Neocon 2015 Office Chair Favorites
Just one week ago today, I was making my way to Chicago through pouring rain and, of course, the relentless Monday morning traffic. The Skyway bridge is always fun and a little unnerving, but the latter comes mostly from paying the $4.50 toll at the end. As I approached the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, I was full of anticipation at seeing all the office furniture products from top designers who had poured their heart and soul into creating and showcasing their wares at Neocon 2015, Office Furniture‘s version of the Oscars! I was definitely not disappointed. Here are a few of my standout favorites.
In answer to the “Sitting is the new smoking”, active seating could be seen throughout Neocon 2015. Active seating is simply an office chair that has some movement allowing for the body to change positions seamlessly throughout the day. For instance, the oyo, by Via Seating was on the top of my list to try. As I approached the Via Seating display, I immediately saw the chair and gave it a sit. The first thought that came to my head as I sat in the oyo was my Mother’s voice saying “keep your legs together”, and in the oyo, that is simply not possible. The chair’s gentle movement was overshadowed by that voice. Fortunately, there are other ways to sit in the oyo, however, they were not nearly as comfortable. The side-saddle approach was more “lady-like” but could not be done for more than a few minutes. Sitting reverse in the seat made me feel like a slouch.
Luckily, Via also had two other ergo-friendly active seating options. One is a new Swopper style office chair, The Swopper Saddle. This springy and fun office task chair is a direct descendant of the original Swopper Classic, but with a more stable saddle-type seat. I was concerned that I would disappoint my Mother again by sitting in it, however, the saddle is not high enough to impede a lady-like sit. I enjoyed sitting in this office task chair and can see that it would be highly beneficial in keeping your seat and back moving while you work.
The second option is the Muvman Sit-Stand Stool, a perfect match to your adjustable-height desk. The Muvman is so flexible it goes from sitting height to standing height in mere seconds with little effort. Althought it doesn’t look it, the stool is stable and allows you to lean and sit with movement–the perfect combination to keep those pesky sitting diseases at bay.
Another definite standout in office seating wasn’t even at Neocon (gasp). The folks at Focal Upright did one better and set up a sleek and contemporary storefront at the corner of LaSalle and Wacker to showcase their ergonomic leaning seats and standing/leaning height conference table and workstations. My favorite is the Confluence Table. It’s big on meeting space with a whiteboard top. You can either stand or pull up some Mobis seats and you’ve got yourself a highly productive meeting area. The best part is with the Confluence Table and Mobis seats, the meeting space requirements are much less than a typical conference table and chairs. For instance, the Confluence-8 (shown) will comfortably seat 8 to 10 people in an 8′ by 10′ footprint.
It is clear that many office chair products showcased at Neocon are designed to deliver alternatives to sitting in the same position day-after-day and I hope we continue to see more alternatives, especially since a recent study indicates that in order to decrease risks associated with sitting all day including Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Poor Circulation, changing positions every 20-minutes is optimal. It’s nice to see that these companies and more are providing solutions. I cannot wait to see what Neocon 2016 brings to us!