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CRI Ergo Focus Group

February 19, 2009

Yesterday CRI held a focus group in their San Francisco Office.

There were a few people from Herman Miller present. Herman Miller makes the now famous Aeron chair that is in so many movies as well as offices and is somewhat of a status symbol.  Well, they have come up with a new chair the Embody Chair.

I got a chance to sit in this new chair and it doesn’t fit me. I am 6′ tall and I couldn’t get the lumbar support to fit into my lower back. Rebecca Shirey, who is an account manager at Herman Miller said that she had a 6′ tall man who was not able to get the lumbar adjusted to fit his lower back either. I wonder what anthropometric measurements they were using in designing the chair.

Besides this, the chair has alot of very nice features, that appear easy to use. One of the big problems with office chairs that people have is that people do not tend to adjust them to fit themselves. I would say in about 95% of the ergonomic assessments that I perform I need to: 1. teach people how to adjust their chair, 2. teach people what a neutral seated position is and 3. help them to adjust their chair. Chairs are a bit complicated to work and alot of people do not take the time to adjust their chairs to fit their bodies.

A few cool features I liked was how the seat pan could be lengthened and shortened and how easy it was to adjust the lumbar support. The shape of the back support is similar to the Knoll Life chair, where is comes in, in the middle, kinda like a woman’s curves. This is a great feature because it allows the user to sit back in their chair and have freedom of movement from their elbows. A lot of chairs curve around the person causing the elbows to have to be in a slightly forward position and disallow the arms to hang naturally by the sides of the body. This is one of my objections in the Aeron chair. It also comes in a bunch of cool colors like orange and green.

San Francisco Bay Area Ergonomist
Serafine Janice Lilien, ergoarts
Call me directly at: 650-224-7294



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