Chair Life

My office chair, which was your basic Staples Special, blew its pneumatic cylinder a couple of weeks ago, and in the interim I’ve been using Athena’s desk chair, which I don’t like much because it’s not terribly comfortable and it doesn’t have arms, which it turns out are things that I need if I want to type for more than an hour at a stretch. So I have been looking at new office chairs and in doing so have visiting the realm of expensive office chairs, in which one can spend anywhere from $800 to $1,600 for various back and butt supports. The one pictured above, the Steelcase Leap, is about $1,000 if you go for customization, like “wasabi”-colored fabric instead of black.

And of course my brain goes in two directions looking at this. The first direction is: Well, you can afford it and you need a good, comfortable, ergonomically-designed chair, and over the long term this is a sensible business purchase. The second direction is: $1,000 for a friggin’ chair? Someone is SUPER high! You need that money! For stuff! Use an old barstool, it’ll be fine!

Spoiler: It won’t be fine. I’m 51 years old, and even if my body is in generally decent shape, I feel it if I’m sitting in a not great chair for any period of time now. Also, the second voice is a goddamn hypocrite, because it has no problem spending the same amount for a new phone or a guitar. I can’t (or at least shouldn’t) sit on a phone or guitar for several hours a day.

What it comes down to is that my brain is a weird thing that continually confronts me with irrational pronouncements of what is “affordable” and what is “too expensive.” A well-made, carefully designed seating apparatus with a 12-year warranty that I will use every day for years? Too much! A tiny rectangle of metal and ceramic for the same price that I will use for a year to take pictures of cats and to yell at people on the internet before trading it in for a slightly improved tiny rectangle that I will use to do exactly the same things on? Perfectly priced, get it NOW! I do not trust my brain, is what I’m saying.

I do, however, trust Krissy’s brain, which has instructed me to go ahead and get the aforementioned Steelcase Leap, albeit in basic black rather than Wasabi, on the basis that it is both $150 cheaper and will arrive in a week rather than in three. A sensible brain, that one. I’m glad it’s around.

89 Comments on “Chair Life”

  1. The Butt of Scalzi ABSOLUTELY deserves a comfortable and supportive chair! Wise human, Krissy.

  2. When offices close, they sell off their old furniture. I got a similar chair (identical to the one I used at the job, so I knew it was a good fit) for $250, used.

  3. Just had a similar issues, my chairs arm gave up spectacularly, I also could not believe how expensive some chairs were. If you want three way adjustable arms, which is a deal breaker for me, good luck paying less then 300. Add on some more if you weigh more than 200 lbs. Totally need it but did not want to pay for it.

  4. The thing that I’ve found with expensive stuff is that they still source their mechanical crap from the same place cheap ones do.

    The life of the pneumo tube is still 3-5 years.

  5. I once ran a project to outfit an office. We bought good quality German chairs that were £550 each (approx $700). 20 years later they all still work perfectly and look pretty good considering. In the meantime, we have replaced some other chairs 5 or 6 times. Its actually cheaper to buy a better quality chair in the long run.

  6. @formerlyjustcraig, yes, but 12 year warranty means it gets fixed instead of trashed

  7. I got my leap chair for home ~5 years ago and haven’t regretted it once. Though I was lucky in that work shifted to them before that so I had plenty of “test” time. After both working in front of a computer all day and gaming at home I was starting to get some repetitive stress pain in my back, so my thought process was that if it allows me to keep working and having fun with with no pain it’s totally worth it…

  8. It’s definitely worth the money, so good on you for listening to K. I bought a Herman Miller Equa 2 office chair more than 20 years ago for around $1,000 and it’s STILL incredibly comfortable and my daily home office chair. I’m not personally a fan of the Aeron (I don’t like the hard plastic border to the mesh that’s all around the seat) but I’ve also seen those last decades. Point being, yes, a chair is a very appropriate ergonomic investment. Plus you’re a writer so it’s a business expense tax deduction anyway.

