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Active chairsPrint

Active chairs for the office as well as home workplace

(for temporary sitting and more)

 

Active sitting keeps head and back fit!

Conventional sitting is rigid sitting. Rigid sitting means tense - strained - back muscles, monotonous loading of the intervertebral discs and the weakening of the entire upright holding apparatus. This is especially dangerous for the pelvis and torso area. At the same time rigid sitting leads to fatigue and oxygen depletion in the blood, the concentration declines. Therefore doctors and therapists emphasise: "You should also move a lot when you are sitting“. This is possible with active chairs that encourage frequent position and posture changes.

The autochthonous muscles need movement

Why the so-called multi-dimensional sitting concepts are so good for the back is shown by taking a closer look at the anatomy: Our spinal column is an unstable tower out of 24 stacked up vertebral bodies, held together by numerous muscles. They form a network of thin muscle bands that hold all vertebral bodies together criss-cross. Thereby a special role is played by the so-called autochthonous muscles (= upright raising and stabilising muscles of the vertebral column), which continually balance our body without us noticing it.

These supporting bands always work in tandem: While one muscle strand is pulling, its counterpart slowly releases - and vice versa. This complicated system can however only function optimally when all muscle players are sturdy and equally strong. Otherwise only the strong ones are active and the weak ones drop out.

Adjustment of the chair to the movements

Today it is known: Autochthonous muscles that are too weak are one of the main causes for back complaints. But exactly these so important small muscles can be optimally trained through multi-dimensional sitting. Quite casually, during work. Further advantage: The chair adapts to the movements of the sitting person, the back always remains upright, even when one inclines towards the table. This not only prevents back problems, but promotes the nutrition of the intervertebral discs, relieves the organs, stimulates the circulation and thereby also increases the performance ability, the concentration and the mood.

Why not already start during childhood

Children on average spend ten hours a day - including free time - sitting. Thereby important movement impulses are especially lacking for the growing organism, which are indispensable for a balanced physical, intellectual and psychical development. Principally noteworthy: The more frequently growing children undertake diverse movements the better this is for their complex development processes. A good reason to already be aware of movement promoting furniture during childhood. Active chairs are not only available for adults, but also for children. They must fulfil the same criteria, adapted to the body height.

Differences with active chairs

The active chairs certified today are conceived for different application purposes and differ in the sitting comfort and in the adjustment possibilities.

  • Active chairs for temporary sitting and more:
    Depending on the user requirements they can be recommended for "sitting in between", but also for longer term sitting. There are people who can sit comfortably for the whole day on an active chair without backrest. Others however need the backrest to be able to "lean back" from time to time. They are available for adults and for children.
  • Active chairs for working at standing seat workplaces:
    The topic temporary work standing up at defined, adjustable standing seat workplaces is being increasingly demanded. But also longer term standing can favour fatigue processes. To address this, apart from certified floor mats the AGR especially recommend the application of sit stands.
  • Active chairs for children and teenagers for time restricted use in institutional and home area:This is a simple, supplementary sitting furniture that is not intended to replace any standard chair. With these chairs the adjustment to the different body height is not like with other active chairs through a height adjustment, but through different chair sizes. Especially under observation of learning and health friendly institutional room design (day-care centre, school) that accommodates to the need for diversity, also regarding the furnishing, this "simple“ active chair represents a valuable supplementation. Individually preferred, educationally beneficial or necessary behavioural requirements are thereby supported and not blocked.

 


 Important note:

Similar to active office chairs, active chairs also have movement mechanisms that allow intuitive, multi-dimensional sitting behaviour. Active chairs are used at the office, as well as at the home workplace. They are however not consistent with the requirements of DIN EN 1335 for office furniture. But this however also includes a critical perspective. DIN EN 1335 is based on a draft from the year 1989 (DIN 4551), and due to "outdated“ regulations excludes many innovative and meanwhile empirically proven physiological sitting concepts for the office application. The company management is principally not under obligation to observe DIN EN 1335 in the selection of the working equipment. The standard is merely applicable as recommendation, respectively as minimum requirement for the protection of employees. The health and the continuous performance ability of the employees should however stand in the foreground in the selection of the right sitting object - and not the standard! A responsible employer should therefore not force an employee to sit on a DIN conforming office chair, who when sitting on a conventional office chair according to DIN EN 1335 gets back pain, and whose health situation however improves when sitting on a non DIN-conforming sitting object.

The AGR has meanwhile certified many height adjustable active chairs that do not have any DIN EN 1335 conformity. Based on the following reasons these active chairs for office as well as for home workplaces are recommended as being back friendly.

Checklist

  • Active chairs should be oriented towards the basic principles of the fitness ball. They offer movement possibilities in all three dimensions, i.e. swinging in the vertical and horizontal, movements in all directions are possible. This brings a whole series of positive effects with it, amongst others continuous loading and relief of the intervertebral discs and the muscles (prevention of tension), training of the back and abdominal muscles, the circulation is stimulated and fatigue is prevented.
  • Alternatively active chairs can also be oriented towards the movements according to the pendulum principle. It picks up the movement impulses of the individual and returns them back to him. The elastic, oscillating mounted elements below the sitting surface in interaction with the smallest body movements create highly effective movement impulses. These act directly on the receptors in muscles, tendons, joints and organs of equilibrium. These receptors pass on the movement information to the brain, which in turn sends back movement impulses. The pendulum principle therefore not only increases the body's own movements, but also stimulates more muscle activity. The muscles are strengthened and can help to prevent back pain.
  • The sitting furniture should have secure stability. For safety reasons uncontrolled tipping and rolling away must be particularly prevented. Apart from this it is helpful to limit the side displacement, because thereby also heavier or re-convalescing individuals, as well as individuals who are no longer fast in reacting or whose coordination ability is restricted have more security.
  • For optimum use the seat must be height adjustable. The angle between the upper body and the thigh should be between 90 and 110 degrees, i.e. the thighs hereby slightly fall towards the front.
  • Flexible working requires a certain movability of the sitting furniture. This must be possible without any problems, e.g. through a low weight or through rolling, respectively suitable sliding feet, matching to the respective floor coverings.

Minimum requirements

  • Multi-dimensional movement in the seat area
  • Firm stand
  • Adjustable in height

Also appropriate

  • Backrest (as option for additional changes in posture)
  • Adjustable to the bodyweight
  • Adjustable vibration path and resistance
  • Braked castors

Products in this sector with the AGR seal of approval

Manufacturer

aeris GmbH*
Hans-Stießberger-Straße 2a, 3. OG
85540 Haar b. München
GERMANY
Tel. +49 89/90 05 06 0
Fax +49 89/90 39 39 1
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.aeris.de/en

Haider Bioswing GmbH**
Dechantseeser Str. 4
95704 Pullenreuth
GERMANY
Tel. +49 9234/99 22 0
Fax +49 9234/99 22 166
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.haider-bioswing.com

Moizi Möbel GmbH***
Warburger Str. 37
33034 Brakel
GERMANY
Tel. +49 5272/37 15 0
Fax +49 5272/37 15 23
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.moizi.de/en

VS Vereinigte Spezialmöbelfabriken GmbH & Co****
Hochhäuser Str. 8
97941 Tauberbischofsheim
GERMANY
Tel. +49 9341/88 77 70
Fax +49 9341/88 77 77
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.vs-moebel.de/en

Further information

Practical tip

For all those who want more movement but don't want to sit on an active chair all the time, it has proven effective to offer the chance to alternate between a "traditional" chair and mobile active sitting furniture.

Video

Bilder

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