Author Topic: The Ergonomic Task Chair Guide *OLD*  (Read 35873 times)

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Offline mkawa

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The Ergonomic Task Chair Guide *OLD*
« on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 12:06:37 »
THIS THREAD IS OLD GO HERE: http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=37338.0


new OP courtesy of gunner100. still figuring out how to change the OP to give him editing privleges. -KAWA

This is a work in progress, I'm busy with school so this will take some time to complete.

If you own or have sat in any of these chairs, please post your comments in this thread and I'll update this post accordingly. I'm listing the most popular chairs here; if you've sat in the less known high-end chairs, post your opinions here!

Online Retailers: SmartFurniture, TheHumanSolution

I highly recommend purchasing from SmartFurniture. Their customer service is great, and I got a 5% discount through their offer system. They are also having a 10% off Steelcase sale near the end of November if anyone is interested in purchasing a chair from them

Herman Miller

Aeron - $629.00 base, no arms

Embody - $1,099.00 base, no arms

Mirra - $599.00 base, fixed arms

Sayl - $399.00 base, fixed arms

Steelcase

Leap - $769.00 base, no arms
Most expensive of the steelcase chairs, with the most features, and also the most well known by Steelcase.

Amia - $519.00 base, no arms
The little brother to the Leap, with most of its features for only about 2/3 the price. It has a slightly different curve on its back, compared to the Leap.

Think - $629.00 base, no arms.

Humanscale


Freedom - $899.00 base, w/ arms

Liberty - $879.00 base w/ arms

Diffrient - $659.00 base, no arms

Knoll

Generation - $711.00 base, no arms

ReGeneration - $541.00/$643.00 base, no arms

Others





OLD OP

in this thread: let's all share our stories of suffering and let input nirvana guide is to... input nirvana

my problem: my effing back always hurts.

context: i have a family history of bad backs; my grandmother threw out her back at around 40, 3 slipped discs. my dad had two herniated discs at 30 something (i'm sure having three kids didn't help), etc. etc. etc.

i've been having pretty bad back pain for the last 6mos to a year. it's mostly in my upper back, but my lower back often feels as if it's been pre-injured when i work it or my lower abs during my major core workouts (bootcamp-style free-body-weight training mostly, gymnastics style stretching).

it's very clearly due to my chair and desk position, i think, and is most alleviated when i use my office workstation, which utilizes no desk surface, a free-floating ergotron LX arm and a pure and trackball on a laptop with a herman miller mirra.

things i've though about: keyboard arms/trays, buying a real chair, lowering my desk (did this, moved pain to my upper back), removing cheap chair's arm rests (did this), kneeling chairs, ???

i do often change position and/or workstation, and that definitely does help, but it would be nice to have an affordable workstation at home that i could use for an extended period of time without spending a fortune.
« Last Edit: Wed, 14 November 2012, 22:56:50 by mkawa »

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline Amarok

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 12:24:11 »
I used to have terrible back pain after sitting in my chair for even as little as an hour. At the time I was using a leather office chair from Staples that cost around $200.00. With our tax refund this year I convinced by wife I needed to invest in a decent chair since I usually spend at least 4+ hours a day sitting in it.

I went to a local dealer and tested out quite a few chairs (Herman Miller Aeron/Mirra/Sayl/Embody, Steelcase Leap/Think) and ended up getting a fully loaded Aeron during the 15% off Herman Miller sale at SmartFurniture.com.

This helped a bit with my back pain but didn't solve it. I was using an old desk from Office Max that was way to high and poorly designed, so I went to Ikea and got a two Vika Amon table tops, 4 height adjustable legs and 4 regular legs. Lowering my work surface so that my feet rest comfortably on the ground and having my keyboard at the same height my arms hang at has has helped just as much as the chair has.

Workstation: http://i.imgur.com/H69E9.jpg

I keep my main desk surface about 5 inches lower than the second desk surface. This makes the lower surface great for using the mouse and keyboard, and the higher surface good for writing or homework.

I've found that getting up to stretch for a couple of minutes and changing my position every hour or two helps a lot also.
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Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 12:29:13 »
Let's address the easy and the obvious.

