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I've been having pain which the consultant has said could be down to my posture, so my employer paid for an assessment to be done. The company who did the assessment recommended a new chair, but this same company also sells and, through another company run by the same people, manufactures the chairs.

I can't find their chairs sold anywhere else, yet they offer to beat any other quote.

The recommended chair look decent enough, but costs £910 + £50 delivery which seems a lot for a chair, especially as my employer have said they'll pay up to £250 (I can pay the difference if I want to).

To me, this chair doesn't seem any different to a different model I found, which has the inflatable lumbar support, adjustable arms although no head rest, but comes in at £300.

Is the recommended chair worth the extra? Is there much difference between the £300 chair and the £900 chair I'm missing? I don't mind spending more on a chair if it's going to help, but I want to avoid paying a lot of money if the company is just taking advantage of doing the assessments then selling their own products, but I'm not sure how to find out.

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    Welcome to Workplace SE - Unfortunately evaluating the price of a chair (even one for use in the office) isn't really on topic here. You'd probably better off asking for opinions in The Workplace Chat
    – motosubatsu
    Jan 9, 2019 at 11:26
  • Did linking to the two chairs break the site rules? If not can I add the links back in? If the question is off-topic for the site then fair enough to downvote it, but I don't think the edit to remove the actual links changes the topic, it just makes the question worse?
    – Matt
    Jan 9, 2019 at 11:41
  • How to compare two chairs seems valid for the "Ergonomics" tag, not sure what makes it off-topic for the site (Unless the "Ergonomics" tag should be removed from the site?)
    – Matt
    Jan 9, 2019 at 11:47
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    @user1666620 no it is also overpriced if it offers nothing above a chair for 1/3 of the price
    – WendyG
    Jan 9, 2019 at 12:09
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    I am going to say a £900 chair is overpriced by uk chair standards, you can get chairs that sing, dance and cook you dinner for £500. The fact the company that did the assessment are also linked to making this overpriced chair rings so many alarm bells
    – WendyG
    Jan 9, 2019 at 12:12

4 Answers 4

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You can probably rent both chairs for a few weeks to see which one fits you best. If they don't offer this service, don't bother with them anymore. Ergonomic equipment is serious business and you should get what fits your back, because it's your health that's on the line.

Once this is done, forget about the price, and go with the one that seems most comfortable to you.


A note on things being too expensive: You can get a graph of all chair prices to see how your chair compares with others on price.

But this isn't very useful, because the question is actually how much you value your health and how much you want to make the pain stop. What's that worth to you? How about £600? Does that feel expensive? Only you can answer that, but you need to know if the chair actually helps. Thus the suggestion to rent.

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  • I agree, if the £900 chair won't let you try it out why? We have regularly had a batch of chairs to try out when going through office refurbs.
    – WendyG
    Jan 9, 2019 at 12:10
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    Forget renting - the companies should offer a free no-obligation trial of a couple of weeks (or more). No trial means the chair is overpriced
    – HorusKol
    Jan 9, 2019 at 14:42
  • Exactly, on such equipment you get a trial or just forget it.
    – Fattie
    Jan 9, 2019 at 14:51
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I can't really support over-priced chairs that are supposedly to help your back.

We have an antropovarius from back in the day and I suppose it's the only one that was made in that color (256!) or whatever, so it's worth a lot

enter image description here

I also have a $90 chair from Staples.

(One of the really big, poofy ones! It's probably called the "Churchill" or "Admiral" or "Fat and Tall Conquerer" or such.)

enter image description here

I only ever sit in the $90 Staples one :O

It's much more comfortable and I feel better at the end of the day and week.


As everyone has said you should surely get a free trial for a "medical" chair such as the one you mention.

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    Anecdotal, no mentioning of body type, no pre-existing conditions. Sorry, bro -1 :(
    – Roman
    Jan 10, 2019 at 12:57
  • @Roman No diagnosis either :) Just making the point that you don't have to break the piggy bank to get something you like
    – rath
    Jan 10, 2019 at 16:18
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No one here can directly answer if you actually need the expensive chair your current doctor is recommending. If you're uneasy about spending that much, I'd recommend getting a second opinion from a different health care professional.

However to put the cost into perspective, I'd note that - assuming a 40 hour work week - you're spending about 20-25% of your life sitting in an office chair. That means it's probably your second or third most used piece of furniture. Your bed is almost certainly number one, if some other piece of furniture sits between it and your work chair comes down to the rest of your lifestyle. Very few people who can afford better would think that spending more than $100 on a mattress is unreasonable. But even though they may spend an order of magnitude more on their bedding still balk at anything beyond the cheapest chair they can find.

As a final point, if you and your employer are going to split the cost of initially buying the chair; make sure you know who will own it once you leave. You don't want to be disputing the issue six months from now if you end up being laid off, or voluntarily leave for something better. You want to have this answered before buying anything in a split payment structure. If they're unreasonable I'd recommend biting the bullet and just buying the entire chair out of pocket so it's clearly yours rather than risking £710 of your money just to save £250.

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    +1 for mentioning the ownership issue. Jan 10, 2019 at 15:40
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An ergonomic chair has almost nothing about solving the main problem: the pain. At least, you have to do the following things first:

  • Visit a doctor with appropriate medical specialization
  • Change your lifestyle (as the posture is usually a successor here)
  • Un-learn yourself having that posture

If and only if that things are not giving the solution, you could open the wallet and buy that chair.

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    (-1) I have no way of knowing if a chair is going to help or if it's the only problem in this case but you seem to assume “posture” is some sort of lifestyle choice or personality trait someone brings with them and discount the work environment as a potential causal factor. This is completely wrong. Incidentally, a medical doctor isn't particularly qualified to determine whether this is the case (whether an ergonomist/human factors specialist would be, at least if they are not working for chair manufacturers).
    – Relaxed
    Jan 9, 2019 at 20:27

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