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Poll: What do you usually sit on while working?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:26
SITE STAFF
Aug 19, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you usually sit on while working?".

This poll was originally submitted by Marjolein Verhulsdonck-Roest

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Marjolein Verhulsdonck-Roest
Netherlands
Local time: 15:26
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
+ ...
So knee chairs are not popular... Aug 19, 2009

I was thinking of buying one, but not many people seem to use/like them. Why is that?
BTW, I have no lower back problems (yet), but my knees and hips tend to get stiff and achy after sitting on an ordinary (desk) chair for a prolonged period of time. This tends to affect my running, so I was thinking a knee chair would be a good idea, since you can shift positions regularly.
Any opinions/reviews are welcome!
Regards,
Marjolein


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Aug 19, 2009

Right now I'm sitting on what I call an "office chair" - black faux leather, swivel tpe with castors, which my landlord gave me when my previous one, which I bought cheaply only a year ago, broke when I leant back on it. This one tilts back so I can put my legs up on the table when proofing or engaged in other non-typing activities. I don't know how ergonomic it is but I don't seem to have many back problems to speak of at the moment (touch wood!).
A "desk chair" to me sounds like the hard backed type traditionally found in mid-20th century school UK classrooms and not usually comfortable.
I hadn't heard of the Swiss ball (which I googled and found quite amusing and sci-fi-looking) or Knee chair - perhaps the latter refers to what is known as a "Hara chair" ??
http://images.google.es/images?hl=en&q=harachair&gbv=2&aq=f&oq=


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Too expensive Aug 19, 2009

[quote]Marjolein Verhulsdonck-Roest wrote:

I was thinking of buying one, but not many people seem to use/like them. Why is that?

If it refers to "Hara chairs", they are prohibitively expensive compared to other types. Correct posture for me is more a question of remembering to keep my back in the right position and not slump or loll while concentrating on my work.
Perhaps a course in Alexander technique might help but it's also an expensive option.
In a worst case scenario you could give up running... (only joking


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Marjolein Verhulsdonck-Roest
Netherlands
Local time: 15:26
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Hara chair? Aug 19, 2009

Never heard of those! Looks interesting, though, but I can't really tell how you're supposed to sit on that and work at the same time.
No, I was thinking along the lines of a Thatsit Varier (formerly Stokke).
And giving up running is definitely not an option: it's what's keeping me sane!
Regards,
Marjolein


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bookwormkt
Local time: 14:26
French to English
+ ...
I'm sitting on a dining room chair, but I should know better! Aug 19, 2009

It just happens that it's the nearest chair to the computer I'm working at!
I attended an Introduction to Alexander Technique course a few years ago - so I should know better
The course was at a local adult education centre in the local high school, so it wasn't too expensive and lasted about 8 weeks. I got quite good at sitting, standing from sitting, sitting from standing, walking around and other basics!!!! It's not individual, but it was helpful. The best tip was for lying down to let the spinal discs plump up. It was very relaxing and I still do it on a regular basis.

A wedge cushion is useful, as it helps keep the spine at a better angle.

A physio I work with suggested a saddle shaped stool as useful. I have only tried it on a training day.

Interestingly sitting at school/office desks is very harmful. In Dickens' times people stood up to do ledger work etc and Montessori recommended children working on mats as well as at desks.

Computers are a mark of progress in some respects, but seem to result in more back problems than manual labour.

Which reminds me, I am due some more gardening - wish me well!

[Edited at 2009-08-19 14:22 GMT]


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Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:26
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
more than one selection Aug 19, 2009

Desk chair (office) chair...but I often take my laptop over to the sofa and there as well. THe swivel chair has kind of a hard seat. It was left here by the previous tenant and my previous chair was falling apart. I may be getting a new one anyways. But I still like alternating. WHen I do proofreading, i find I can work sitting on the couch.

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Lise Smidth  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 15:26
German to Danish
+ ...
Knee Chair indeed :) Aug 19, 2009

I actually was too fast and had allready selected "ergonomic chair" before I noticed that the option "knee chair" was also available. - I simply didn't think that anyone would have thought of that possibility.

I really LOVE my knee chair (Variable balans) and couldn't do without it. It is the only chair that allows me to work for hours without an aching neck - with all other chairs I have to pull up the shoulders to my ears to be able to use the keyboard.

Only when I am very, very tired or a little ill and have to work anyway I use a chair with a back rest (desk chair or ergonomic chair).

Sunny regards from Vienna

Lise

[Edited at 2009-08-19 14:30 GMT]


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Anne Patteet  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:26
English to French
+ ...
Desk chair but Aug 19, 2009

I would like to try the swiss ball. The knee or Stokke chairs are really expensive, it's a shame. A friend uses one and she wouldn't think of giving it up. I'd love to buy one some day.