  9. I have the same problem with this that I do with mattresses, usually: I don’t think I can figure out if I’m going to like it without using it for at least a few days. So I’m loath to replace my junky Staples chair, although it’s not great, out of fear that I will have spent money on something that’s not really an improvement. I’m maybe more willing to buy another piece of cheap junk because then at least when it turns out my money was wasted, it wasn’t *much* money.

  10. We have $700 ergonomic chairs in my office which give me almost constant back and hip pain, and my $400 gaming chair at home is the most comfortable thing I’ve ever sat in for 8 hrs straight. So while you will have to spend money to get a decent chair, just because it’s expensive and ergonomic, doesn’t make it right for you. I’m trying to figure out how to move a gigantic gaming chair into my office without anyone seeing me at this point, lol.

  11. Dude, that Krissy is a friggin’ GEM! This is just another reminder (I’m sure you get plenty) that you hit the jackpot in the marriage department!

  12. I’m on my second Leap chair at work; the first one lasted from 2003 until 2016, and was replaced with the current one. Absolutely the best office chair I’ve ever used.

  13. Huh. With the need to set up now 4 (!) home offices, we bought several iterations of Staples gaming chairs; at just under 2m and just over 100kg, I have been very happy with the comfort of the generic ~$300 chairs… which is good because yeah, much more than that I would be thinking “but that’s more than my first car!”

  14. I wish that I had been able to try out my gaming chair. It was one of the premium ones by Dx Racer… turns out that it doesn’t fit my shoulders or lower back curve very well. The reviews say that it works great… but it turns out that I am not like other people…

  15. As someone who also pretty much sits for a living, I’d say a good chair that works for you, at nearly any cost, is a good investment.

    If you want to easily cost justify it, think about that you’ll be spending about 6 hours a day (which is probably a low guess if you’re like me) in something like this for 5 days a week for, say, 46 weeks a year (subtract out vacations, sick days, business travel, etc.) that means you’re spending nearly 1,400 hours a year in it. Then, multiply that by the 12 year warranty on this chair, that means you’ll use this for at least 16,800 hours. Take the $850 cost and this comes out to 5 cents an hour. And you know, I’m thinking 5 cents an hour is pretty cheap to be comfortable.

  16. Definitely have to agree on the importance of a good desk chair. All my furniture is cheap Ikea stuff, with three exceptions: mattress/bed frame, desk, and desk chair. The latter has proven even more important now that I’m working from home due to the lockdown.

  17. Good thing you check with Krissy first! I wish you many productive hours in the non-wasabi chair!

  18. One advantage to living in Silicon Valley is access to the used office furniture stores that buy up chairs when companies redecorate or go out of business. (I suspect any major city would have similar, but perhaps not to the same degree.)

    Pickings are a bit more slim than usual, though, due to offices being closed and people buying up WFH chairs. My youngest son and I have Teknion Contessas, middle son splurged and got himself a used Aeron before they were gone.

  19. That looks almost identical to the ‘gaming’ chair I paid $180 for at Costco, especially around the arms. That being said, I have been very pleased with that chair; the only modifications I made were to put an extra pillow in the back for lumbar support (I game leaning forward, not back as many people apparently do.)

  20. A commercial-grade office chair is essential for anyone who has to spend full days working from home. I’m glad that five years ago I invested in a Steelcase Criterion chair for my home office. And now that I’m stuck working from home over the course of this pandemic, the chair as never been more appreciated. I’m definitely spoiled by it.

  21. Basic black has the advantage of not staining nearly as obviously as wasabi. Unless you’re a lot more coordinated than me, you _will_ spill coffee on it. And I don’t even drink coffee!

    @Antonia, if I had a preferred chair, and could convince our OSH officer that it was ergonomic, my work would happily let me bring it into the office. They’re really big on office ergonomics in the UK, and know that my chair is not good enough, but don’t have the money to replace it. Working at home, I have to send them pictures and diagrams to prove that my _own_ office setup is ergonomic.

