forth. Ouchhhhh…
It’s a nice chair. I’ve had it for about a year and no sag yet. It does have an awesome warranty if anything does go wrong. It should for $600!
I am really big on ergonomic chairs – I am a semi-retired dancer with back pain hoping to go back to school for ID.
Have you seen the HAG saddle chairs? I sat in one at AI Friedman – Great! The “saddle” part means that your thighs slope down away from your body which releases your lower back. Your lumbar spine will move forward naturally, no need for those stupid lumbar support thingies attached to every other ergo chair.
I mention the HAG first, because it is the most conventional of my recommendations. I really prefer to sit on a Physioball (big plastic ball – often seen in gyms). Without getting into elaborate discussions of proprioception, the ball works because it causes your natural postural reflexes to engage. Active sitting (requires balance – no chair back) is the way to go for work.
There are a couple of more conventional stools based on this – the swopper and the sit-a-round http://www.sit-a-round.com/. I have the latter, but its only advantage is that I work in a corporate environment that is not friendly to big yellow plastic balls. The sit-a-round doesn’t get a second look. The swopper looks cooler, but costs a lot for what amounts to a wobbly stool.
If you get a physioball use it in conjunction with another chair for a while. You WILL get tired of sitting on it at first, but this goes away over several days as you spend more and more timing sitting on it. Only use it for about an hour. Also get one that is large enough that your thighs slope down and away from your body.
Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and comments! I still think I am going to get the Mira chair from Herman Miller (seems like the best value for what you get) but if I had the money I would get a humanscale freedom chair. Always comes down to cost here at a small firm.
I am going to give that suggestion for the physioball a try to. I already have one due to my pysio therapy.
That Sit-a-round thing is sort of interesting because it is very similar to the seat of the armored fighting vehicle I drove in another life time (I lived on that seat for what felt like forever). Actually that lifetime is why my back is all fooked up but thats another story.
I think the next time I go to Neocon in Chicago I’m going to look into some of the Humanscale chairs myself. Niels Diffrient has dedicated a career to the cause of Ergonomic chairs, and I’d have to believe that someone with so much passion for “the cause” has done something right. I honestly haven’t sat in their chairs before, but I’m curious to see how the Freedom and perhaps more noteably, the Liberty feels.
Get a norwegian balance chair. It puts your body at the natural rest position, which takes presure off your back. However, it won’t be very confortable at first because most of us don’t have a strong back…and as you may know, it is caused by not having a strong abs. well, but you are supposeed to get up and move around everything hour or so
I have two Aeron chairs, (one with new Lumbar supports and one with the old) and I have to say other than looking good they are not comfortable, unless you are a lean way back /slouch type of sitter.
I had a Humanscale Freedom chair at work (on loan from a rep) and it was the most comfortable work chair I’ve yet encountered.