Goodbye Torbjörn, Hello Herman!
Written by Antti Koskenrouta on July 11, 2011
It wasn’t until I started working from home when I realized how important piece of work equipment a proper work chair is. After suffering with crazy pains from sitting in a bad chair, I invested in what I think is the best chair ever: Aeron by Herman Miller.
Realizing “I must buy myself a new chair” is not always evident or quick. The furniture at my last full-time job was not good, but I managed to stay pain-free by staying in semi-constant motion; I always preferred stairs to elevator and walking over to a colleague to ask something instead of putting it into an email. Because it was all I knew, I did not realize how important staying in motion is for your health. That didn’t happen until I started working for myself from a home office and I found myself sitting in my chair for hours on end, which really began to take its toll on my physique.
My old home-office work chair was from Ikea, a crappy cheap piece of sub-par furniture masquerading as a work chair. I found it ironic that the description for the chair on Ikea’s website says the following:
Height adjustable; easy to adjust for a comfortable sitting posture.
The only adjustment on the chair was the height. Sorry, Torbjörn. I like your Swedish optimism but most of us need to adjust more than just the sitting height to find a ‘comfortable sitting posture.’ Together with the new aches, I read an article about how “sitting kills” finally made me realize I had to invest in a proper work chair.
I read reviews on chairs from Staples and the like and even visited a store to test-sit a few. While some of them felt good, I was unimpressed by the quality. It was easy to believe the reviews that suggested such chairs would not last for more than just a couple of years.
Ultimately I realized my physical well-being wasn’t the right place to skimp. I understood that as much as I spend time sitting in my work chair, making the investment in a proper work chair would pay dividends in better health. I ended up going with Herman Miller Aeron chair. It was expensive, but I rationalized it by doing the math; if a $300 chair lasts me three years, it’s cheaper to buy a $725 Aeron, which has 12-year warranty. But let’s be real, even if the chair doesn’t last me a full dozen years, I still get to enjoy its sturdy craftsmanship and great adjustability. Plus the mesh keeps you nice and cool, something you cannot say about padded fabric or leather chairs.
Resisting the urge to save money and go bottom-of-the-line Aeron, I chose the model with adjustable arm rests and lumbar support. I didn’t want to risk being unhappy with the chair just because my body didn’t fit the fixed settings. When the chair was finally delivered, I fell in love with it immediately. The chair is awesome, I love the tilt-feature that the Ikea chair lacked completely. The adjustable arm rests and lumbar support are absolutely worth the money.
The old Torbjörn chair was out the door so fast it’s not even funny. As soon as the Aeron was assembled, I wheeled the old chair out of our apartment and into the recycling area of our building. My only regret is that I didn’t take a picture of it, so a screenshot from Ikea.com must do. Bye bye, Torbjörn, I won’t be missing you.