Pick a Better Chair to Boost Productivity

Last Updated Jun 3, 2009 5:29 PM EDT

I'm a fan of Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Workweek and prolific blogger. A recent post he did about finding the perfect office chair reinforced why I like him -- he's straightforward, funny, and always comes up with something that can make life just a little bit better.

And so it is with his dissection of the perfect office chair. His long analysis reveals that using the right chair can increase productivity and reduce physical pain. He evaluated seven models (I'll let you read the full post to get the scoop on all of them) and came up with three personal lessons worth sharing here:

  1. Lumbar support is -- by far -- the primary determinant of comfort or pain.
  2. Seat height (and secondarily, depth) will determine the rest.
  3. Using a foam roller three times a day can eliminate persistent back pain from mediocre-chair use.
Some of his results, after finding the perfect chair for him?
  • Increased comfortable sitting time to 7-8 hours, up from less than 2
  • All upper middle-back pain disappeared
  • Better output during work and writing
  • Faster and deeper sleep
And that's enough to make me reconsider my own Office Depot bargain-bin chair. How about you?

(image by The Akermarks via Flickr, CC 2.0)

  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for AnchorDesk.com and writes regularly for Law.com and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.