An account of the bio-mechanic (ergonomic) factors, associated with prolonged sitting, accounting for mechanical spinal pathology (Backache, LBP, IVDisc pathology, CTD) and options for their remediation for Sitting safely.
Correct ergonomics are the essential and fundamental requirements for any chair design. This is obvious to any of the 70% of the population liable to backache. Comfort may be essential for the other 30% but comfort depends on ergonomics.
- The work is intended as a resource for the designers of ergonomic work chairs. It also represents some essential reading for manufacturers of retail office chairs if they wish to improve the ‘ergonomics’ of their models with overwhelming health selling points.
- To avoid designing ergonomic adverse chairs. Designers seem to have difficulties with the science behind ergonomics judging by the surprising number of poor chairs in the market. ☛ Why?
- Most work-chairs are upright and only susceptable to partial remediations of the adverse effects of The upright seated posture. →
- To fully understand this work some knowledge of spinal anatomy, pathology & bio-mechanics is needed.☛ The SCIENCE→
- Whether partial or full the basic ergonomic requirements for chair design for Sitting safely is described under ☛REMEDIATION →
- The fully optimised concept involves a reclined work-mode and is the ☛The 2Tilt concept, the ultimate remediation →
- It is also very relevant to Interior designers and architects involved with office design and not forgetting the ‘end user’ who has the ultimate benefit .
An overview of this work
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Specialists may prefer to jump directly to their page of interest using the Right menu→.
For an overview of contents…..
See the SPECIALIST page → This includes a large body of research and background, on spinal bio-mechanics. It is subdivided into :-
- For DESIGNERS →
- MANUFACTURE of ergonomic chairs→
- For ARCHITECTS. ‘Coolness’ is the word.→
- & Office managers →
Manufacturers can be reassured that feasibility indicates that existing components can be used , avoiding the expense of retooling, while preserving their brand image. Prospective manufacturers can be helped to leap ahead of the field, New ideas can create both threats and opportunities , once both familiarity and normalcy biases are overcome. Creative disruption works.
For New offices ‘Coolness’ is the word to excite media interest for both the company and the Architect/Designer. Most firms aspire to project this cutting edge image. A 2T chair, or the derived 4M workstation, answers this exactly and in addition reduces LBP and increases productivity by lessened morbidity and stress. ( Also see ☛ Ergonomics and office stress.→ )
Office managers should consult this blog as a resource. It allows an alternative view to the usual hype, often laughably misguided, from manufacturers,
And not forgetting the interest of all chair users ……
- For GENERAL USERS→
- BACKACHE? For users and patients (only)→
- Also of LIKELY INTEREST to a general reader
- THE WAY WE SIT NOW→
- HOW WE SIT NOW→
- How other people sit→
- Why? Mandal’s Homo sedens→.
- Various chairs. How do they measure up?→
- EXERCISE & movement→
- Sit Stand & stools→
- School chairs & desks→
Backache & chairs. A number of systems are described. Spinal bio-mechanics dictates that prolonged Sitting safely should be performed in a reclined position with frequent change of posture. For a full remediation a number of requirements are essential. To be effective these are detailed in the 2 Tilt (2T) concept.
Science, and some relevant topics
- Spinal anatomy includes a number of detailed studies of the more relevant component parts and an account of the paleoanthropology which resulted in the vulnerability of the lumbo-sacral junction. ☛ Spinal Anatomy→
- Biomechanics in relation to sitting postures. ☛ Spinal biomechanics→.
- How did we arrive here? ☛ Paleo Anthropology →
- In addition,The way we sit now, further explores present sitting including the comments (☛Why? Mandal explains…→), Gorman and others. Comparisons are made with various existing chairs (☛How do they measure up?→).
- The obvious, and perhaps only, solution was for prolonged work to be performed in a chair that has a stable, correctly supported, supine reclined mode. Shown here is the Okamura ‘Atlas’ chair. ☛ Atlas→
- Other, commonly used partial solutions include ☛ Pelvic support→,
- ☛forward tilted seat→, & Ischial off-load →
- & ☛Sit/Stand→.
- Incorporating movement, ☛ Dynamic seating→
The big story here, however, is that it was found that a reclined mode is the only position that avoids all the adverse effects of prolonged upright sitting. For a reclined office work-chair to be practical a number of requirements are essential.
Combining these requirements can be difficult to achieve but is possible in a suitably supported reclined mode at 40-45° which conforms to spinal morphology (configuration). This alone is impractical as a work position unless a number of secondary requirements are incorporated to make this simple concept suitable and practical for sitting safely in a work chair.
- A reclined mode which has a correctly supported, supine, stable position for prolonged work ☛2T reclined mode→
- An upright mode required for certain jobs. ☛2T Upright mode→
- An unstable intermediate mode to enable a quick, easy transition between the 2T modes. ☛2T transition mode→ With the recognition that the transition movement has physiological advantages, this has been upgraded to a ‘mode’. ☛dynamic seating→. With the recognition that the transition movement has physiological advantages, this has been upgraded to a ‘mode’. The 2T now becomes a triple-mode (3M) concept.
These 3 modes constitute the basis of the 2T CONCEPT .
- The office environment it’s relation to physiological and psycho-social stress, ergonomics and remediation.