The anti-slouching chair which creates a positive mental attitude

The anti-slouching chair which creates a positive mental attitude
Meining with her prototype. Credit: Nottingham Trent University

A desk chair designed by a Nottingham Trent University student discourages office workers from slouching and aims to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Meining Jiang, 23, an MA Product Design student, created 'The Mroo' to help desk-based staff improve their circulation and posture.

It centres on the creation of a seat base which is mounted on a curved axis to allow hip movement of up to 25 degrees to mimic the movement of walking.

The chair also provides a forward tilt which improves posture and reduces pressure on the lower back, which according to research, helps people maintain a good mood and feel confident.

"Research shows that an unhealthy posture caused by prolonged sitting can cause lower back problems, and chronic pain can cause negative feelings such as nervousness, irritability and disappointment," says Meining, who's studying in the university's School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.

"The situation can become a negative spiral which can affect people's health and quality of life. So when someone is sat for up eight hours a day it's important that their furniture is well-designed as it can play a key role in their wellbeing."

Although working in an office is considered low-risk, research shows that musculoskeletal disorders are the main health problem for people with a sedentary work-style. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that 169,000 people suffered from during 2014/15.

Meining added: "A well-designed chair can help individuals ease the pain associated with these problems, reduce stress on the spine, increase working effectiveness, and improve psychological health."

Meining's design will be showcased as part of a celebration of work from postgraduate design students from the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment.

Open to the public, it will be a unique opportunity to view the innovative designs of students from a diverse range of courses, including a display of medical products, furniture, and interior architecture.

The exhibition is open until 6 October 2016 between 12 pm and 5 pm in the Old Chemistry Theatre, accessible by the main entrance of the Newton building on Goldsmith Street.

Grant Baker, Senior Lecturer in Product Design, said: "The everyday office chair is an important item of furniture for millions of people around the world and its design can play a crucial part in their overall health and wellbeing.

"By utilising existing research, Meining has created an innovative product which can help people remain healthy, feel confident and be happy."

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