THE BEST OFFICE CHAIR
Many of us live the 9-to-5 desk jockey life. It doesn’t take rocket science to realize prolonged sitting is the new smoking. An obvious solution here is to purchase a good chair that adapts to you. Case in point: the Steelcase Gesture.
Steelcase describes the Gesture as the chair for the iPad generation. It’s amazingly comfortable, impressively adjustable, and incomparably supportive. If you’re unfamiliar with the name, Steelcase Inc is a 108 year-old company that has been making sturdy, comfy office chairs since 1912.
THE GESTURE DESIGN
Although it’s nothing fancy to look at, the beauty of Steelcase Gesture lies in its design. The Gesture took its design cues from a posture study that spanned four years, six continents, and 2000+ people. The company claims that they observed nine new upper body and limb postures that people use their mobile devices in.
Called the 3D LiveBack technology, the chair’s back mimics the body’s shape and flexes with the spine movements. No matter what the poses, this chair effectively contours all critical back areas – move around all you want without hurting your back.
And about those fancy 360 arms – they stay where you want them, as is the Gesture on the whole, to adjust. Regardless of whether you want to casually lean back during a meeting or hunchback to take notes, the arms support your elbows and shoulders. Looking at your iPad? No problem. Just move the armrest up, and you can reduce the fatigue off your arms and shoulders. Are you sitting a desktop? Just drop the armrests out of the way.
A set of buttons under each armrest ensures they move up or down, back and forth, or in and out. And, they pivot, too.
Speaking of the back, it is square, vented, and perfectly curved to hug you as you’re working. To me, where it stands out is in how graceful and deep it is to recline the chair – all without the risk of toppling backwards. You can adjust the spring tension so that the chair goes back and forward effortlessly. You can also lock the back into one of five angles with the flip of a lever on the right side, below the seat.
The Gesture Chair’s seat offers more than a soft and comfy surface. It is equipped with air pockets placed beneath the foam. This allows the chair to support users of any size or weight, while still giving consistent comfort and support, regardless of who sits on it.
COMFORT AND PERFORMANCE
Playing a major part in the Gesture’s comfort is the seat itself. The seat is wider than average and has adaptive bolstering. Sitting and working in all possible weird positions is entirely possible, thanks to the all-the-way-around padding. You can even hang a limb over any of the seat’s edges without bothering pain or discomfort. My only qualm is that I wish the padding were thicker.
The backrest is nice and tall. Good news for the ones who love moving more – the Gesture chair does an excellent job of providing unique flexing from the mid to upper end of the backrest. This reduces muscle atrophy from prolonged sitting. And speaking of which, the chair’s ‘recline tension/resistance’ is perfectly balanced, providing enough lumbar support.
On the build quality front, the chair is solid and well-built from the bottom to the top of the backrest. Yes, it has a few plastic components but don’t let that fool you. The base is well balanced that the chair won’t slide around under you. This is because the base is quite heavier. Support wise, the Gesture does accommodate all sorts of body types and poses and, its weight capacity is 400lbs.
ABOUT THE ADJUSTMENTS
Like most office chairs, the Gesture scores well in adjustments. Just press the lever on the chair, and you can adjust:
- seat height
- depth of the seat
- height of the lumbar support
- amount of back tilt
- resistance to tilting
- height, width, depth, and angle of the armrests What I really liked is the fact that these adjustments are intuitive and easy to make on the fly.
The Gesture comes in a bunch of pre-configured options – Shell Back Chair, Wrapped Back Chair, Chair with Headrest, Shell Back Stool, and Wrapped Back Stool. The best part – Steelcase gives the customers the freedom and flexibility to customize their own.
- Colour schemes: Light/Light, Dark/Light, Dark/Dark, or Black/Black.
- Back Style: Upholstered wrap back or shellback
- Upholstery: Six leather options with 12 colours
- Base: Frame-matching base or polished aluminium base
- Arm: Fixed arms or armless
Steelcase Gesture ships pre-assembled so you won’t have to wrestle with putting it together.
FLAWS BUT NOT DEALBREAKERS
If you run hot or live in a warm country, the Gesture may not suit you. The foam and fabric don’t breathe well, so don’t expect it to minimize seat-sweat. If this is an issue, Steelcase has more breathable options for you to choose from.
Weighing over 31kg, the chair is pretty heavy, an annoyance if you want to move easily, but that also makes Gesture an extremely durable chair.
Another surprising flaw of the Gesture has to do with the back-height adjustment. For most tall users, it wouldn’t be a headache, but that’s not the case with the shorter users. With plenty of other adjustments, this can also be overlooked.
DO YOU NEED TO SPEND THIS MUCH?
Yes and No! There’s no denying the Gesture is expensive, but don’t just write it off. After all, the Gesture has a strong emphasis on health and, that alone makes it splurge-worthy. It even comes with a 12-year warranty, so once you buy this, you won’t have to think about another chair for over a decade.
However, don’t go into debt for it unless you really need it… not because you want it.