I have always worked in an office-based environment, so the humble office chair has been a part of my life for more than 40 years (that makes me feel old!). My first one was a very basic affair, seat base and back and no wheels. You could adjust the height but it meant spinning the seat around – something like 100 spins to change the height by just half an inch. This was local government and the higher the management position you had the better the chair. Things were not much better as I progressed to a role in Technical Engineering. No it was better, the chair had arms – they stopped you falling off! When I got a job in publishing I gained a basic chair but it had arms and wheels. However, I set my eye on a more luxurious chair when mu Publisher left. High back, deep base, arms and adjustable height. I got attached and was given the chair when I left. Then into transport and I did the same again, making a high back chair mine when a manager left. It gave me five years good service. Its replacement came after we obtained some semi-luxury chairs for a key directors at a media event. But most office chairs have fairly thin filling in the base and back. The foam inserts tend to dry out and break up and it becomes uncomfortable. However, I was impressed during a visit to the Expo Bus show at Birmingham’s NEC last November with Chapman Driver Seating’s take on the humble office chair. Their version was anything but humble. They took a standard bus/coach seat unit and mounted it on an high-end Italian office chair base. Sound good, but would it really offer a luxury office chair. There was just one way to find out. Get hold of one and give it a test drive. For anyone interested Chapman Driver Seating will make up an office chair and you can chose the style as well as the covering from Chapman’s extensive stock range of leather, e-leather or moquette. I opted for the blue beach ball Stagecoach finish and wow, first impressions are of a luxury chair. The adjustable arms allow the user to choose whether they want then raised or lowered. It allows the chair to be stowed under a desk when not in use. The height, back and lumber adjustments mean that it takes time to customise by the user so in reality it is not a chair to have if ‘hot desking’ is the order of the day. I suspect in a bus and coach application the seat unit would better suit drivers who retain the same vehicle as it can take time to get the right comfort level. Initial reaction is that the seat base is firm, but Chapman Driver Seating does say it will ‘soften’ with use. Only time will tell. However, as you will see from the image, it has already been claimed by Bertie the Bear!
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