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Whether at home, on the road or at work: every day we use products that make our lives easier or more beautiful. But do these products also make your back easier? Discover all back friendly products with the "AGR- seal of approval" of the Healthy Back Campaign. Just click through - you will be surprised!

Active office chairs

More movement at the office with active office chairs

"Sitting is as bad as smoking!”. With this report scientists around the world caused quite a sensation. To make sure that sitting is not as harmful as inhaling 4000 toxic ingredients while smoking a cigarette, you should get as much movement as possible - at best directly at the office. Active office chairs offer the ideal support for this.

Sitting over extended periods makes you ill

The everyday life of the people in the western world has caused increasing numbers of individuals to spend too much time sitting. Much too long, as was impressively shown by an Australian study (Sitting Time and All-Cause Mortality Risk in 222 497 Australian Adults): According to this people whose profession involves sitting spend nearly 22 hours per day on chairs, sofas, seats or in bed. The movement deficiency due to this weakens the muscles. Sooner or later they are then no longer able to hold us upright.

This has dramatic consequences: Stomach muscles that are too weak lead to a hunchback that not only causes one-sided strain of the intervertebral discs, but also compression of the internal organs. In addition, studies provide evidence that sitting for too long also partially significantly increases the risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and thromboses, as well as for some types of cancer. Even the brain is negatively affected and starts to deteriorate earlier.

Active office chairs create movement impulses

Therefore it is recommended to incorporate as much movement as possible into the everyday working life. A good rule of thumb is: 25 percent standing, 25 percent movement and 50 percent sitting. Fortunately the industry has reacted and offers products that are able to balance the dangerous lack of movement. So sitting with the so-called active office chairs can as a side-effect incorporate much more movement.

Extended sitting concepts bring movement to the office

Active office chairs bring more movement to the workplace. This is made possible through active sitting concepts, which all allow a cushioned multi-dimensional movement of the sitting surface. Active office chairs promote the movement and ensure a greater number of position changes than standard office chairs with synchronous mechanical action. Therefore they are amongst others especially recommendable for people, who through their activities are nearly exclusively tied to a chair and therefore depend on additional movement impulses.
With the sitting concepts tested at present there are currently four different approaches.

           1. The 3D-ergonomic principle from aeris

With the 3-D-ergonomic principle the seat mounted on the spring shock absorber (individually adjustable) follows every natural and intuitive three-dimensional position change of the body in a way that is flowing and dosed. Thereby not only forward, backward and sideward movements are made possible, but also vertical oscillations as well as combinations of all movement directions.

          2. 3D-balance principle from Dauphin

The 3D-balance principle not only allows body movements forwards and backwards, but also to both sides. This supports the natural movement impulses of the sitting person. An automatic seat inclination forward opens the pelvic angle and thereby ensures an anatomic sitting posture. Apart from this it animates the user to continually change position. This stimulates the back muscles, promotes the circulation and thereby increases the concentration ability of the seated person.

          3. Similar-Swing-Seat principle from Sedus

The Similar-Swing-Seat principle promotes the intuitive movement behaviour through a seat mechanism that gives the seat a controlled, sideward flexibility. In comparison to standard office chairs this significantly promotes pelvis movements. The new seat kinematic thereby gives the body all freedom of movement and at the same time makes use of the natural body feeling of stabilising itself. The body recognises the movement impulses and picks them up as a matter of course. As the armrests do not move with the rest of the chair the sitting person retains his feeling of safety.

          4. The Bioswing technology

The 3D seat mechanism of the Bioswing chairs registers the smallest displacements of the centre of gravity of the body and automatically returns them to the body as movement impulses. These movement impulses not only have an activating and performance increasing effect on the muscles themselves, but also on the mental performance ability. In addition, through the movement impulses the deep positioned muscle layers that are important for the back health are trained and counteract monotonous sitting positions, muscle tension and pain. In addition to this, through this technology the torso muscles are stimulated, which support an upright position of the back. The general well-being is increased and in consequence the concentration ability remains maintained for longer.

Micro-training for the muscles

Sitting with movement has many decisive advantages. For example the intervertebral discs are no longer unevenly strained, but more evenly over their entire surface. This type of loading is not a problem for all important buffering organs. Apart from this, when sitting on active office chairs the body must continuously perform smallest movements to maintain the balance. This micro training strengthens the so-called autochthonous muscles. These are small, deep-seated muscles that are located along the spinal column. They hold us up right and stabilise the spinal column.

As required a flexible backrest not only gives additional security but also increases the selection of different sitting positions, which should be continuously changed. The backrest already offers more comfort, for example when one would simply like to lean back during a telephone call.

