Monday, November 12, 2007

I Want an Aeron Chair

I don't usually think about growing old ,except for those ocassions which come more often now, when the hip and the low back start aching. One of these ocassions, prompted me to check out desk chairs. I spend a great deal of time sitting in front of a desk, talking to people and typing on a computer. I thought it was time to treat myself to a high end desk chair.

I first sat on an Aeron chair a few years ago, on one of those few ocassions I stayed in an expensive hotel suite. It was quite comfortable and I have wanted to upgrade to an Aeron desk chair since.

Introduced in 1994, Aeron chairs quickly became the rave in office furniture. Designed by Don Chadwick and Bill Stumpf for the Herman Miller Company, it was and many would argue, still is the desk chair to sit on. Aeron chairs combine the notion that form follows function with stylish design, making it at home in any office setting be it the boardroom or the home office.

There are executive chairs, side chairs and task chairs in this line। The tall wide back is designed to relieve stress on the lower vertebrae while the arm rest design helps minimize arm and hand fatigue from repetitive keyboard strokes. The seat front has a waterfall design to minimize numbness from circulation to the legs being cut off during prolonged seating. The mesh design of the chair back allows good aeration and ventilation thus keeping the back cool especially on warm weather. Adjustable tension allows modification for different body size and form. Durable materials including titanium alloy make these office chairs easy to clean, maintain and repair.

Designed for comfort, Aeron chairs quickly became popular with computer types tired of ill fitting desk chairs while hunched in front of their computer screens, with people with low back pain and with corporate and government offices। It soon was a symbol of opulence and alas, of fiscal mismanagement as well। When dotcom companies and huge corporations such as Enron went belly up, the large quantities of Aeron chairs in their inventory were taken as yet another evidence of fiscal irresponsibility.

There is no question Aeron chairs are pricey, an executive chair easily setting one back well over $1000।00 and task chairs over $500।00. Used Aeron chairs are not any less expensive and remain a favorite on Ebay and other auction houses. The best compliment, of course, is in the fact that Aeron chairs are being copied as knock offs or less expensive variations, much to the consternation of Herman Miller. The Herman Miller Company has approached this problem by offering incentives to knock off customers to trade in their copy for an authentic one and by a cease and desist legal action towards knock off manufacturers. Before buying a used Herman Miller Aeron chair, it would be wise to check with the company on the warranty. While Herman Miller honors warranty on original purchase, it might not honor waranties on previously owned chairs.

Customer reviews are mixed. Many consider the Herman Miller Aeron chair to be the chair to own while some find that the chair did not deliver as well as they expected or they did not get relief from back pain as they had hoped.

Price and reviews aside, the Aeron chair continues to be the office chair to have. I, for one, still covet it and look beyond water heater replacements, car repairs, and new carpeting to that time when I can finally own one.

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