Back pain and office chairs! Advice needed :)

Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
928
Location
Amstelveen, the Netherlands
Hi Friends

A couple of months ago I fractured my spine due to early onset oesteoporosis (I'm only 33 :frown:) and as a result I am suffering a lot of back pain.

It doesn't help that my job is behind a desk a lot of the day, and my hobby is carrying around big lenses and then spending the evening editing the images or contributing to forums on the net :biggrin:

During the day the pain is not too bad, probably partly due to the painkillers, and partly due to the high quality office chairs we have, but the seat I have behind my home Mac is of a lesser quality, purchased from IKEA 4 or 5 years ago.

So now I'm prepared to purchase a 'better quality' chair and pay a bit more attention to my posture. I have been doing some research and it seems that the Herman Miller Mirra or Aeron chairs are well recommended, albeit a bit pricey, but I wondered if anyone here can help me out, either with recommendations, or their own experience of the aforementioned chairs. Would I just be paying for the name, or do they really have their advantages. What are people here using behind their computers at home?

Any help would be appreciated, before I end up throwing my current chair out of the window in frustration and end up sitting on the floor :Curved:

Thanks!
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2008
Messages
89
Location
Maryland
I'm sorry to hear of your pain - I was going to mention the HM Aeron chairs - they are pretty nice, and as you said, pricy.

We have some Steelcase chairs at work, that have not aggrivated my lower back. Personally, I find a chair that tilts back as a unit - rather than a separate back and seat is more consistent in more positions. Also make sure the chair rotates very easily and smoothly - some chairs rely on the wheels to rotate, and at the end of the day, the back is very tight.

We have a Health Back Store around here - you might get a recommendation from them, or from your chiropractor or surgeon.

Good luck. You also might want to think of a camera bag that spreads the weight evenly over both shoulders, too.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
57
Location
Cincinnati
I can highly recommend the Steelcase Leap Version 2. I sat in everything from the top brands when I got to pick out a chair for work: Herman Miller, Humanscale, and Steelcase. Nothing touches the Steelcase Leap Version 2. I liked it so much I decided to get a nice office chair for home too.

After getting the Steelcase Leap V2 at work, I let my wife help pick out the Steelcase Think for home, thinking it'd be about the same. It's more stylish (I think the judges on American Idol used these in a recent season). It is not however as comfortable. I originally bought the Steelcase Think from Office Environments because they had the best price by about 15%. However, I had big time buyer's remorse for not getting the Leap V2. I finally got the gumption to call Office Environments 6 months later and they gladly arranged the exchange. They've changed their webpage since I bought mine a year or so ago. Looks like you have to call in to get best pricing:
http://www.office-environments.com/seatingonline/leap_chair.asp

Sit4less.com of NPR advertisement fame is likely another good dealer with a liberal try-before-you buy free shipping both ways promotion:
http://www.sit4less.com/products/steelcase/leap-chair/28

You may also try to locate a local dealer on steelcase.com. Steelcase is a great company. I like that my chair seems uber rugged and will be serviceable for at least 10 if not 20 years (we have some 40 year old Steelcase furniture at the work Office).
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
7,801
Location
on five beautiful acres in Hudson Ohio
I have a Herman Miller chair that I love. You can set it up exactly to your body proportions and comfort. I do believe I paid about $900 for it and it is worth every penny. I did not get it in leather, which would have been nice, but the cloth is very good quality.

I ordered it online. It comes with setup directions online. I think I may have called in though for something and got great service.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
57
Location
Cincinnati
Woops sorry...just notice you are from the Netherlands. Please disregard by dealer recommendations. You may have some more European options to consider, but you owe it to yourself to check out Steelcase.

Speaking of comfy chairs, you should have access in the EU to a great Norwegian company: Ekornes. I have the Ekornes Stressless recliner on my wishlist. A classic lounge/recliner that is difficult to beat comfort-wise.
 

McQ

Just your average, everyday moderator.
Moderator
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
9,155
Location
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Real Name
Glenn
Beg, borrow, or steal a Herman Miller Aeron chair! You won't regret it.

Sorry to hear about your troubles though. 33 is way too young for that stuff.
 
I use the Herman Miller Aeron chair and I love it. Back in 1994 I had surgery for a herniated disk at L-5/S1 and so after that needed to be mindful of my back and its comfort. Since I spend a fair amount of time on the computer I realized that I needed a decent chair and so tested out the various ones -- the Herman Miller Aeron really felt the best and I've been happy with it ever since!
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
Messages
314
Location
Carlsbad, NM
Another vote for the Herman Miller Aeron chair!

I've had one at my office for several years now and it is *still* amazing how comfortable it is.

Looking for a deal to get a pair for the home office now (tho I have to find something neat to do with my 1930's vintage oak swivel chair...).

Ask around - IIRC, our corperate price was very good (better than I've seen advertised). Also they come available used. Be aware that they come in sizes - gotta do some homework. And there are probably counterfeit versions...

Dave
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
928
Location
Amstelveen, the Netherlands
Thanks for all the advice - the people are what make this site so great :biggrin:

Seems as usual the prices in the US are much lower than over here.... :frown: If I want an Aeron it is going to cost me around $2000 in the Netherlands. Still, I guess it will be worth it.

I'll look into the Steelcase options - I notice they have just opened a Dutch office
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
1,743
I had the Aeron and didn't like it. but that may be because I had the wrong size. They come in three sizes, and I had the large when maybe I should have had the medium.

Anyway, because of pain that I was having, I did some research and got the Steelcase Leap. The Leap is much less high tech looking, but much more adjustable and comfortable, IMO. Besides the chair itself, though, you have to make sure that the chair is adjusted properly to your body and adjusted to your desk. Also, one of those wedges under your feet keeps you more erect. I found a couple of videos on youtube that helped me figure this al out.

DAB
 

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