I decided to spend some money on office chair

Reading Time: 4 minutes

(11-06-2023) Design with Reach has some deals for the Herman Miller chairs. The website popup says 20% off (not sure if it can be stacked on the existing 25% off offer).

(09-25-2023) And now I realized I had an issue with the jeans. Googled it and it seems people were talking about it on Reddit. For now I am just going to use a seat cushion. Figured a seat cushion is probably cheaper than a pair of jeans (I have story for the jeans price too 🙂

(07-11-2023) Came across this one – again I am for #reuse #recycle and #reduce.

(06-19-2023) I changed 3 wheels out of 5, all out of necessity 🙂 || Separately, just came across this how Herman Miller tests its chair.

(06-11-2023) One of the wheels broke. I bought a replacement wheel set from Amazon and replaced it in one minute (btw, later on, I found the price is cheaper on eBay. Note this is not unusual, I mean the price difference). I saw a few choices for the wheels. and decided to go with the more expensive “Amazon’s Choice”. Here is a very short YouTube video explaining how to take out the old wheel and put in the new one. I also found there is a headrest for the Aeron chair (FB, used, $98 + $9 shipping); and it’s available on Amazon as well ($152). || Some day I will work a separate post on buying/owing the Herman Miller Aeron chair.

(Update 06-05-2023) I bought a used Herman Miller Aeron classic from an office that’s closed down, near where I live. I feel good about it so far. The other day I just realized this thing is heavy, about 48 pounds per Amazon. Btw, I found this PDF adjustment guide from the Herman Miller website too.

(Original 05-2023) The high-end office chair is not cheap, it costs more than $1,000. Let’s say a chair of $1,350 (note Haworth Fern is in that range), typical workers work 2,000 hours a year. Let’s say a typical worker sits 60% of the time, 1,200 hours sitting on a $1,350 chair. A dollar an-hour chair sitting cost. The chair lasts at least 10 years though. So it’s more like 10 cents an hour chair sitting cost.

Why is a chair important for office workers?

Weight problems, back problems, and other ergonomic chairs may help out. As explained by this YouTube video by Ahnestly (Dan Ahn) here. I don’t want to go much into detail here. I think for normal office workers (people who sit before the computer every day for a while), a good chair, a good posture, and even keyboarding, mouse/trackpad clicking/tapping are all important. Remember, your personal health is your responsibility. And I think standing desks could be a fad; see this Harvard Medical School article for reference. Wearing the Apple Watch (or other equivalent watches, that remind people to stand up and stretch a bit after sitting for a while), and standing up once in a while is the way to go.

Where to buy?

I see 2 (or 3) choices:

  1. Buy new (from the manufacturers or from retailers), usually via the website (e-commerce, such as Steelcase Leap at the manufacturer’s website, Steelcase Leap chair at Amazon, note the Amazon link here is my Amazon Associate link) nowadays. With today’s logistics, they could be shipped from the warehouse quickly, via UPS, FedEx or Amazon. The customer just needs to open the box and start to use it.
  2. Buy preowned. There are also “like new” such as this 3-month-old Haworth Fern asking for $900 (picture shown below), “refurbished” sometimes with warranty and buy used still in good condition. This is somewhat like buying a used car, we need to pay a bit more attention here. It seems nowadays CraigsList (sample search Steelcase chair on local CraigsList) and Facebook marketplace (sample search on FB for Herman Miller Aeron) are two popular places to look. || I think on coming Monday 05-22-2023 I am going to proceed with/check out this one on FB marketplace that’s very close to my home. Note like buying used cars, the prices for used office chairs vary, and again Ahnestly (Dan Ahn) explained it very well in one of his YT videos too: this one is specifically for Herman Miller Aeron (and I tried to follow his instructions when I checked out the chair). Btw, I also created a YouTube watchList for office chairs.

If one likes to have neck support (headrest)

From memory, it seems Steelcase Leap V2 (Amazon*; Steelcase) is a popular chair with headrest option.

The business of office furniture makers

It seems the manufacturers (mainly Haworth, Herman Miller, and Steelcase) do not have a business model like the iPhone. Typically people upgrade iPhones every 2, 3, or 4 years. Office chairs last more than 10 years.

Also, some knockoff products (e.g., this one on local Craigslist) may have an impact on the brand names (Haworth, Herman Miller, and Steelcase). What exactly is “equal to or better than Herman Miller Aeron Chair”, anyway? From the picture, the shape looks like Herman Miller Aeron Chair (picture shown below). It seems this person is doing it (selling used chairs) as a business.

It’s more a consumer win/manufacturer “did okay or lose a bit” kind of situation.

Danger zone

I have had some brief interactions with two manufacturers. In Spring Festival 2009, I visited Haworth for a business trip when I was working for Autodesk. Then recently I started looking into Steelcase stock ($SCS). I heard the Steelcase for 1st time probably back in 2009 when I asked Haworth folks who are the competitors. The two companies are close by, Haworth is in Holland MI, and Steelcase is HQ’ed at Grand Rapids, MI. When I visited Holland, the airplane is from STL to Grand Rapids (I recall it was an old MD DC airplane).

Investor Day presentation (webcast; PDF) for Steelcase 05-04-2023

Quick thoughts after doing office chair research

For Steelcase, a unique problem is its vast used inventory in the market, this is evident on the FB Marketplace and on CraigsList. It will take some time to digest those inventories that were a result of the pandemic (and work from home).

*Note the Amazon link is my Amazon Associates link. Your price will be the same, but I may earn a small commission if you click through the link and buy.

%d bloggers like this: