As a topic of interest, seating has occupied researchers for centuries. Hundreds of books, research studies, journal articles and symposia have focused on some aspect of humans as they sit and the objects on which they sit. Why so much attention? In part, because there is a Zen-like duality to sitting and seating—simplicity and complexity; moving and staying; comfort and discomfort (see sidebar). Also, effective sitting and seating relate directly to the activities in which a person engages.
Today, one can find a wide array of chairs reflecting the current understanding of ergonomic experts and designers as how to best support traditional office tasks.
But office work is changing. Traditional jobs involving only one primary, forward oriented task are giving way to new approaches to work and a wide variety of task postures and positions.
This white paper addresses five related issues: