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Battle of the Chairs

Do you ever get a sore rear end from sitting too much? (Sorry, I just don’t like the word bu**. I just think it is so uncivilized, but I’ll save my rant about bad language for another blog!) Ok, back to my sore rear end. I have been working way too hard lately and dislike being in front of the computer so much. But hey, when there’s work to be done, what can you do?

One option is a hydraulic desk, which could go up and down, so I could take standing breaks. Another option is one of those exercise desks, but I can’t see myself walking—or even worse jogging—while trying to read and answer or email, lay out the magazine, or do image editing. It just ain’t gonna work.

Sooo, I decided to try new desk chairs. I had an executive style chair, which was oddly shaped (like an S?) and provided no back support. I guess CEO’s lean back in their chairs more than I do. I’m a sitting-on-the-edge-of-the-seat sitter. I like keeping my back straight, but I’m not perfect. Invariably, I’ll find myself sinking into the chair and rounding my shoulders into a stooped posture that’s horrible for my back. Ouch!!

I couldn’t take it any more and went online to order two new chairs. Both were pretty inexpensive, and I figured I could switch back and forth since they involve different ways of sitting. Well, the chairs arrived yesterday, and I’m having fun testing them. My son put them together for me, so I didn’t have to deal with that—thankfully.

OK, first the Gaiam chair (aka the “ball” chair). This one uses an inflatable workout ball, which sits in a plastic frame with wheels. I was worried about it being tall enough. I’m 5’9”, and the instructions said it’s good for people up to 5’11”. (You can buy extenders for the chair if you are taller.) Anyway, I didn’t have it inflated properly at first and thought I needed the extenders. It also wasn’t very comfortable. After I inflated it fully, everything changed. It was definitely more comfortable, and the height was perfect.

That said, I still feel some pressure on my coccyx, or tailbone, while sitting. However, the soreness may be leftover from my (ugh) old office chair. I do like the way I can feel my core muscles tightening while sitting on it. I don’t like the way it rolls on my tile floor. So the jury is still out on the ball chair.

The kneeling chair feels better for my style of sitting. It has a pad under my bum (I like that word better than bu**), and then there’s a pad where my shins rest. I like the way it takes the pressure off my tailbone, and I definitely sit up straight in this chair. The pressure on my shins feels odd, but maybe I am leaning too far forward.

I think it will take some getting used to, but so far the kneeling chair is my favorite. It rolls more smoothly on my floor as well and definitely feels sturdier. The frame is made of solid wood, which I like better than the plastic ball chair.

I’ll check in on the great chair debate after a few weeks of testing. I know one thing for sure. Both of these chairs are WAY better than my old CEO chair. Who has time to lean back and lounge around anyway? To be honest, I leaned back and put my feet on the desk now and then. Don’t think I can do that with these newfangled chairs, though. Might end up on the floor and that wouldn’t be very good for my back!

PS - Here’s a funny commercial about chairs sponsored by Coca-Cola—go figure. http://youtu.be/PMLjHwwpAdg

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Peggy Sijswerda

Tidewater Women Magazine, Editor & Co-Publisher.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

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