Interesting poll, Marjolein!

Anne


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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:26
German to English
+ ...
my experience with knee chairs Aug 19, 2009

Marjolein Verhulsdonck-Roest wrote:

I was thinking of buying one, but not many people seem to use/like them. Why is that?
(...)
Any opinions/reviews are welcome!


Hi Marjolein,

I've tried sitting (kneeling) on a knee chair before. It's certainly good for your posture, forcing you to sit with a straight back. One of the things I didn't like about it was that it eventually gets uncomfortable on the knees/shins which are taking most of your weight and you can't really shift your position.

I wasn't familiar with the "Thatsit". It looks interesting. The fact that you can vary your posture definitely sounds like a plus point!

I hope you find a good solution!
Best wishes,
Catherine


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xxxAguas de Mar
A knee chair user experience Aug 19, 2009

I first used a knee chair a long time ago. I found it interesting and comfortable, but ceased using it when I stopped working for that particular employer.

A couple of years ago, I developed a lower back problem (called spondylolisthesis, which means a vertebrae (L5) slipped over another (S1), a condition that causes intermittent lower back pain, among other things).

Since taking away as much weight from the lower back is a good way of protecting that part of my back from further damage, I immediately went back to the knee chair. I researched everything that was available in the US market, and found that prices ranged from around $70 to over $1000. (Never heard of the Nara chair either). I started by trying a not so expensive knee chair (just in case it did not work), but have been most satisfied up to now. The chair indeed takes a lot of pressure away from my lower back (it sends it to my lower legs, though), and helps improve posture.

However, I am not sure about being able to shift positions regularly in this chair, as mentioned by Marjolein. Unless one gets out of the chair periodically (which is something I do, or else my lower legs become stiff), but this can also be done with any other chair.

I also use an inversion table from time to time, to stretch my spine and relieve it from the constant pressure of the standing/sitting position. These things help, but there is nothing better than prevention, especially with something as delicate as the spine. I can no longer do any impact exercises (like running); sometimes even walking causes pain. I now exercise in a pool, do weights and some pilates. Doctors have told me that, when I get older and the problem worsens, the only solution will be to place a couple of nails to hold my vertebrae in position. I am keeping my fingers crossed for this not to happen (or for an alternate solution to be available by that time), but I cannot stress enough the importance of taking good care of your back, so invest in a good chair, and do as our mothers use to tell us all the time: Sit straight!

P.S. Unfortunately, one of the best ways to strengthen one's back is doing abs. I hate them, but I have to do them now if I do not want to end up in a wheelchair. So better get used to them sooner than later!

Had not heard of the Thatsit chair either. Will do some research on it.



[Edited at 2009-08-19 14:31 GMT]


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Mijo Schyllert  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Swiss ball Aug 19, 2009

I would really like to try to Swiss ball as well, at least as an alternative to my tired desk chair. I do try to sit properly, but as soon as I lose concentration I slump terribly. And is it not so that just by sitting on the ball you firm up back and abdominal muscles? Sounds great in theory - would love to hear from anyone polled who uses one!
Mijo


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:26
Spanish to English
Dining room chair Aug 19, 2009

I bought an office chair a few years ago and ended up with a sore back. This straight-backed dining-room chair is the best thing. I can sit on it if needs be 16 hours a day day in day out, and never remember I have a back.

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Rebecca Garber  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:26
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Antique pub chair Aug 19, 2009

Probably close to a kitchen or dining room chair, it has a slight angle to the back which allows me to sit up straight or slouch.
I would like to try an exercise ball again, but then I would need a new desk or a support for the ball, as my desk was too high the last time I tried that.
I have also used a knee chair, and was perfectly able to slouch on that.
However, as I often sit in a partial lotus while I work, my pub chair, with its nicely proportioned seat suits me fine.


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Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:26
English to German
office chair for me Aug 19, 2009

Lesley Clarke wrote:

I bought an office chair a few years ago and ended up with a sore back. This straight-backed dining-room chair is the best thing. I can sit on it if needs be 16 hours a day day in day out, and never remember I have a back.


Wow! How do you manage to get your upper and lower arms at right angles, your lower arms parallel to the floor and your hands in line with your lower arms using a chair that can't be adjusted? My desk is certainly too high for an ordinary dining chair causing my lower arms and hands to angle upwards. I had to use a dining chair for just a few days many years ago when I was in between office chairs and almost ended up with RSI.

I can't imagine anything other than a proper, full backed, adjustable desk chair combined with a swivel-top foot rest to keep my legs and knees in a more relaxed position.


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