  22. Krissy is wise, listen to her. Is $1000 for a chair excessive? Sure it is. I mean, you could get three $333 chairs and they would last maybe as long (3 chairs serially over 10 years), and be much worse for you. This is your older brain getting in the way. That brain that says, “Hey, why spend $10+ on lunch when you can get a hamburger and fries for $5 and it’ll only take a few minutes more.” I know that voice well. It’s the one that when I think, “Hey, I could buy my dinner tonight instead of making it right now, I can afford it” responds with, “You can afford it only because you don’t buy your dinner, you pack it.” Sometimes that voice is good (like yeah, sure, I should make dinners for work and brown bag it because hospital food = expensive yucky and I feel like crap for hours). But sometimes it tells you to buy the $1 #2 Phillips head screwdriver instead of the $3.50 Stanley screwdriver only to have the $1 screwdriver strip out of it’s handle in 3 weeks, whereas that $3.50 Stanley is still in good condition some 30 years later (and is my favorite/lucky screwdriver). Good tools are always worth the extra cost.

  23. There was a run on office chairs a few months ago with the surge in working from home. Has that abated or did it not reach the top end of the market? I ceded our home office to my wife. Meanwhile, I’ve been working in a recliner with my laptop, but I miss having both comfort and dual monitors.

  24. Make it so, but I agree about the “wasabi.” Not worth it. Quality is always worth it in the long run.
    Your back will thank you for a high quality chair, especially for sunshine like you who writes for a living. As a retired tech writer and editor, I can tell you that an ill fitting chair is more like a torture device the longer you sit in it. Arm rests should be mandatory, too.

  25. This is the chair in my office (in black) and I like it a lot. Definitely better than my home desk chair which I’ve had to use for the last few months until they let us back into our regular offices. I would note that while $1000 is a lot you may find it lasts quite a long time which could make up for the price. Also take of your back, you’ll miss it when it’s gone.

  26. I like the color and it would make me happy to see it every day. But that’s a long wait time.

  27. I use an Amazon basic. It’s comfortable enough for me and I do use it a lot. I like it better than some more expensive ones I use at work.
    I’m on my second one. Both times the armrest padding started falling apart after a couple years. I guess I’m a bit rough on my armrests. They’re only $170 though so I’ll probably just get a third one sometime soon.

  28. I have a couple of Herman Miller Mirra chairs at home (4 and 6 years old), since I do a lot of PC gaming and worked from home 3 days of 5 prior to COVID (full-time WFH now), and they’ve made a huge difference. The ability to sit how you want and have proper support is a huge deal if you’re spending a lot of time in a chair, so I definitely recommend that for people who can afford nicer chairs.

  29. I’ve been using a Leap for somewhere around 8 years and it’s been great. The padding in the seat pan has mostly given out at this point, so I bought a Purple seat cushion which has cured the sore butt issues that I put up with for far too long.

    I purchased mine as a demo unit from an office design firm for $600. It is pea green, a less than desirable color if I’m honest, but I cant see it when I’m sitting in it.

    You can sometimes find them on eBay in the 300-500 range in black or more “normal” colors.

  30. Ditch chairs, get a standing desk. Did that 5 years ago. Work up to 12 hours a day standing and do not even notice it. And I’m 65 and a software business owner so type ALL day. Cured calf and back problems as a standing desk at the right height forces good posture.

    Also cheap. Took my current desk, bought a 5ft by 3 ft bitcher block slab table top (Ikea $105), some square table legs w embedded thread rods and table leg mount brackets $50 @ local hw store, measured the correct height for myself for correct standing typing, cut the legs to achieve that height when the slab/legs sitring on top of existing desk.

    Photo
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/15kJ8HZstWiciWFatQETF6wIGlvRawTLN/view?usp=sharing

  31. I have the Steelcase Gesture. While these chairs are great in many ways, they do have one very serious flaw that isn’t apparent at first. The seat cushions do not provide adequate support. They need to be thicker. I paid $1,100 for my chair and I’m pretty steamed that they skimped on the seat cushion. A lot of people are complaining about this. It took a few months to show up for me.
    Hopefully, it won’t be an issue for you.

