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Ergonomics. 2018 Nov 5:1-11. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2018.1517899. [Epub ahead of print]

Active sitting with backrest support: Is it feasible?

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a IMES Institute of Mechanical Systems, School of Engineering , ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences , Winterthur , Switzerland.
b Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society , Karolinska Institutet , Stockholm , Sweden.
c Institute of Physiotherapy, School of Health Profession , ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences , Winterthur , Switzerland.


Ergonomics science recommends office chairs that promote active sitting to reduce sitting related complaints. Since current office chairs do not fulfill this recommendation, a new chair was developed by inverting an existing dynamic chair principle. This study compares active sitting on the inverted chair during a simulated computer-based office task to two existing dynamic office chairs (n = 8). Upper body stability was analysed using Friedman ANOVA (p = .01). In addition, participants completed a questionnaire to rate their comfort and activity after half a working day. The inverted chair allowed the participants to perform a substantial range of lateral spine flexion (11.5°) with the most stable upper body posture (≤11 mm, ≤2°, p ≤ .01). The results of this study suggest that the inverted chair supports active sitting with backrest support during computer-based office work. However, according to comfort and activity ratings, results should be verified in a future field study with 24 participants. Practitioner Summary: This experimental laboratory study analyses the feasibility of active sitting with a backrest support during common office work on a new type of dynamic office chair. The results demonstrate that active sitting with a backrest support is feasible on the new but limited on existing chairs.


Active sitting; back pain; ergonomic office chair; motion axis; office ergonomics

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