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Pamper Your Butt

I recently upgraded from the wooden kitchen chair I've used for years to a real swiveling office chair on wheels, so I'm a bit behind the curve on office chair innovations. When you spend the biggest part of your waking life sitting at a computer, what you sit on can make all the difference in your mood. Some of the gadgets developed to enhance your working comfort and health may be worth the added expense.

The Best Seat Cushion

This cushion has twelve air cells inside that inflate and deflate intermittently. The idea is that this will relieve pressure points and stimulate circulation in your butt and thighs. Yes, it's possible to  do the same thing by shifting your weight or changing position, but it sounds like it would give you a lovely massage. The Best Seat is powered by a rechargeable battery that will last 48 hours on a two-our charge. Get yours for $225 at Magellan (when they restock) or $299.99 at Hammacher-Schlemmer.

Suzukaze Seat Cushion

MFac.jpgThings can get hot under there. The Suzukaze seat cushion has a built-in air conditioner for your butt! The fan pushed 170 liters of air through the cushion per minute. It runs on 4 AA batteries, with an estimated energy cost of 5 cents a month if you use rechargeable batteries. There is also a car seat model available. Only $93 from the Japan Trend Shop.

Embody Office Chair

200_MFembody.jpgThis chair designed by Jeff Weber and the late Bill Stumpf shapes itself to your body. Seven different adjustments let you find the position that is most comfortable. The lower back has constant support, while the upper back conforms to your shape. The seat has four layers -suspension, coils, weight-supporting rings, and a cooling mesh. It's yours for $1,495.00 (or a bit more with some options) from Herman Miller. Shipping is free.

I'm still giddy from just having a comfy office chair. Still, one of these days I'm going to splurge a bit to make myself feel really pampered while working. Meanwhile, I'll keep buying lottery tickets.

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Live Smarter
Your Dresser Is a Serious Tipping Hazard. Here's How to Fix It
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iStock

When it comes to household safety, we’re used to potentially hazardous items being clearly labeled. Hair dryers come with warnings not to use them in the shower; volatile cleaning products implore us not to drink them. But some of the most significant items carrying actual mortality rates are largely ignored: common living room or bedroom furniture.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 30,000 people were treated in emergency rooms from 2014 to 2016 as a result of furniture tipping over on them. Children are at particular risk of being injured or worse when they attempt to climb a dresser or TV stand. As Consumer Reports points out, these items do not have to conform to any universal manufacturing standard and can easily become unstable regardless of their weight, cost, the child’s weight, or other variables. Injuries are also seen when children tug on the furniture or attempt to climb inside the drawers. Since dressers are often in a child's bedroom where they can play unsupervised, the potential for an accident is high.

In testing performed by Consumer Reports, no one brand or style stood out as being inherently safer than the others. So what can consumers do?

An illustration of a child climbing a dresser
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One easy solution is to avoid putting televisions on top of these dressers, since they pose a high risk of falling on top of a child when the dresser is moved. More importantly, child safety advocacy groups advise that adults use anchoring systems for furniture in danger of tipping over. These kits are available via mail order or in retail stores and come with straps that are connected between the furniture and two wall brackets. If weight is applied to the front of the dresser, the straps will keep it from falling over.

Some furniture comes with these kits, or with L-shaped angle brackets. Both are effective, but included straps can often be plastic that degrades over time—they should be nylon or steel. If not, you should opt for a third-party kit.

Advocacy groups have found that a lot of consumers are either unaware these kits exist or find them difficult to install. But it's a relatively easy procedure so long as you secure the anchor into a wall stud and not into drywall, where it will be too loose to stand up to a weight-bearing load. For brick or masonry walls, it’s best to hire a professional. If you’re renting and have been told not to drill into the wall, consult your landlord—it’s likely they’ll agree to waive any restrictions to make for a safer living space.

[h/t NPR]

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Courtesy of Studio Segers
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Design
These Unique Benches Are Made From Yogurt Cups and Plastic Bags
Courtesy of Studio Segers
Courtesy of Studio Segers

When sent to a landfill, some plastic waste will sit there for centuries before breaking down. The Belgian design firm Studio Segers has found an alternative use for the plastic containers some people throw away by re-purposing them into innovative outdoor seating. This modular bench spotted by design milk is made from used yogurt cups, butter tubs, and plastic bags and is 100 percent recyclable.

Commissioned by the recycling company ECO-oh!, the H-bench consists of slender, plastic components. They come with or without backrests and are available in dark gray, medium gray, light gray, pastel green, pastel blue, and beige. Snap three of them together and you have a chair. Keep adding pieces to build a snug love-seat or a bench long enough to fit a crowd.

Recycled bench.
Courtesy of Studio Segers

The seat is designed to be customized to suit the user’s taste. Chair backs can face one way or alternating directions; the bench can feature multi-colored stripes or a uniform shade; one side can have seat backs while the opposite end is built for laying down.

The makers didn’t skimp on quality to make their product sustainable: The H-bench is made from plastics called polyolefins, which means it's durable enough to stay strong and vibrant even in harsh outdoor conditions. Get a closer look at the smart design in the video below.

[h/t design milk]

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