Ease Your Aching Back

Wow, finally a company that "gets" the physiological differences between men and women. I have been painfully aware of these differences as a rider - there really should be separate designs for saddles! but I digress.

I just learned that Keilhauer has a chair called the Sguig that is designed to ease our aching backs because its ergonomic design is based on the different sitting styles and pelvic structures of men and women...and all thanks to a woman. Here's the story as told in BusinessWeek,
"Jackie Maze was bouncing on an exercise ball in a Pilates studio in Toronto in 1998 when, as she says, "something just clicked." Maze is a vice-president of marketing at Keilhauer, a Toronto-based furniture company, and that aha! moment led, eight years later, to the "Sguig," a seat based on the same principle as the exercise ball...Maze took her observations from the fitness studio to the cubicle, where it's rather important to stay alert and comfortable. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

To test her idea, Keilhauer paired up with EOOS, an Austrian design firm, and researchers at the Technical University of Vienna, who conducted ergonomic research and wired up a series of ball-like prototypes and other more standard front- and back-tilting chairs. "We monitored and graphed people's movements over the course of the day," said Mike Keilhauer. "Those that could move around, did, and their bodies felt less beat up at the end of a day of active sitting."

The early movement studies uncovered something unexpected: Men and women sit differently...Women perched, sitting on the edge of their seats, arching their backs, while men tended to slouch, relying more on the backrest. Differences in pelvic rotation between men and women contributed to these different postures. The consequence: Women felt more upper back pain, and men experienced lower back pain."
Funny, just this morning I asked a massage therapist if he would do a targeted session on my upper back...and as I write this post, I'm sitting on the edge of my seat. Maybe waiting for the Sguig is why I haven't yet bought a new chair for my office.

Lead ON!
Susan Colantuono is CEO of Leading Women. She blogs on networking for PINK Magazine. Follow her on Twitter.
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