I Tried This Lumbar-Supporting Office Chair for One Week—And My Posture Has Never Been Better
It's a well-worn fact that we spend about one-third of our lives in bed. This fact justifies shelling out good money on a supportive mattress (and maybe even sweat-wicking sheets and silk pillow cases). What we seldom talk about, however, is that we spend just as much time—if not more—sitting at our desks. Research shows that the average person spends just under six hours a day perched in front of their computers. Supporting your spine in your waking hours is just as important as supporting it while you're asleep. That's why all33's one-of-a-kind, "Backstrong C1" chair ($799) is ergonomically designed to support your lower spine like no other chair on the market.
Having "good posture" gets a lot of hype—and that makes sense. Your "posture" refers to your general relationship with gravity, and improving it ensures that you will stay injury-free as your life progresses. Doctors and physical therapists specifically look for an "S" shape in the spine. "From a side view, the spine should form a smooth S-shaped curve, bisected by an imaginary plumb line dropped from the apex of the head through the center of gravity of the body," according to the Southern California Orthopedic Institute. "This same plumb line should pass through the tip of the shoulder, the center of the hip joint and ankle joint and slightly behind the knee joint." This alignment ensure that your body weight is evenly distributed so that no muscle, intervertebral disc, or ligament experiences excess stress.
The problem is: Most office chairs don't encourage this S spine alignment. (If you're reading this at your desk right now, peek behind you and check out the back of your chair—it's basically flat, right?) That's where all33 is different: The chair encourages that ideal S alignment with a one-of-a-kind feature that the brand calls its "sit in motion" technology. And at first glance, it's pretty wild.
Shop the all33 Backstrong C1 Chair
Rather than a run-of-the-mill, stagnant cushion, the all33 has a teapot-like seat that's detached from the upper cushion of the chair. I call it a "teapot" because it literally tips forward and backward to support your lower (or lumbar) spine. According to all33, this design element also relieve pressure points in the body that may be compressed in other chairs. "Created by a chiropractor and industrial product designer, this is the first and only chair that can induce perfect posture and give you the freedom to move," reads the product description.
Apparently, celebs like Tom Hanks, Ashton Kutcher and Justin Bieber are big on the all33—and I have questions. Like, what kind of desk work is the Biebs doing nowadays? and what kind of office decor is Tom Hanks into? Sadly, I might never know the answers to these questions—so I decided to try this chair for myself.
My experience testing out the all33 office chair
When the all33 arrived, I was at first appalled by its weight. Carrying it up the stairs of my walkup was a heart-racing effort, but the chair came together in minutes. Before I knew it, I was sidling up to my desk and sitting down. If the all33 were a mattress, I'd describe it as firm, but supportive. The seat isn't nearly as cushioned as that of the chair I purchased on Amazon for $150, but it's comfortable nonetheless.
As I leaned back for the first time, I found that the teapot base kept me from going back to far. Rather than pressing my lower back into the soft mesh back of my normal chair, the all33 rises up to meet my lumbar spine with a firm, ovular back that feels like a large palm holding me upright. The overall effect is jarring at first, but becomes more and more comfortable as I spent more time typing and hopping on Zoom calls.I even found that when I leaned forward or backward, the teapot—or, okay, "sit in motion "technology—shifted in tandem with my spine. Even if I criss-crossed my legs in my seat or shifted from right to left, the chair stuck with me. I would even go as far as saying that it's like a coworker with the sole role of making sure my posture is A+.
As Monday faded into Friday, I noticed that my back no longer ached by the end of the day. I also noticed that the sit in motion technology cued me to check on my body more often—and I found myself taking breaks to stretch my neck and hips (two other parts of my body that take the brunt of the desk work stress). I'm not sure it's truly possible to love your desk chair just as much as you love your mattress—but if it is, then the all33 totally has a Tempur-Pedic-shaped place in my heart. Now, if only my great chair posture could translate to my standing posture...
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