How Mobile Technology Is Messing With Your Posture
A survey by office furniture company Steelcase reveals that the influx of smartphones and tablets is changing how workers sit and how designers think about seating options.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Office furniture company Steelcase surveyed 2,000 workers across 11 countries to find out how they use the various machines available to them during a typical workday. They found that the increase in mobile devices has brought with it a change in the ways employees sit, and those ways don't exactly work well with the typical office chair in terms of providing comfort and support. From the survey, Steelcase identified nine distinct postures associated with smartphone and tablet use, including "The Draw" (leaning back in a chair reading from a tablet) and "The Swipe" (leaning over a desk directly over a mobile device screen).
What's the Big Idea?
In its report, the company notes that "because these new postures are not adequately supported, workers are uncomfortable, in pain, and doing long-term harm to their bodies...[W]hile technology boosts productivity, it can cause pain that disrupts our work, our ability to concentrate, and our creativity." In response, it has come up with the Gesture, which is, according to its Web site, "the first chair designed to support our interactions with today's technologies." The new and improved office chair will be available for purchase later this year.
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