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Choosing a chair

Did you know that you spend 60 percent of the day sitting?

And if you're going to be sitting that much, you should be doing it comfortably. So let's take a look at what it takes.

First of all your seat, the one that comes with your body, has two round pelvic bones called ischial tuberosities. The degree of comfort you experience is in direct correlation with the cushion, or its lack, that takes pressure off these bones.

Cushion added to the back of a chair that comes in contact with the lumbar area of your back gives even more support, therefore more comfort.

The position of the back, the height of the arms of the chair and the height of the seat all add to the degree of comfort.

What you should look for is how well the chair is constructed.

Hardwoods are used in the best construction. Kiln-dried ash, white oak, red oak or American elm are considered the finest. The frame joints should be double doweled and then glued. Finally, corner blocks should be added to the major joints.

The best springs are eight-way and hand-tied, just like the springs in a quality bed mattress. There's also the sinuous spring, which is often used on the back of sofas.

Layers of padding _ called decking _ are then added on top of the springs. There should be no lumps or bumps visible.

The cushions are usually stuffed with polyurethane foam. The denser the foam, the better the support and durability. Lower density will lose its shape quickly. (For top of the line plushness, though, there's nothing like down-filling.)