We like to offer our own thoughts on what we sell and, oftentimes, what we sit in all day. A while back Matt did some serious sitting in the Steelcase Leap Chair, and here's what he had to say.
So it's Thursday at Smart Furniture and I've been rocking spreadsheets like it's my job. Rocking spreadsheets *is* my job (or part of it), so no surprises there. What was a surprise was the opportunity to test one of our new office chairs from Steelcase - the Leap Chair. Not only does this give me the chance to sit in what I can already tell is a pretty sweet office chair for at least a week, it also gives me the opportunity to show off my creative writing skills! That doesn't mean I have any experience writing commentary of this sort or imply that my creative writing skills are above average, nor does it ensure that I have the capability to deliver to you, the reader, an unbiased review of a chair that I would love for you to buy.
But it does mean that I get the chance to share my thoughts in a candid forum as honestly as I can and hopefully assist some shoppers in their chair-purchasing decisions. It also means that when I'm writing I'm not looking at any spreadsheets! Already, the Leap Chair makes a difference.
I usually sit in the Bungie Chair, which used to be the default at the Smart Furniture office. It's a great chair, but it's definitely lacking in some areas. Most notably, there's no pivoting mechanism between the seat and the back, so when you lean back your legs go up in the air, which means that your legs aren't supported, and your knees start to feel weird. I love to lean back, and I have bad knees, so that's a problem.
As you may have guessed, this is not an issue with the Leap Chair. When I first sat down in it, I noticed that the back flexes while your legs stay parallel to the ground. Of course I had to make some adjustments - as I mentioned earlier, I love to lean back, so I adjusted the lower back firmness to a very relaxed setting. This let me tilt as far back as I wanted, but my butt started to slip over the edge of the seat when I was fully reclined. Fortunately, this was quickly remedied when I adjusted the seat depth.
Most office chairs that have this option rely on a rolling mechanism at the front of the seat that actually increases how deep the seat is, but not with Steelcase. The Leap Chair's seat actually slides forward and backward, and you can make adjustments even when sitting down in it (with one hand, no less). The only downside is that when you're sliding backwards, you have to grip the casters with your feet to prevent the entire chair from moving. With the seat depth adjusted to fit yours truly, the Leap Chair felt great in a reclined position. So I stayed that way for a good chunk of the afternoon. My back feels good as the day is drawing to a close, and I'm looking forward to spending the entire workday with Leap tomorrow.