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Thread: new chair

  1. #1
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    can anyone suggest a comfortable chair as my backaches if sewing too long. should it have arms, rise up and down, lumbar support? i don't mind the investment as long as it works. thank you in advance for your suggestions.

  2. #2
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I just have a cheap computer chair.
    No arms on it. I tried my chair WITH arms and they were getting in my way.

  3. #3
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    The thing that helps me most is to get up and move around. My joints begin to feel as though they are "welded" in place. I do some cutting or other jobs and then sit again for a while. Maybe touching your toes once in a while will help loosen up those muscles. I am familiar with those stressed muscles. Give them some care and lay on the heating pad for a while. Feels so good!

  4. #4
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    Most people like those adjustable chairs on wheels, because you can fit them to your body size. I hate them. For me, there's nothing better than a chair that's NOT on wheels, one of those old-fashioned wooden straight-backed (and I do mean straight and not slanted backward, the way they all are now) chairs with a padded seat. It cushions your bottom and supports your back. You can also move around on it so your weight is arranged differently according to how your back feels. You can't reposition yourself in a chair with arms.

    For you, get a chair that's comfortable when you first sit in it. Test to make sure you're sitting straight as you work, with your lower arms parallel to the ground when they're on the table. Again, make sure it's a chair you can reposition yourself in from time to time, too.

    I agree with the person who said to get up and move around every so often. That's important, too.

  5. #5
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
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    I sit at a student's desk and chair- from the 50's. It's smaller and I find much "closer" to my size. I do the same- get up and move often.

    I found the computer chair to be too tall and bulky for me.

  6. #6
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I have an old office chair without arms that I can adjust the height. Make sure that the seat area is long enough to fit your boby. Some have a short seat and are not comfortable for longer legged people. I think you should really audition chairs, but do get one with a cushioned seat. Getting up to press seams or whatever helps with the back not aching. :lol:

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by siss
    can anyone suggest a comfortable chair as my backaches if sewing too long. should it have arms, rise up and down, lumbar support? i don't mind the investment as long as it works. thank you in advance for your suggestions.
    Go to an office supply store like Office Depot, Staples, etc. and try out office chairs there. One of my quilter friends has a great chair she got at an office supply store and it is so comfortable to sit in and for sure had the lumbar support. :)

  8. #8
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    I love my office chair on wheels. I requested it as a Christmas gift a year ago. My sewing room is carpteted and it is easier to scoot back than a regular chair. I like the support it offers, and sometimes I raise or lower the seat to change the angle of my knee on the foot pedal. However, I second the "no arms" style. Mine has arms that continually hit against the sewing table.

    Another thing I try for tight neck and shoulders is heating up a "rice" neck bag in the microwave and laying it around my neck. You can buy these with a variety of stuffings (corn, buckwheat hulls, etc.) and heat them for about 2 minutes (varies by microwave). Mine stays warm for about 20 minutes and helps loosen up the muscles. Or asking DH to rub my shoulders helps also. (You can make your own "rice" bags...I did them for Christmas gifts last year for friends and they went over very well.)

  9. #9
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I bought an inexpensive armless swivel desk chair with air lift. I took the back off it and have a very comfortable sewing stool. I was taught to sew with my back straight, and neck not bent. I bend my head down and never jut my head forward to sew. I can sew all day this way. Oh and a hemorrhoid pillow is excellent to sit on while sewing.

  10. #10
    sunnyhope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacup
    I love my office chair on wheels. I requested it as a Christmas gift a year ago. My sewing room is carpteted and it is easier to scoot back than a regular chair. I like the support it offers, and sometimes I raise or lower the seat to change the angle of my knee on the foot pedal. However, I second the "no arms" style. Mine has arms that continually hit against the sewing table.

    Another thing I try for tight neck and shoulders is heating up a "rice" neck bag in the microwave and laying it around my neck. You can buy these with a variety of stuffings (corn, buckwheat hulls, etc.) and heat them for about 2 minutes (varies by microwave). Mine stays warm for about 20 minutes and helps loosen up the muscles. Or asking DH to rub my shoulders helps also. (You can make your own "rice" bags...I did them for Christmas gifts last year for friends and they went over very well.)
    Do u just make closed "bags" with ordinary rice in them or?

  11. #11
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    are there office furniture stores near you? some places have oodles of used furniture that is reasonable/inexpensive - and still in good condition.

    It is important to "audition" a chair. What may be comfy for person A might be miserable for person B. I like wheels (get the 5 leg, not the 4 leg - it's less apt to tip over) and adjustable height.

    I also vote with the "no arms" on the chair - they get in the way.

  12. #12
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I alternate between a straight back wooden chair and an office chair (armless). The secret is to take regular breaks, stretch, walk around etc. My husband bought me one of those massage seat toppers...very good, gives a full back and seat massage or just the seat and lower back. I have this permanently on the chair at the computer desk. Everyone loves it, cept the dogs who find the hum perplexing!

  13. #13
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Sorry...posted rice bag info twice.

  14. #14
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnyhope
    Quote Originally Posted by Teacup
    I love my office chair on wheels. I requested it as a Christmas gift a year ago. My sewing room is carpteted and it is easier to scoot back than a regular chair. I like the support it offers, and sometimes I raise or lower the seat to change the angle of my knee on the foot pedal. However, I second the "no arms" style. Mine has arms that continually hit against the sewing table.

