Best chair for programmers

Note: I didn’t get paid for this article, it’s not sponsored, nor did I receive the product for free.

Programming is a hard job, especially for your back. You spend your entire life at the desk, looking at the code, sometimes even low-level assembly code, so it’s good to have a really comfortable and ergonomic office chair to support your work and your health.

Most of you probably didn’t read my old blog entry where I was struggling to find the perfect chair for a programmer. It’s been 10 years since then and fortunately, I managed to find something perfect for me and it’s not the infamous Herman-Miller Aeron.

Herman-Miller Aeron
Herman-Miller Aeron
Herman-Miller Aeron. Sorry buddy, not this time.

And the winner is… Steelcase Gesture!

After a very long search and reflection, my choice was the Steelcase Gesture chair.

Features that I was looking for:

  • adjustable headrest
  • adjustable lumbar support
  • armrests

I will tell you that meeting all these requirements is not easy, it took me some time before I managed to find a chair that has all these qualities and now after more than a year I can recommend this chair to every programmer or someone who spends his life in front of a computer with a clear conscience.

How does this model look like? Impressive, that’s for sure. Steelcase did a great job designing this chair.

I have an almost 99% identical version:

Advantages

This chair has all the advantages I can think of. It is damn comfortable, adjustable in all possible planes, height, seat depth, backrest angle, and tilt force. Sitting on other chairs currently makes me uncomfortable.

  • The armrests are extendable forwards, backward, sideways, they can also be adjusted downwards and upwards. This was a very important element for health reasons (pressure on my wrists) and now I would avoid a chair without armrests. It is incomparably more comfortable to work with such support.
  • The headrest is adjustable in all planes, it is not annoying, it is flexible and it works well. If you never had it in your office chair — try it.
  • The materials are solid, after more than a year of use nothing has broken down, the armchair was even washed with a Kärcher textile washer and nothing harmed it.
  • Flexible configuration. All elements can be individually set in the online configurator.
Steelcase Gesture Office Chair
Steelcase Gesture Office Chair
Steelcase Gesture Office Chair

Disadvantages

  • The price — I cannot lie to you. You will have to prepare for at least a 1000 USD price tag or even more. But think about it this way — you will spend a good amount of your life on it. Your back will thank you.
  • I had to buy from the local dealer, so it’s not a defect of the products, but I have a few words to say about the Polish Steelcase distributor (Arc Interiors). If you buy a chair for that much money, you would expect it won’t get shipped by a truck that sells potatoes & you wouldn’t have to carry a huge package on your back yourself. The disgust remains until today. I suppose the Steelcase support level in the States is very different from poor European countries.
Steelcase Gesture Chair from the back
Steelcase Gesture Chair from the back

Would I choose another brand?

What more can I say? I saw recently at FB ads of Aeron, from another Polish distributor of Herman-Miller, and looking at what the Steelcase Gesture offers — I would choose it with my eyes closed and my wallet open.

Steelcase Gesture is worth every penny!

Steelcase Leap

Steelcase offers another interesting model, namely Leap. I also considered buying it, but the choice was eventually made for the Gesture because of its greater ability to adjust, but you can see an interesting comparison of the two:

What is your office chair?

I would love to read your comments about this topic. What are you sitting on currently, what are your experiences with office chairs, what else would you recommend for more ergonomic work?

Developer behind PELock software protection system, author of reverse engineering articles.