Sitting Comfortably?

Are you sitting comfortably? No, are you? Really? Because I am, but I definitely wasn’t before. I have been destroying my back, neck and shoulders for at least two years! My office chair was reasonably comfortable – upholstered, cushioned seat, that kind of thing – but I spent most of my time sitting at the edge of it, craning forward over my desk, hunched at my keyboard. I always thought that these back aches and twinges were unsolvable problems – the curse of the writer/website maintainer/online-shopping-fanatic who needs to spend most of their waking hours in front of the computer.

All that has changed! For the moment, at least. I’ll give you an update after a month or so and tell you how I’m getting on, but for now, I just want to say that my new office chair is changing my working life! It’s not actually so much the chair that’s changed things as the person who showed me how to use it. It’s a lovely chair that I’m testing out – state of the art. A Herman Miller Sayl chair, fully adjustable with a web of rubber supports running up the back like something from a HR Giger image. But it was David from Well Working who has really made a difference to the way I use my workspace – he delivered the chair to my desk and didn’t leave until I understood exactly how I should be sitting.

I have good posture – I sit straight, I try to walk tall, I rarely slouch. But at the desk, after a few hours of intense staring and typing, my shoulders tense up, my back curves, my head drops down instead of being high and straight over my neck. David showed me how to sit with my back making full contact with the chair – he tilted the chair so that it looked (quite frankly) ridiculous, pointing forwards at an angle, and then he told me to sit down. Well, what would you know? With the back tilted forward but set to “free float” it’s like having continuous, gentle support for your back, neck and shoulders – you’re right where you need to be, right over the desk, but instead of slouching your back makes contact with the chair back, guiding it into a long, upright position!

I can’t tell you what a difference this is making – it takes a while to get used to the positioning, but if it ever feels weird, the free-float setting (where the chair back offers some resistance yet moves as you do) means that I can lean back and have a stretch, or take a call, or whatever it is that I want to do.

Top marks so far – I love the chair, but I think that it’s the set-up service from Well Working that really makes an impact. I now have my keyboard in the right place and I’m in the process of re-jigging my workspace so that my screen can be at a higher level. Even though it’s a huge monitor, it’s still too low apparently – we should be looking directly forwards to keep the head up and the neck straight. Most of us spend our time peering down, so it’s a good change to make – and a free one at that.

You can see the chairs and services at Well Working on their website: http://www.wellworking.co.uk

18 comments

  1. Hi Ruth
    I was just wondering if you’re still as happy with your chair now – after testing it for a good while? I’m considering buying it so it would be great to get your opinion.
    J x

  2. I REALLY need a new office chair. I’ve had mine since I was about 7 (no joke) and the cushion has flattened so I’m pretty much sitting on wood, there are no arm rests, and NO back support. Not good when you are a blogger and spend HOURS upon hours at your desk :/

  3. Mariosa de Faoite

    Hi Ruth, you have got to try the Herman Miller Embody chair. Best investment I ever made in my home office – all my back, neck and shoulder pain went away almost overnight.
    Mariosa xx

  4. Looks like you’re enjoying the chair! It is SO important to care about good posture. I wonder if they come in different colors?
    I really enjoy using just a big balance ball–like the exercise ones. I can never really sit still in a chair, and this allows me to move about and I can stretch my hips and spine and do little mini exercises while maintaining good posture.

  5. I hope this chair works out better for you than it did for me, I had one for a few months in my office and I found it very uncomfortable, it actually made my back and neck worse after a few weeks. Fingers crossed you have more success with it!

  6. Hi! Irrelevant to this particular post, but I know you’ve been a longtime fan of Coco Mademoiselle but are sick of its ubiquity… Thought you might like this bit of news: Coco Noir, sister to the Coco family, to be released in August! It sounds like a mix of Chanel and Tom Ford aesthetic to me which would be right up your alley!

    http://www.fragrantica.com/news/Chanel-Coco-Noir-3396.html
    http://www.glossyesquire.com/home/2012/7/3/exclusive-news-coco-noir-is-chanels-new-2012-fragrance.html

    Keep an eye out for it and if you’re lucky maybe people will keep it a secret and it will be all yours ;-)

  7. I’m so glad you wrote about chairs! (never thought I’d be saying that!).

    My dear Pete sits at his desk playing weird computer games, and will do for hours if I’m not around, which can mean his office chair is destroyed within a year. His current one has snapped at the base and an arm is hanging off – he somehow has this ability to test things beyond their limits and wreck them.

    Anyway, I shall be showing him this post and hopefully he’ll splash the cash!

    Ta, Ruth!

    • No probs! I love the fact that he plays them when you’re not around – when you are around, I can just imagine you stood there glaring until he turns the screen off! LOL
      xx

  8. This post really struck a chord with me. OH works from home all the time and me part time. And no, we aren’t sitting/working comfortably. I keep bugging hubs to get himself a new desk and chair (his old ones are so far past their best before date, its not funny).

    However after reading this, I HAVE gone and got a big book to put under my monitor so at least that’s at the right height. That chair doesn’t look like it would be comfy, does it. Interested to know how you get on with it.

    Ali x

  9. Thanks for the tips! I need to set up my little study soon and that will mean that I can almost start from scratch. Any other ideas before I start to spend a small fortune on lighting, height of desk, etc? It’s all rather daunting and danged if it isn’t until after you’ve invested quite a few bucks that you realize the mistakes you’ve made. So, any other pointers in this vein would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    • Yes, it’s an awful feeling knowing you’ve got something wrong! I think that monitor height and a good chair are probably the most important! x