My Kingdom for a Chair

Last Updated Jul 31, 2009 5:25 PM EDT

I've decided that pain can't possibly be good for productivity.

How did I arrive at this shocking conclusion, you ask? Simple. My back is killing me and it's making it really hard for me to sit at my desk and work -- a prerequisite for productivity when you're a writer.

My chiropractor is helping, but he's made it clear that he won't tolerate any more of my whining until I invest in a good chair. See, he believes that where and how I sit for eight hours a day (or more) has a lot to do with my aches.

So it's time for me to retire the bought-on-sale, Office-Depot-clearance-item chair I picked up about six years ago. But let me tell you, there are a LOT of choices out there. And I don't know where to start, or what's hype and what isn't.

Of course the Aeron chair comes highly recommended, but have you seen the price tag? $629 for the basic model would pay for a lot of chiropractic adjustments.

The kneeling chair is supposedly good for taking pressure of your back, but it looks kind of silly. And I imagine getting up and down several times an hour, which I do, would be a little annoying if I had to extricate myself every time.

I have a great exercise ball at home and suggested to my chiropractor that I just perch on that. But while he said it would be fine for short stints at my desk, he insisted I should still alternate that with sitting in a proper chair. (Drat. There goes my no-cost solution.)

There's the Swopper, a colorful stool on a spring. Seems like it'd be fun, albeit possibly distracting; I have a tendency to jiggle my leg when I'm writing under deadline, and I can imagine the effect that'd have (boing boing boing). But $499 is a pretty penny to pay for a souped-up toadstool.

One other option might be to change to a stand-up workstation. I consult with Cisco, and some of the folks there swear by them. They have high swivel chairs as a backup but spend most of their time working on their feet. I'll bet it's good for their backs (not to mention it must help combat that 3 p.m. urge to doze off). But I'm afraid my feet would hurt after a while.


So I'm stumped! And I'm turning this one over to you, my loyal readers. I'm sure many of you have been through this yourselves and have recommendations galore. So share your vote in the poll, and please add any detailed suggestions or warnings in the comments section. Thanks!

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