  32. A second-hand SteelCase, not unlike the Leap you’re getting, gifted to me by my office at the time because they had bought a couple extras, so long as I got it out of the way IMMEDIATELY, lasted me 10+ years, and I should have replaced it with another one, though I sit at a desk rarely now. (::cue image of little me trying to cram it in the back seat of a Dodge Neon…::)

  33. Your back will thank you, which is worth anything. I was so glad when my work let us go in and grab our office chairs to take home, since my home office chair (designed for a half hour here and there) was giving me incredible back pain when sitting in it for 8 hour work days.

  34. I’ve had my Steelcase Leap since 2012 and it’s been nothing but great the entire time however I think the pneumatics might be starting to go as sometimes I’ll sit in the chair and it’ll slowly sink. It doesn’t happen every time and hasn’t been happening recently and I don’t really have another chair I can use if I take it in for service so I’ve been putting it off.

    Probably not the best plan but *shrug* What can you do… Oh I know buy a replacement chair for myself and then give it to the wife after, she uses a horrible Ikea chair that I want to replace but she won’t, says it’s good enough.

  35. bsmietana, “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.”

    there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead

  36. As the person responsible for buying chairs for our 100+ staff, I had to get over the sticker shock years ago. Our first order of Knoll chairs have held up for nearly 20 years! Now we have Teknion Savera chairs for about $520 each and they are so comfortable. Working from home was the worst because we all missed our lovely supportive chairs. We have Fennel (green) upholstery, which is not far from wasabi, and I love it.. I dislike the mesh back chairs because the mesh does not hold up like fabric.

    I do feel that the quality for an “expensive” chair has diminished quite a bit in the last few decades.

  37. Something that bears the load of your body, whether an office chair or shoes, is no place to cut corners. Putting after-market insoles in cheap shoes is no substitute for good shoes that fit. If you are making your living in your chair, spend what you must, consider it an investment. Heck, it ‘s probably deductible anyway.

  38. Living the middle-aged dad dream! I came to a similar place regarding shoes and mattresses in my late 30s/early 40s. It’s worth it to spend more, for something you use so much and can impact your quality of life so much.

  39. I bought an Aeron about 25 years ago. It’s been and continues to be an amazing chair. If it falls apart on me at some point (which it shows no signs of doing), I’ll gladly buy another. So comfy. One of my best decisions ever. I also have a Mira (picked up used and cheap), but for me, it’s not nearly as comfortable.

  40. Suggestion: the Herman Miller Aeron chair. You can sit it for hours and not feel the muscle ache that comes from sitting in other chairs. I wrote three text books in mine and only felt tired in my brain from the mental effort and not for having sat for eight hours at a pop.

  41. And just today I see a Herman Miller / Logitech “gaming chair” that’s a mere $1500.

  42. I paid something like a grand for my chair, and I told myself I wasn’t buying a chair; I was buying the future of my musculoskeletal system. From that perspective, it’s a bargain!

  43. ::I do, however, trust Krissy’s brain, which has instructed me to go ahead and get the aforementioned Steelcase Leap, albeit in basic black rather than Wasabi, on the basis that it is both $150 cheaper and will arrive in a week rather than in three. A sensible brain, that one. I’m glad it’s around.::

    Also one with better taste — you REALLY wanted that color in your office chair? Eww!

    I am just the opposite on arms — I can’t type comfortably with them on my chair. I have a chair similar to the one Karlsoap has, except I took the arms off first thing.

  44. Epoxy or solid plastic wheels. You really need the former if on a solid surface. If on carpet Im not sure that it matters.

  45. Just to join the rounds of praising office chairs, I have a Herman Miller Mirra 2. It’s fantastic and absolutely worth the price. I support not feeling guilty about spending money on something you’re literally going to use every day and which will directly impact your physical happiness :).

  46. I’ve been through this. I’m with Krissy. (I ended up with an Aeron chair, and loved it.) A suggestion: if possible, get it in a color that matches your cats. That’s easier with the Scamperbeasts than with Zeus and Smudge, but basic black will show cat hair like crazy.

  47. I know the feeling. I just dropped R6500 (I think that’s about $400) on a new chair. The current cheapish one lasted less than a year, it’s now way lower than it should be and wobbles
    Since I’m going to be working from home for the foreseeable future, and didn’t think to ‘borrow’ my office chair before I left, I got to spend rather large sum of money on new chair.

