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Steelcase Leap Chair- 12.29.08

leapMAIN.jpgThe Steelcase Leap has been literally supporting me through this holiday season. Amongst the chaos and overworking it’s been looking out for my back and posture, and its comfy! I also love that it comes in a stool version, perfect for those architectural sketching desks… and then a lounge version too with a leather ottoman to match! Check out the whole Steelcase Leap collection.

So here’s the deal, while my back can’t talk and tell you quite how comfy and supported it’s felt ~ and although the holidays are coming to a close and most are getting back to the office soon… here’s the perfect post holiday gift to help yourself (or your hard workers) have a little more fun at work (Steelcase claims that increased ergonomics increases productivity…. and in between there i assume everyone just feels better and happier too!). So here’s my review/closer look through lots of pictures on the next page ~ including the inspiring GIANT cardboard box! And pictures that can’t be missed on the next page… besides the closeups… pictures of their test models! They look like fantastic crazy contraptions from medieval times meet today’s office chairs! Check it all out on the next page ~

First things first ~ awesomest unboxing surprise yet…. a MASSIVE box showed up at the door, the type where the delivery guy forces me to open both sides of the double glass doors just so he can get it into the house… (the chair was in one piece, no assembling/etc)… and i pop the top, and i’m greeted with this message that just makes me smile (and wish i was a little kid!)
Personally - building a fort was my first choice ~ but dance floor was hilarious ~ and painting a recycled box masterpiece awesome as well ~ but PUPPET THEATER!!!! blew my mind. So traditional and old school, but i instantly imagined hours of amusement if my sister and i were little… so if you order a bunch of these for your office, please, have a weekend where you invite all the kids in to build forts, make art, and have a puppet show! (and yes, storage and donations are good ideas too) That being said, i was quite distractedly inspired by the time i had to figure out how to lift/tilt/maneuver the awesome chair out of the HUGE box!

The shape of the back support is interesting, and feels great, nice to have the additional height adjustable lumbar support piece as well…

Here are a few details pulled from various Steelcase materials…

Here is a look at a few detail shots i just took ~ i love the way they give you shortcuts in the armrests ~ not that it’s so complicated, but just nice if someone new happens to try it out!

Here’s a look at the back ~ nice sleek lines…

And a closeup look at the mesh backing ~ super comfy!

Not sure why it was amusing, but i liked the idea that a good chair increases productivity ~ but then again, i guess we all do more when happy! and not in ever growing pain…

Ok, here’s my favorite!!! When i was browsing the Steelcase Leap Microsite i had to share these pics of the tester chairs they made to perfect each and every aspect of the final Leap!!!

Here are a few Leap fun facts i was sent:
· The technology in the Leap extends through the company’s seating portfolio and has been integrated (in some way) in virtually every chair launched by Steelcase since Leap (e.g. Think, Amia, Move, Siento, cobi and i2i). It has also been licensed for use in automobiles and airplanes by those industries respectively. The Leap technology is currently being used by Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines with other airlines close to announcing their plans to integrate as well.
· Leap was four years in development; the company partnered with four universities, 27 different scientists and 11 studies including 732 participants
· When under development, the Steelcase seating development team took a fresh look at biomechanics and the impact increased computer use was having on workers who could be tethered to their computers for up to nine years of their life
· LiveBack technology allows the upper and lower parts of the backrest to function independently
· Leap mimics the individual user’s unique spinal motion so the user is free to move, but never left unsupported, allowing the user to stay comfortable and productive
· Lower back controls allow the user to specify the preferred amount of lumbar support, creating a hugging sensation as the pressure is dialed up
· The Natural Glide System allows the seat to glide forward so users stay in the vision and reach zone even when reclined

Here’s an overview of the different options ~ i’m kind of craving an ottoman now…

And just like the Think chair i reviewed a few years ago, Steelcase goes the extra mile to make it as green as possible it seems…

Ooooh and for the record, while i still LOVE the look and feel of the Think chair, the Steelcase Leap is definitely more supportive of my overworked little body… If you ever wander past one in an office, etc ~ hop in and feel for yourself!

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11 Notes

Take Ben’s advice and look into the Ergohuman. My boyfriend bought one for our home office for like $540 or something. I think it is awesome and I have actually kinda taken it over becasue I think it is so comfortable!

