Why I Spent $1,000 on an Office Chair

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I spent $1,000 on an office chair… extravagant purchase or sensible investment?

Yes – I spent a whopping thousand bucks on an office chair. It’s a Herman Miller Aeron. And here is why I think it’s worth every penny.

When I am working on home-based projects, I can spend up to 8 hours per day seated at my desk. Sometimes more, rarely less.

That’s 40 hours per week. That’s 2,000 hours in a year. And by my reckoning, this chair will last me a good 10 years – that’s 20,000 hours sat in this thing!

Which is probably more time than I will spend on a sofa, or in my car. My office chair needs to be comfortable and ergonomic!

Previously, I had bought the ‘faux leather’ chairs that cost about 30 bucks. They look swanky at first, fresh out of the box, but don’t stand the test of time. After about a year they started to look and feel tired and didn’t support my back properly. I started to develop RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) and this began to have a negative effect on my work. I must have lost at least 4 days productivity due to this condition and it took me many months to overcome it.

I spent a long time looking at different chairs, and the reason why I chose this one are:

  1. I’d used one before and knew how comfortable it was
  2. EVERYTHING is adjustable on this chair: the armrest height, the armrest angles, lumber, height, seating angle… it’s a 3D chair!
  3. It’s heavy and won’t fall over with a coat on the back of it
  4. It feels solid, and is robustly manufactured and assembled
  5. It glides across my carpet making it easy to move my legs under my desk and achieve an ergonomic position
  6. It has a mesh back and seat which supports my weight and back
  7. It reclines when I push back, and doesn’t when I sit upright
  8. Great re-sale value – if it’s in good shape I could get 25% – 50% of my money back on the second-hand market
  9. It has a 12-year, 3-shift warranty that covers everything—including casters, pneumatic cylinders, tilts, and all moving mechanisms. When warranty work is performed in the U.S. and Canada, Herman Miller foots the bill

Could you say that about your office chair?

The case for spending this much is clear for me. The 4 days I lost in productivity cost me far more than $1,000. More like triple that. The benefits case is therefore obvious – spend more more on ergonomic kit and it will save you far more in the long run.

Thank you Herman Miller!

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