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Let’s face it. We all have to sit on one. And for those of us who have a job which principally centres on extended hours in front of a computer, it should be a good one. I’m talking of course about the humble office chair.
The type of business you run (or are employed by) may well determine the type of chair you currently sit on all day. For instance, if your home-based office has taken off like a bull at a gate, it’s possible you’re still sitting on a chair from the dining room or your outdoor setting, or perhaps even a swiss ball that you ‘borrowed’ from that Pilates kit you planned to use for fitness purposes.
If you’re employed by a company, one would hope you’ve been provided with a reasonably comfortable chair but for some, starting a new job and then demanding a new chair is a difficult topic to broach in the short term. After all, you don’t want to come across as ‘ungrateful’ or ‘precious’.
As the founder and director of a busy creative agency, the majority of our office furniture was sourced during the fire sale of a local company that was going under. I got the tip-off at a time that couldn’t have proved more convenient. They were moving out and needed to get rid of stuff, at a time when I was moving in and needed everything. One person’s misfortune is another’s fortune and all that.
In the process, we nabbed some fantastic office furniture and my colleagues quickly scored the best chairs off the truck. Even if I do manage to secure myself one of the better chairs, given I am quite often out of the office, it’s not uncommon for me to come back and find myself relegated, once again, to the ‘worst chair in the office’.
While it may sound like I’m bothered about this relentless game of grown-up’s musical chairs, to be honest I’m not. I’m usually too busy to give too much thought to the ergonomics of my chosen chair for the day. I generally plonk myself down and go for it.
However having said this, at the end of last year I did suffer a horrendously bad neck, which took four osteopath visits and a lot of pain killers to alleviate. I’m sure the excessive hours, heavy gym work outs, and at times stressful workload had a lot to do with the bad neck, however the less than ideal office chair also contributed.
Knowing my bad neck could return to haunt me, lately I’ve been in the market for a better office chair. In the process I stumbled across http://www.affordableoffice.com.au/ and had a lot of fun browsing the extensive online collection of – as the name suggests – affordable office furniture, including of course: chairs.
Like any easily-distracted person, first I wrote a ‘shopping for the imminent chair purchase’ checklist, so I wouldn’t get side-tracked by products that look pretty, but might not suit my purpose.
My essential standards for a new office chair are:
• Must be suitable for vertically challenged people. I am short – 5 foot 2 (157cm) and chairs that allow my feet to be planted flat on the ground can be hard to come by.
• Must be comfortable for extended periods of computer use – I can become so engrossed in my work, its not uncommon for several hours to go by without me ever leaving my chair!
• I like a bit of spin – I love travelling in my office chair to visit other team members across the room. Have wheels – will travel!
• Prefer no arm rests – Sometimes the arm bits annoy me if I can’t get in close enough to my desk because of them.
• Encourages correct posture – My posture is not amazing (years of swim training and computer work) so if a chair can help me sit up straight, t’s a good thing.
• Must look good in the office – My work office colours are white and orange. As a creative agency, funky and fun chairs are an important part of our decor!
Armed with my list, I went browsing affordablefurniture.com.au (which is really easy to navigate by the way) and narrowed my search down to:
ORANGE POSTURE SUPERSEAT
CALIBRE 3 LEVER OPERATOR ERGO CHAIR
VOGUE BLACK MESH BACK CHAIR
I haven’t yet decided which of the three shortlisted products to buy, but I hope in the meantime my musings about office chairs, creating your own checklist, and why you should check out affordablefurniture.com.au may prove useful to you…
Are you in the market for a new office chair? What are your key requirements for comfort in your job? What’s the deal-breaker on your list? How do you plan to find the right chair? Online, or in-store? Add your comments to the list below…