Are you sitting comfortably?

February 26, 2021

Let’s face it. Webmastering is a sedentary job. Most of my working hours are spent sitting down.

I really should have clocked the importance of seating before now.

I’m not averse to getting what I think will help me in my daily work. Years ago I asked a friendly physiotherapist about the best chair to get. She told me about something that would cost many thousands of pounds. I was, “OK - that sounds fine but that’s a little out of my range. I think I’ll stick with what I’ve got.”

The Ugly

What I had then was a “quite good” secondhand office chair. Except the knob that locked it at a particular height was missing. So it was always at the lowest level which meant I was constantly reaching up at an angle to type and craning my neck to look at the monitor. Its cushioning wasn’t in a great state either - ripped vinyl and foam rubber is not the best of looks, unless you’re going for that taxi office chic.

The Bad

Someone took pity on me and donated a swivel chair with a high back. I don’t think it was really meant for office work, but it was there and that was OK. The only adjustment it had was height and unfortunately the gas lift mechanism leaked - you’d start high up in the morning and slowly sink down as the day wore on. Around midday was the sweet spot when you were neither too high nor too low.

I could never say that it bothered me. When I’m really concentrating I’m not paying much attention to my body or its surroundings. Sure I had innumerable aches and pains, but that’s what happens as you get older? It’s not like I was taking paracetamol or ibuprofen on a regular basis. I never connected my physical state with anything I was doing.

My policy is to improve things on a regular basis, be it an upgrade to my computer systems or a new field of knowledge. And so it came to pass that I found myself with an itch to spend a bit of money on something work related.

I did the usual thing and went on Amazon but was unable to work out whether the items were any good. I’ve been stung a few times by counterfeit stuff or stuff which wasn’t quite what it seemed to be. Yes, I know you can complain / return which I have done but it is a hassle which I can live without. Also Amazon’s reviews are impossible to tell whether they’re genuine or posted either by promoters or people who know less than they should do.

The Good

I ended up here: Chair Office. I chose the Ergo Lumbar Support Office Chair which has a 5 year guarantee and is British made. The price looked good, too, compared with the Chinese stuff of dubious provenance on Amazon.

Verdict

It’s comfortable. It has more adjustments than I know what to do with. What has surprised me the most is how many aches, pains and little niggles have disappeared. It really has made a difference to my entire life. I feel at least 20 years younger! If I had not experienced for myself the effect of bad vs adequate seating I would not have believed the negative repercussions of the former and the positive enhancements of the latter.

It is sold as having a RRP of £262.80 and a special offer price of £134.57. I would say that it is worth what I paid for it. I’m not sure I’d have been as happy as I am if I’d paid the full RRP.

Conclusion (1)

As the song says, “The fundamental things apply…”

You should not underestimate the fundamental importance of taking care of your fundament. The humble office chair may not be the most glamorous piece of technology, but it is certainly deserving of more attention and appreciation.

Conclusion (2)

Had I known then what I know now I would have got a better chair years ago. I should not have let the physio’s perfect be the enemy of this chair’s good. If you see what I mean.

No affiliate relationship between me and the chair sellers - I’m just a satisfied customer.