|My office --- with the ugly black chair that saved my back|
© Cheryl Bolen
After three years in my custom-made desk chair for which I paid $700, I was in agony. I'd had the chair semi custom made. The manufacturer offered options of all types of wood, including one painted ivory--which I chose to go with the cottage-style decor of my office, a sun porch. I was given the option of furnishing my own fabric, which I did. I chose a rosy color with piping made of a pale plaid that picked up my cottage colors. It was all very feminine.
I'm an empty nester who spends 12 hours a day writing--and emailing and surfing the net. (Please note, that to compensate somewhat for this, I start every morning at the gym or with a long walk.) When my beautiful chair was just three years old, I got to where I could not sit down. Seriously. My back was in agony.
I told my husband the sight of my desk chair made me sick.
So I went to the archives of the email loop for the now-defunct PASIC (RWA's Published Authors Special Interest Chapter). I knew they had previously discussed the best office chairs for those of us who make a living writing with butt in the chair eight plus hours a day.
The consensus seemed to be an ergonomic Aeron chair manufactured by Herman Miller. So I investigated them on the internet. Everything I read was positive. Except the price. With the lumbar feature, it was $719. Hmmm. Barely three years previously that's what I'd paid for my pretty office chair with made-to-order wood finish.
Of course, I could no longer sit in it.
I kept going back on line at looking at the ergonomic chair. It looked kind of like a giant black spider. Not pretty. Hmmm.
By then I was writing in the recliner with my laptop because my back hurt too bad to sit at my desk. I really don't like writing on a laptop.
I told my husband I was going to order the Herman Miller Aeron chair online. He did not like the idea because he was worried about returns, especially if my back still hurt once I had the new chair. I told him the company I was buying from offered a full refund for up to 365 days – and if you saved original packaging, they would pay shipping, too.
Then I pulled out my trump card. That month was the most spectacular month I'd ever had as far as earnings. In fact, I made more that month than I'd ever made in an entire year before. And I sold my first book in 1997!
What could the man say?
I waited impatiently. It was more than three weeks before my ugly chair was delivered. The minute I sat in it, I knew I was going to be all right.
It's been six years now, and I have to say that was the best $719 I ever spent.
I've learned a valuable lesson. Aesthetics are not all important. When you earn your living writing at a desk, you have to take care of your body. Take frequent breaks. Get up. Most of all, don't be fooled by a pretty chair. – Cheryl Bolen is the author of three dozen Regency-set historicals. Her last full-length book was Miss Hastings' Excellent London Adventure.