Intimidating office chair

Company A, for example, had just distributed 500 tablets to employees before the beta test.

Employees from the global financial services company were in the midst of receiving their own tablets.

These are not merely trends; they are long-term changes in knowledge work.

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Users were exposed to the gesture chair for the first time when researchers brought the chairs to be user tested at each beta site.

They were given gesture chairs to use in their workplace for a period of two to four weeks.

Researchers also discovered that even the sociology of work is changing as we use a broader range of workspaces than ever before.

These changes in technology and behavior have led to nine new postures that people use during the work day, each one a challenge to existing seating solutions.

Armrests often kept the user too far from their work and annoyed the user because they were not in the right place at the right time.

In many cases arms were working against the users rather than supporting them.

We communicate with colleagues around the world, collaborate on teams, and do focused, individual work.

And all day long we move between devices and tasks, changing our focus, shifting our bodies, searching for comfort and support for the task of the moment.

Smartphones were common on desks at all three sites, even in call centers; at Company B, the employee’s main phones are no longer land lines but smartphones.

Company C however was primarily using desktop computers with smartphones to conduct their work. Tales of visits to a chiropractor or doctor for sciatic pain and other back issues were common. Many used ergonomic tools such as split keyboards, ergonomic mice, and foot stands, but users could not easily find the adjustments on their chair, leading to a low percentage of people who actually adjust their chairs to fit themselves.

Others found it intimidating to adjust their chairs and thought of a chair fitting as an expert activity. Despite the fact that armrests can reduce the load on the spine by about 10% of body weight and contribute to comfort and support, few users adjusted armrests to their work.

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