One of the highest compliments an office chair can be paid is to be called “ergonomic.” It’s also, of course, one of the highest goals. The best office chairs in the world, Aeron among them, and the finest furniture houses in the world, Herman Miller among them, are in a race to build the most absolutely comfortable, supportive, clever, and ergonomic office chair on the market. From the day it came out, the Aeron Chair has clearly had a very strong grip on that title. The chair takes ergonomics in office chairs to a new height, doing everything possible to make sitting, working, and moving in the chair as comfortable, healthy, and supportive as possible. Of course, that’s the most important thing in ergonomics; without excellent comfort in whatever product is being improved, the user can’t achieve the full effect of increased productivity and ease. If the user isn’t comfortable, then the user can’t give his or her absolute attention and energy to all the other issues the ergonomic product seeks to solve.
The Aeron Chair is, before anything else, a very comfortable office chair. But even beyond that, there is no facet of ergonomic chair research that the Aeron design team did not address or, in some cases, rewrite as they designed. The list of attributes and features of the chair reads like an index of ergonomic discoveries and innovations, creating a chair of excellent ergonomic strength and expertise. When you buy the Aeron Chair, make no mistake: you are buying one of—if not the—most ergonomic chairs on the market. Perfect for long days at work, perfect for long periods of sitting, and perfect for getting your work done as efficiently and easily as possible, Aeron rocks.
Thorough ergonomic criteria show reason to buy an Aeron Chair with PostureFit technology
Pelvic alignment can be reached in two ways. The first is by reclining, a chair increases the angle between the torso and thigh. The second way, in the case of an upright posture, is to stabilize the sacral-pelvic area to maintain a forward pelvic tilt.
Herman Miller’s Aeron PostureFit Solution
PostureFit seating technology was developed as an optional addition for customers that buy an Aeron Chair. The sacral-pelvic support cooperates to contour the human body. Even though there is a large variation in the location of people’s lumbar spine, there is a very small variation in the location of the sacral-pelvic area. The realization allowed a single-sized back support for the Aeron chair. The PostureFit design reduces fatigue and increases endurance by improving the natural spinal curvatures and muscle balance, whether reclining or sitting upright.
Herman Miller and Stumpf & Associates paired with Brock Walker, a specialist in musculoskeletal disorders. They conducted several tests to find whether PostureFit’s effect improved pelvic stabalization while also improving comfort. Lumbar flexion was found to improve 5.5 degrees compared to chairs equipped with lumbar support, and a test group of 87 people that regularly used Aerons with adjustable lumbar support reported significantly higher results after being given Aeron chairs with PostureFit support for two days.
Anatomy Supporting the Aeron
Ergonomists identify three postures for the seated human body: reclining, forward–leaning, and upright. Studies show the reclining position is the preferred position while at work. Many chairs concentrate on providing support at various levels of recline. However, recent studies find people tend to sit in upright or forward–leaning postures nearly 75 percent of the time when performing computer–related tasks.
The spine can be divided up into four parts. Each part affects spinal curvature and, if changed, causes compensatory changes in the others. The pelvis connects two of those parts. It is the body’s center of mass, and the attachment point for 20 major muscles. Fatigue and discomfort occur when a person moves from a standing to a seated position because the pelvis tends to rotate backward. The quick fix is to add lumbar support. Unfortunately, the effect is lost when the sitter is in an upright or forward–leaning position.
Fixing the Problem
Experts in ergonomics and medicine have searched for years for a way to control the rearward tilt of the pelvis. Experimentation with pelvic support using “wedges” was successful in controlling the problem, but led to discomfort and soreness after prolonged use. Another issue encountered was that one person’s natural lordotic curve differed from others. There has been a failure to provide evenly distributed support across the entire sacral-pelvic region with a countoured surface that also supports the spine.
Herman Miller Inc. “The Benefits of Pelvic Stabilization.” (2003). Herman Miller Solution Essays.