If you think of buying a dynamic seat to reduce your sedentary behaviour, here’ s what you must know.  Dynamic seats indeed enhance your metabolism and they are a solution for your desk-based activities.  It might be a very healthful and sustainable action to invest in a dynamic chair. But after reading this article you will know why, and also how to make it really work, so you will avoid throwing your money away.

Are dynamic seats the new ergonomic seats?   We know it now : sitting all day increases risks of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.  But why is that?  In fact it causes your metabolism to stop functioning properly, it becomes too slow and your health starts declining.  Our body was designed to walk, bend, jump and swing. Unfortunately today reality still requires people to sit all day to work in the office.  So designers created dynamic seats as a solution. They say it’ s to invite us to sit more actively … and some university researches were curious to check this.

So in May 2017, they published a study “the effects of a dynamic chair on seated energy expenditure”. What is important to know about energy is this : the MET (Metabolic Equivalent) is the measure of physical activity : 1MET is 1 kcal/kg/hour. Below you find some common scientific values.

Physical Activity & Energy expenditure (MET)
Watching television – 1
Desk work – Sedentary behaviour – 1.5
Walking 4km/h – 2,9
Home exercice, cleaning, … –  3.5
Bicycling 16km/h – 4
Sexual activity – 5,8
Jogging – 7
Aerobics – 8
Rope jumping – 10

The researchers found that sitting on a dynamic chair (backapp) did enhance energy expenditure a little, but not above 1,5 MET (which has been defined as the measure of sedentary behaviour).  They performed a laboratory experiment using people sitting on the dynamic chair just watching a movie.   Not very dynamic after all.   So, is this really a good investment?   Which brings me to the next front …

It turns out that reducing sedentary behaviour will really always be about the behaviour itself. Dynamic ergonomic chairs are great seats which invite you to move and be active, but they will not do it for you.  It is how active you get on that chair that will determine the energy expenditure.  Do you use your legs? Bounce? Balance?  How do you move on the chair while working?  Your behaviour while using this seat ’is like ‘capital’ and you must use it wisely if you want to have a good “return on your investment”.  To read more about saving time and money thank to behaviour based ergonomics, click here.

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Swopper Pictures : aeris GmbH, photographer: Gisela Schenker – Top picture photographer: Thomas Jape


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