How is your health? If your pain has mostly started/gotten worse in the last year...has your overall physical condition deteriorated at all? A vast majority of back pain is attributed to a weak core (abs, etc.) which then does not support your back muscle structure, and that leads/contributes to injury, physical stress, general discomfort. Pilates is very good for core workouts. Face it, we aren't bio-mechanically engineered to sit rigidly at a desk and type. It ain't natural. If an area is bothersome, often it needs to get worked MORE to build it up/increase the musculature so it can withstand other forms of stress. Upper back is very different than lower, it sure seems it's workstation related from what you say, and maybe stress, both of which can be fixed. :)

I've noticed the people with more active lifestyle and stronger cores have far less back issues...almost as an absolute statement.

You can ergo your butt off, but if it's just to take care of symptoms...you may need to address an underlying problem. Just throwing it out there. Take care of your back and it will last longer and better, just like anything. Be proactive. Every dollar and time you spend on being more comfortable/happier translates to being more productive, healthier and satisfied.

I like my arms being supported and a split keyboard. The 'flatboards' most of you guys use drives me nuts. Hurts my eyes just to see it.
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Offline mkawa

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 12:50:23 »
point taken. i am well aware of muscle weakness in my lower back and in my leg stabilizers (ergo a pretty bad case of runner's knee last year that forced me to substitute swimming for _all_ my running and cycling)

that said, i need a new damn chair and my back hurts *grumble grumble*

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline Okita

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 13:56:54 »
1. Herman Miller Embody Chair or Aeron Chair (adjustable backs and arm rests). There's a good reason these chairs cost so much - cheap knock offs will leave you suffering still.

2. Height-adjustable desk from Ikea. The desk's height should be adjusted to the user's chair-height, not the other way around.

3. Height-adjustable LCD display (eye-level display)

4. Inverion Table for daily stretching.

5. Tempurpedic pillow

If you sit long enough you'll still suffer from backpain no matter how good your ergo setup is. Imo this can only be countered with daily stretching and exercise.

Offline hoggy

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 14:38:21 »
If you need to work your core muscles, then sitting on a swiss ball might help - but you'll get the weird looks that most people try to avoid.  If you don't fancy the pilates, then you might want to invest in a slendertone system abs belt.

Of course taking a frequent break will really help.  Develop a caffeine addiction to get you moving about (only joking). 

Edit: just noticed the muscles/lower back bit - I doubt strengthening your stomach but not the back will help much...
« Last Edit: Sun, 19 August 2012, 14:39:55 by hoggy »
GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline Okita

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 17:35:51 »
If you need to work your core muscles, then sitting on a swiss ball might help - but you'll get the weird looks that most people try to avoid.  If you don't fancy the pilates, then you might want to invest in a slendertone system abs belt.

Of course taking a frequent break will really help.  Develop a caffeine addiction to get you moving about (only joking). 

Edit: just noticed the muscles/lower back bit - I doubt strengthening your stomach but not the back will help much...

I forgot about fitness ball chairs + pilates. Learning pilates atm, and the fitness ball chairs are real nice for 20 minutes of use a day to strengthen up those core muscles and improve posture.

Offline Findecanor

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 18:04:17 »
A question from another angle: How much do you work out, and do you get enough sleep?
The body repairs itself and builds muscle when you sleep properly. Workout without enough sleep only wears you out.
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
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Offline sordna

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 18:33:53 »
Herman Miller Aeron, can't go wrong with it. Note it comes in 3 sizes. The lumbar support thing it has is rather obtrusive though, I tend to move it all the way down, to support my pelvis, otherwise it pushes into my lower back too much. This chair has helped my back a lot!
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Offline Lanx

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 19 August 2012, 23:39:47 »
backs hurt imo and my experience because of 2 things
1, ppl sit like they are a hunchback, you goto any office (or student lab) and you'll see the hunch back
2. ppl sit straight up like a soldier.

if either of this is happening (and it is 99% of the time) then you need to change your habits.

one major thing to note, if your spine hurts then everything hurts since your spine and spinal cord is the center for everything painful, and this is where most back issues stem from.

1. stop being a hunch back, lean back into the chair let the chair "cradle" you, of course if you have a $20 kitchen chair or even some $50 to $150 office depot(staples) chair, it's not going to help.

