The Steelcase Leap Chair is a well-built, highly adjustable, and extremely comfortable office chair. Despite being far more expensive than anything you’ll buy at a big-box office store, it’s well worth the investment!
I’ve had a variety of office chairs in my 20+ years working in offices. Most were cheap and uncomfortable, especially the ones I’ve purchased for myself. A few have been more expensive and consequently more adjustable and more comfortable.
For the longest time, I seemed to think that a chair’s comfort and quality were based mostly on its amount of padding and the quality of the material. In some cases, I struggled with wrist and arm pain because of a poorly aligned chair/desk combination. It’s amazing this didn’t happen more since the combination was usually haphazard.
My most recent employer standardized on Steelcase Leap Chairs for the line-level employees throughout the office. They were all covered with the same medium-blue fabric – none were leather.
Based on my previous standards that emphasized the thickness of the padding and the quality of the material, I was prepared for a highly uncomfortable situation. Thankfully, I had an epiphany!
Just to be clear, the seat of the Leap Chair is quite well padded, although the back appears to be less cushy than the cheap “executive” chairs you see in big box stores. But judging the chair’s comfort based on its padding is a big misconception!
Adjustability Equals Comfort
I quickly noticed just how comfortable this chair could be, despite sitting for 8 or 9 hours a day. What really makes it work is the range of adjustments:
- The arms can be raised to accommodate desktops of varying heights.
- The tops of the arms can be moved laterally to get your elbows and arms into an optimal position for mouse and keyboard usage.
- The seat can slide forward or back to get the angle of your legs properly aligned with the floor.
- The range of motion of the back can be limited, allowing only the desired amount of reclining before stopping.
- The lumbar firmness can be adjusted.
- And more…
You get the idea – this thing is WAY more adjustable than ANY chair I’ve ever seen at a big-box office store. All of these adjustments result in a more comfortable and natural position, which makes long hours of sitting take far less of a toll on your body.
A Note On Pricing
While there are some perks that come with buying expensive brand-new items from retailers, there are other ways to buy open-box items far more cheaply. I purchased my chair from Madison Seating for less than half of the retail price. My chair has a few scratches on the back, but otherwise it is perfectly usable and I’m very happy with my purchase!
The Bottom Line
Assuming you’re in a position to decide which chair you use for your daily work, you can not go wrong with investing in a comfortable chair! Think about it – you will be sitting in this chair for THOUSANDS of hours each year! The difference in comfort between a $200 chair and a $1,000 chair can be HUGE. But if you think about the cost per hour or day, it’s really a no-brainer.
In a great assessment of programmer’s priorities, Scott Hanselman makes the case for
spending big bucks on investing in several key items, one of those being a chair. I agree completely with his recommendations!
After using this chair daily for over 7 years at my last employer, this chair was the first purchase I made when establishing my home office. If you have any issues with comfort during your daily work, you should consider getting a highly-adjustable chair like the Steelcase Leap Chair. It will make you feel like you’re the master of your domain!
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