    I mean, I didn’t think twice about R25000 for a new laptop last year, but chair for less than a third of that is making me twitch.

  48. Your brain was doing you no favors. This is work equipment for you, and should last longer than your computer as well.

    When my brain is that kind of screwy, I amortize the price. A thing I’ll use every day for a decade? That’s less than $1 a day. Not to mention – although you, did in fact, mention these things – the comfort and lack of medical bills are also a plus.

  49. Amazing how many people’s reaction to you saying “I just got a chair” is “Hey, you should get this other chair.” Ah well. Myself, I recently (after FOUR MONTHS of lockdown) switched out the kitchen chair I’ve been working at for an honest-and-for-real task chair, and oh em gee the difference it made to me, even though it was almost literally the cheapest task chair I could find. Ergonomics are a real thing that exists, apparently.

  50. I would buy this right now if I trusted it to actually work for me… I currently have an Aeron that was originally $1000 (bought used $500) but really miss my more comfortable even more expensive second hand office chair at work (it belonged to an administrator but was a funny color so when my office chair broke, I got to use it temporarily and then they just forgot to order me a new chair… I hope it’s still there when I return, but suspect it will not be).

    My back hurts!

  51. I am currently sitting on a padded folding chair. My company just offered us $200 for a desk chair due to work from home. “Great, free chair” I thought!

    And then I looked online.

    I get your point about how we view prices for different things, John, but it still seems like way too much for a chair, a fairly old and basic human invention.

  52. I feel this experience deeply. I just bought a new front door, and had a tough time justifying the cost for the thing that keeps out the bugs and the heat. But, spread out over time…

  53. I think everyone’s brain has trouble with judging expenditures. This is especially true of us Olds, and for that I blame inflation. My senior year of high school (1973) I got an extra-special dress I could wear to events. I’d never spent that much on clothing before. It was $26. Four years later, I got a job offer from IBM that other employers couldn’t come close to matching. Annual $15,600. And now I’m supposed to know what’s cheap and what’s expensive?

  54. A few years ago my employer remodeled the floor my office is on. As part of the remodel everyone was given sit/stand desks (motorized) and new Steelcase Leap chairs.

    It took a few days for me to get everything set exactly right. It was much more comfortable than what I’d had before.

    I miss sitting in that chair and desk since I’m stuck at working at home instead. Though work is buying us ergonomic chairs for home if requested. Mine should arrive in a month or so.

    Enjoy your chair.

  55. Steelcase furniture is better than Herman Miller’s, hands down. Their Sensor chair was ergonomic before Herman Miller even had heard of the word. You will never need another office chair, guaranteed.

  56. After trying several more expensive chairs, I found that the very best chair for me is the ifairly inexpensive ($ 150) “bungee” chair from Container Store, available both with and without armrests (I bought the model without armrests, as I tend to sit crosslegged on the chair).

    The plastic anchors of the bungee cords have a tendency to break, after about a couple of years, but the chair is so good (for me at least), that I went back to the store and bought another just like the first one.

    Before getting rid of the first chair, I saved all the unbroken bungee straps from it, so that now I am able to replace them in the second chair, when they break.

  57. Riccardo, they sell bungee ‘kits’ to replace the cords. And there are how-to videos on Youtube. My favorite chair is a ‘rebuilt’ chair from Cabelas.

  58. @Stevebikes: If you’re still looking for a cheap(er) office chair, I’ve been generally happy with my Markus chair from Ikea ($199). I’ve had it for about 6 years and it’s held up very well (though not as a full-day chair this whole time). My only complaint is that the armrests are incompatible with my (also Ikea) desk, so I can’t roll all the way into my desk. Which is better for my eyes but worse for my palms when I’m typing. (The arms come off, but that’s less comfortable for me.)

    That said, I miss my Herman Miller at work.

  59. So how does one buy a chair online without testing it and worrying about getting something expensive and unusable?

    That’s my fear with looking online for desk chairs – and right now is not exactly a great time to go into the stores and testing them – besides there’s only one store around here with even a limited supply – unless I want to look at some very “interesting” gaming chairs. I’ve been seeing a trend towards what I would consider to be “oversized” office chairs too – on the other hand, my husband loves those chairs – I can’t sit in his for very long comfortably.

