After yet another day where we had to take a break to help soothe our aching backs we knew it was time to take a deeper look at how we work. As folks that primarily work from home, we can be found doing our jobs from the couch, kitchen table, or our tiny home office. Surprisingly, or not, we've found that the back pain increases when we work from our home office, which means that we've got a bit of a problem and we're pretty sure it's the chair.
I know that some of you, dear readers, have soured a bit on this particular style, but in my heart there is still a soft spot for all things midcecntury modern. That said, even I never know quite what to do with 'modern' pieces from the late seventies and early eighties. They always seems so awkward and self-aware and vinyl-y. That's why I've got to give this Steelcase chair rehabilitation mad props. Graphic designer Jessica Jones took these old, dated desk chairs and made them beautiful and current.
Fast on the heels of the popular faceted, geometric, cut crystal trend in furniture design, origami-inspired shapes push the intricacy and beauty of angles to the next level. Origami, from ori meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper", is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding in which a single sheet of paper is folded into complex designs without the use of cutting or gluing. Now designers are adopting this practice and turning thin metal sheets, cardboard, felt and even leather into practical and beautiful furnishings doubling as impressive works of art.
Besides being a likely culprit of our nation's obesity epidemic [looking at our own paunch], sitting all day might be the cause of even more serious health issues for both men and women. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in Washington, D.C., believes 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 of colon cancer could be attributed to our sedentary lifestyle, with sitting all day a major component of the findings...
"Ouch, my back." Have you ever said that before? We say it more often than we'd like. Working from home means any surface can be a workstation, which is nice compared to the restraint of many offices but bad for the ol' lumbar spine. If you've never been to the OSHA website, it's not the prettiest thing in the world but it's chock full of rich information (the broccoli of government-run safety websites!). We're using their checklists for building our new home office and have found them invaluable in making informed choices.
It happened by accident but I am now using an old oversized armchair as my desk chair. Carpal tunnel experts and physical therapists may gasp in terror but so far I love doing work in this unconventional cocoon of comfort. I feel like I have upgraded to First Class. Meanwhile, in my old workspace (the TV room), my ergonomically correct black high-tech monster of a desk chair spins alone.
If all these newfangled task chairs, with their modern material construction and lightweight form factors are the equivalent of a Prius, the Eames Executive Chair is big, tail-finned cushy Caddy you can sink into. Designed for the executives at Time-Life back in 1960, Charles Eames' Executive Chair balances a generously plush 4.5" upholstered seating area with the lightweight aluminum base, making it comfortable for long sessions getting work done, or simply kicking back Don Draper style (you'll need that Lucky Strike account to afford baby).
Design Within Reach has some of our most favorite home furniture pieces, along with great office furnitures that will fit right in with our homes. But not all of us, myself included, have deep enough pockets to afford its premium price tags. Join us as we explore some stylish and cost-effective alternatives to some of the most iconic pieces in the DWR catalog.