Armrests often kept the user too far from their work and annoyed the user because they were not in the right place at the right time.
In many cases arms were working against the users rather than supporting them.
To gauge the effects of new technology and new ways of working, Steelcase conducted a major study of users on six continents, in a cross section of companies across industries.
Technology tools are being introduced into the workplace so quickly that ergonomic recommendations must quickly evolve to keep pace.A recent study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that users dramatically change the way they hold their neck and head when they use a tablet, compared to using a desktop or laptop computer.Smartphones were common on desks at all three sites, even in call centers; at Company B, the employee’s main phones are no longer land lines but smartphones.Company C however was primarily using desktop computers with smartphones to conduct their work. Tales of visits to a chiropractor or doctor for sciatic pain and other back issues were common. Many used ergonomic tools such as split keyboards, ergonomic mice, and foot stands, but users could not easily find the adjustments on their chair, leading to a low percentage of people who actually adjust their chairs to fit themselves.These are not merely trends; they are long-term changes in knowledge work.
This year alone, 2.4 billion new smart phones, tablets and other digital devices will ship, according to technology researcher Gartner, Inc.
Gesture is the first chair to mimic movements of the body and support the user in new assumed postures so the body remains comfortably supported.
Since there’s an international trend of extremes in body types, Gesture is designed to support a globally diverse range of body sizes and shapes as well as a variety of sitting preferences.
The overall Steelcase research effort, spanning countless hours of data collection, photographs, interviews and observations, can be summed up in one, overarching insight: Steelcase needed to fundamentally shift the way that they approach designing a chair.
Gesture is based on Steelcase’s global research study and the insights it yielded about how people work in a rapidly changing business environment.
Each chair included a standard hangtag with adjustment instructions.