August 17, 2010

5 Useless (But Fun!) Facts About Office Chairs

xion-03%20office%20chair_MEDIUMOffice chairs: we use them all day, every day. But how much do we really know about our trusty seating tools? Did you know…



1) One of the earliest iterations of the office chair was invented in the 1800s by naturalist Charles Darwin. Yes, the same chap who took the science world by storm with his claim that humankind evolved from primates is partially responsible for our modern day office chairs. Mr. Darwin added wheels (which would later become casters) to his personal lab chair so he could get to his specimens more quickly. Today we use those wheels mainly to roll ourselves over to the copy machine five feet away. And office chair racing. Charles would be proud.



2) Although it may not look like it, comfort was the focus of the original office chair’s design. It’s funny to think that even during the mid-1800s, furniture designers were thinking about personal comfort in the workplace. But this design concept didn’t exactly come from the kindness of their hearts. The idea was to make the chair as comfortable and functional as possible so employees would stay seated longer and be more productive.



3) Though we were only joking about office chair racing earlier, some people have really taken this “sport” to heart. In 2009, the first German Office Chair Racing Championship was held in Bad Koenig-Zell, Germany. Seventy participants brought their office chairs out into the sun and put them through their paces. The downhill race started on a steep ramp before facing another ramp. The only rule was that everyone wear a crash helmet, which most participants needed. Dozens of racers fell off their chairs, and many didn’t make it to the end of the 170-meter race.



4) Though many of the above participants’ chairs were likely hand-made, more serious office chair racers may want to invest in some extreme hardware for their craft. Some specialists offer top-of-the-line accessories so you could race your office chair in style. Customers can trick out their chairs with actual seats from a selection of cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Maserati. The seats typically come from race conversions, cars that have suffered low mileage wrecks, and dealer errors (such as ordering the wrong color seat or forgetting to order a seat feature). The customizations even include genuine automotive paint!



5) Some cutting-edge chairs are taking ergonomics to a whole new level, especially in the office. Many people with chronic back pain are turning to these specialized chairs as a replacement for their standard office chairs. These special chairs claim to ease back pain and even improve posture by redistributing some of the weight from the upper thighs to the calves. Studies are still being done on the effectiveness of these chairs, but the weirdness of their design has definitely been confirmed.

Narratives are for entertainment purposes only and frequently employ literary point of view; the narratives do not necessarily reflect the opinions of El Dorado Furniture, its officers, or employees.

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