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Reviews of two more chairs

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I went down to Design Within Reach to check out one more chair, the Knoll Generation. I also saw the Eames Lounge Chair and I could not resist trying it out. Please check out my previous review of about ten other office chairs.

The store is quite a drive from here, so to be really honest, I just wanted to get out and see Bethesda, since I’ve never been. It’s a pretty rich place (saw numerous Benz AMGs, Porsches, a Maybach dealership, and one Maserati) and the people are angry angry drivers. I don’t remember when I’ve ever heard more honking, even in NYC. Nevertheless, Bethesda is really nice with lots of food around. There is ample parking in downtown and the downtown is very walkable. Great place.

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Written by notatypewriter

2011 September 10 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Nerding out

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Reviews of a few office chairs

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Every programmer knows the importance of a good chair. To find my perfect chair, I tried out ten task chairs today at the local HealthyBack store (as an aside, customer service was non-existent, which is good if you like to fiddle with the chairs without some salesman yapping at you): Haworth Very, Haworth Zody, Herman Miller Aeron, Herman Miller Embody, Herman Miller Mirra, Humanscale Freedom, Humanscale Liberty, Nightingale CXO, and the Steelcase Leap. I also have some experience with the Steelcase Think.

First some general thoughts.

  • I was surprised by the uselessness of headrests. Whenever I reclined, the headrests would just get in the way of my head leaning back and keeping the spine straight.
  • Seat depth is really important. If your seat is too long, then there’s a lot of potential to start slouching by sitting away from the back of the chair. I feel it should be shallow enough so that sitting too far forward is uncomfortable, but long enough so that you’re still balanced over the center. I’ve read that if you can put three fingers between the back of knee and the front of the seat pan, you’re good
  • See if the lumbar support adjusts when you recline. Many chairs do not do so. It might also be a sign that you’re not sitting far back enough, eg, the fulcrum of the chair’s recliner is not close enough to your hip, which is your body’s fulcrum.
  • If you’re thin, look for adjustable arms.
  • Read OSHA’s guide to seat ergonomics
  • Watch the videos on each chair’s website to understand how to adjust the chair. Might be impossible to remember if you’re doing 10 chairs though… Make two trips!

Here are some thoughts on each, gathered from fiddling with the knobs and sitting on it for approximately 5 minutes. A more comprehensive test is probably best before you blow $1000 on one.

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Written by notatypewriter

2011 September 9 at 8:30 pm

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