2. again while it is believed sitting up like a soldier is good for you, it actually creates "pain areas" all this sitting up prim and proper like is creating issues in your lower back/hip area, or even your ass. People could stand at attention for hours at a time, but not sit at attention for hours at a time why is that? 100% of your weight is being distributed evenly in a nice way vertically to your legs, but if you're sitting at attention for hours on end, you're distributing your weight and stops at your hips/lower back, so while your ass is the biggest muscle in the body, it's not like it's working when you're sitting on it (in fact it's a flacid muscle at this point and just a "sack of meat") you're then putting all the stress on your lower back or in ergonomics, why there is a thing called "lumbar support".

so stop being a hunch back or a sitting soldier, (of course there will be more to add) and there are other options that "make" the sitting soldier work like sitting on an exercise ball or having the computer at standing height so you're standing all day, so why does this work instead of sitting? cuz we covered why standing is great and distributed, but for exercises ball, you have to engage your leg muscles to take and distribute your weight all the time, less you fall down.

we'll talk about why you "have" to get a good ergonomic chair next time (be prepared to spend at least $500)

Offline mkawa

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 10:36:54 »
thanks for all the extremely good info folks. waiting for your update lanx. have not heard this advice but it makes quite a bit of sense.

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline Gerk

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 10:40:57 »
Herman Miller Aeron, can't go wrong with it. Note it comes in 3 sizes. The lumbar support thing it has is rather obtrusive though, I tend to move it all the way down, to support my pelvis, otherwise it pushes into my lower back too much. This chair has helped my back a lot!

Yep I have to agree with this.  The lumbar support is ok for me but yes I think it needs to be all the way down for it to be effective.  Very important to get the right size for you.  I also added a headrest (that I bought from Input Nirvana) which helps for some postures (depends what I'm working on and how I'm sitting).  I tend to lean way back when doing large amounts of reading so it's helpful then.
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Offline alaricljs

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 10:53:32 »
I would love to discover this (see vid) in a shop in the states to at least try out for a day.  That would actually be an awesome service.  Office furniture showroom/demo room w/ wifi.  Try out a setup for a day while actually working.

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Offline Lanx

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 11:32:38 »
I would love to discover this (see vid) in a shop in the states to at least try out for a day.  That would actually be an awesome service.  Office furniture showroom/demo room w/ wifi.  Try out a setup for a day while actually working.

i actually have that setup, but a bit better imo, the difference i see is that you're using a laptop and i do NOT believe a laptop that keeps both your monitor and keyboard area fixed, is good for ergonomics, they both have to be to be adjusted independently to be optimal, i'll upload a video of my work setup in a bit, but it's basically the same thing. (with more adjustments for monitor/keyboard but the  swivel is more limited since i am locked down to a wall, (but who wants to swivel 360 while working anyway?)

Offline alaricljs

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 11:34:15 »
Yeah, I would not be using a laptop w/ it.
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Offline Lanx

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #15 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 12:24:41 »
disclaimers,
yes quality is horrible, fiance took the good camera, and the only other good camera i have (surprisingly) is on my galaxy s3 and i can't tripod mount that.

oh and i noticed i didn't have full range of motion with my main monitor cuz well, it's been in that position for a year (i only moved it to demonstrate for you guys, so now i have to find my perfect setting again!) and to be honest that monitor is 24in and probably a bit too heavy for the mount, also i have 2 speakers velcro stripped to the side of the monitor as well adding lots of weight (as you can see i have no wall in front of me so i had to go old school and tape speakers to the side of the monitors).

i found with this setup my neck just moves up or down, so it was far easier on my neck muscles to position my second monitor on top of my main (instead of the traditional side by side)

this is also the chair cradling your body or spine, that i talked about previously, it'd be great for the chair to take the brunt of the weight distribution and ergonomics instead of your unflexed gluteous maximus. This also makes lumbar support essential and not optional (lumbar support basically is where there is support for your lower back, where it curves from the "S" shape).

i'm not saying this is optimal, but it has worked wonders for me, i almost never have backpain (unless i do a 15hour stretch of work lol, but who wouldn't) when i used to complain b4 after 2hours of work.

my floating desk is basically attached to the wall where my nightstand should ideally be, yes my foot rest (which i believe most people should have) doubles as my bed (i don't wear shoes in the house, so it's not like i track nasty stuff inside), you could just use a standard ottoman.

i actually have removed the arm rests from the chair, i found them limiting my body movement and "kept me" confined in a position, this might be different if they were more adjustable (lower actually) but for now without them it's great.

oh and just recently my plastic floor mat, got totalled, i rolled on that thing so much i actually caused rips in them, so thats why i'm not rolling smoothly, i need to get a new plastic mat (i'm on carpet atm).

