I’m a big guy and when it comes to my office chair, I’m very rough on them. I spend anywhere from 8 – 14 hours in my chair 4 – 6 days per week, depending on my workload. So, when it comes to staying productive, I need a chair that is not only comfortable, but supports me where I need it. During the past few years, I haven’t had great success in finding chairs that provide the support I need while being big enough. It seems that all too often, big & tall chairs are built with weight in mind, but not size and when size is considered, all thought of comfort goes out the window.
The past few weeks I have been having problems with my sciatic nerve causing back issues and meralgia paraesthetica (numbness and pain in my thigh). It’s been tough to stay focused on work because when sitting, my thigh would become agitated and the pain would increase in severity until I couldn’t stand it anymore. Several doctor appointments later, I may finally be on the road to recovery with the right prescription. However, I find that when I am in these situations, sometimes I need to change my environment.
I’ve looked into standing desks before, but my current office situation just won’t allow it to work. I have way too much stuff on my desk and I kind of like it that way. While a standing desk would allow for more flexibility and let me stay productive if I need to get up and stand for awhile, the limited space would cut down on productivity in other ways. So, the environment change I was left with was finding a new office chair. My previous chair was from staples and was the Series 1100TL Chair Bonded Leather office chair. It was comfortable, but not quite the right size. I should have kept looking for a chair when I bought it, but the price was too good and I had been looking for awhile and got frustrated. In the end, the chair served me well and saw thousands of hours of use. I guess the problem is that I waited too long to find a replacement.
My search this time around lead me to the HON Big and Tall Executive Chair. HON is a name I have known for years, but tended to avoid because they are generally expensive and I’m generally cheap. This time, I found a good deal on Amazon.com and decided it was worth trying. I like to sit in and test chairs before buying, but living in the middle of nowhere presents limited opportunities to visit stores that sell big and tall chairs and I just haven’t felt like spending that much time driving, so I decided to make this an online purchase and hope for the best.
The last chair I bought from Amazon was not a good experience. The chair was represented poorly on the site and was smaller and less stable than what the seller made it appear. I felt a little more confident with this chair, because I was familiar with the brand and the chair had a 4.3 star rating from 143 users. While searching for the chair on google, I found several other sites with similar reviews, so I placed the order on April 24 and It was delivered on April 27.
One of the first things I noticed when the chair arrived was the condition of the box. It looked as though it had seen better days and I was hoping it wasn’t an indication of the chair being damaged as well.
After opening the box, I had some concerns because there seemed to be plenty of room for the chair to move around inside the box and considering the condition of the outside, I suspect it had alot of opportunity to do just that.
Every job needs a supervisor and it didn’t take long for mine to show up and start inspecting everything. I think he approved.
Once I started pulling the HON Big and Tall Executive Chair parts from the box, my fears were put at ease as everything looked to be in good shape.
The only issue I encountered was a few screws seemed to have come free from their packaging. Luckily, none of them found their way out of the box.
I checked all of the parts and was happy to find that they had taken care to wrap the individual parts so they would not get damaged during shipping. The base cushion and back were in good shape and covered in plastic that did a good job keeping them in new condition.
The mechanical parts were packed well in sturdy cardboard
I set to work putting everything together. The directions were simple and after 20 years of putting office chairs together, they weren’t needed for much. I quickly got the casters into the base and set to work attaching the arms to the chair bottom. The box worked well as a make-shift table in order to rest the chair bottom on while allowing the arms to hang down over the side.
Using the box made it easy to get the arms attached quickly and then I moved on to getting the back in place. The ox made a perfect work table for this as well since it was just the right size to allow the chair base to sit upside down with the arms hanging down either side of the box. The height of the box was just right to help keep the chair back in place while I got the first screws set.
Once the first two screws were in place, it was pretty simple to get the others added and tighten everything up.
Once the back and the bottom were attached and setup, I checked the cylinder to make sure everything looked to be in good shape and placed it into the base.
The last step was getting the chair on the base. This was a bit tricky, but once I had a good hold on the chair, it was fairly easy to navigate it onto the cylinder and get everything set. And my HON Big and Tall Executive Chair was ready to test.
I’ve been sitting on the chair for the past hour or so as I write this and work on some other stuff. My overall first impressions are good. The HON Big and Tall Executive Chair is definitely more sturdy than my previous chair from Staples. It’s also wider, because it has the ability to move the arm rests out and also raise and lower them. The Staples chair was pressing into my leg as I sat and causing the pain in my thight to seem more severe than what it should have been. Because of the wider seat, I’m not currently dealing with that. The adjustable lumbar support seems to work well, but is probably something I am going to need to play with as I am feeling some pain in my back near where I have it set. My only complaint right now is that the chair is made for big and tall people with a high weight capacity. It seems to fit that description in all but one area. The seat depth is not what I was hoping for and my large posterior. Unfortunately I’m not sure I will find much better and I like the chair enough in every other way that I am going to give it o good test and see how it works out over the next few weeks. I’m in the process of trying to lower my weight and hopefully my backside will shrink in the process and then the chair will be perfect.
Along with the chair, I also bought a new chair mat as I had previously had my chair on the carpet and noticed that I was sinking and it seemed to be causing me to lean forward. I also bought two foot rests from Amazon.com in order to allow me to raise the chair to a better level, but have my feet properly supported. I’m hoping the changes help me regain my productivity and start working out the problems and get rid of the ongoing pain.