----- Jamie 27.03.09 09:53

I would use that big box for storage, storage, storage….I dont throw away anything.
2009 new years resolution was to stop smoking….1 month and still off them
The steelcase leap will help my what seems like always aching back. Maybe its the 5 year old on sale chair from Staples that is the problem ???

----- john conway 30.01.09 06:02

These are the best general purpose office chairs out right now, IMO. Definitely worth the price if you work sitting for a large portion of your day. I can work 12 hours straight without any pressure points or pain. They do take a bit to get set up right, but so does every other chair, and once it is dialed-in it is bliss. We use these for all of our employees and have had no complaints. The fact that they are one-size fits all is a bonus from that perspective as well. I own a Herman Miller Mirra at home, and I’ve tried pretty much every other chair at some point and none matches the Leap. Most recently, I tried an Aeron and after a month of trying every possible adjustment, it still wasn’t as comfortable as the Leap so it is now an expensive coatrack until it get sent back. My only real complaint with the Leap is the how the arms wiggle a bit - it just could be more solid, but the full range of adjustment motion in arms make up for that. It isn’t a dealbreaker by any means, I was trying to think of something negative to say :) The newish design of the Leaps is a definite improvement over the older ones as well. Sorry for the long-winded post, apparently office chairs is a passion of mine.

----- WTZac 09.01.09 20:10

1. Recycle the box
2. To say Yes to opportunities that arise more often and drink less Coke
3. It will mean I can finally do away with cheaper office chairs and sit for hours in more comfort.

----- Gabriel 09.01.09 08:08

I might sound a lil’ partial here, but working in Grand Rapids, knowing few of the people that are working in Steecase, I know the level of comitment and engineering that goes in every chair assembled in Steelcase. Great quality and design, quality and made in USA, what more can you ask for ( maybe lower price, i know, I know…).

----- Sanel 05.01.09 08:23

After I wore out a second cheapo chair from the familiar office supply stores, I got a Leap and I’ve had the chair for a few months—luckily, I could get it funded by my employer. It’s amazing. I went from some disruptive back pains to no trouble at all within the first week. And this thing, given its reputed durability, will even cost less in the long run than those $100-200 chairs…

----- David Thomas 03.01.09 15:56

After I wore out a second cheapo chair from the familiar office supply stores, I got a Leap and I’ve had the chair for a few months—luckily, I could get it funded by my employer. It’s amazing. I went from some disruptive back pains to no trouble at all within the first week. And this thing, given its reputed durability, will even cost less in the long run than those $100-200 chairs…

----- David Thomas 03.01.09 12:51

Yes its a tough one to prioritize ~ but when you think about how much time you spend in front of your computer (in our line of work especially) and how much time spent sleeping (relative to life itself!)…. definitely seems worth shelling out for great beds and desk chairs to help take care of our aging bodies!

----- Jean/NOTCOT 29.12.08 17:08

I want to buy a really nice office chair like a Steelcase, but I just can’t justify it! I know I spend 6-8 hours or more in it 5 days a week, but upwards of $1000 is big chunk of change to drop - particularly when your employer won’t even absorb part of the cost. Hmmmm, maybe if I take the hours spent sitting in a year & divide the cost that way it will seem more attainable.

----- The Slapster 29.12.08 17:01

I quit my regular job a few years ago to do my own thing at home. Despite the fact that it cost about a months worth of rent, the first thing I got was a LEAP. I’d had one at work for a while so I knew how great it was, I went all out and got a beautiful black chair with fancy chrome style trim! It’s been serving me well for 3+ years now and I plan on keeping it for many many more.

No more work-chair related back aches, and I even sit in it all stupid and slumpy half the time! It still supports me well!

----- Andrew Bell 29.12.08 16:13

I work from home and absolutely love my Leap Chair. It isn’t as “comfortable” as sitting in a highly-cushioned chair, but I can sit in it all day long and never notice any back fatigue. I would tell a MUCH different story after sitting all day in my old chair.

I didn’t get the opportunity to try it out before I bought it though. So if I had to do it again, I might try one of the following chairs instead (probably the Amia):

Steelcase Amia: http://store.steelcase.com/go/products/detail/4821410/
Steelcase Think: http://steelcase.com/na/think_products.aspx?f=11871
Ergohuman: http://www.ergohuman.com/

Still, you won’t complain if you get a Steelcase Leap Chair…

----- Ben Dalton 29.12.08 13:24

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