Emma’s choice of chair is getting her back up

I spend hour upon hour upon hour sitting in a chair. I spend months of every year sitting at my desk in the office and bellowing into the microphone in my recording studio while voicing commercials, corporate presentations, e-learning projects, animation and on-hold messages to name but a few.* I’m sitting down right now. I’m peering at my computer screen, hunched over, knock-kneed and round-backed. I live in a chair.

I thought a chair was a chair: nothing special, just a functional thing to aid sitting. I shunned tantalising advertisements for ergo-chairs, chairs for core stability, chairs to prevent dowager’s humps pooh-poohing them as stupid, expensive, pointless. Reader, I wasignorant. But a trip to the BBC HQ at MediaCity UK has CHANGED MY ENTIRE PERSPECTIVE ON CHAIRS.

Sitting pretty

Life as a professional voiceover isn’t the most active profession. To be honest, I only moving disparate parts of my body when I absolutely have to (hands for typing, mouth for talking, feet for irritable tapping). For this reason, I’ve put my paper recycling bin on the other side of the office so I have an opportunity to do a few squat thrusts before binning anything. My fax machine and printer are also a good few paces away, presenting a chance to do an energetic glute-tightening walk whenever the need arises. (In case you’re wondering, it’s a walk that turns heads!) I am concerned about my body (so are others but that’s a whole barrel-load of different material to talk about in blogs/therapy) so am keen to embrace anything that can help my improve physical fitness. So when I visited MediaCity last week, I was ASTOUNDED by their chair technology.

Sex

I went to the BBC twice last week, as my witty punditry was required by the Tony Livesey Show on BBC 5Live and then I was reviewing newspapers on Saturday’s Andy Crane Show on BBC Manchester. These two visits were very different (for 5Live I discussed sex, for Radio Manchester it was all trams and bin collection) but the chairs were the same.  

On first sit, I realised they were comfy. The lumbar region was adequately supported. The chair had good ‘bounce’ and was at an appropriate height. But when I leaned back, I experienced something I’ve never felt in a chair before: A TILT TECHNOLOGY AB WORKOUT.

Reader, can you imagine the look on my face??

Sport

I tried to keep my composure. Fortunately, the sports news was mid-broadcast so I had a couple of minutes to try out the tilting, away from the prying ears of the listeners. (For those watching the broadcast on the webcam, they probably saw this and to those viewers, I apologise). I leaned back into the firm back support, my kidney-region being hugged cosily by the leatherette upholstery. Gently, I leaned forwards using only the power of my abdominal muscles and the spring mechanism in the back of this incredible chair. I repeated the process, this time putting my arms out horizontally at shoulder level, keen to get the maximum benefit of the abdo-pulsing action. I rocked backwards and forwards, giggling.

“What the hell are you doing?” said Andy Crane.

“This chair is amazing!” I cried. “Try it! Try it! It’s better than a bullworker!”

“We’re back on air in a minute,“ said Andy Crane. “What are your thoughts on bin collection lorries?”

“Can’t we do the funny picture about the shagging tortoises next?” I said, frantically rocking my abs.

“No. We can’t,“ said Andy Crane, and then put his microphone fader up to announce a Sade record.

Chair Champion

The BBC have been ribbed in the press about their chairs but I think this is unfair. These chairs are fantastic. If anyone can tell me who manufactures these superb items, please do.

 

* Nice ‘key word’ insertion there, don’t you think?

emma on the george lamb show on bbc 6 music, 30th november 2007

“This award isn’t just for me…it’s for YOU!”

Portraying heartbreak

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Emma Clarke

Emma is an award-winning voiceover, broadcaster and writer. Want to find out more about Emma?
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