Would you want to sit on this chair for 8 hours a day?
Do you sit at your desk for endless hours and at the end of the day every part of your body hurts? It is not age. It is what we are sitting on. I know since I have been sitting in a hard rigid wood chair for 4 hour stretches a day. It feels like sitting on your hemorrhoids for those who know what that feels like. And for the young’ins reading this Article, it feels like an intense butt sunburn or sitting on just your bones with no extra padding. Ouch is an understatement.
When I could not bear the pain anymore, I graduated to my bedroom pillow as my cushion for relief. Then my back started to get in the act and said, “hey what about me?” Between my back, neck, and tush, I could not tell who was winning the contest for my sympathy.Why not an elegant seat cushion or a new chair, you might ask? I kept saying next week, I will look for a chair or a cushion. The following week would come and go. This nonsense ritual went on for weeks until I said enough. Kind of like the shoemakers’ children who do not have shoes, well, I was the writer without the perfect chair.
My Goldilocks adventure started to unfold as I went to Staples to sit in all of their chairs. This one did not support my back. This one’s lumber support did not land in the right place. That one was too expensive. Then I threw in,” are any of these made of recycled materials?” Why not make life complicated? Welcome to my own personal American Idol competition where my tush was Randy Johnson, and my back was Simon. I am not sure which of my body parts was Paula Abdul…
Then Glenda, the good witch, from the Wizard of Oz showed up in her blue bubble and said, “why buy a new chair when there are all these lovely used office furniture stores with ergonomically correct chairs for the picking. Buying used furniture will save you some green as well as be good for the environment.” Glenda, the good witch, has sooo evolved since her stint on the Wizard of Oz. To boot, she hasn’t aged a bit. (Extreme Makeover…)Where to begin to adopt a lonely office chair needing my love and devotion?
First stop was Craig’s List. There was nothing. Then off I went to my friend, Google, to see what wisdom she could impart for used office furniture. Of course Google started rambling and gave me so many names I felt overwhelmed. I emailed a few companies telling them what I was looking for.
I wanted a Herman Miller or Steelcase chair since both were known for their environmental commitments. (See Herman Miller’s sustainability report and Steelcase’s environmental commitment.) In addition, the chairs were ergonomic and good quality. Some of both companies’ chair models have received the Cradle to Cradle certification. The fully loaded Herman Miller aeron mesh office chair I liked cost $949 online. I could not fathom spending this on my tush.
Of course, none of the companies that I tried to contact emailed me back. Why on earth do businesses have email addresses or “contact us” when they never reply? What a waste of time and energy! So, last Friday, I had had it. I kept forgetting my extra pillow for my bed and my back was getting just a little too demanding. Google and I were no longer BSFs (best search friends.) since I had had enough of her ramblings. I turned over the reins to my husband, who has a master degree in expert googling to find a used office furniture place near us.
Of course he found a few and made some phone calls. Off we went to Glenwood Office Furniture in Hillside, New Jersey. When we walked in there were office chairs, beautiful office desks, conference tables, and cubicles. Some were new and some were old. I had my choice of big leather chairs, open mesh chairs, fabric ergonomic chairs on wheels, and stationary chairs. The Company sold Steelcase, Herman Miller, and others. I was in chair heaven. We immediately started sitting in all the chairs and thank goodness, the owner, William Sorvino, intervened. He explained that most of his used furniture came from companies in New Jersey. The age of the furniture ranged from 3 to 7 years old. He further explained that most of the used furniture he sold was at least 75-80% less than retail. Since the company’s inception in 1996, he figured that he has sold over 20,000 chairs.
In his shop, he reupholstered chairs as well so if the chair comes in a color you do not like for an up-charge, he will change the upholstery. Some of his commercial fabrics were comprised of a certain percentage of recycled materials. The fabric choices were very diverse and could work in anyone’s home or office. He also was willing to use water based glues to reupholster the chairs provided I paid for the water based glues.
Glenda, the good witch, smiled and said “remember, dear, buying used furniture is good for the environment and if any nasty chemicals were used, well they probably already off-gassed.” Obviously, she has not read my blog yet because she would have known she was preaching to the choir.
So, did I find the perfect chair? Sorvino, the chair doctor, listened patiently to my endless needs for the perfect chair. As he explained there is not a one fit all solution for chairs since each person’s body size and proportions are different. In my case, I needed a chair that could support my back and neck and of course make my tush happy too. It was a tall order but he patiently worked with me and adjusted the seats so I could find the perfect chair. Mind you this was not a half an hour ordeal. It is almost like finding the perfect car. You have to sit in a lot of lemons before you find the perfect one. I strongly recommend going to a used furniture place and sitting on the chairs.
We ended up purchasing 3 ergonomic fabric chairs, one for each of us and one for a kitchen computer for the kids. My Steelcase Sensor chair cost $225.00! We did not need to change the fabric since we were happy with the black fabric. If you are starting a business or just need office furniture, click your ruby slippers and say, “there is no place like a used office furniture store. There is no place like a used office furniture store.” Take Glenda, the good witch’s advice. You can’t beat the green savings or the environmental benefits! If my tush and back are happy, then I am happy!
Ideas for searching for used furniture stores:FurnitureFinders.com (Us and Canada)
Used Office Furniture For Sale From 800 Members Nationwide (Us and Canada)
Green-Works (providing heavily discounted used business furniture to UK charities, not for profits, schools, volunteer and community groups, and start-up businesses)
Office Furniture Desk and Chairs (UK)Your local yellow pages. (On the web there was a lot of local area used furniture places, but I did not list them since you could easily do a search for a local used furniture place.)
Ebay or Craig’s List
- Craigslist Lovin Designer Turns Drab to Fab with only $500/Five Days
- Green Mountain Ski Furniture Repurposes Your Old Skis.
- Eco-Friendly FlexibleLove Furniture: The End of the Stackable Chair
- Rubie Green Fabrics are Gems to Behold
- The Repurposed Home: Breathing New Life into Old Furniture & Accessories