Office for motion
The obvious option is to start encouraging physical activity in places where people spend long periods of time working virtually statically, for example when operating computers at their desks. In offices it isn’t possible to do without the benefits of digitisation. By the same token, companies need to ensure that while sitting down people’s metabolisms are stimulated and activated. Not just to maintain physical fitness, but also to boost mental agility.
Trimension® – teaching seating to walk
But is the previous standard of motion, applied to two-dimensional dynamic sitting postures with bending and stretching the torso while seated, enough if people spend six, eight or more hours at their desks in front of their computers? The biomechanical analysis of the body shows that it’s primarily the three-dimensional movements of the hips that activate the muscles and skeleton. The hips are considered the body’s power house. So doesn’t it make sense to integrate this flexibility into seating and teach seating how to walk? However, the previous three-dimensional systems such as exercise balls, or sprung chairs that deliberately wobble have not proved suitable for longer periods of working, or only to a limited extent. They can quickly tire and unnerve people and lead to muscle tension. This is particularly the case with individuals who don‘t take regular exercise and only have limited awareness of their bodies. Therefore, the body should be in its natural equilibrium whatever the posture. The goal is to activate and stimulate the body, but not put it through a course of training and overtax it. To produce a three-dimensional and supported form of motion, Trimension® was developed in close association with the health and sports science sectors. Trimension® is a synchronous adjustment mechanism that allows two-dimensional bending and stretching of the torso and sideways movements of the hips.
More activity equals better productivityAnalyses of schoolchildren and senior citizens demonstrate close links between physical activity and mental performance. The intriguing question is: does more activity at desks also mean that people concentrate better? The Centre for Health has looked in detail at the impact of Trimension® on performance and health. A comparative field study was carried out on 80 test persons in the offices of an insurance company. After the first measurements had been taken, the trial group received (n=40) ON office chairs. After three months, concentration performance was tested again. The results are unequivocal. The group on the three-dimensional office chairs had increased significantly over all concentration criteria (speed, accuracy and consistency). The control group on the other hand stayed at the level first measured.
Small-scale activity with a large-scale effect
Researchers have long since agreed that minor, varied and frequent movements hugely benefit health. At the same time, analyses from Australia show that a constant lack of physical activity at work can’t be compensated for by sporting activities in leisure time. Which is why, compared with conventional office chairs, three-dimensional dynamic seating is objectively an enormous advance from a health standpoint. This benefit is also confirmed by the subjective perception of the trial group. Some 58 per cent of people said that on reflection the chair had improved their feeling of well-being, 29 per cent of people were undecided and only 12 per cent believed that the chair had probably not been responsible for an improved feeling of well-being. Nobody rejected this possibility completely, while on the other hand eight per cent were completely convinced by its healthboosting effect.
In other words: three-dimensional dynamic seating is used, it increases the feeling of well-being and improves performance. Even if a very conservative estimate is given for the ensuing rise in productivity, the chair‘s possibly higher price will therefore pay for itself in a short space of time already. This factor is quite apart from the medium-term effects such as the expected drop in days lost to sickness.