Offline alaricljs

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 13:20:47 »
So what chair Make/Model is that?
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Offline Lanx

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 13:29:43 »
it's a ergo human, quick google produced this amazon link
http://www.amazon.com/Ergohuman-Ergonomic-Chair-Headrest-Chrome/dp/B002LK1YNO/ref=pd_sbs_op_1
me7erg

i guess there's a new version out now, haven't looked at it, don't know the difference (i will soon, i'm curious now)

Offline stingrae

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 13:50:00 »
Ergohuman is a nice chair, preferred it over an Aeron. Found it to fit better than cheaper chairs which seem to be made for people shorter than 6'1...Not a perfect chair indeed the arm rests could do with some improvements but it's not bad either and defiantly improved my third year at university comfort wise as I had noticed my back was getting sore from the long hours on a standard chair. Since moving quite suddenly back to South Africa it is ironic that I'm now sitting on something intended to watch Cricket on, on a normal table chair...(http://howzatseat.co.za/ lol). It is well better than nothing and I've added cushions. Still would prefer my chair :P
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Offline Lanx

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 14:15:31 »
yea i preferred the ergohuman over my herman millar chair(which is on my porch) sadly for chairs above office depot/staples you have to goto a specialty store or just one of those "posh" furniture stores in order to try a "slick" looking aeron or steelcase. When i was looking at more varieties of ergonomic chairs i had to find those "upscale" type office stores where they had like the "zen" look or whatever crap. I found aerons and steelcase chairs to try out, not because that store cared about ergonomics, but rather these chairs probably just "looked" cool or had that new age look/feel. (i found out office depot at one point sold rebranded ergohumans in a few select stores but couldn't find one to try out).

but it has been a while since i did research on chair buying/trying, i know most others were just lucky enough to be in an office that had an aero or steelcase to try out, what about others?

Offline alaricljs

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 20 August 2012, 14:40:01 »
I've worked in an aeron and it's comfy... but that only lasted a couple hours longer than other chairs for me.  I'd love to find a showroom around here to try out the ergo human.
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Offline dorkvader

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 21 August 2012, 00:06:00 »
I used to have some lower back pain, so I raised up my laptop, so I use it in a standing position. It allows me to shift around a lot, and forces me to stand with good posture. Perhaps a standing desk is an option to consider? (My chair was free, I can't really afford an ergo chair, but I've never tried (or even seen) one, so I really don't know if it'd help that much).

I was a competitive gymnast for 9 years, so I guess my core is in good shape. This could be why standing works so well for me.

That's the extent of my knowledge in this area.

Offline WRXChris

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 21 August 2012, 01:11:04 »
I used to have bad lower back ache after long work days at my computer desk.  Turned out it was from being in horrible shape; I now spend at least an hour a day swimming or cycling and the pain is gone.  As others have mentioned core strength takes a ton of strain off the weak lower back muscles and makes long sitting sessions much more bearable.

I also switched from a $200 staples chair to an auto-like seat that came with my obutto desk.  The more ergonomic tilt angle is definitely an improvement, but the obutto chair has humongous bolsters that force me to type with my elbows too far away from my body (apparently the obutto engineers over-estimated the lateral g's my race sims produce..).  I plan to eventually fab a mount for a recaro from a mkv gti, which should improve ergonomics immensely!

I realize that you mentioned you are in good shape, mkawa, and have a regular exercise routine, so this info probably won't be helpful for you but is relevant for others. Also I doubt you want an obutto cockpit, again, relevant to the ergo discussion.

Offline shrap

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 21 August 2012, 01:18:16 »
I work using a standing desk and a drafting stool. Although I spend probably the majority of time in the stool and probably in a hunchback position, it's awfully nice to stand up and stretch while still doing work.

Plus, when someone needs to talk to me, we're at the same level instead of me looking up at them standing.

Offline Lanx

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 21 August 2012, 15:23:14 »
yea you ppl with good cores (core strength, someone could explain more or just google core strength) could stand more abuse lol cuz you got muscle holding you up.

