4.03.2009

my new chair

I'm in love with my new chair.

I can't believe I spent so much money on a chair, but I'm so happy I did. And in the long run, it's actually a great value.

I've had a long series of office chairs that last a few years and are never quite right for me. I need to add a removable back support, or sit on a pillow, or use a foot rest, or something, and I'm never really comfortable.

Fibromyalgia makes my joints hyper-sensitive, and arthritis doesn't help, and the march of time just adds insult to injury. My old chair was so uncomfortable that it was exacerbating everything else.

I started looking for a better chair, but every place I looked had the same models. And they were mostly crap. For $250 or $300, you can buy the best chair at Staples, but it's not well made, and comes with only a one-year warranty. Which is why I've been buying a new chair every two or three years.

Driving around one day, we saw the ergoCentric retail store, and went in, just to look. The prices looked completely out of our range. It seemed ridiculous.

But the chairs are amazingly comfortable. They adjust for five different parameters, and are warrantied for a full ten years. These days, when things are purposely made to fall apart, that's pretty amazing. Their factory is right here in Mississauga! Not just Canadian-made, but locally made. They are also a very environmentally-conscious company, and although I wouldn't choose the chair for that reason, it doesn't hurt.

But the price seemed prohibitive, so we kept looking around. And all we saw was crap, crap and more crap.

We started thinking that if we spend $200-300 on a chair every two or three years, spending $800 on a chair that is supposed to last a lifetime isn't so crazy. It might actually be a bargain.

Allan also suggested that I think of this chair the way I think of my glasses or custom orthotics: something I need for my health. I spend an enormous amount of time in my chair. It's not just blogging and emailing (although that would be a lot); it's all my writing and any other work I do from home, like legal transcription.

The more we shopped around, the more convinced I became.

The only other option was an Obus Forme chair. $650 before tax, three to four weeks to order, three-year warranty, and it wasn't nearly as comfortable as the ergoCentric, for $150-200 more.

To seal the deal: an interest-free payment plan. Twenty-five percent down, the remainder spread over a year.

On Monday we ordered it, and on Wednesday we picked it up.

I love it.

This week I am transcribing, and I am utterly amazed at the difference in how I feel at the end of the day. At the end of a long day of transcribing, I'm used to being in pain, and barely mobile. Yesterday I felt completely fine.

ergoCentric advertises that they are the first chair recognized by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, and now I know why. Wow!

Some good ergonomic info on their site here.

26 comments:

James said...

A good chair is worth it, especially if you have back trouble. At my last job they splurged on those $1000 mesh-backed chairs, and they were amazing.

L-girl said...

I really see that now. After various options and taxes, this came out $1,000. Like I said, it seemed crazy, but man, is it great.

M@ said...

You do your writing work all on contract, so you can write off the chair, too. It'll take 4 years or something to get the full value of the chair written off, but any deduction is a good deduction in my book (as you know!)...

L-girl said...

I used to write off everything I touched. But that's all changed since coming to Canada. It's complicated, but because most of my income is earned on straight time with taxes deducted, I can't really do much anymore. Ah well.

Amy said...

Harvey is in need of a better chair because the current one is killing his back. Does this company have outlets in the US? Can you post a photo? What seems to make it better?

L-girl said...

Amy, I think the best thing to do is go to the website - it's linked in the post.

What makes it better is that it's ergonomically designed and fully adjustable. But there's lots of info on the site. No idea where they have retail outlets, unfortunately.

Amy said...

Yeah, right after I posted, I went to the website. They have a rep in central MA, about an hour away. But maybe I can find something similar closer to home. It wouldn't be wise to buy a chair without sitting in it first!

L-girl said...

An hour's drive would not be a big deal for a purchase that will probably last the rest of your life, IMO. But maybe there's something closer.

Amy said...

True. I will talk to Harvey about it. I know he will resist spending that much "on himself," but I agree with Allan...this is not a luxury or self-indulgent item.

redsock said...

Despite the high sticker price, the ergo chair will end up being a better deal.

Say you buy have to buy a new chair every three years and say it averages $350. You'll need four chairs to get through years 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.

That's $1,400, much less than the ergo chair -- plus it will absolutely be better for your back/body, etc.

MSEH said...

Thanks for posting this!!

L-girl said...

Really? You're welcome! Go figure. Once again I see how sharing information is always a good idea, because you never know who needs it.

L-girl said...