    Reason two to hesitate given chair prices: cat claws. Granted, a fleecy blanket covering the chair has protected my most recent one pretty well…

  60. I’d love to have a Leap at home; I sat in one for years at work, but the boss wouldn’t sell me my old one when she laid me off.

  61. “What it comes down to is that my brain is a weird thing that continually confronts me with irrational pronouncements of what is “affordable” and what is “too expensive.”” THIS! I am trying to buy a new computer. I set a $1000 budget not including the monitor. I keep ending up at >$1500. On one hand way to fail on the budget. On the other hand it is my primary form of entertainment. In the 90’s I would spend more than $2000 every two or three years on a computer. Adjusted for inflation that’s $3400! and I earned a lot less back then. I got more than eight years out of my current PC yet I am reluctant to spend more. Wish I had a quality second brain with a reliably objective viewpoint.
    To make matters worse reading Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman has undermined any confidence I had in my decision making ability.

  62. I have a Steelcase Leap 2 that I got from madisonseating.com. If I remember right they’re either refurbished or surplus or something. But the price is right enough so that my wife and I could both get one.

  63. Your two brains should get together and decide on a nice thank you gift for Krissy. It sounds like she saved the both of them for lots of stress. Hopefully they’re of one mind when it comes to ‘Krissy made the decision, it’s time to follow the company line’…. now they can go back to thinking about stringed instruments

  64. You could spend $200 on your phone too, you know. I got a Steelcase Gesture because the Staples special is either all the way upright or all the way reclined with nothing in between, and if I replace it every 5 years as I was doing it isn’t any cheaper. I got the Gesture because I used to use a Leap at work and didn’t like not having a headrest. How am I supposed to sleep?

  65. I have used Leap chairs at home and work (bought with my own money) for more than a decade. I haven’t looked lately, but at the time I bought them, they were the most adjustable. I notice back pain after a few hours if I have to sit in a chair that doesn’t give enough support. Given how common chronic lower back pain is in adults, I think a good chair is definitely spending a significant amount of money on.

  66. I basically end up grumpy about whatever desk chairs I use, and do not have the ergonomically correct lengths of bones and other body parts to use most ergonomically correct office chairs, and am currently using a metal folding chair for my home office that does as well or poorly as anything.

    Many years ago, my wife bought an Aeron chair at a dead-dot-com sale, and it lasted a few years before the cylinder blew out. At one point we found out that theoretically it had a lifetime warranty and we could ship it back to get refurbed, but that never happened and it wandered into the storage room, never to return. It was reasonably comfortable, but not stunning. My current work office chairs seem to have ended up a random collection of leftovers from the office furniture mavens, and while I might be able to take one home, and it certainly has more padding, it’s not particularly comfortable.

    And about 5 years ago, we put in bamboo floors in parts of the house, including the room my desk is in, and they’re soft enough that they’re happier with chairs that have flat legs instead of wheels, but just about every office chair I’ve seen has wheels, so I’d need to put one of those plastic pads on the floor to use it, and the Ikea stopgap office chair had wheels and wasn’t all that comfortable, so it became a porch chair.

  67. When we got $2000 “24 hour chairs” for our control room, I volunteered for all the operator shifts I could get, because the first time I sat in one, my back pains suddenly disappeared ;)
    Then I got a $500 gaming chair for at home and that’s almost as good (and I don’t sit almost 8 hours in my gaming chair). Unfortunately our normal office chairs are still cheap and relatively uncomfortable office chairs but at least nobody fuzzes with the settings all the time ;)

  68. Here’s another though for your brain to use – your brain is the boss and your body is the employee here. As boss, you shouldn’t be so cheap as to not buy the equipment your employee needs to do the physical part of the writing. Anyway, you’re a good team, you and Krissy!

  69. Desk chairs used to be an issue, but after we got dogs I wound up mostly sitting with them on the couch while I work. Regular stretching is necessary to avoid discomfort though.

