Sitting for long hours can have a significant impact on your body. Improper sitting and inadequate chairs can cause back and neck pain, impair your posture and affect overall productivity.
Nevertheless, with most jobs being office-based, sitting for long periods of time can rarely be avoided. What you can do is make sure you have a high-quality, ergonomic chair that can give you the support you need.
Investing in a first-rate chair means investing in your health. There’s now a variety of excellent office chairs you can choose from within a different price range. But, if you’re ready to make an investment that pays off in the long run, you can’t go wrong with the two most-acclaimed chairs on the market — the Herman Miller Aeron and the Humanscale Freedom.
In this blog, we’ll compare these two premium chairs in terms of comfort, design and affordability, so you can choose the one that’s more to your preference.
Why Should You Choose an Ergonomic Chair?
Considering that we all spend at least eight hours sitting on weekdays, we need to ensure that we have an adequate office chair. Fortunately, a need for an ergonomic chair was recognized back in 1976, and since then, they have been constantly upgraded and adapted to contemporary needs. An ergonomic chair offers many benefits, and we think you should include one in your everyday life.
Most of us tend to lean forward while sitting or slouch over the desk. If this continues for a prolonged time, it can permanently worsen your posture. An ergonomic chair with the right back height can keep your back properly aligned and help you improve your posture.
Office workers usually deal with neck and back pain because traditional chairs don’t have headrests. On the contrary, ergonomic chairs support pain points, promote relaxation and reduce body pain.
Reduce Hip Pressure
When you’re sitting, hips bear the most burden of your weight. Unlike traditional chairs, ergonomic ones have suitable seat depth that supports the hips and reduces pressure.
When in the office, it all comes down to productivity. This is hardly achievable if you sit uncomfortably and feel pain. By including ergonomic chairs in your office routine, you’ll feel better and potentially be more productive.
What to Look For in an Ergonomic Chair
With the emergence of ergonomic chairs, a great number of different models have appeared. So, it has become quite a challenge to pick the right one among a plethora of options. We’ll list some features you should look for when opting for an ergonomic chair, so you can really benefit from using one.
Everybody is built differently, and therefore, everyone will need a different chair height. That’s why an ergonomic chair needs to have an adjustable height feature so you can adapt it to your needs. You should be seated in such a way that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
The best backrests are adjustable to your work style. There should be a locking mechanism that holds the backrest in place so you don’t easily tilt backwards. There should also be a height-adjustable feature of the backrest, so you can adapt it to your needs.
A variety of materials are used for making chairs — fabric, mesh, leather and faux leather. The one you choose depends on your personal preference, but it’s essential to select one that’s breathable.
Look for a chair with a backrest that follows the spine’s natural curve. Your lower back should be supported in a way that’s comfortably arched while sitting normally. This kind of support will minimize the stress and pressure in your lumbar area.
Sufficient Depth and Width
In order to sit comfortably, the chair should be wide and deep enough. If you’re tall, you need a deeper seat. If you’re short, then you need a shallow one. Ideal sitting would be with your back against your backrest, with approximately 2–4 inches between the back of your knees and the seat of the office chair.
If you want to move around your workspace while sitting on the chair, you should look for a chair with casters that will make it easier to get around. Just make sure that they are compatible with your floor type. If they aren’t compatible, it’s best to get an area rug or a chair mat.
Herman Miller Aeron vs. Humanscale Freedom
When it comes to ergonomic chairs, Herman Miller Aeron and Humanscale Freedom are the two most iconic ones on the market. They are both premium chairs and accordingly have higher prices. That’s why buying one of them is usually not a very easy decision to make. But, if you decide to invest in one of these chairs, you won’t make a mistake (whichever one you choose). They are both high-quality, so it will come down to preference. That’s why we’ll compare these two sought-after chairs here, so you can make an informed decision.
Comfort and Ergonomics
Both Aeron and Freedom are designed with comfort in mind. However, they take a completely different approach to ergonomics, and the choice you make depends on your preference.
The Herman Miller chair comes in A, B and C sizes, and it’s essential to choose the right size based on your height and weight. Also, the Aeron has various manual adjustable features. The Tilt Limiter feature allows you to set the backrest at three different positions: upright, mid-recline and full-recline. Aeron also has an adjustable armrest, so you can customize it to the most comfortable position for you.
On the contrary, Humanscale Freedom doesn’t have adjustable features. Instead, it automatically adapts to users, allowing them to move freely from posture to posture. Freedom uses your body weight and height to adjust recline support automatically. When it comes to Freedom’s armrests, they move up and down to adapt to whatever position the user moves to.
In terms of design, these two premium chairs are almost completely different. And once again, it all comes down to your preferences.
The Aeron chair uses mesh fabric, and people are often skeptical about the comfort when they see this. However, this mesh material is made from the brand’s patented 8Z Pellicle, an elastomeric weave that stretches all the way across the seat and up through the backrest. This specific material enables ample support that prevents back pain after long periods of sitting. The waterfall edge that the seat has helps blood to maintain flow down to your legs.
As opposed to the Aeron, Freedom is designed with a headrest that provides additional support to your head and neck. When it comes to material, Freedom uses a padded cushion that is very comfortable. The back of the chair is framed with steel bars, which gives the chair a bit of an industrial aesthetic.
What is very important is that both chairs use very breathable materials, so you can sit for hours without any inconvenience.
Both chairs aren’t exactly budget-friendly, but they are an investment that may off in the long run. When you purchase either an Aeron or Freedom, you don’t have to think about changing the chair for over a decade, all while having great benefits in terms of health.
The current price of Herman Miller Aeron is $1,795, while the Humanscale Freedom is $1,249.Buy on Herman Miller Buy on Humanscale
We all know how harmful too much sitting can be for our health. Since we can’t avoid long hours of sitting, we can at least make it comfortable by getting a high-quality, ergonomic chair. The two options presented above are among the top picks on the market. They are both first-rate chairs, and you can’t go wrong with either of them.