What can you compare an office chair too? The fact is that we use office chairs regularly in our daily lives especially if you work in an office. Office chairs can be compared to shoes that we wear. Firstly we spend much of our time in them, they differentiate between status and taste and they affect the way our body feels.
The difference between office chairs and shoes is that we don't get to pick our office chairs, they are always provided for us by the company we work for. Unfortunately it appears that over the decades we have never got this quite right. Work related injuries are on the increase and it appears that we still have no solution or the optimum office chair. So why have we not reached a solution when we seem to be working more and more in them and it is effecting our health. Chairs and benches have been around the work place for centuries, but it wasn't until 1850 in the United States that a group of engineers began to examine how chairs could promote health and comfort through correct posture positions and the movement of the body. The seating that was made around this time was carefully dubbed patent seating as the designers, who were mostly doctors and engineers took out patents for their designs. In 1920 the idea that sitting comfortably made you lazy and backless benches and chairs were quite common particularly in labour factories.
Due to the growing number of complaints of productivity and illnesses particularly amongst women, a company called Tan-Sad began developing and manufacturing a swivel based chair that had a curved backrest that could be adjusted depending on the user. It was this creation that began the research into ergonomic design, however as of yet, we are still waiting for a solution to this problem.