Humanscale Freedom Chair

Here I sit at my desk as I write this first look, ergonomically correct with my laptop stand with screen at eye level, curved and wireless mouse and keyboard and upright seating position. Well, not exactly my seating position ? I?m in a standard office chair which often leaves my lower back sore.

Were I to have the budget, I would certainly consider the Humanscale Freedom chair. Like the Herman Miller Aeron chair before it, the Freedom chair is today?s stylish, high class winner in the battle for proper, comfortable ergonomic design.

The Freedom chair utilizes what Humanscale calls a ?next generation design? to severely minimize on the amount of levers and dials which populate the garden variety office chairs of today. This design, after an initial manual fitting, encompasses using automatic functionality which senses a person?s weight and adjusts on the fly the backrest tension to provide support through the full range of the recline.

In addition to using tension to support the back, it also has a dual pivoting backrest that adjusts automatically to support the spine. In supporting the rest of the body, the Freedom chair has synchronized armrests which adjust instantly with one motion and a headrest that moves into place as the user reclines, moving out of the way when the person returns to the upright position.

The seat cushions are also sculpted to match people?s body contours, providing increased contact area and more direct seating support.

Humanscale Freedom Chair FrontFreedom Chair Side

Images courtesy of Freedomscale

The theory behind all of this automatic functionality, says Freedom chair designer Niels Diffrient, is that many people do not use their chair?s levers and dials properly, if they even use them at all. He feels the Freedom chair helps its owner to get away from this, putting the emphasis on the product to adjust naturally to a person?s movements throughout the day.

The Freedom chair, which has been in prototype form since 1999, has won a fair number of awards for its design. It has appeared in an exhibit at New York?s Museum of Modern Art and also in numerous television shows and movies such as ?CSI: Miami?, ?Las Vegas?, ?Fever Pitch? and the upcoming ?Mr. and Mrs. Smith?.

The Freedom chair from Humanscale comes in a variety of textiles and body frame colors. Optional features include a non-degradable gel seat cushion and advanced armrests which can pivot at the elbow. Suggested retail prices start at $995, though it can be found online for less.

Build your own custom Freedom Chair at


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