June 12, 2008
I'm looking for three items:
- Office chair. Ideally with either good height adjustment or a footrest so
that it will actually fit me. I plan to do a lot of sitting in this
- Computer desk. Must have a keyboard tray, etc. More importantly, ideally
either the whole thing or at least the keyboard tray will be height-adjustable,
and in particular will be able to become shorter. Ideally I could put the
keyboard tray at 24" off the ground or lower.
- Phone headset, for use with both a phone and possibly skype on a MacBook or
Any recommendations would be much appreciated.
Posted by bzbarsky at June 12, 2008 10:52 PM
When I had one, I loved my Aeron chair. They come in three sizes, and are *very* adjustable (no footrest that I know of). Fair warning...no protection against the occasional fart.
I have an Aeron. The "fabric" is great for long periods and it's got good adjustments (pick the right A-B-C size before you start adjusting). But it slips out of adjustment, some people don't like the pressure from the front edge of the seat pan, and you may not need all the adjustments -- I find my 16-year old desk chair from an ergonomic store is more comfortable.
Office chair was rehashed on Slashdot recently, http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/06/12/1815232 Of the brands mentioned, I've sat in the Leap and Mirra some recommend and in 10 minutes couldn't form any conclusion in comparison with Aeron. I've never sat in the Humanscale Freedom or Knoll Life.
You ask for height-adjustable desk. Do you want to go from sitting to standing? I'm one of the few people who shelled out for the Herman Miller Levity, a weight bench mated with a monster CPU table. I've found nothing else works as well for the wide height range required for sit-to-stand. I bought a Biomorph Exo (they advertise in the back of Wired) around 2000 and it had a mechanical adjustment sourced from SIS furniture that was a two-person operation to adjust and didn't have sufficient range. I'm still looking for a mechanism to adjust my current desk.
I've never found a keyboard tray useful, it either pushes you away from your monitor, or gets in the way, or your hands are half-under your desk. None have enough travel for sit-to-stand, and you probably want the monitor to adjust along with the keyboard. And most keyboard trays aren't wide enough for a mousing surface and an ergonomic keyboard.
Most desks are needlessly deep now that we all use LCDs. And most place the keyboard too high. So I currently have a custom-made relatively shallow desk surface mounted low so that my keyboard would be at exactly the right height. For other activities I stand at a higher surface nearby. I'm still looking for a mechanism (a winch?) to ratchet the desk up and down. Heh, Martin's link to Joel Spolsky's choice of Steelcase's Details AdjusTables Series 7 is promising, they weren't around at the time. Most dedicated computer desks don't raise the monitor high enough, but Humanscale and others make some nice monitor arms. If you use a laptop, you might be able to rethink "desk" altogether and get an adjustable side table or Ergotron cart.
You can get a separate footrest, but few people t like or use them if your chair is right. It's good to vary your posture (best is switching from sitting to standing), but the cheap Rubbermaid footrests are too fiddly to adjust during the day.
Hope this helps, sorry to ramble.
> Do you want to go from sitting to standing?
The thought had crossed my mind, but even more importantly I want to be able to have the keyboard at a level where it's at the right height while I'm sitting with feet flat on the floor. I have yet to find a desk with a standard keyboard tray that does this: they're all a little too high. I'm 5'6", which is on the short side but certainly not egregiously short; unfortunately all the desks seem to be targeted at average height, period.
> I've never found a keyboard tray useful
I'm not wedded to one. The monitor I'm currently using has plenty of vertical travel, such that if the desk surface were low enough for me to type on I'm pretty sure I could get the monitor to the right height (it's close to the bottom position right now). In any case, having a stand under the monitor if needed is vastly preferable to having a footstand from my point of view.
> Most desks are needlessly deep now that we all
> use LCDs.
I like being able to place actual papers on my desk, though perhaps I should move to a whiteboard more.
> Hope this helps, sorry to ramble.
It does, and it didn't seem so rambly to me. I'm looking for options to investigate, not The Answer (which will of course vary person to person).
You might want to visit UK Office Direct as they sell thousands of office products and furniture at cheap prices