Health megatrend

Ergonomics boosts manufacturers’ revenue

The healthy lifestyles megatrend presents a diverse and profitable area of business for innovative manufacturers. Those companies that develop ergonomic products and include them in their ranges stand to benefit from this ongoing trend, because consumers and employers alike are investing more and more in health-promoting furniture and furnishings.

Sep 25 2018

Ergonomics is the scientific study of people at work – both in the office and at home. Manufacturers and designers active in this field are helping to create furniture and furnishings such that their use results in the lowest possible negative impact on health.

Alternating dynamic sitting and standing

Over time, long periods spent working in one position lead to tension and back pain. Dynamic sitting, on the other hand, offers health benefits. For example, an ergonomic office chair has numerous adjustment options that allow it to be adapted to meet individual needs. From time to time, office workers should repeatedly stand up and work at standing desks or with the support of standing aids.

The fact that ergonomics are just as important in the home as in the workplace is often overlooked. In the kitchen especially, they should not be neglected. The height of worktops, stoves and sinks, the correct arrangement of equipment and smooth-running drawers are crucial for an ergonomic way of working that prevents pain in the neck, back or wrists.

Ergonomic reclining furniture in the living room and customised mattresses in the bedrooms are suitable for making the best possible use of relaxation periods in the evening and at the weekend. (Link zum Artikel „Wachsender Markt für individuelle Betten“) They ensure the user is able to rest and relax as much as possible, ready for the next working day.

New developments for improved ergonomics

Thanks to its adjustable headrest, customisable back support and the infinitely variable positioning of its foot and leg rests, the “Cane” functional armchair from ipdesign provides ergonomic seating comfort. The back section, complete with lumbar cushions and integrated armrests, also offers the user comfortable support. An in-built gas pressure spring means the chair is infinitely adjustable by means of an internal release lever. The position of the headrest can also be mechanically adjusted. Steel tubes have been used in the chair’s construction, while polyether foam and a padded cover provide comfortable seating.

Frequently opening and closing doors, cupboards or drawers in the kitchen can strain the back and wrists. The “Tandembox” from manufacturer Julius Blum is a tried-and-tested metal box system. It’s based on a patented drawer runner for ergonomic operation: a high level of comfort is provided by reduced opening forces and a smooth, light-weight running action thanks to plastic rollers. The runners can be assembled simply and without the need for tools using the company’s “Inserta” technology. This means that slide-in elements can also be retrofitted without any tools in just a few simple steps.

“KINETICis5” from Interstuhl can be used at home or in the office to support dynamic working, alternating sitting and standing. The furniture collection comprises a bar stool, a standing rest and a high table. Central to the design is its tapered, conical frame. The bar stool complete with footrest and the standing rest can be height-adjusted and pivoted; the seats are available in three finishes. All the metal parts are made of light-weight aluminium and are available in the colours anthracite, silver and white. To save space, the high table’s tabletop can be folded away to the side with a simple hand movement.

Innovative ideas are gaining favour

With “Swing up”, Sedus has developed a swivel chair that enables greater intuitive movement and healthier working. It’s based on the idea of a slight lateral inclination of the seat by a maximum of eight degrees. This effect results from its particular design and special seat structure – the seat shell can pivot on its longitudinal axis and is laterally supported by spring elements. This means there is always sufficient restoring force to straighten the upper body. The armrests are not part of this movement and give the user reliable support throughout.

Having the right range of products is what counts: when manufacturers adapt to the growing demand for ergonomic furniture and furnishings, they can significantly improve their business opportunities. This is not restricted to offices either – in private homes, consumers are spending an increasing amount on measures to maintain their health, including ergonomics.


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