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The Evolution Of Seating In The Workplace

The Beginning Days of Office Seating

Sometime around the mid-19th century, thanks to the invention of railroads, businesses started to expand. Suddenly being able to offer more services to more places and more people meant the need for more administrative support, and, thus, the need for a place where those administrative staff members could sit. This launched the initial idea for a desk chair:

  • Chairs That Looked Cool: Architects as notable as Frank Lloyd Wright participated in the budding world of chair design, creating impressive chairs that were often more about style than maximum comfort. One of Wright’s designs, for an executive chair still considered one of the best of its time, had a swivel mechanism that could adjust to a user’s height. That was its only body-conscious feature.
  • Chairs to Suit the Body: Some early desk chair designs tried to fit and support employee needs. There were swiveling chairs with curved backrests, saddle seats to support the body and slatted armrests to increase comfort. What’s more, many were adjustable in order to accommodate different body types and sizes.

Benefits of Ergonomic Seating

The 1970s: Chairs Catered to Ergonomics

Ergonomics started to be a significant consideration in office chair design sometime in the 1970s. Industrial designers started to think about principles of supporting the body in the workplace and factor them into their chairs. Herman Miller invited William Stumpf to apply ergonomic research to a new kind of chair, which led to the Ergon Chair, released in 1976. It didn’t have moving parts, but it used molded foam in a way that created a comfortable feel while supporting posture.

The 1980s: A Growing Need for Ergonomics

In an increasingly office-focus

ed work world, ergonomics gained a lot of traction by the 1980s. Employees sat at computers, needing chairs that could support long hours at a desk. One standout design in this period was the Pos-Chair of 1985, created with research from NASA to encourage a zero-gravity posture.

The 1990s: The Ergonomics of Lumbar Support

In the ‘90s, as the corporate community saw an increase in lawsuits regarding work-related injuries, the push for body-conscious design grew stronger. This is when the working world saw chairs with lower back — otherwise known as lumbar — support, offered through molded backrests. Chairs also came in different sizes. Companies began investing s

ignificant dollars in trying to find an intensive use chair with better body support.

Present Times

In more recent years, the push for ergonomic seating has only grown in importance, as employers and employees both see the consequences to the body that come from long-term desk work. Industries with round-the-clock demands like law enforcement, military, transportation and others need durable, strong seating options that can protect an employee’s posture and body while also keeping him/her focused on the job.

The unique 24/7 chair designs from Concept Seating provide head, neck and back support for workers in intensive, high-pressure environments. Created with an understanding of key ergonomic principles, our highback office chair products are adjustable to users in lumbar support, seat depth, recline ratio and more.

Contact us today to learn more about the latest in modern office chairs!

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3142r1 High Back

The 3142r1 set the standard for 24/7 Intensive Use Chairs. The first chair to combine state of the art ergonomics with unmatched durability the newly redesigned 3142r1 is still setting the bar in 24/7 chairs with replaceable covers.

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