Features & Specifications
Over the years I have bought lots of chairs to use at my computer. From marathon gaming session lasting 8 hours to sitting at the computer all day writing reviews I am a prime candidate for an ergonomic chair. In the past I have used the cheap chairs that you run down to Wal-Mart and pick up for $50. That type of chair certainly is not ergonomic. I would end up with back pain before I had worked a few hours.
I decided to upgrade to a chair in the $300 range from Office Max that was ergonomic and designed for those who sit a lot during the day which helped my back pain, but wasn’t perfect. The construction of the chair was poor and it started to squeak almost immediately and the mechanisms that allowed the chair to hold position began to wear meaning the chair wouldn’t stay adjusted the way I wanted. So again my quest began for a chair that would give my back support, be comfortable and keep my arse from going numb while I was fragging noobs in Battlefield 2142 for 8 hours straight or writing reviews and news.
What I found was a very cool looking chair that offered lots of adjustments and exceptional comfort for extended use. The chair is called the Leap from Steelcase. The Leap is seriously adjustable with the ability to change seat depth, lower back firmness, arm position, lumbar support and upper back force. In addition to these settings the edge of the seat is flexible to reduce pressure on the back of the legs and the well padded seat and back are breathable.
Adjustment & Use
At first glance the Leap looks complex with all the different adjustments you have to choose from, but it is much easier to adjust that it seems at first glance. A large black knob on the side of the chair allows you to adjust lower back firmness by simply twisting the knob to make it firmer or softer. The upper back force adjustment allows you to change the amount of force needed to recline the back and helps to ensure that you can reclines as much or as little as you want and stay in the position that is most comfortable and there is also a back stop that keeps the chair from reclining any further than you want.
In addition to the breathable fabric and foam the Leap chair uses the back has slats in it to allow heat to escape and two small black handles slide up each side of the slats to adjust the lumbar support higher or lower for different height users. On the left side of the chair is an easy to use lever that allows adjustment of seat depth and firmly secures the seat once you find the most comfortable position. Seat height is also adjustable as are the arms which adjust for height, width and pivot.
A big problem for me with the other chairs I use is that they didn’t roll well. I work form a home office that uses carpet, the last thing I (or my wife) wanted in the office was one of those plastic mats that office chairs roll on. Steelcase has a caster made just for use on carpet that is larger than what you see on most office chairs. This caster made the chair roll easily and smoothly on my carpet. This is a really big deal for me as I use an 8 foot long table as a desk with three computer situated on it for different tasks. If I need to move from a vista test machine to a video card test machine at the end of the desk my old chair fought me all the way. The Leap rolls easily over the carpeting with much less effort on my part.
Unlike cheap chairs and even some not so cheap chairs, the Leap comes assembled from the factory. There is not opening the box and putting your chair together. You simply open the box and the Leap is ready to work. This also means that the chair has better build quality and doesn’t squeak. I also liked the fact that under each arm is a diagram of how to adjust the seat taking the guess work out of it for new users and those who want to readjust after a time
The real proof of a chairs comfort comes in using it. I have been sitting in the Leap for about a month now and it is simply fantastic. It gives great support for my low back, reducing back pain while I work. All the adjustments are easy to make and once I choose a setting they stay there till I change them again. The chair looks really cool too, like something you would see on 24 not at all like something cheap I would find at Wal-Mart. The Leap is certainly the most comfortable chair I have ever used. Gone are the days of low back pain after a long day or the pins and needles in my legs after sitting for 8 hours. No more numb hiney, which is a big deal if you need to jump up and catch a potty training toddler before they go streaking with a dirty bum.
The only thing I found issue with on the Leap was the forward tilt of the seat. I found it to tilt towards the floor too much for my tastes and would like to have seen an adjustment for that built-in. I found after a few weeks I got used to the tilt, but with a chair this adjustable offering me that one last adjustment option would have been nice. The only other thing you could nit pick on the Leap chair is the price, at $879 for the chair I tested it certainly is not cheap. However, anyone who sits at a desk for hours on end day after day can tell you that when it comes to office chairs you certainly get what you pay for. If you suffer from back pain a good chair is worth every penny, and the Leap is a fantastic chair.
If you work at a desk and sit for 8 or more hours a day the value of a quality adjustable chair is hard to deny. The Steelcase Leap is a fantastic chair and easily the most comfortable chair I have sat in. In short the Leap is expensive, but certainly worth the money in my book.
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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