In the past I have used an exercise ball as a chair. They are cheap and for me it worked to eliminate the minor back discomfort I had. I have read that any type of chair that allows your body to sit slackly in one place without using your back muscles to support yourself will eventually cause problems because of cutting off blood circulation to the spine and degeneration of your back muscles.
Recently I raised my desk up to a standing position and I have a treadmill set up under it so I can slowly walk and type at the same time. I do have a stool I can sit on if I get tired of treading, so I'm back to sitting part of the day. I might order one of those exercize ball-chairs to sit on instead if I find myself doing too much sitting.
Well, in the last 3 weeks I went to office max and purchased and returned 3 office chairs. My back is having problems sitting in front of the screens for 10 hours a day. A friend mentioned a chair called the Herman Miller Embody and I checked it out....I live in west michigan where these are MfG and so it was not hard to find a specialty furniture store that carriers them. I looked at the price tag and my jaw dropped off my face but when I sat in it the first time I was sold...simply the most comfortable chair I ever sat on. If you are in the market for a chair that you can sit 10 hours a day in a feel great when done then check this out. Here is a review.
I have been watching Craigslist for local sellers of their used Aeron chair. Patience was the key, (sounds familiar), a local guy is selling 40 of these chairs, 2006 Aeron model for $175.00 each in the Baltimore - DC area....email Mel ...the chairs are awesome, fully adjustable, lumbar support and comfortable! These used chairs have been selling in the area for $375 - $600.00.
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I sat in the Aeron and I didn't find it that good - not much support for thoraic spine, no headrest, makes you bend shoulders forward... + high price. My impression of Aeron was always that you pay for the looks (which I don't find extraordinary either).
I recently bought a Therapia chair (http://www.prowork.cz/cz/kancelarske-zidle/therapia-body_15).Unfortunately, the delivery is limited to Europe. It's most likely the only chair that does not make your shoulders bend forward, instead the chair reinforces the habit of having your shoulders back and down where they should be. Having the experience that I have now I would not buy a chair that makes you bend, but that's subject to personal taste I guess.
Gomi referenced the Gokhale method. When I first read it, I incorporated some important messages from it into my everyday life, but I would say it's incomplete. I personally found "The Foundation" more of a "whole package", plus with the online video guide for 24.99 you get to learn all the exercises in no time.
Lastly, I gained some benefits from walking the "right way" (who will ever know what the really right way is, right?), you can find it on youtube. Basically, twist the meeting point of the lumbar and thoraic spine by actively using the hip into each step (see e.g. Chi Running ). Stretches the back and makes your core and glutes work without you having to think about it.
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