Offline mkawa

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 21 August 2012, 16:19:47 »

I realize that you mentioned you are in good shape, mkawa, and have a regular exercise routine, so this info probably won't be helpful for you but is relevant for others. Also I doubt you want an obutto cockpit, again, relevant to the ergo discussion.
omg i'd never heard of the obutto cockpits before. my friend has the seat that specifically pairs with the DF2 and GT5, but i'd never seen a general computing version. WANT!!

it sounds like i do need to modify my routine even more to do the lower back, glut and leg stabs workouts that i've been half-assing. i've gone from cycling -> running + cycling -> (achilles tendonitis) running -> cycling + running + gymnastics -> (runner's knee) -> gymnastics + swimming -> :(

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline dorkvader

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 21 August 2012, 17:56:15 »
You did Gymnastics? What and how much? Sorry, it's just so rare I see others that have dabbled even a little in Gymnastics.
friend convinced me to try. loved it. small build, masochist, just happened. i mostly focus on conditioning though because i get very dizzy doing most beginner skills

edit: oh crap DV, i (kawa) just clobbered your post by accident. and i wanted to read the rest! crap! grumble. if you remember what you said about gymnastics, please repost. this is my reply to that anyway :(
« Last Edit: Wed, 22 August 2012, 02:00:58 by mkawa »

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chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 21 August 2012, 18:20:43 »
aaaaaahhh hate supermans so so much :(

Offline demik

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 21 August 2012, 20:35:17 »
Quote
my dad had two herniated discs at 30 something (i'm sure having three kids didn't help)

your father had 3 kids?

and it wasn't on the news???
No, hes not around. How that sound to ya? Jot it down.

Offline dorkvader

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 21 August 2012, 22:12:01 »
aaaaaahhh hate supermans so so much :(
In my time as a gymnast, I came to recognize waking up, barely able to stand (let alone walk), with every muscle as sore as possible as the natural order of things. Now, I enjoy the soreness I get after a good workout the day before. Eventually, I thought I might become addicted to working out (I feel the endorphin release very strongly) so I had to quit. Now I'm slowly working my way back into it.

I normally combine exercise with reading. Yo,u really can't go wrong there. If you have a phone or tablet, you can GeekHack and exercise at the same time.

Offline Lanx

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 21 August 2012, 23:03:03 »
reading? i usually work out to either
1. rap/rock
2. pdf with text to speech (via droid phone)

Offline Icarium

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 22 August 2012, 03:26:42 »
You know what I do when I work out?



I work out. :p
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Offline Trent

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #32 on: Wed, 22 August 2012, 16:38:20 »
Master race reporting in



You'll never have any sort of back pain whatsoever!

Linky: http://store.hermanmiller.com/Products/Aeron-Chair

Some people pay the ~$900 price tag for one but I got mine used for FREE, so investigate craigslist a bit you may be able to get one used for a fair price [or free if the person is an idiot and doesn't know what they have  ;D]
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Offline dorkvader

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #33 on: Wed, 22 August 2012, 22:37:11 »

I realize that you mentioned you are in good shape, mkawa, and have a regular exercise routine, so this info probably won't be helpful for you but is relevant for others. Also I doubt you want an obutto cockpit, again, relevant to the ergo discussion.
omg i'd never heard of the obutto cockpits before. my friend has the seat that specifically pairs with the DF2 and GT5, but i'd never seen a general computing version. WANT!!

it sounds like i do need to modify my routine even more to do the lower back, glut and leg stabs workouts that i've been half-assing. i've gone from cycling -> running + cycling -> (achilles tendonitis) running -> cycling + running + gymnastics -> (runner's knee) -> gymnastics + swimming -> :(
yea you ppl with good cores (core strength, someone could explain more or just google core strength) could stand more abuse lol cuz you got muscle holding you up.
I don't know much about ergonomics, but I will contribute what I can in the areas I do know. Directly, to respond to Lanx, IT 's true! I would rate core strength as the most important muscle group. I was a gymnast for 9 years, and my coach was a physical therapist (which basically meant that she knew everything). When we worked on our "core" muscles, it normally included: Abdominals, Obliques (On the side), and Latisimus dorsi (lats). Sometimes we'd also do the hip-flexor muscles, (right below the abs, and related to raising the legs up) but I consider them to be more lags than core.

There are a number of exercises that are useful to do for core work. Abdominals are easy to work out. Hollow holds (upper back and legs held off the ground) are easy to do, and good. Hollow-rocks are better, and for hardcore people V-ups are excellent. (From a hollow hold, snap arms and legs upwards and touch your feet. I used to do 3*100 as part of conditioning). Perhaps the most useful is the "seal stretch" which is where you push your upper back up off the ground, stretching your abs. It's very helpful after exercising.

