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ultraclyde
ultraclyde GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/25/12 7:28 a.m.

Okay, I spend a lot of my working life at a desk designing and generally computer-ing. My desk chair is a pile of crap, as is every one I've ever had. I occasionally have lower back issues that I can't tie to anything except perhaps spending xtra hours in this crappy chair.

I've looked at new chairs at all the big-box office stores, but they don't really seem any better designed from a support or ergonomic standpoint, and they are all pretty low quality.

Anyone have experience with a good, supportive, durable, ergonomic chair? I'm to the point of spending my own money on it, but I need to keep it around $500 or so. I'm also a big guy (6'1", 250lbs) so it's gotta be sturdy over the long run and not fall apart or have the padding go flat.

Speak to me, oh wise GRM Brethren (and Sistern?)

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/12 7:33 a.m.

I agree that the new chairs are crap. Mine is getting long in the tooth (and thin in the padding) and all the ones I have sat in at the store feel WORSE. Very very cheap quality

02Pilot
02Pilot Reader
4/25/12 7:39 a.m.

Most of the stuff sold for home use is cheap and weak. See if you can find a commercial office supply house nearby, or better yet, a place that liquidates office furniture for businesses.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy PowerDork
4/25/12 7:40 a.m.

I want to do this:

or

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/12 7:42 a.m.
Grtechguy wrote: I want to do this:

I am thinking that would be an awesome idea for the BMW Vadar seat I have sitting in the garage

jrw1621
jrw1621 PowerDork
4/25/12 7:47 a.m.

With your $500 budget, you should be able to get a used Herman Miller Aeron Chair. Search around ebay.
I have no personal experience with the Aeron but it is considered top notch by many. In addition, it is serviceable with replacement parts.

failboat
failboat Dork
4/25/12 7:50 a.m.

I have no advice about new chairs.

But a few years ago we were renovating one of the offices, there was a pretty nice (comfortable) chair that used to be in one of the VP's offices that was going to be thrown away.

$1 to get some hardware that was missing and it functions like new, Fully adjustable, has to be one of the most comfortable chairs in the office, and the only one with an adjustable head rest. When they switched me to a different location I loaded it up in my car and brought it with me.

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit Reader
4/25/12 8:00 a.m.

I have spent some time in this chair and thought it was quiet nice for the price, and it has a very tall back.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20178865/

Paul B

pinchvalve
pinchvalve PowerDork
4/25/12 8:03 a.m.

I have a $700 office chair (company supplied of course. If I had $700 the answer would have been Miata) Anyway, it works as well as any $50 chair I have ever bought from Costco.

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
4/25/12 8:24 a.m.

I use a kneeler. I know, this makes me a big weird nerd, but I can absolutely say that my back and shoulder problems have pretty much disappeared since I made the switch.

That said, I'm a petite person, and I'm not sure a larger person would be comfortable basically spending all day with that much of your weight on your shins. I don't find it an issue, and actually think shins do a better job of bearing weight than tailbones. And my back ends the day LESS tired than when it used to spend hours slumped and rounded against the back of a chair.

Margie

Pete240Z
Pete240Z UltraDork
4/25/12 8:33 a.m.

Those Recaro Office Chairs are sweet but really expensive. $1,500+

http://www.racechairs.com/Recaro_EX_p/rec005.htm

I have a piece of junk chair too and should look at a new one.......let me know.

I sometimes think about grabbing my Dad's old drafting table and making my setup a standing desk with the old style drafting chair.

akamcfly
akamcfly HalfDork
4/25/12 8:33 a.m.

Most comfy chair you own

Build desk to suit

profit?

Says the guy working from his comfy couch with his doggy lying beside him.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UberDork
4/25/12 8:38 a.m.

I have a couple Herman Miller Equa chairs that I like very much. Herman Miller has a similar chair called an Aeron that uses a mesh surface instead of upholstery that's nice as well. They're very expensive to buy new, but I got mine at a used office furniture store for a reasonable price.

Matt B
Matt B Dork
4/25/12 9:11 a.m.
02Pilot wrote: Most of the stuff sold for home use is cheap and weak. See if you can find a commercial office supply house nearby, or better yet, a place that liquidates office furniture for businesses.

This is what I did. I ended up with a chair built for hospital staff, meant to be sat in for 12hr shifts. It was about $200 and has held up perfectly for years. Padding still feels brand new.

Just as a data point - I'm a 'puter worker as well (designer) and the chair has seen heavy use until just recently, when I got a job in "real" office (vs. freelancing from home).

ultraclyde
ultraclyde GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/25/12 9:17 a.m.

There are quite a few Aerons listed on the Atlanta classifieds, that may be a good way to go. I've seiously considered the kneeler style chair too, Marjorie. And the standing desk for that matter. I'm okay with nerdism if it's a solution. I need to find a good Office furniture clearance house in South Atlanta I guess.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy PowerDork
4/25/12 9:20 a.m.

