Implications? Familiarity bias.
Ten years ago, the advantage of the 2T concept was apparent to John Jukes, a pioneer in the optimisation of the office environment and Prof. Derek Clements-Croom, Director of Research in the School of Construction Management and Engineering at the University of Reading. Also the reaction of most who had experienced LBP was immediately positive – “Where can I buy this chair” (of course, they couldn’t). The reaction of chair designers and manufacturers was different. Blank incomprehension. Mainly due to ‘Familiarity bias’.
Western people have been indoctrinated that adverse mid upright sitting (See ☛Mandal→) is ergonomically ‘correct’ and have sat in this sort of chair since childhood and so ‘Familiarity bias’ results. This is a normal reaction of people who have only experienced one way of doing things and results in various levels of denial and incomprehension, when exposed to anything new. This mind-set can prevent them from seeing the real benefits of a chair that is scientifically shown to be correct but looks different and is actually more comfortable. It will take time to change this perception and will happen once chairs designed on bio-mechanically correct lines are manufactured and their advantages explained. Those who are liable to backache will be the first to see the advantages and will create a demand. The newer generation is more open to fresh ideas and takes quickly to a 2T design. Insurance is already begining to take an interest (personal communication).
However, as mentioned, perceptions are changing. Last week (on 19th Sept. 2013) , at a major international design show in London, I found several major Scandinavian and German manufacturers who accepted my views but hesitated to translated them into actual products. I was even invited to Germany! This year (2015) several designers said “I have read your views and agree, But…..” . Which was usually ‘Familiarity Bias’. Office of companies like Google, Skype and Facebook, is like a playground with innovative furniture which would have looked outrageous ten years ago. This included the 2T concept that I introduced in 1998. It is now begining to look quite ordinary although designers have difficulty in recognising the underlying bio-mechanical essentials.
For example, recliner chairs are only suitable for home use. A 2T (or 3M) chair is different only because it can be used as a work chair. Will people buy recliners when a cheaper and better designed dual purpose chair comes on the market? This may also be particularly relevant to the growing ‘gamer’ market.
To my question “what is the most important factor in chair design?”The answer was always :-Comfort. (See Comfort→)
|ImplicationsThe physical and emotional stressor effect due to discomfort and LBP is reduced and results in higher productivity. This offsets the slightly higher cost of a slightly greater footprint which can anyway be completely abolished or reduced by the use of work-stations (See 4M→) or better office design and layout (see office design). Anyone who has suffered or is suffering from LBP immediately recognise the significance of a 2T chair and themselves create a demand. HAS|