There are some less that I know for lower back (lats). One of the best is the superman hold, on your stomach, your legs and upper chest are off the ground. We used to do superman rocks in this position, bu I wouldn't really recommend it for guys unless you're good.

Side crunches normally suffice for the obliques (one very important and oft overlooked muscle group). I, however, prefer to hold on my side, elbow bent, and forearm on the ground. Arch upwards as far as possible, and hold until you get tired. A surprisingly good reading position, as your other hand is free.

Finally, Prone hold is great. Like the above, but with both arms on the ground. I usually did it hands clasped, reminiscent of it's other name "punishing prayer". You hold your back as flat and tight as possible. Facing the ground, elbows bent. Elbows and forearms on the ground.
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There are other better holds and exercises, but most of the ones I know require Gymnastics equipment, or are somewhat difficult. Some, such as the candlestick hold, can be very difficult (and really good for your core), but hard to do "right". If you do it wrong, it's very easy.

There's really a lot of good exercises that can be done. I don't really "do" weights, because I never needed them in gymnastics.

Somewhat also on topic: I've been looking at some of these chairs, and been astounded by the enormous expense. Although some look relatively useful, and interesting, some just look like chairs to me. Still, I'm interested, and perhaps I should look to upgrade my current "free" chair to a better one, though it gets less use.

(As expected, my typos are much more common after a few drinks of Delirium noel - Highly recommended.).

Offline alaricljs

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 27 August 2012, 10:12:19 »
So I'm sitting on an HM Mirra right now.  Quite adjustable, only thing missing according to the directions is the forward tilt.  I'm not a fan of leaning into the desk, so no problem there.  The best part about it is that I'm sitting in front of an adjustable height desk. 

All my desk work for the week will be at this station, so hopefully I'll have enough time to decide what I like or don't about it.  Right now the thing  that I am liking the most is the adjustable height desk with soft-roll front lip (gently rounded instead of square w/ a small quarter round).
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Offline mkawa

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #35 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 08:09:34 »
yep the mirra is quite a nice chair. finally bit the bullet and ordered a refurb aeron. hopefully it works out, but if not i'll just go back in time and become a gymnast for 9 years like DV ;)

fyi, you can do L-holds, leg lifts, (not sure what a candlestick hold in), and a bunch of other stuff with just an iron gym style pull-up bar (assuming you're not too tall)

oh, and if it DOES work out, look forward to a keyboard sale to fund the chair. HAH!
« Last Edit: Wed, 29 August 2012, 08:11:34 by mkawa »

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline Lanx

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #36 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 11:46:11 »
which aeron did you end up getting?
do they even have one with a head rest? i use mine lots.

Offline mkawa

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #37 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 12:12:54 »
"fully loaded" refurb off of sit4less

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline absyrd

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #38 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 12:22:56 »
Right now the thing  that I am liking the most is the adjustable height desk with soft-roll front lip (gently rounded instead of square w/ a small quarter round).

This is as much of a big deal to me as a nice chair (along with adjustable monitor height). Just one of the three doesn't do it for me. If you get the nicest chair in the world and your desk is still too low and monitor isn't at the right height, most people end up falling into the same old posture habits. I know I did when I first got my debilitating injury.

I'm still using a standing desk right now, but I think I'm ready to give sitting a try again for 10-15 mins at a time. This chair discussion will sure help guide me as all I have is a yoga ball atm.
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Offline swagpiratex

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 13:30:34 »
Let's think outside of the box.

mkawa, do you have a gym membership? If you do, and if you read the description of how to do squats on fitocracy and watch some youtube videos, maybe you can alleviate your problems for the cost of gym membership and a little time & sweat? (as little as 15 minutes a session)

EDIT: Just kidding, didn't see dorkvader's post re: working on your body to alleviate problems. But yes, I recommend starting squats. My back is now more than 5x stronger than when I first started. I think it will definitely help with your back pain.
« Last Edit: Wed, 29 August 2012, 13:33:43 by swagpiratex »

Offline dorkvader

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #40 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 17:58:52 »
Let's think outside of the box.

mkawa, do you have a gym membership? If you do, and if you read the description of how to do squats on fitocracy and watch some youtube videos, maybe you can alleviate your problems for the cost of gym membership and a little time & sweat? (as little as 15 minutes a session)

EDIT: Just kidding, didn't see dorkvader's post re: working on your body to alleviate problems. But yes, I recommend starting squats. My back is now more than 5x stronger than when I first started. I think it will definitely help with your back pain.

