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If you are interested in a back-friendly lifestyle, Aktion Gesunder Rücken e. V. is the right organisation for you. Our seal of approval serves as a compass for certified back-friendly products - competently and independently.

Awarded back-friendly!

How should a product be designed so that it provides optimum support for your back and relieves you rather than burdening you? In the product jungle, the choice is not that easy, because you often can't tell which products are really back-friendly: unless they have been awarded the AGR seal of approval.

The AGR seal of approval "certified & recommended" was developed by the AGR together with the two largest German back training associations as a decision-making aid for consumers.

The AGR seal of approval is only awarded to products that have been assessed as particularly back-friendly. For this assessment, the professional associations Forum Gesunder Rücken - besser leben e. V. and the Bundesverband deutscher Rückenschulen e. V. put together an independent test commission. The experts from various specialist areas subject a wide range of products to strict test criteria. If the commission comes to the conclusion that the products demonstrably promote back health, they are awarded the AGR seal of approval.

The path to the AGR seal of approval

In order to be approved for the seal of approval examination, a manufacturer must first apply to the Aktion Gesunder Rücken. If the preliminary test, during which a member of the test committee inspects the products on site, is successfully passed, the main examination takes place. This takes place twice a year over several days and is organised by the Aktion Gesunder Rücken. The manufacturers must now demonstrate the back-friendly benefits of the product to the entire test committee by presenting the mode of action and proving it, for example, in the form of studies. The important thing here is that every product must be on site and is closely scrutinised by the examiners. Once the test has been successfully completed, a licence agreement is concluded. This regulates the handling of the seal of approval and includes, for example, that the manufacturer undertakes to report all changes to the product to the testing body. The experts then decide whether a follow-up inspection is necessary.

Internationally recognised: you can rely on the quality of the AGR test process!

There are a large number of quality seals on the market, which unfortunately also include many dubious providers. It is often very difficult for consumers to identify which certificates they can trust: What does the seal say, what are the requirements and who checks the product or service in the first place? Only a few quality seals provide a reliable answer to these questions. Since the introduction of the AGR seal of approval over 25 years ago, we at Aktion Gesunder Rücken have attached great importance to transparency and have repeatedly undergone external audits:

The AGR quality seal and the testing process were scrutinised by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and recognised as reputable and trustworthy in 2022. It is therefore one of the few quality seals to have received this prestigious international award as an EU certification mark. The quality of the AGR seal of approval was also awarded the highest rating of "highly recommended" by the German Consumer Initiative Association on the consumer portal

Experts also rely on the AGR seal of approval!

The seal of approval is also an important guide for doctors and therapists when choosing products. This is confirmed by the „Rücken-Konsilium“, a large-scale survey of around 1,000 orthopaedic specialists in Germany on the subject of back pain:

of all respondents state that the patient's willingness to use back-friendly everyday products is a decisive success factor, also in therapy.

of orthopaedists prefer to recommend products with the AGR seal of approval.

Insight into the work of the audit committee

Interview with Martin Vierl, medical expert

What is your role on the audit committee?

Due to my profession I know the ergonomic needs of the working population: back pain and workplace problems such as forced postures and monotonous repetitive strain are issues that concern our patients ...

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I am therefore well placed to assess the ergonomic benefits of a product. I contribute my expertise from 30 years of professional experience in surgical and conservative orthopaedics.

Which test criterion do you consider to be the most important?

I find it challenging to find out whether the buyer of a product with the AGR seal of approval benefits their health. We need good evidence here, such as scientifically designed studies. After all, the Aktion Gesunder Rücken and its seal of approval stand for a stable level of quality that we want to maintain. I personally have been familiar with the seal of approval since attending a back teacher seminar many years ago - and am always fascinated by the variety of products: from baby carriers and office furniture to asphalt rollers.

Can manufacturers rework their products?

Yes, for example, I was pleased to see the reintroduction of an office chair that we were unable to issue a certificate for due to a material breakage during testing. My suggestions for improvement were taken on board and implemented. Everything went smoothly during the retest.

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