    Another thing I try for tight neck and shoulders is heating up a "rice" neck bag in the microwave and laying it around my neck. You can buy these with a variety of stuffings (corn, buckwheat hulls, etc.) and heat them for about 2 minutes (varies by microwave). Mine stays warm for about 20 minutes and helps loosen up the muscles. Or asking DH to rub my shoulders helps also. (You can make your own "rice" bags...I did them for Christmas gifts last year for friends and they went over very well.)
    Do u just make closed "bags" with ordinary rice in them or?
    I have made two styles of bags, both starting with an inner liner of muslin that holds the rice, either a large rectangle or a U-shape big enough to drape around the neck. Stitch the seams with a small stitch length to make it harder for rice to leak out. I leave one end open, turn it inside out and fill half- to two-thirds full with inexpensive uncooked white rice from my discount grocery store Ė not Minute Rice. (It might take more rice than you expect.) From experience: Put the bag down into a mixing bowl and use a large funnel or a cardboard shape bent into a funnel to help you get the rice in the bag. And donít let a 2 year old try to ďhelp.Ē Be sure to leave enough room in the bag to allow it to drape softly around the neck and also to shake the contents to evenly distribute the rice during the heating. Then stitch the end of the bag closed. I found it a bit tricky to work with the bag at my machine without rice leaking out, and I got rice in the bobbin case, so you might want to slipstitch the opening shut before taking it back to your machine.

    The outer liners are made in three pieces like you would for a removable pillow cover Ė a solid piece for the front and two overlapping pieces for the back that you leave open to slip the muslin bag into. Iíve used cotton, flannel and fleece (which stretches and is a bit more challenging to work with).

    Place on a microwavable plate or in a bowl and mircrowave on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, depending on the microwave and how much rice is in the bag. I take it out at one minute and shake to distribute the heated rice. Do not overheat! The rice could brown if you leave it in too long, or the bag could be too hot and damage the skin. Some people may find these bags a bit heavy, but most Iíve given them to love them. Iíve used them to relax muscle stress and strain at the computer or sewing machine, relax a leg cramp, drape over my nose and eyes to help relieve sinus pain and headache, and for aches of cold and flu. They are great too on my feet on those cold winter evenings when I feel chilled to the bone. Basically whatever youíd use a heating pad for. Some people say they keep one in the freezer for cold applications, but Iíve never tried that (I prefer warm!).
    Sorry Ė didnít mean to hijack the topic!

  15. #15
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I do not know which is a good chair, but a totally agree with the taking a break advice. I make myself get up once in a while, even if I am feeling fine and want to keep going for hours.

  16. #16
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    thanks for suggestions. many valid points. i too sew on carpet so wheels would be good, and 5 rollers, less chance of tipping over. also the rice bag for the pain. glad you posted the instructions for everyone. i will keep reading suggestions and make up my mind. any more suggestions are appreciated.

  17. #17

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    I've made some and used kitchen towels as covers. Use 1 towel sewn lenghthwise and then across 1 short end slip the insert inside and use Velcro to fasten together. If you want use two towels together, velcro one end, but I found when you make the insert for this size you need to make channels(make rectangle, leave.opening to fill with rice, but before filling stich most of the way one way and then the other way. Create a maze. I generally have 4 channnels)

  18. #18
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlrnhi
    I just have a cheap computer chair.
    No arms on it. I tried my chair WITH arms and they were getting in my way.
    Same here. My computer chair works best for me.

  19. #19
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    I have a cheap office chair at home with arms which i think is ok. Now, at work after being off work due to a bad back my employer got me an office chair with lumbar support..it is much more padded both under your bottom and the back area and also the foam seems more shaped (if that makes sense) my back feels so much better when i sit on that and the guy that sells them comes out and you get fitted for this chair! The chair cost $400 which i felt was not excessive and I will shortly get this guy to get me one for home as it really made a big difference. It has arms which are adjustable up or down and they guy said you have to have the arms as when you get up or sit down you can use them and it takes the stress off your back. I find the arms dont get in my way not even on my cheap chair maybe it just takes time to get used to..

  20. #20
    Super Member ania755's Avatar
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    :D :D
    I love my chair...
    Its the office chair with wheels and arms.....I cannot live without it....Very comfortable on my back.....But standing up and stratching yourself every 15 minutes is also a very good idea..... :lol:

  21. #21
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    I use a chair purchased from my LQS. It is large, cushy, and on rollars. It does not have arms. I know it was pricey, but I inherited it from my late MIL, along with a beautiful Horn cabinet and a nice sewing machine. I do love the chair...much more comfortable than the straight desk chair I had been using. I do, however, wish I had the stool from my mother's sewing machine cabinet (my brother and his wife have it)...like a previous poster mentioned, it is backless and I remember having much better posture when I was sewing as I grew up as compared to now. My advice would be to check out the office supply places first and sit in several. You want one that will give your back good support and will allow you to adjust for height.

  22. #22
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    I purchased a Casdin office chair from Staples #709054. It has support on both sides and seat, adjustable height, and nice wheels. Being armless gives me elbow freedom, and the wheels allow me to move from lower ironing table back to sewing machine easily.

  23. #23
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Hubby recently bought me a new "office" chair from Office Depot. It can go up and down and has wheels--I didn't want arms. You might want to get a "chair mat" from the office supply store also. The mats are clear and you can roll around on them with ease. The mat is also easier to clean than carpet :D

  24. #24
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    I agree about getting up every once in a while. It's hard to break away from my project, but my eyes and body need the break.

  25. #25
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    I found a chair that is totally adjustable, including that the seat can be tipped forward just very slightly and locked. That sounds a but strange, but what it does is take pressure off the upper leg area, improving circulation. I learned about this from a doctor-quilter guest on Simply Quilts. When I went looking for a new chair, I looked for one that could be adjusted in every way. I also wanted a leather chair because they are so easy to keep clean. My office chair, which is very comfy, is fabric and everything sticks to it especially pet hair, and it doesn't give up that stuff to the vacuum either!

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