The all33 Axion may be a mouthful for an office chair, but if you want to improve your posture and relieve back pain, Axion has 33 reasons and the chiropractor is just one.
All33’s Axion boasts a distinguished pedigree. Designed in collaboration with famed Los Angeles Clippers chiropractor and a former BMW designer, it uses a curved pad and patented Sit in Motion technology to stack all 33 vertebrae of your spine in a perfect position.
After spending nearly two awkward, pandemic years hunched over my dining room table in a nice leather chair while my husband occupied our office, I was ready to try something explicitly designed for long days of working from home.
Fortunately, the atypical design of the all33 Axion kept its VIP testimonials alive – resulting in a satisfying and frankly enlightening experience for my back, neck and home office.
$999 $849 at All33
If you’re willing to invest in an office chair designed specifically to improve your WFH posture and reduce pain, the $999 all33 Axion is well worth the money.
Coming out of Covid lockdown it was a huge disappointment to find that I had developed a small bump (yes, a bump) on my neck – from all those hours staring at my laptop screen. That brought me straight into physical therapy, where I was told this was becoming a common ailment, funnily named “Tech Neck.”
After six weeks of targeted exercises to say goodbye to that not-so-nice bump, I vowed never to let my posture deteriorate again. And the first thing on my list was finding the right ergonomic office chair for my (now abandoned by my husband) home office. I decided to try the all33 Axion because it not only helps align my vertebrae but is designed to keep your body in subtle motion all day long.
The all33 Axion’s box contains five pieces. But unlike some Ikea-style assemblies I’ve dealt with in the past, the instructions were clear and a breeze to put together. All alone. Without cursing or swearing. My chair is all black vegan leather, but it is also available in both red and brown tones. You can also choose fabric in the same colors for the same price.
Once I put the chair together, I was admittedly a little baffled by the dual combination of curved cushion and swivel bucket seat. It’s definitely not your mom’s desk chair. But it felt sturdy and I was happy with its strong build and solid quality.
The wheels don’t lock, but they don’t slide around when you move either, which I appreciated. If you want to move the chair, you have to do it deliberately. The seat height goes from 19 to 23 inches and it pivots from side to side. The website says it can carry up to 275 pounds and suggests that anyone under 5’4″ use a footrest.
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Here it gets good. The whole design forces you into near-perfect posture while at the same time making sure you don’t sit still for hours on end.
That Sit in Motion (yes, the proprietary) chair may look odd, but that’s because it’s built to move up and down with your body. The idea, according to Dr. Colonello, that yes, prolonged sitting is not good for one’s chiropractic health. But it’s the kind of sitting we do all day in front of our computers that can lead to those pesky back and neck problems.
Combine that mobility with the elliptical contoured cushion that fits directly into your lower back, and you’ll be forced to sit with your back straight, chest up and shoulders back. I mean, you can listen to me, or you can believe Justin Bieber, one of Colonello’s famous clients who, in addition to boosting his attitude, also figured out how to shoot a basketball and do an abs workout while in the all33 axion .
That said, for regular schlubs like me, this chair is a revelation. Sure, you can cheat and move your butt to the front of the seat and still find a way to bend over. But if you put your behind all the way back, you’re going to have a hard time doing anything but sitting up with that lumbar pillow prompt. And it’s not like I had to think about it. It just happened. After about an hour I could even feel the difference in the muscles of my lower back and shoulders. It’s also nearly impossible to sit all the way back, but if you do, you’re not encouraged to stay there long.
During my first physical therapy, I was told to stop a few times a day, loop my fingers behind my head, and push out my elbows, hoping to make sure I would keep my posture straight and not fall back into my old hunchbacked ways. When I tried that exercise in the chair, I was happy to see that my shoulders and head were exactly where they needed to be.
And don’t worry, the movement of the chair is really subtle. So no, I didn’t do ab crunches like Bieber, but when I moved or twirled my legs, the all33 Axion just moved with me.
“We’re much more static, which can cause massive damage to the body because it’s designed to move,” said Dr. Colonello, when I asked via email about the pandemic’s shift of staff to being mostly remote. “The all33 chair is unique in that you can sit all day, not feel tired and not have that crawling, slouching feeling that makes you feel like you’re cutting off your breathing and hurting your neck.”
In addition to adjusting the height, you can also stiffen the tilt tension of the chair and even lock it completely if desired. For me, both of these things contributed to the all33’s motion experience, so I didn’t bother adjusting it.
The all33 Axion is an investment. You can grab it for $999 on the all33 website, discounted from the original $1,399. And it’s not even real leather. So while celebrities like Chelsea Handler and Dee Snider are also listed as fans, the rest of us might not be ready to throw nearly $1,000 at an office chair.
My only major complaint with the all33 Axion chair is the lack of adjustable armrests. Yes, you can fold them up and down, but if your desk doesn’t match their height, you’re out of luck. Unfortunately, this was the case with my setup, so I had to buy a wrist rest for my mouse and an ergonomic keyboard. Definitely not a deal breaker, but frustrating for the price.
Our current favorite desk chair is the Steelcase Series 1, and it kept our reviewer comfortable and upright for a more affordable $486 (it’s even less on Amazon right now). The Steelcase is also available in a wider range of colors, if you want something that isn’t black, red or beige. Neither is made of genuine leather, but the Steelcase Series 1 is more flexible, allowing you to adjust not only the arm height, but also the lumbar and arm hoods.
But if you don’t mind spending the money on an office chair that doubles as a beautiful piece of furniture, consider the Herman Miller Aeron Chair (starting at $1,645), which also has an adjustable lumbar support and one of the being the most stylish and comfortable seats we tested.
The all33 Axion is a stunner of an office chair for anyone who, like me, needs a serious ergonomic boost. A compelling design created by a well-known chiropractor and industrial designer makes for an almost surefire way to keep you honest when it comes to better posture in your home office.
The constant movement of the seat in combination with a fixed lumbar cushion also helps to make it a unique piece, and almost impossible to slump while sitting. But unlike the comparably priced Herman Miller Aeron, it’s not nearly as pretty to look at.
As Justin Bieber puts it so clearly, “it’s the chair that moves like me.” And honestly, when it comes to sitting up straight, you’re really going to love yourself. Now all you have to do is decide if that’s worth $999.