Why a good ergonomic chair comes with a chiropractor

A year ago today I was attacked by an ergonomic chair in our office. The following surveillance photos are proof of how dangerous these chairs can be. Especially if you don’t actually know how to sit in one… 

imageBeing a journalist, I am trained to notice the most subtle signs of something amiss.

A hesitant glance.

A bead of sweat.

A chair that appears to be built backwards.

So, as I walked through our composition department this morning on my way to the news room, I immediately noticed that Peggy’s standard-issue office chair had been replaced with a broken piece of furniture. Who would do this to poor Peggy with the lower back problems? Why not replace her desk with a TV tray while you’re at it? Maybe we could move the copy machine on top of a book shelf so she has to use a ladder!

Poor, poor Peggy.

Then I remembered her mentioning she was getting a new “ergonomic” chair. Using the deductive skills I’ve developed over 16 years as a journalist,  I came to the following conclusion:

This must be her new chair.

I stared at it for a moment, trying to picture how one would ergonomically sit in it. I decided there was only one way to find out — a process that was captured by one of our office’s surveillence cameras… 

Was this thing even put together right?
This seemed logical but provided even less ergonomic benefit than your standard commode
Seems logical but provides less ergonomic benefit than your standard commode
Maybe they come in different sizes and I'm too big?
Maybe they come in different sizes and I’m too big?
Maybe if I want to play Superman?
Hey, I can play Superman!
I think I'm on to something
Wait, I think I’m on to something…
This still doesn't seem right
… Not, still doesn’t seem right
Sometimes our cat does this on the arm of the couch
Sometimes our cat does this on the arm of the couch
Definitely not it
Definitely not right
Maybe it was upside down?
Maybe it was upside down?
I GOT it!
I GOT it!
Oh crap…


My first instinct was to delete these images. But then I thought of the hundreds, perhaps dozens, of others like me who could find themselves in a similar situation. Probably not with Peggy’s chair, but one like it. If I could help even one person avoid a visit to the hospital while trying to figure out how to sit in their ergonomic chair, it will have been worth it.

In an unrelated matter,  does anyone know a good chiropractor?



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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

20 thoughts on “Why a good ergonomic chair comes with a chiropractor”

  1. LOL!! Now that is a great way to start my Monday morning… knowing I am not the only one who looks at ergonomic chairs and scratches their head!!! Hmmmm…. wat up wit dat? 😛

  2. This looks to me like part of the insidious IKEA death-by-self-assembling-furniture plot. Their chairs are always named after Swedish guys, but they don’t mention, it’s a posthumous honor.

  3. I had one of those chairs once, Ned, and I’m so glad there wasn’t an office surveillance camera documenting my adventures with it. Very funny photo essay. And yes, I know an excellent chiropractor and I like to keep in touch with him on a monthly basis. I could give you his name so you could make an appointment. After your cross country trip to Maine you’d be ready for an adjustment.

No one is watching, I swear...

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