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Comparison of office chairs with fixed forwards or backwards inclining, or tiltable seats

Summary

Three adjustments of an office chair seat: — one inclining +10‡ (forwards), one inclining − 5‡ (backwards), and one being freely tiltable from −8‡ to +19.5‡ — were investigated using two groups of healthy female workers in a field (n=12), and a laboratory study (n=10), respectively. The seat adjustments were examined with regard to effects on foot swelling, lumbar muscular load, backrest pressure and subjective acceptability. Desk-work and typing were compared according to lumbar muscular activity, seat movements (tiltable seat), and backrest pressure. Foot swelling tended to increase with increasing seat height but was not influenced by the ability to tilt the seat or not. With the different seat adjustments lumbar muscular activity did not change systematically in spite of greater backrest pressure when the seat inclined backwards. The tiltable seat was preferred to the others. Typing was associated with a more constrained and tens posture than desk work, because movements, transferred to the tiltable seat, decreased and the muscular load increased. Backrest pressure was highest during typing. A tendency towards gradually increasing restlessness (i. e. seat movements) and increasing forward inclination of the tiltable seat with time was observed.

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Bendix, T., Winkel, J. & Jessen, F. Comparison of office chairs with fixed forwards or backwards inclining, or tiltable seats. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 54, 378–385 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02337181

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02337181

Key words

  • Back
  • Electromyography
  • Muscular load
  • Sitting posture
  • Tiltable seat