Tuesday, February 10, 2009

World's Greatest Office Chair (Humanscale Freedom Review)

Damn you Humanscale!

Damn you for making such a ridiculously comfortable chair.

Some brief background.

I've got a bad back. MRI shows disc herniations at L4-L5, L5-S1 and when it's "out" I'm a complete mess. I get shooting pain down my right leg and suffer with terrible muscle spasms in my lower back. I don't sleep well, I can't pick up my kids, exercise, etc.

It went "out" last June. By the fall I was desperate. I had another MRI to ensure there wasn't something growing in there and when that came back negative I decided it couldn't hurt to research my options in office ergonomics.

For anyone who's looked into their options for chairs and keyboard trays etc., you'll know that the options are not cheap.

My research online brought me to two chairs - the Humanscale Freedom and the Humanscale Liberty.

Contacting the company brought me to Mr. Joel Howey who kindly brought by one chair a week for test sits.

I opted for the Freedom, much to the chagrin of our Director of Operations who was nonplussed about spending nearly $1,000 on a chair. His measure of whether or not it was a good purchase was whether or not I ever opted to buy one for my home.

Fast forward to now. My back is back "in". I'm exercising again and completely functional. Yet whenever I work at home, and I mean literally every single time, within half an hour of sitting in my chair (an Obus Forme) I start getting shooting pain down my right leg and an hour of work usually translates to 2-4 hours of pain. I've adjusted it every which way I can think of to no avail.

So last week I shelled out my own dough to pick up another Humanscale Freedom. This weekend I worked away, pain free.

Damn you Humanscale for making the greatest chair on earth so darn expensive.

Worth every penny.

[If you're in the Ottawa region and would like to deal with an exemplary company and customer service representative feel free to contact Joel Howey at Jhowey@humanscale.com or call him on his cell at 613.218.3383. For further proof of just how good the service is, Joel was at my home on Saturday morning at 9:00am replacing a bolt that had disappeared during shipping - no charge. If his bosses are reading this, give him a raise!]

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  1. I have been sitting on this chair and I can tell you: its adorable!

  2. they should sponsor all the poor grad students who spend hours at their desks sitting on bad chairs from the 70's... the cost of the chair was my monthly stipend when I was a grad student not long ago

  3. Anonymous11:58 am

    I've been a little disappointed with these posts of late... too much about Health Check (and now an advertisement for a chair?) and not enough critical thinking/updates on the world of obesity prevention and treatment.

  4. Anonymous12:11 pm

    What a tool you are anonymous guy/gal.

    Clearly you enjoy the doctor's blog enough to read it, perhaps instead of criticizing him for not writing posts YOU deem worthy you should thank him for spending his time and energy on the blog in the first place.

    Maybe you should start writing a blog or maybe if you've decided you don't like this one, rather than criticize the author, you could simply stop reading it.

  5. Anonymous12:26 pm

    Whoa, no need to get all aggressive. Obviously my comment triggered something seriously negative, I agree I could have had the foresight to say something positive about it as well (since I do enjoy reading it and have commented positively multiple times in the past). But, sheesh - take a deep breath! Comments on content are not out of line, although I could have worded it a bit more constructively.

  6. Anonymous6:44 pm

    Hi Yoni,

    Re your question to Twitterverse - don't know if these will help (found at Encyclopedia Mythica; not an exact match to your question):




  7. Thanks VP,

    I had come up with Milo who apparently was a famous Greek wrestler - so not Greek mythology but rather Greek tall tales.

    Thanks for looking!

    (I'll explain why I was looking with tomorrow's post).


  8. I'm glad to hear there are more people endorsing the freedom chair. It really is a great freakin' chair - I always recommend it for back pain and people always balk at the price. The argument always comes down to what your health, comfort and back are worth to you. And if you can afford it in these times...But in all honesty, its good to see users singing praises...

  9. I too am completely in love with the Freedom chair but also balked at the price tag. Luckily, my friend forwarded me a coupon she received via email for 20% off from an online retailer, ErgoDepot.com. I'm not sure how long the coupon is good for, but it worked for me last week. Coupon code during checkout is hs20off.