Whether you are a musician, a producer or a sound engineer, it’s a wonderful time to be alive. Inspiring new tools and technologies feed our GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) on a daily basis, and (in most cases) make our work easier and faster.
The downside is that we often forget about the most important things: our bodies and wellness. Buying new gear and software is certainly fun, but what about basic items like desks, trackpads, chairs, etc? They might not be exciting or glamorous, but these are the tools we use literally all the time.
Have you ever had problems such as wrist pain, neck pain, lower back problems, sciatic pain, etc.? I think I know the answer because I’ve been there as well.
What can we do about this? In this new series of articles, I’ll try to provide some pieces of advice, based on real-life experiences.
Feeding your GAS!
Finding The Right Studio Chair
We’ve all been there…
I’ll admit it, for many years I used Ikea or Ikea-style office chairs. They’re affordable, they look ok and they’re relatively comfortable. See the criteria order here? Price, look, comfort. I know, money is often an issue when you are are a musician/producer. From my own experience, however, I can say this is just a short-sighted approach.
Sooner or later, you’ll likely have to seek medical help (chiropractors, physiotherapists, etc.) and that can be really expensive after awhile.
If I could go back in time, I would definitely change my priorities.
It’s never too late though, and this is why recently I decided to look into quality, ergonomic chairs.
You’re not alone in this…
If you REALLY feel like shelling out big bucks….
The options on the market can be overwhelming, from overly expensive studio classics like the Hermann Miller Aeron (I’ll include it here even though it’s not really an ergonomic chair) to iconic kneeling chairs (Varier) down to no-name models easily found on Amazon & co. The price range also varies widely (from approx. $2000 to a few hundred $), according to the design details and material options (and the brand name!).
My priority, in this case, was finding something more comfortable and versatile than the typical chairs we see in a studio.
8 hours here? Uhm, no way…
I already knew I didn’t want an ergonomic kneeling chair – I tried them in the past and I think they don’t really work for people like me, who spend 8 hours a day at the desk (if not more.)
At the same time I wasn’t looking for anything fancy to impress other people. I didn’t need ‘a name’, but rather something that could help my posture and ultimately make me feel better.
Why An Ergonomic Chair?
Unlike basic studio chairs, ergonomic ones offer more options, resulting in a much more versatile and customisable seating.
I hear you, ergonomic doesn’t rhyme with instant-gratification comfort. In the beginning, this kind of chair can feel a bit ‘weird’ and not exactly comfortable – actually quite the opposite. This is NOT the kind of item that you want to buy in a store after trying it just for a few minutes, trust me.
Patience is the key here. Especially if you’ve been using low-quality chairs, it might take some time for the body to ‘adjust’.
It’s like with a new mattress. You buy something fancy, and in the first few weeks you regret throwing away your old one. Sound familiar?…
Komfort Made In Italy
After researching a number of ergonomic chairs, I wrote down what my must-have features were: a fully adjustable multi-posture chair, with armrests and a lumbar cushion.
I came across the Komfort Chair after talking with some people with similar problems as mine.
The idea of a boutique, up and coming Italian company sounded enticing, and the price point looked pretty reasonable for this kind of product – we’re talking of a chair not only designed but MADE in Italy.
My Experience With The Komfort Chair
The Komfort Chair is available in 3 different ‘flavours’. I went with the Komfort Spine (in black), recommended for those with neck pain or a hunched posture. The chair has adjustable arm and knee rests and a seat with a recessed back to reduce coccyx contact.
The impact was dramatic, and at first not necessarily in a good way. Remember the mattress example? Well, the first few weeks with the Komfort chair were a sort of love/hate thing.
I didn’t give up though. I knew my body had to gradually adjust to the new situation so I kept experimenting with the various settings (watch the video below to learn more). After some time, I could definitely start feeling the benefits.
The Komfort Chair has been developed for people who spend many hours in front of a computer, and in my opinion is an ideal option for producers, studio musicians and sound engineers.
Komfort meets ROLI
It doesn’t make any sound and it doesn’t have tubes or fancy knobs, but after using it for over 2 months, I can say that the Komfort Chair is one of the most important pieces of gear I own. I only wish I had thought of something like this years ago!
I especially appreciate the versatility of its design: basically, everything can be adjusted in a matter of seconds, including the position of the armrests.
Is it perfect? Well, I can suggest some improvements along the way – more comfortable/thicker knee rests (and a sleeker design) would be welcome – but if you’re looking for an ergonomic, adjustable chair for your studio, I can definitely vouch for the Komfort Chair.
It’s an excellent product, and it will help you maintain correct posture while working on your next masterpiece.
A final word to the wise: don’t overdo it – staying in a fixed position for a long time is never as good as moving around a bit. Regardless of the position I’m using on the chair, I try to stand up and walk around a bit every 30 minutes or less.
No need to go that far for a walk!
Price and Availability
Prices start from €669 plus shipping (the one I’m using costs €869).
Buying 2 chairs, you’ll get a €100 discount. Also worth knowing: KomfortChair customers are entitled to a free postural advice session with the company’s ergonomic experts to properly set their workstation.
Disclosure: I have NOT been compensated for this review. I received a review unit and I decided to purchase the item after my test. All opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.