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The Evolution and Future of the Modern Chair

November 17, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 111

There is a lot of variety in most things in life, but there are few products that can vary as much as the common - or not so common - chair.

Chairs come in every shape, size, design colour and fabric imaginable and they can also serve any number of different purposes.

In its most basic form a chair is simply something that we sit on, but when you think beyond that the chair becomes a much more complex item.

Ultimately every chair has a purpose and that purpose may be a single one, or one with multiple objectives. The living room chair, easy chair or sofa chair is a classic example. On the face of it, it is simply a chair, however most people who buy that kind of chair want it to do two things.

Firstly they want it to be comfortable, but secondly they also want it to look good, fit in with the room's d├ęcor and add a visual point of interest.

In terms of "comfort", the expression is far too general. An ergonomic office chair is comfortable for working on a PC, but it would not be considered ideal or appropriate for watching TV in the evening. So even "comfort" means different things in the context of different environments and different ways of using a chair.

Our expectations of the chair have and continue to grow and expand as we develop more activities, more ways of performing seated tasks, and as different designs and trends come into and go out of fashion.

Ergonomics and orthopedics are now playing an ever increasing role in chair design as engineers seek to make chairs not only feel good, but also to actively support our skeletal and muscular structure.

The result of these analytical ways of evaluating chair design have seen the development of orthopedic chairs and task chairs - chairs that work with our body and that stay in harmony with the tasks or activities that we perform whilst seated on them.

With an increasingly sedentary work force and more and more chair based hobbies and pastimes, how well our chairs support us is becoming increasingly important and this is being recognised in the future design of chairs.

So what does the future have to offer?

Already there are chairs in stores and in development that are replicating human biology in their design. These chairs have seat and backrest designs based around the human spine with the concept that a chair with a spine can support a body based around a skeletal spine. Each of the mechanical vertebrae segments making up the chair's spine is hinged allowing them to move uniformly in equilibrium with a human back.

Other developments are exploring advanced chairs that move as the body moves. These chairs cease to be passive supports and become automatically adjusting supports that move and twist as the person sitting on them moves.

There are also self adjusting chairs that shape themselves to the natural curves and bends of the back, shoulders, bottom and upper thighs by reacting to the different pressure points applied to them. These chairs will support everyone who sits on them in a slightly different way by taking account of their personal biology, weight and body shape.

Ultimately the future holds many advances in ergonomic, orthopedic and active support chair design and we are just beginning to see the first fruition of these developments.

If you want some idea of the variety of chair types currently available, take a look at this information based website You will find out about everything from stairlifts and back chairs to the latest ergonomic task chairs - and everything in between.

Source: EzineArticles
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