Sit-stand desks are not the only thing getting smarter. Now chairs are getting smarter too.
Earlier this year, the news came out that sitting too long during the day can be detrimental to one’s health — it increases the possibility of diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and shortens one’s lifespan. Movement helps one’s health.1 This message became the main reason why sit-stand desks were developed and are now used in various offices today. But office chair developers were not going to take this news sitting down (pardon the pun). Instead, they decided to restore sitting as a smart choice by developing smart office chairs.
How smart are these smart office chairs? Glad you asked.
Smart office chairs come with various features. Some smart office chairs are designed to automatically adjust their height, arm rest, head rest (if applicable) and lumbar sections to best fit each user and promote good sitting posture. These chairs also measure a sitter’s weight and uses this information to calculate and adjust the back of the chair to the optimal recline angle for that user (should the user choose to recline).2 Other chairs are built with sensors that measure a sitter’s posture. If the sitter is sitting poorly, these smart office chairs let the sitter know by either vibrating or “voicing” where the posture needs to be corrected.3
By far, the most interesting smart office chair on the market is one that actually keeps its sitter constantly moving while remaining in the sitting position. Unlike traditional office chair designs, these smart office chairs are made with custom-sized, carbon-fiber shells that wrap around each leg and move fluidly as its sitter moves to either reach for the phone, type on a computer, or lean over to speak to a co-worker. With these smart office chairs, sitters can stretch, twist, lean…even dance in their chair if feeling particularly creative. With all movements, the spine is supported, the body is constantly stimulated, circulation is improved and the back vertebrae are kept lubricated. The added bonus—these particular smart office chairs help the sitter feel good emotionally. Neuroscientists have found that constant stimulation of the body sends positive neuro signals to the brain, resulting in feelings of happiness.4
So, whether you just want to sit correctly, or keep moving while you work, there are smart office chairs out there that will keep you healthy and happy while you work.
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1 Ubelacker , Sheryl, The Canadian Press, “Sitting for too long can kill you, even if you exercise: study”, CBC News – Business, Jan 19, 2015, http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/sitting-for-too-long-can-kill-you-even-if-you-exercise-study-1.2918678
2 HumanScale, “Differient Smart, Designed by Neil Differient”, https://www.humanscale.com/products/product.cfm?group=DiffrientSmartChair
3 BMA Ergonomics, “Smart Office Chair”, https://www.bma-ergonomics.com/en/smart-office-chair/
4 Wong, Venessa, Bloomberg Business, “This $8,500 Smart Office Chair Never Stops Moving”, July 27, 2012, http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2012-07-27/the-8-500-smart-office-chair-that-never-stops-moving