Are you sitting comfortably?
Well you soon will be. Wherever you are. And whether you have a chair or not.
Yes, because a Zurich-based startup has invented the ‘chairless chair’, a portable ‘exoskeleton’ which enables the wearer to sit down at a moment’s notice.
It’s been designed primarily for manufacturing workers, who need to stand for a long period of time, but let’s face it, this is an invention which deserves widespread adoption and acclaim.
Just imagine it: can’t get a seat on a crowded tube? Oh, just press a button and THERE’S MY PERFECTLY COMFORTABLE SEAT RIGHT THERE. Waiting in a long queue? Oh, think I’ll just HAVE A NICE LITTLE SIT DOWN. At a festival and it’s muddy? NO PROBLEMO, THERE’S MY CHAIR AND OH LOOK I’M ALREADY SITTING ON IT DRINKING MY BEER.
Here it is:
It’s been created by Noonee AG, with CEO and co-founder Keith Gunura explaining: "The idea came from wanting to sit anywhere and everywhere, and from working in a UK packaging factory when I was 17, standing for hours on end causes a lot of distress to lower limbs, but most workers get very few breaks and chairs are rarely provided, because they take up too much space. So I thought that the best idea was to strap an unobtrusive chair directly to myself."
It weighs just 3.5kg and is made from composite polymers; it’s adaptable to different body sizes and it is, if we’re being honest, probably the greatest thing that’s ever been invented. Honestly if they’d invented these back in the stone age and then were only just beginning to come up with the wheel now, I’d take that.
"In addition to resting your leg muscles, it also provides optimal posture," adds noonee CTO and co-founder Bryan Anastisiades "it keeps your back straight and can reduce the occurrence of bad postures for both healthy workers and those recovering from muscle related injuries."
A belt secures the device to the hips and then straps wrap around the thighs. A variable damper engages and supports the bodyweight, which is then directed towards the heels of the shoes. The sitter then moves into the required pose, powers the device and hey presto, you’re sitting down. It runs for 24 hours on a 6V battery, so I’ll be needing around 365 6V batteries to see me through my plans for the next year.
Sammy Margo, a chartered physiotherapist, told CNN: "As physiotherapists we actively encourage people to move throughout the day. This device looks like a great compromise in that it allows the wearer to move as well as sit intermittently. I wouldn't encourage its use for long term sitting, however it is suitable for people who need to vary their tasks."
Well I wouldn’t ‘encourage’ you to listen too much to Sammy Margo’s propaganda that sitting all the time isn’t great.
(Images: Matt Groening/Noonee)