FreedMan Ergonomic Chair Review
[Editor’s Note: The FreedMan Chair is no longer available for purchase online, and the company has ceased to exist. As such, we have suspended our full review of the FreedMan Chair until further notice. For posterity, this page will remain on our website].
The FreedMan Chair is an active seating solution created by osteopath and inventor Simon Freedman. We first saw an early iteration of the Freedman Chair at NeoCon 2014 and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. Our expert team is currently evaluating the chair in our testing labs, and our comprehensive review is underway. In the meantime, here are some of our first impressions with the new chair.
The chair is designed to replicate standing posture as you sit. Freedman has observed in his osteopathic practice that most people have slightly different length legs, which translates to one side of your pelvis being higher than the other. When you stand, your spine naturally curves to accommodate this pelvic tilt difference. However, when you sit down, a conventional flat-pan chair forces your pelvis to flatten out, preventing your spine from making the same adjustments as when you’re standing.
Mimic Standing Posture as You Sit
The FreedMan Chair is designed to keep your spine and pelvis in the same relationship when you are sitting as they are in when you are standing. Two specially contoured seat pads on an articulating wishbone structure are designed to cradle the “sits” bones at the base of your pelvis, permitting them to adjust in relation to each other as they do when you’re standing. These seat pads slope downward 27 degrees to keep your legs at an angle that, Freedman says, supports good posture. In this regard, the downward tilt from your hip to your knee will fall in between between its position on a conventional flat seat pan and the 45-degree downward angle of a kneeling chair or perching stool.
The chair includes a back rest that is embedded with six inhibiting “back balls.” These knobby protrusions are designed to gently compress and stimulate the muscles on either side of the spine. Ideally, says Freedman, you will rarely need the backrest, since the chair is designed to keep you naturally upright while you work. Freedman says the back rest is reserved for work breaks, when your hands aren’t on the keyboard and your eyes are off the screen.
Mimimalist Design & Stylish Fittings
The FreedMan Chair sports a minimalist design that looks both modern and handsomely Edwardian. Furniture design enthusiasts may recognize Freedman’s homage to 18th-Century designer Thomas Chippendale with the chair’s aluminum cabriole legs and ball-and-claw feet. These five feet are connected to the seat via an aluminum and bronze “helix” column that continues the FreedMan’s minimalist direction with a lightweight swiveling component that adjusts the height of the chair. While it lends the product an aesthetic simplicity, this helix doesn’t offer the same ease of customizability as a standard gas-lift mechanism, and we’re not yet convinced it’s ultimately a strong point for the chair. In any event, the FreedMan’s stylistic aluminum and bronze fittings are far shinier than typical chairs in this category; for example, despite its ergonomic comfort, the Back App – with its plastic footrest and simple support structures – isn’t what you’d call chic.
The FreedMan Chair has one of the most interesting seat designs we’ve seen at our testing labs. Our experts are putting the final touches on their evaluation, and we’ll soon learn whether its unique design holds its own as an ergonomic office chair.
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