Active office chairs are back friendly

Like all good office chairs, active office chairs must also have easily usable adjustment facilities. Seat and back surface must be designed so that one does not start to sweat and above all does not slip. The opening angle between the thigh and the torso should be greater than 90 degrees and ensure sufficient stability.

Counter chairs in the counter area

If you work at an elevated workplace in the counter area, permanently standing is very stressful. Therefore for this area special counter chairs have been developed. They basically fulfil the same criteria as active office chairs, but have a significantly higher sitting position and a foot ring for comfortable support of the feet. If the workplace cannot be left for a longer period of time, the use of a separate footrest is recommended. This allows you to vary the sitting position additionally. Tip: Even a perfectly adjusted office chair does not protect against back pain. Hence include movement breaks as wells as many posture changes as possible in your everyday office life.


  • Active office chairs must support the natural change of positions as needed. So they should therefore not only allow the natural movements of the person, but also promote them.
  • As with every good office chair, with an active office chair the sitting height should also be individually adjustable for the user.The backrest must allow balanced support.
  • The seat surface should be designed in such a way that no pressure points are created. This can be done by adjusting the seat depth or using different seat lengths (ideally 3 to 4 adjacent fingers fit between the front edge of the seat and the hollow of the knee). Due to the design, there are also chairs in which the seat surface is used for pure placement of the pelvis.
  • The backrest must provide balanced support.
  • Should an active office chair have rollers then attention must be given that they are restrained in the loaded state. Through the additionally desired movement the chair should not roll away unintentionally.
  • Make sure that all operating levers can be easily reached.
  • If active office chairs have a vertical swinging function then this must be adjustable as needed. Just as the sitting height can be adjusted for the user.
  • The chair must support the user in active sitting, complex movements like rocking or turning must be just as possible as active sitting in front (working) position or back relieving sitting in slightly reclining (resting) position.
  • Even with all this movement ability the chair must stand securely in every sitting position and must not wobble or slide away.
  • The chair must have a shock absorber for the sitting surface – also in the lowest sitting position – to protect the spinal column against compression when sitting down (sitting depth suspension).
  • For the use in counter areas, a seat height adjustment of at least 75 cm is required. An easily height-adjustable foot ring ensures that the feet are comfortably supported or to put on the feet. A function that prevents the counter chair from unintended rolling away during the use is required for safety reasons. A separate footrest is recommended for longer periods of use at the workplace.

Minimum requirements

  • Easily used adjustment possibilities
  • Flowing adjustments to natural, intuitive changes in posture
  • Climate-friendly seat and backrest upholstery
  • Non-slip seat surface
  • Multi-dimensional mobility of the seat
  • Seat surface with optimum pressure distribution, for example through...
  • adjustable seat depth
  • ...different seat lengths
  • ...a sufficient seat depth for the pure placement of the pelvis
  • Balanced support in contact with the back rest
  • Opening angle larger than 90° with applied pressure (while remaining stable)
  • Adjustable in height
  • Secure stand
  • Sitting depth shock absorption

Additional minimum requirements for counter chairs

  • Seat height adjustment up to at least 75 cm
  • Height-adjustable foot ring
  • Roll-away lock

Also appropriate

  • Progressive shock absorption for all multi-dimensional movement possibilities, adjustable to weight and needs
  • Different seat surface lengths
  • Functional, swivelling armrests, adjustable in height/width/depth and turning ability
  • Neck support in reclined relax position
  • Individually adjustable backrest pressure
  • Sit-stand function

Additional minimum requirements for counter chairs

  • Seat height adjustment up to at least 75 cm
  • Height-adjustable foot ring
  • Roll-away lock

Products in this sector with the AGR seal of approval


aeris GmbH*
Hans-Stießberger-Straße 2a, 3. OG
85540 Haar b. München
Phone +49 89/90 05 06 0
Fax +49 89/90 39 39 1
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Dauphin HumanDesign® Group GmbH & Co. KG**
Espanstraße 36
91238 Offenhausen
Phone +499158/17 700
Fax +499158/17 701
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Haider Bioswing GmbH***
Dechantseeser Str. 4
95704 Pullenreuth
Phone +49 9234/99 22-0
Fax +49 9234/99 22 166
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Sedus Stoll AG****
Christof-Stoll-Str. 1
79804 Dogern
Phone +497751/84 300
Fax +497751/84 61 300
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Augsburger Str. 29
86863 Langenneufnach
Tel. 08239/789 0
Fax. 08239/789 240
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Further information



Active Sitting whitout making any compromise

Swinging 3D seating system

Innovative sitting mechanism

3D Balance principle

Downloads and Links

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