I know he will resist spending that much "on himself,"

Right. That's hard for most of us diligent people. But Allan is right - it's like eyeglasses, or prescription drugs. I finally learned to think of massage therapy that way, too. It's not a luxury, it's health care.

Not that there's anything wrong with indulging in luxury sometimes, but these days most of us don't feel we should.

Adam said...

I think it's amazing to realize what actually matters in life. What is the saying? "Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget." Or something like that. Hey, if you spend a lot of your time at a desk sitting in a chair, buy the best you can and be happy about it! Congratulations. And for those looking to do the same, another option, which was hinted at by another commenter, is the office/desk chair made by Herman Miller (the one with the mesh and a gazillion adjustments). They come in three of four sizes and, as I said, can be adjusted a million different ways. Retail in The States they cost around $1000. **BUT** if one is semi-patient one can find them being privately sold (used) on Craigslist.com for significantly less.

L-girl said...

I do love buying and selling stuff on Craigslist, but for this purchase, I felt I had to buy it new, both for the 10-year warranty, and because I wanted this exact model and not a reasonably facsimile.

But would be a very good option for someone who needed a good chair but absolutely couldn't afford one new.

Thanks for the affirmation. :) I'm glad I wrote about this, it makes me feel less self-indulgent.

JakeNCC said...

What is legal transciption? Is this work part of you regular job that you have to take home with you?

L-girl said...

What is the saying? "Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget."

You know, I was just thinking about how true this is. If someone looked at our spending habits over a long period of time, years and years, they'd see spending on, in descending order:
vet bills
expensive/quality dog food
travel
books
music
wine
good food

Baseball is somewhere in there, but I don't know how much spending it entails. Maybe it's connected to travel.

Everything else is either survival or misplaced priorities. :)

L-girl said...

What is legal transciption? Is this work part of you regular job that you have to take home with you?

Thankfully, no. One reason I chose my line of work and haved stayed with it for so long is because we never, ever have to take work home with us. That's one reason it's very suited to someone who has other endeavors.

But my current position doesn't have enough hours. I make up the difference in income with writing when I can, but that comes and goes. So I also fill in income with transcribing work that I do at home.

It pays by the page. It's not bad work, and it's flexible, so I can get it in between writing assignments.

impudent strumpet said...

That spending habit thing is so cool! I just ran my numbers, and everything on my list makes me happy. And everything on my list is something I was raised to scrimp on in order to save money for important things. Good to know!

Back on topic, I've been sitting on a $900 chair at work for the past six years, and based on that I wouldn't hesitate to spend that much when it comes time to replace my home chair. I thought it was a ridiculous amount when I first started, but now that I have a sense of amortization I think it's totally worth it if it ergonomizes properly.

L-girl said...

That spending habit thing is so cool!

Yeah! Worth a post, I think.

And everything on my list is something I was raised to scrimp on in order to save money for important things.

Me too!!! Of course, any spending in my family was a sin - the goal in life was to spend as little as possible. None of that for me. Life's too short.

Back on topic, I've been sitting on a $900 chair at work for the past six years, and based on that I wouldn't hesitate to spend that much when it comes time to replace my home chair. I thought it was a ridiculous amount when I first started, but now that I have a sense of amortization I think it's totally worth it if it ergonomizes properly.

Very cool, thanks for sharing that. Do you know if it's an ergoCentric brand chair? They do a lot of government contracts.

Also, I like the word "ergonomizes".

impudent strumpet said...

I have no idea what kind of chair it is. It doesn't look like the ones on that site, but obviously it's at least six years old. I got the name from the instruction book, which is now somewhere where I'm not going to find it until next time I'm packing up to move.

Ergonomize I totally stole from French jargon (érgonomiser). I don't think it's even a word in English, but I like it so it is now.

L-girl said...

I didn't know it came from French, but I did know you made it up. You have totally changed my mind on the noun-to-verb thing. The verbization of nouns, you could say.

That sounds like it's missing a syllable. But verbalizing is already taken. Verbizination? Verbination?

L-girl said...

Although I hate the word "monetize" and I wish Blogger would take it off my dashboard, or let me hide it.

impudent strumpet said...

Verbing!

Verbing weirds language.

(Yeah, wikipedia calls it verbalization, but Calvin & Hobbes is a primary source.)

L-girl said...

Verbing, of course!

I used to hate it. I remember first hearing "prioritize", instead of "set priorities", and I railed against it.

All these years later, I have come around. I think it was google that did it.

Not the company, the verb.

L-girl said...

The root of that link is my alma mater.