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Ultimate work chair impresses with its support

LEAN BACK AND RELAX: The Steelcase Gesture chair, which retails from US$980, is marketed as the ultimate work chair, with easily adjustable settings that will accommodate various body types and sitting postures.


    Sep 13, 2013

    Ultimate work chair impresses with its support

    The New York Times

    THE first time I had to buy a mattress, I remember being shocked at how much it cost. But the salesperson said: "You're going to spend a third of your life on it. Isn't it worth investing in something you'll use for that long?"

    When you think of it that way, maybe it's not quite so crazy to spend nearly US$1,000 (S$1,270) on a desk chair. You sit in that thing eight hours a day, too.

    Actually, the term "desk chair" may be obsolete. That is the conclusion that Steelcase has reached after conducting what it said was a study of 2,000 people in 11 countries - and how those people sit.

    The study showed that people don't just sit upright in their chairs anymore. In this age of smartphones, tablets and laptops, people slouch, lean back and curl up in all kinds of new ways. If you don't have the right chair, each of these postures can lead to fatigue, pain and injury.

    The fruit of its research, study and philosophising is the Steelcase Gesture chair, available later this year from US$980.

    It's supposed to be the ultimate work chair.

    It certainly is comfortable. Both the seat and the back are deeply padded and expansive; you could even sit with your legs tucked under you, or partly so. The arms are connected to the chair behind you, so they don't block your thighs should you decide to swing your legs over the side.

    And it certainly is adjustable. Like most office chairs, you can make this one taller or shorter when you press a lever on the chair's stem. The chair spins smoothly and rolls extremely easily on its five ball-bearing feet.

    You can adjust the tension on the spring so that it moves backwards and forwards more or less. You can lock the back into one of five angles with the flip of a lever. By turning a knob, you can move the seat forward or backward relative to the chair's back, to accommodate longer or shorter limbs.

    The designers put a lot of thought into where to end the chair's various pieces. For example, the arms are short enough that they don't get in the way when you want to pull up close to a table or desk.

    And, so, yes: This is a supremely comfortable chair, impressively adjustable and exceptionally supportive.