  70. I learned years ago to never skimp on things that come between me and the ground – such as shoes, tires, mattress, or office chair. I advise going for the good chair, it will be well worth it.

  71. Joaquin42 a few posts above would volunteer for shifts because the chairs cured his back. One Thursday evening at a comedy club, a guy in my group asked, “Does anyone have anything for a sore back?” Days later I realized he was asking for a pill, but I didn’t realize that then.

    I shoved my scarf into my toque (watch cap) and said, “Put this behind your back. At home tonight put a pillow under your knees to flatten your back. Next day at work, (in your chair) put a rolled up towel behind your lumbar.”

    We met again on Sunday afternoon. He said, “This was my first weekend without needing any pain medication. I thank you, and my back thanks you.”

  72. Great choice. I, too, have a Leap, but I got mine for next to nothing on account of the confluence of a few amusing events:

    1. I live in Houston, Texas; and

    2. I am not averse to second-hand gods; and

    3. Some ex-McKinsey consultants created an enormous fraud machine a few miles from my house that clattered to the ground rather spectacularly 19 years ago, thereby injecting an enormous quantity of gently used high-end office furniture into the local economy soon after.

    I paid $200 in 2002/2003. It took a WHILE for all the liquidated stuff to work through the various second-hand office supply warehouses.

    it’s seen better days cosmetically for sure, and I’m thinking about a replacement, but in terms of basic “chair” attributes it’s still just fine — stable, supportive, comfortable, etc. And, crucially in terms of its gradual cosmetic failures, in a room of the house unseen by people who do not live here.

  73. We have leap chairs at my company (a leading edge semiconductor manufacturing company currently losing stock value because of a relatively arbitrary technology node naming structure). They are very nice and last a quite long time. One warning: the fabric is easily stained with foodstuffs, so eat with great care while sitting on this chair…

  74. My wife and I talk about the disconnect between our current financial situation and our financial … apprehensions (?) all the time. Both of us grew up lower-middle class, with parents who didn’t have excessive amounts of money. When we married, we were straight-up poor. Now, many years later, we can afford stuff. But it takes an effort to force ourselves to buy it.

    We also have pleasantly discovered that technology continues to advance while we cling to old appliances, automobiles, electronics, etc. that we’ve owned for 10 or more years. Invariably when we make the purchase, we’re constantly marveling over the cool new things that stuff does now.

  75. As a former employee and child of employees (both parents at way different times), I applaud your choice! Steelcase was one of the first companies on the ergonomic bandwagon and their stuff is very very very durable. Their desks are…heavy but they don’t call it AluminumCase now do they? I have a desk I got in 1980 and it still is in great shape after 4 moves.

  76. Probably to late, but you should not listen to your wife about the chair, you should absolutely get the putrid green chair that will clash with everything for the entire time you own it. Think of it as a comfortable object lesson. Forevermore, the lesson will be… But, it isn’t as expensive as the chair, and that worked out ok.

  77. My 15 year old freshman in high school, all 6 foot 5 and 265 pounds of him finished out the last two plus months of school with the long distance learning added to his normal seated time befind his gaming screen at home. He went through two “gaming” chairs, that I thought were expensive at about $150 each, and three other desk and/or household chairs. I broke down and bought the “on sale” Herman Miller” Axiom office chair at just over $1,100( yes, sale at eleven hundred dollars) for him. I think it will be a good investment with long distance learning probably never going away completely and also knowing the gaming will probably continue on. I figure it is a good investment with 3 years of high school and 4 of college work behind a screen. The warranty should get him though all that should the chair not make it.
    I wonder if I can use his college 529 plan funds on this. It will be used for educational purposes. I know they will cover computers for school use.

  78. Ten years ago, my company moved us from a truly crappy edifice to a slightly better one. The main thing they did in the new building was to provide all new and modern cubicle furnishings, including a new $900 (list) Zody chair. That chair truly made a difference in my day as my shoulders, butt and back were no longer sore at the end of each day. Took a while to tweak the 15 or so settings on the chair, but it was worth it. I ended up buying a less expensive version for home that is still going strong ten years later.