Best in test - fewer aches caused by malmstolen
Is it possible to measure sitting comfort? Yes, to some extent. When an orthopaedic engineer measured the pressure relieving properties, Malmstolen results were the best.
Malmstolen's design of its work chair with patented backrest and Dux seat ensures excellent relief. This was evident from the pressure measurements on the work chairs that orthopaedic engineer Norbert Grentzelius conducted.
How do you measure?
Pressure measurements are used to measure how the weight of your body is distributed over the seat and backrest. A good chair distributes the pressure over the largest possible area. In addition, the upper body, which is exposed to the greatest load when sitting, is provided with support that helps maintain its natural posture with the lowest possible static load.
All the chairs in the test had high backrests, roughly up to shoulder level. Each work chair was adapted to suit the most comfortable position for the person in the chair. In these examples the chairs have a backward incline of 100° where they are clearly affected by the weight of the body. The sitting height has been set to ensure heels can reach the floor without any problems. (please turn to the Sitting settings section for more information)
It is important to remember that the pressure measurements only represent one parameter in the evaluation of an ergonomic work chair. But it is still important as the seat and backrest have so much contact with your body. But you also need to consider the chair's other customisation options, its mobility and how all these properties are experienced as a whole. That which is perceived as perfect for one person may be perceived totally different by another. It is therefore important to test a work chair before purchasing regardless of the make.
The front of the seat is hard. This increases the pressure on the thighs, just inside the knee, which can cause numbness.
The backrest has a relatively sharply defined vertical lumbar support. A cavity is created immediately above the lumbar support. A further bit up on the backrest the top section of the backrest swings forwards providing support/a pressure point immediately above the shoulder blades. The pressure point in the curve of the back is intense due to the backrest in this case being hard.
Due to the cavity above the lumbar support, the lumbar spine wants to drop down.
When this happens the back arches, the lumbar region is pushed backwards against the lumbar support and the pressure increases. The upper body falls forwards, resulting in you straining to resist. When it collapses the spine/discs, and muscles and ligaments are stretched. Your head flexes slightly backwards into a “vulture neck”.
The pressure from the backrest immediately above the shoulder blades reinforces the process. This high pressure causes tiredness.
The pressure of the seat against the thighs causes mild numbness. The pressure causes the muscles of the buttocks to be pulled together, which leads to your back arching.
Tiredness and pain in the back, neck and shoulders as a result of this is a very common musculoskeletal disorder for people who work in a seated position.
This type of chair construction is relatively common in the market.
Chair 2 is similar to chair 1 in that it is hard with increased pressure to the bottom of the thighs. This increases the risk of numbness.
Chair 2 has an even more sharply defined lumbar support than chair 1. Large cavities are created immediately above, and even higher still the backrest swings forward again and gives support/a pressure point just above the shoulders.
This can also be the case if the backrest is flat, without any curvature. Pressure will then be applied to your lower back and shoulder blades. The lumbar region then has no contact with the backrest at all if you do not arch your spine.
The same phenomenon as chair 1 although normally to a much greater extent.
The measurement of chair 3 shows the same trends as the first two. The pressure is not as strong, which is good.
The measurement of chair 3 shows the same trends as the first two. Although to a much lesser degree.
Here is an example of better pressure distribution when compared to chairs 1 and 2.
A seat with a fairly thin and soft padding, which makes it easy to “sit through” with your sitting bones, which is clearly visible from the measurements.
The sitting bones are subject to the greatest pressure.
For this work chair the pressure is distributed over the lumbar region in a good way. The upper part of the backrest pivots forwards to pick up the lumbar spine.
Pressure that is so dominant on the sitting bones is likely to be perceived by most people as particularly annoying after a while and result in an aching sensation. But if you are blessed with a more ample bottom you are often more able to put up with this pressure. However, the curve in the backrest has excellent relieving qualities. The pressure from the top edge of the backrest in this particular example was not considered troublesome by the test persons as it prevented the body from “overarching”.
Malmstolen's DUX seat has been used here. The pressure graphic clearly shows that the weight is evenly distributed out over virtually the whole contact surface with the body.
The straps in the backrest here are in their factory configuration and the backrest has shaped itself in line with the user's natural back profile. As shown in the graphic the pressure is distributed over virtually the whole backrest. As the backrest bends forwards a touch in its upper position to capture the lumbar spine, slightly increased pressure arises here.
The pressure graphic clearly shows that the weight is evenly distributed out over virtually the whole contact surface with the body. This provides support and relief, which prevents tiredness and aching.