All33’s Axion touts a distinguished pedigree. Designed in collaboration by the celebrity chiropractor of the Los Angeles Clippers and a former BMW designer, it uses a curved cushion and proprietary Sit in Motion technology to help stack all 33 vertebrae of your spine into perfect position.
After spending nearly two uncomfortable, pandemic years hunched over my dining room table on a pretty leather chair, while my husband hogged our office, I was ready to try something designed explicitly for long days of working from home.
Thankfully, the atypical design of the all33 Axion held up to its VIP testimonials — adding up to 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 specifically designed to improve your WFH posture and reduce pain, the $999 all33 Axion is well worth the money.
When I emerged from Covid lockdown, it was a huge bummer to find that I had developed a small hump (yes, a hump) on my neck — from spending all those hours staring down at my laptop screen. That landed me squarely in physical therapy, where I was told that this was becoming a common malady cutely dubbed ”Tech Neck.”
After six weeks of targeted exercises to bid farewell to that not-so-cute hump, I promised to never let my posture take a turn for the worse again. And the first thing on my list was finding the right ergonomic desk chair for my (now vacated by my husband) home office. I decided to try the all33 Axion, because in addition to helping to align my vertebrae, it is also designed to keep your body in subtle motion throughout the day.
The all33 Axion’s box contains five pieces. But unlike some Ikea-type assembly I’ve dealt with in the past, the instructions were clear and it was a cinch to put together. All by myself. Without any swearing or name-calling. My chair is all black vegan leather, though it does come in both red and tan hues as well. You can also choose fabric in those same colors for the same price.
Once I pieced the chair together, I was admittedly a little bemused at the dual combo of curved cushion and swivel style bucket seat. It’s definitely not your mom’s office chair. But it felt sturdy and I was happy with its strong build and solid quality.
The wheels don’t have locks, but they also aren’t sliding around whenever you move, which I appreciated. If you want to move the chair, you’ll have to do it purposefully. The seat height goes from 19 to 23 inches and it swivels from side to side. The website says it can hold up to 275 pounds and suggests that anyone under 5’4” use a footrest.
Here’s where things get good. The entire design forces you into near perfect posture while simultaneously keeping you from remaining sedentary for hours at a time.
That Sit in Motion (yeah, its patented) seat might look odd, but that’s because it’s built to move up and down with your body. The idea, according to Dr. Colonello, is that yes, prolonged sitting is not good for anyone’s chiropractic health. But it’s the type of sitting we do in front of our computers all day that can lead to those nasty back and neck problems.
Put that mobility together with the elliptical-shaped, contoured cushion which fits directly into your lower back, and you’ll be compelled 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 celebrity clients who, in addition to pepping up his posture, also figured out how to shoot a basketball and do an ab workout while sitting in the all33 Axion.
That said, for normal schlubs like me, this chair is a revelation. Of course, you could cheat and move your butt to the front of the seat and still find a way to hunch over. But if you place your behind all the way in the back, you will have a hard time doing anything but sitting up straight with the prompt of that lumbar cushion. And it’s not like I had to think about it. It just happened. In fact, after about an hour, I could feel the difference in the muscles of my lower back and shoulders. It’s also almost impossible to lean all the way back, though if you do, you’re not encouraged to stay there for long.
During my initial physical therapy, I was told to stop a few times during the day, lace my fingers behind my head and push out my elbows, in the hopes to make sure I would keep my posture straight and not fall back into my old, hunchback ways. When I tried that exercise in the chair, I was pleased to see that my shoulders and head were exactly where they were supposed to be.
And don’t worry, the motion of the chair really is subtle. So no, I wasn’t doing ab crunches like Bieber, but when I moved my legs or swiveled around, the all33 Axion just moved right along with me.
“We’re doing much more static sitting which can cause immense harm to the body since it’s designed to move,” Dr. Colonello said, when I asked about the pandemic’s shift from the workforce to being mainly remote, via email. “The all33 chair is unique in the sense that you can sit all day, not feel tired, and not have that creeping, 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 chair’s tilt tension and even lock it completely if you so choose. For me, both those things added to the all33’s movement experience so I didn’t bother modifying.
The all33 Axion is an investment. You can grab it for $999 on the all33 website, marked down from the original $1,399. And it’s not even real leather. So, although celebs like Chelsea Handler and Dee Snider are also quoted as being fans, the rest of us may not be ready to throw nearly $1,000 at an office chair.
My one big complaint with the all33 Axion chair is its lack of adjustable armrests. Yes, you can flip 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 set-up so I had to buy myself a wrist rest for my mouse and an ergonomic keyboard. Definitely not a deal breaker but frustrating for the price.
Our current favorite office chair is the Steelcase Series 1, and it kept our reviewer comfy and sitting up straight for a more affordable $486 (it’s currently even less on Amazon right now). The Steelcase also comes in a wider range of colors, if you want something that’s not black, red or beige. Neither one is made of real leather, but the Steelcase Series 1 is more flexible, letting you adjust not only the arm height, but also the lumbar and arm caps.
But, if you don’t mind spending the cash on an office chair which can also double as a gorgeous piece of furniture, you may want to consider the Herman Miller Aeron Chair (starting at $1,645), which also has an adjustable lumbar and happens to be one of the most stylish and comfortable chairs we tested.
The all33 Axion is a stunner of an office chair for anyone who, like me, needs a serious ergonomics boost. A compelling design, crafted by a well-known chiropractor and an industrial designer, makes for an almost foolproof way to keep you honest when it comes to better posture in your home office.
The constant movement of the seat combined with a fixed lumbar cushion also helps to make it a one-of-a-kind, and almost impossible to slouch when sitting. But unlike the comparably priced Herman Miller Aeron, it’s not nearly as beautiful to look at.
As Justin Bieber so patently puts it, “it’s the chair that moves like I do.” And quite frankly, when it comes to sitting up properly, you really will go love yourself. Now you just have to decide if that’s worth $999.