Like many freelancers, I spend 90 percent of my workdays at home. But because I value the idea of theoretically working from anywhere — at least when things are normal — I long resisted investing in home office furniture. For years, I happily worked from my coffee table, from my yoga mat, sometimes even from my bed. Then a cartoonish fall sent me flying across the room, where I landed squarely on my coccyx.
My back grew increasingly tender over the course of a week, prompting me to Google stupid things like “tailbone pain … how long?” This injury, combined with working from home for the foreseeable future, finally forced me to examine how I work from home. I focus best when seated, so standing desk converters were out. Since I usually end up sitting on the ground for the better part of the day, investing in an ergonomic chair seemed unwise. To ease my soreness and hopefully help my productivity, I took a half-measure: I bought a donut.
Tailbone trauma typically heals on its own, but it can take months. Donut cushions were one of the few actionable remedies I came across in my online research, and I liked that it could move with me throughout the day, increasing my mobility instead of limiting it.
Now I use it everywhere I work (desk, couch, dining room table, living room floor). The cushion was just $25, and it approximates the firm but gentle support of the Herman Miller chair I used to sit in at my start-up job. It’s surprisingly light, and the molded foam core is spongy but structured. Though intended for those experiencing a host of posterial afflictions, including but not limited to: hemorrhoids, postpartum orthopedic injuries, bed sores, and sciatica, the cushion is delightfully nonmedical in appearance — and not just because I opted for a jazzy leopard. (A note: The animal print has gone in and out of stock, but it’s also available in a fetching plaid.) The key differentiator of this one, compared to the many other donut cushions on the market, is that the fabric slipcover obscures the hollow center and visually neutralizes the cushion when not in use. If you live with roommates or a partner — or, as I currently do, with your fiancé and future in-laws — this feature will lessen the inherent humiliation of carting around a pillow whose sole purpose is relieving butt pain.
Recently, my tailbone discomfort has waned, but my reliance on this pillow has not — and I don’t expect it to anytime soon.
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