As a gymnast, we did squats with no extra weight. Several hundred at a time. It is a very good exercise, especially if you can set up a pillow or something to make sure you go down far enough. Focusing on form, it can be an excellent exercise. That said, I don't think it'll do much for mkawa's upper back, or core. Sure, any balancing exercise like a squat will work out core a little, but squats are much more legs (and back, if you do them wrong).

I personally don't like squats with weight due to the fact that if your form is a little off (like it will be if you are learning, or lazy/stupid, like the guys at my old gym) you can really injure yourself. If you don't have a bar or extra weight, it's much more forgiving. Also, using your body weight is very similar to how you move. If you have a job that requires picking up things with weights, then squats with extra weight make sense. Otherwise, I like to use the weight my own body provides.

Not recommending against squats, I just feel there are exercises that should be focused on first.

Hah, maybe I should split this topic into a "ergo chair" topic and a "excercises for core strength & ergonomic benefits of exercising" topics. :p

You'll have to tell us what you think once your chair arrives.

Offline PointyFox

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 18:20:09 »
Do this:


Note the angles the arms and legs need to be at and that the feet should supported.  It's critical to have the arms, table, and chair and the correct heights.  If your feet can't reach the floor and the table and your arms are at the correct height, use a floor footrest.
« Last Edit: Wed, 29 August 2012, 18:22:47 by PointyFox »

Offline mkawa

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #42 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 18:20:49 »
like dv said, my problem is that i do too many squats and not enough superman holds/lifts. not my fault! I HATE THEM. seriously, when i first started it was the only thing that had ever made me want to puke

to all the brilliant friends who have left us, and all the students who climb on their shoulders.

Offline PointyFox

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #43 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 18:24:08 »
like dv said, my problem is that i do too many squats and not enough superman holds/lifts. not my fault! I HATE THEM. seriously, when i first started it was the only thing that had ever made me want to puke
Weightlifting will wear out the cushioning between your bones and make the pain worse, especially later in life when your muscles start atrophying and can no longer redistribute loads as effectively.

Offline The_Beast

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #44 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 18:26:35 »
That thing looks bad ass
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Offline alaricljs

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 18:31:50 »
That "ergo" chart can't be right.  I seem to recall the new recommendations to be wider angles all around.  I know I can't have all my joints at 90s and be comfortable.
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Offline PointyFox

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 18:38:59 »
That "ergo" chart can't be right.  I seem to recall the new recommendations to be wider angles all around.  I know I can't have all my joints at 90s and be comfortable.

I'm not sure.  It works for me.  I usually recline around 110-120 degrees, which is within the range on the chart.  Right now my arms are about 80 degrees, which is putting extra pressure on my elbows.

Offline xcelerate

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #47 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 18:53:19 »

I picked up a leather humanscale freedom chair for a steal about 2 months ago, and what little lower back pain I was experiencing after extended seating disappeared, the task chair I was using previously did not have a headrest so that may have had something to do with it. Ergonomic corrections to your existing layout are well worth the effort in the mid-long run and I am happy I splurged on the chair and made the smaller ergo adjustments where possible. I would recommend 2nd hand for higher end, there are some great deals out there.

Offline PointyFox

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #48 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 19:01:36 »
Show Image

I picked up a leather humanscale freedom chair for a steal about 2 months ago, and what little lower back pain I was experiencing after extended seating disappeared, the task chair I was using previously did not have a headrest so that may have had something to do with it. Ergonomic corrections to your existing layout are well worth the effort in the mid-long run and I am happy I splurged on the chair and made the smaller ergo adjustments where possible. I would recommend 2nd hand for higher end, there are some great deals out there.
Your eyes should be about even with the top of your screen to help prevent eye/neck strain.   :cool:

Offline xcelerate

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Re: chairhack! OR why does my back hurt so much
« Reply #49 on: Wed, 29 August 2012, 19:18:21 »
Quote from: PointyFox
Your eyes should be about even with the top of your screen to help prevent eye/neck strain.   :cool:

They are, my head extends above the headrest, and the headrest is adjustable as well, i typically have it raised up a bit more than pictured, as per ergo chart above  :))
« Last Edit: Wed, 29 August 2012, 23:23:23 by xcelerate »