Alternative Seat Designs - A Systematic Review of Controlled Trials
- Ahmed Radwan (Utica College) | Jessica Hall (MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center) | Ariana Pajazetovic | Owen Gillam | Duane Carpenter
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- March 2020
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 39 - 46
- 2020. American Society of Safety Professionals
- 7 in the last 30 days
- 8 since 2007
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- Alternative seat designs claim to improve posture, performance and activity, but supporting research is limited.
- This systematic review analyzes the effects of nontraditional alternative seat designs on productivity and complaints of office workers compared to standard office chairs.
- Researchers evaluated quality-controlled trials that compared different seating designs. The authors provide recommendations based on the conclusions of the analysis.
Low Back Pain (LBP) has become a common cause of pain and disability in the U.S., especially among office workers (Janwantanakul, Pensri, Mookay, et al., 2011). Not only does office work leave an individual inactive, but also, as time progresses, inadequate desk and chair ergonomics, as well as other factors can lead to fatigued muscles, poor posture and pain (Cho, Freivalds & Rovniak, 2017; Janwantanakul, et al., 2011). Over time, this disability can affect overall performance and has the potential to result in lost work hours (Ramdan, Hashim, Kamat, et al., 2014). If this condition is not treated properly or if the underlying cause is not addressed, it often leads to chronic LBP (Petit, Fouquet & Roquelaure, 2015). In fact, approximately 73% of individuals with LBP still have symptoms 1 year later (Carragee, 2005).
Depending on the severity or chronicity of LBP, medical treatment varies. The average cost per patient for a period of 12 months with LBP is approximately $2,380 but may exceed $76,080 if the severity and longevity of the LBP has progressed to the point of surgical intervention (Stewart, Yan, Boscarino, et al., 2015).
A solution to this expensive impairment associated with sedentary seated occupations is alternative ergonomic seat designs. Typically, an ergonomic seat design incorporates the appropriate seat height, depth, width, backrest dimensions, backrest angle, seat angle, armrests, legroom and the seat surface (Pheasant & Haslegrave, 2005). More recently, it is believed that constructing a chair to incorporate dynamic movement with the attributes noted may further improve the ergonomic design (Jackson, Banerjee- Guénette, Gregory, et al., 2013; Pheasant & Haslegrave, 2005).
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