The Aeron is probably hands down the best office chair. Herman Miller also makes a cheaper version of it as well. I can get the model name if it appeals to you.

peter
peter Reader
4/25/12 9:33 a.m.

For lower back pain, a standing desk or one of those balance-ball chairs might just be the solution...

my former boss had one of the standing desk doohickeys. it bolts to the desktop and can almost (but not quite) heft his two monitors to a reasonable working height. the GRM solution to the heavy monitors slowly sinking the desk back to sitting height was to stuff a 2x4 under it when standing.

the big downside to it is you've got this thing bolted to your desk. no moving the keyboard aside and using your desk as a writing surface, etc.

I've heard great things about the balance-ball chairs, but never used one myself. I've worked out my back pain issues in other, less geeky ways :)

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Dork
4/25/12 9:53 a.m.
jrw1621 wrote: With your $500 budget, you should be able to get a used Herman Miller Aeron Chair. Search around ebay. I have no personal experience with the Aeron but it is considered top notch by many. In addition, it is serviceable with replacement parts.

This. I have one and I don't think I'd be able to handle a desk job without one.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/25/12 10:11 a.m.

My favorite is the Herman Miller Eames aluminum. It doesn't look all that comfortable, but you have to trust me on this one. They're crazy expensive new, but they have been making them forever and there are a ton of them out there. They are on eBay all the time.

Ever watch any TV? It is the desk chair in almost every office scene in every show ever. You will begin to notice this now.

Try to find a five leg rather than a four and be careful, there are a lot of counterfeits out there.

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/25/12 10:55 a.m.

Part of my job is getting ergonomic equipment for people with disabilities. The range and scope of what can be done with a chair is pretty mind-boggling. Unfortunately, most of the good stuff is 3x+ your price range. I'll go ahead and echo those above me of trying to find known good stuff used or closeout. Herman Miller's are good.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 SuperDork
4/25/12 11:18 a.m.

I have for you the perfect chair. Many years ago, when the old iron foundry closed up, my Dad brought home an old office arm chair. It was made of oak. He took it and some other furniture to a place that stripped the old finish off, and this chair sat in the basement for a few years. As a broke college student preparing to go back to school, I dug it out with his permission and put a coat or two of varnish on it. That was around 1981. I still have the chair.

Today I see that on the bottom of the chair is a label reading "The Marble & Shattuck Chair Co., Cleveland, Ohio, USA. A little light googling reveals: http://www.bedfordohiohistory.org/build/shattuck.php

The chair is quite comfortable and in good condition. I could maybe let you have it for $7500.

orphancars
orphancars Reader
4/25/12 11:19 a.m.

Another vote for the Aeron -- search Craigslist and you should find one in your budget. And they are easy to find parts for on Ebay should you need them later.

DrBoost
DrBoost UberDork
4/25/12 11:24 a.m.
Marjorie Suddard wrote: I use a kneeler. I know, this makes me a big weird nerd, but I can absolutely say that my back and shoulder problems have pretty much disappeared since I made the switch. That said, I'm a petite person, and I'm not sure a larger person would be comfortable basically spending all day with that much of your weight on your shins. I don't find it an issue, and actually think shins do a better job of bearing weight than tailbones. And my back ends the day LESS tired than when it used to spend hours slumped and rounded against the back of a chair. Margie

I've been meaning to pull the trigger on one of these. I just hate to spend my own money on an office chair, it's for work (yet I spend $40K on tools for work????)

alex
alex UltraDork
4/25/12 11:44 a.m.

I've spent more time sitting down during my self-imposed layoff these past six months than I have in the last six years. Kitchen work gets you accustomed to being on your feet constantly, and my body used to protest at sitting for more than a couple hours at a time. Now I'm used to sitting, so I've got to get back in standing/active shape. These next few months aren't going to be fun - I see a lot of hot tub time in my future.

I'd personally advocate a standing desk. It takes a little time to get acclimated, but I don't think you'd want to go back once you're used to it. If the rest of your life away from your desk is fairly active, I'd bet just about any chair is going to give you issues after a few hours, so may as well embrace the standing thing. That's my own experience, anyway.

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/25/12 11:45 a.m.
Marjorie Suddard wrote: I use a kneeler. I know, this makes me a big weird nerd, but I can absolutely say that my back and shoulder problems have pretty much disappeared since I made the switch. That said, I'm a petite person, and I'm not sure a larger person would be comfortable basically spending all day with that much of your weight on your shins. I don't find it an issue, and actually think shins do a better job of bearing weight than tailbones. And my back ends the day LESS tired than when it used to spend hours slumped and rounded against the back of a chair. Margie

I used to use those.. but they are hard to find anymore. I agree, it was very comfy and I did not feel all scrunched up. The only bad part is.. no lap to put things in (books, drawings, etc etc)

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