#111: Servo seating

It’s hard to sit still for any length of time in comfort. Even the most ergonomically adjustable seating arrangement will start to cause some pain if you don’t get up and walk about every so often.

A research supervisor of mine once drew my attention to some data that encouraged me to make use of all the adjustable features of the ‘task chair’ I was then using. Changing one of the parameters each day, even if only by a small amount, he claimed was a guaranteed way to decrease muscle strain and improve concentration.

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Today’s invention is therefore a chair capable of cycling through all the small-scale variants on your preferred sitting position -changing one per day at random, for example. If the chair offers four degrees of freedom and each is altered by no more than say 10%, in 2% jumps, then there are 625 possible combinations of seating position. It doesn’t matter that these aren’t noticeably different, your muscloskeletal system is apparently challenged and reinforced by having to adapt just a little each day.

It would be possible to run the program on one’s desktop computer and have the seat itself incorporate only some low power motors, able to reposition the seat elements (using eg worm and wheel gearing) when under no-load.

This approach might most easily be applied to those car seats which already have personalised programmable configurations. Instead of a static shape for each driver, they could be equipped with software to provide a very slowly changing seating position -thus limiting expensive and distracting back problems for road warriors.

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