360 Magazine

Steelcase Researchers uncover new sitting postures

Steelcase researchers studied how the physiology of work has changed, how the human body interacts with new technologies and how it transitions as people shift from one device to another.  Steelcase also studied the changing sociology of work and how people rapidly shift between individual, focused tasks and creative collaboration.  Each new activity caused people to change postures. 

1.  The Multi-Device

This posture is representative of how people adapt to multi-tasking on multiple devices.  One hand holding a phone to the ear, the other tasking on a laptop.  The result is a forward lean that is a symbol of concentration and an orientation to the smaller screen of a laptop.

2. The Cocoon

People recline, bring up their feet onto the seat, and draw their smartphone or tablet close, resting on their thighs.  The result is a cocoon-small mobile technology allows people to remain productive in this posture.

3. The Draw

Technology (small & mobile) allows people to pull back from their desks while they use it.  They recline, signaling they're comtemplating or absorbing information and draw the device closer to their body to maintain an optimal focal length.

4.  The Strunch

The "strunch" (stretched-out hunch) is a very common posture with laptops.  As people become fatigued they gradually push their laptop further from the edge of the worksurface, resting their weight on the surface.  This causes them to reach forward to work.  Since the back and neck cannot sustain the reach and hunch posture for a long time, the person begins to prop themselves up with their non-tasking arm.

5. The Smart Lean

this posture is the result of mobile devices that create the desire for people to temporarily "pull away" from others without leaving a meeting or collaborative environment.  This is typically a temporary posture and used for glancing at imcoming texts or e-mails.

6. The Swipe

This posture results when the device is used on a worksurface in "surfing mode," in which people operate the device with one hand, typically with swiping gestures.  Because it's on a worksurface, a person must keep their head a certain distance above the tablet in order to see it, and position their head to look down at it.

7. The Take It In

In this posture, people recline to view content on the large display and/or sit back to contemplate.  This posture is about "taking in" information rather than generating it.

8. The Text

Smartphones are small compared to other forms of technology and, therefore, require unique postures.  Workers bring arms in close as keying and gesturing are performed.

9. The Trance

This posture was observed when people were focused on the screen and either mousing or using a touchpad to navigate on the screen for extended periods of time.  This a long duration posture.


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