Innovative ergonomic chairs by Lithuanian researchers may help reduce back pain

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Soon, people with sedentary work will be able to take advantage of the innovations created by the Lithuanians to prevent annoying back pain. Improves the stability of the trunk.

Studies show that many people spend almost 80% of their day’s work sitting and spending at least half of their time in the same position. Prolonged invariant sitting is associated with low back pain due to impaired musculoskeletal control.

For sedentary workers, it is advisable to replace the regular work chair with various unstable surfaces such as physio balls and balance cushions. These products activate deep muscles due to their range of motion, but they are not individually tailored to the needs of the user.

Hominiseat, a team of scientists, is developing a personalized sitting device controlled by core feedback. logic activity. Scientific experiments analyzing the muscles, brain activity, and body movements of sedentary workers have confirmed the suitability of the chair. Work environment To prevent musculoskeletal disorders caused by sitting for long periods of time.

Sitting for a long time is harmful to your health

Ieva Aleknaitė-Dambrauskienė, a physiotherapist and member of the Hominiseat, a researcher at the Biomechatronics Institute at the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Mechatronics Institute, complains to many who work in sedentary jobs. Says lower back pain.. Often, these individuals are resting at home while sitting.

“Sitting is not a bad thing in nature, but staying in one position for long periods of time changes little throughout the day and ultimately causes back pain. This problem is not only in Lithuania, but also. It shows that about 37% of Europeans do sedentary jobs, even more in the United States, “said KTU researchers.

Sitting in the usual non-ergonomic chairs found in most offices around the world can cause serious health problems.

“Sitting in a regular office chair impairs cognitive function and reduces productivity,” says the researchers.

Employees experiencing low back pain due to posture errors find it difficult to concentrate, make decisions, and absorb textual information. According to KTU researchers, the muscle stimulating chair developed by Hominiseat can’t get sick because the center of the balancing brain is constantly activated by nerve impulses.

This office chair is exceptional

Compared to other ergonomic chairs, the invention will change the posture of the user by stimulating the deep muscles of the trunk. The seats of other office chairs on the market are free to move around their axis, the degree of instability is not adjustable, and there is no possibility of changing the amplitude of movement. Designed by a collaborative team of scientists, the chair has these features, so the ergonomic seat can adapt to a safe level of instability and meet the needs of each individual.

“We already see chairs that work on the same principle as our seating equipment, but our product is the first in the world,” says Aleknaitė-Dambrauskienė.

The ergonomic office chair presented at the KTU-sponsored virtual exhibition Technorama 2021 has been developed with the latest technology. Wireless sensors capture core muscle activity, and the seat adjusts the user’s posture based on these parameters. According to the Hominiseat team, data on the user’s muscle activity and body asymmetry can be used as a fitness device, which will be revealed after the prototype has been created and tested in real-world conditions.

It is predicted that the device can function as both a passive device and an active device. The user can adjust the movement of the seat by himself, and the present invention can move by stimulating the deep muscles of the human trunk. It is no coincidence that activation of the lumbar muscles was selected. Researchers believe that working in a sedentary job has the greatest impact on the muscles of this group. The muscles that stabilize the spine were atrophied and disc nutrition was disrupted.

“When the deep core muscles perform a stabilizing function and maintain optimal posture, the forces on the spine and passive structures do not cause much damage,” the physiotherapist emphasizes.

Researchers emphasize that if one deep muscle group is destroyed, other structures, such as the superficial back muscles, take over the work. This is followed by a certain amount of tension, followed by back pain and other medical conditions.

Prototype is under development

If this innovation becomes available to the general public, those who do sedentary work or spend most of the day in a stationary position are less likely to experience the negative effects of poor posture. increase.

“The benefits for consumers will be enormous. People who do sedentary work will have less back pain, be active all day, be more productive and get better results,” Aleknaitė-Dambrauskienė. I believe.

Researchers have pointed out that seating equipment could be mass-produced in Lithuania, but demand in overseas markets should be even higher. While there are sufficient materials and personnel in the country to carry out the project extensively, more attention is paid to the health of employees and high quality work equipment abroad. The prototype of the ergonomic chair project is already in place, so the next step is testing.

The KTU Hominiseat team has expanded after taking second place in the Wanted: Life Sciences Innovator competition at the Japan Institute of Science and Technology Innovation (MITA).Currently, experts in the fields of health, design, electronics, biomechanics, and JSC Abili employees are working on ergonomics. Chair business.

“Our team is diverse because the development of such products requires a lot of knowledge and experience. Only this way can we get the results we need. For each specialist, the best There are tasks that perform well. With constant communication and refinement of ideas, each team needs its members to focus as much as possible on their area of ​​expertise and make fewer mistakes, “says I. Aleknaitė-Dambrauskienė. ..

The study is published at Technology and health care..

Health check: What is the best way to sit down?

For more information:
Ieva Aleknaite-Dambrauskiene et al, Cortical activity, kinematics and core muscle activity response to pelvic movements in an unstable sitting position, Technology and health care (2021). DOI: 10.3233 / thc-219007

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Innovative ergonomic chairs by Lithuanian researchers may help reduce back pain

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