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Effects of a Dynamic Chair on Chair Seat Motion and Trunk Muscle Activity During Office Tasks and Task Transitions

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Effects of a Dynamic Chair on Chair Seat Motion and Trunk Muscle Activity During Office Tasks and Task Transitions

Corina Nüesch et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health.

Abstract

Employing dynamic office chairs might increase the physical (micro-) activity during prolonged office sitting. We investigated whether a dynamic BioSwing® chair increases chair sway and alters trunk muscle activation. Twenty-six healthy young adults performed four office tasks (reading, calling, typing, hand writing) and transitions between these tasks while sitting on a dynamic and on a static office chair. For all task-transitions, chair sway was higher in the dynamic condition (p < 0.05). Muscle activation changes were small with lower mean activity of the left obliquus internus during hand writing (p = 0.07), lower mean activity of the right erector spinae during the task-transition calling to hand writing (p = 0.036), and higher mean activity of the left erector spinae during the task-transition reading to calling (p = 0.07) on the dynamic chair. These results indicate that an increased BioSwing® chair sway only selectively alters trunk muscle activation. Adjustments of chair properties (i.e., swinging elements, foot positioning) are recommended.

Keywords: dynamic sitting; inactivity; muscle activation; office chair; sedentarism.

Conflict of interest statement

The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
The dynamic swing system is located beneath the seat of the office chair (Haider Bioswing, Pullenreuth, Germany). The blue arrows indicate the location of two of four swinging elements. The yellow circles illustrate the location of the reflective markers at the base of the arm rest.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Overview of the measurement procedures. Each start of a kinematic and EMG (electromyography) measurement is indicated with an asterisk (*). The grey areas between two tasks indicate the 30 s period of each task transition. Tasks a to d correspond to reading, calling, typing and hand writing with the order of the tasks being randomized.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Relative increase in path length of the chair center for sitting on the dynamic chair compared to the static chair for the different tasks and task transitions.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Length of path of the trunk motion during the different tasks and task transitions while sitting on the dynamic (dark grey) and static chair (light grey). The asterisk indicates (*) significant differences between the chair conditions (p < 0.05).

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