May 24 2010
When my friend Douglas downsized his life prior to moving abroad, one of the things he threw in my direction was his Nada Chair. At first glance I didn’t have a clue what it could be for; it looked like a canvas pack. He told me to sit cross-legged on the floor.
The Nada is quite simply “the chair that you wear”. Opening it, Douglas placed the main panel across my back and slotted the two straps below my knees. I was amazed to find that something so simple could make such an astonishing difference to a basic human action. Like most people, I found sitting on the floor an uncomfortable experience, but the Nada took the strain, cupping and supporting my body so that sitting cross-legged was not only easy but actually comfortable.
For many years I used the Nada chair for sitting on the ground, most memorably at Glastonbury in 2003 (when the sun actually shone). For the rest of the time the Nada was shoved to the back of a cupboard.
Then at the start of this year, after years of sitting slumped in front of a computer, I became conscious of a pain at the base of my spine: worse, that my shoulders were beginning to slump. It was then that the most valuable aspect of this versatile little creation became clear to me.
Because many of us spend much of our time working in front of computers, we are likely to stoop painfully into old age. The Nada could help to prevent that. When you sit at your desk, simply slot the back pad close to your pelvis and hook the strap over your shins. You will feel yourself rise in your chair as your posture straightens.
The Nada Chair comes in various designs with different levels of support and padding; the best one for all-round support and for sitting at desks is the Back-Up, which costs £35.