I thought I would take a departure from my usual pen and paper reviews to talk about another important office product…the office chair.
If you are like me, you spend a lot of time at your desk and know how important it is to be comfortable. I have been using a standing desk for several years now and cannot imagine going back. If you work long hours at a desk you should seriously consider one; it’s healthier and more comfortable (once you get used to it) than a tradition desk and chair which keeps you bent at a 90-degree angle.
I have spent years of my life sitting in a Herman Miller Aeron chair which is now destined to be a classic and for the longest time was the gold standard in ergonomic office seating. The workstation has evolved and the standing desk trend requires an entirely different sort of chair.
My standing desk moves up and down so that it can be used in standing, half seated and seated positions and as such the ideal chair should be highly flexible. Ergonomically you should be changing positions frequently and the more options your workspace has the better off you are.
To find my perfect chair I spent hours doing showroom visits trying out chairs, even visiting a few manufacturers’ production facilities (I love furniture as much as I love pens and paper).
In my search for my perfect office chair I looked at various ergonomic options like sit-stand stools, stability ball chairs and kneeling chairs. Ultimately, I landed on something that is a bit more of a hybrid between a sit-stand stool and a proper office chair, the Håg Capisco. Håg (pronounced “hog”) is an innovative Norwegian company that has been making office chairs for almost 75 years.
The Capisco is a funny looking chair with a saddle seat and a winged backrest. With the Capisco in tandem with my desk I can work standing, perched (half standing) or seated.
With normal chairs you can only sit forward but with the Capisco you can sit backwards and sideways as well. I have found sitting backwards especially useful for reading books as the wings on the seatback support my arms.
The seatback is height adjustable easily moves up and down and the seat bottom slides forward giving you a more normal chair like seat and backwards giving a shallower stool seat. Like most office chairs you can lock and adjust the tilt and tilt tension.
The chair comes on casters and the base has integrated footrests…there is an optional foot ring that I opted for but do not recommend as it encourages you to bend your legs at the knee, bringing you back to that unwanted 90-degree angle that is not considered to be ergonomic.
The chair comes in a large number of fabrics as well as three metal trim options and Håg will do custom fabrics too. Starting price is about $850. I opted for a nice quality leather from southern Germany, silver metal with a 265mm pneumatic lift (the recommend size for standing desks). In total my Capisco cost a bit over $1,100. There are two other versions of the Capisco, one with a headrest and one that is simply a stool (no backrest). I did not go for the headrest version as I always find them to be awkward and it also prevents you from sitting backward in the chair.
In the end the Capisco really won me over because it allows for the most variation in seating positions of any chair I have seen. It is easy to operate and highly adjustable. The starting price is a bit higher than the Aeron but if you spend a lot of time at your desk, it will be money well spent.
Disclaimer: seating is personal and what works best for me may not be the best for you. When buying ergonomic furniture in particular it is always best to spend time trying the product to make sure it is right for you.