Programming and chairs

Recently the handle on the back of my Humanscale Freedom chair broke and got me really annoyed.  How could a piece so small that I never touch just break the first time I use it to pull the chair?  After getting over the annoyance of broken, sharp plastic, I emailed Humanscale and they sent me a free replacement handle.  Now, you’re wondering why I’m talking about a broken handle on a chair, and I’m getting to the meat of the post.  It made me think about how important the right desk setup and chair is when you’re programming.  You’re spending over eight hours a day in this chair.  Why would you settle for something that is so uncomfortable?

Many people, have written and debated about the perfect programming chair and I think it’s a worthwhile investment.  Granted, you can’t find Herman Miller Aeron chairs for $100 like you used to during the dot com bust but a really good chair can be found for a reasonable amount.  Personally, I’m a fan of the Humanscale Freedom with a headrest.  It wasn’t the cheapest, but it is by far the best investment I’ve made in my career as a programmer.  The ability to stand up after a coding marathon and feel like you just sat down is a wonderful feeling.

If you can’t afford or don’t want to spend money on a chair, think about setting a time and getting up and moving around for 10 minutes every hour or converting your sit-down desk to a standing desk so you can at least move around a little during the work day.  Your body and your mind will thank you for it.

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