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Steelcase Gesture Chair Promises to Save Mobile Users’ Backs

Posted by Jim Tanous on March 3, 2013

Have you ever spent a significant amount of time hunched over a tablet at your desk, or leaning to one side to check a smartphone? If so, you’ve probably noticed some back pain due to improper posture and support, and high-end office furniture firm Steelcase wants to help.

The company has just announced the Gesture chair, a new product that aims to accommodate the non-traditional postures encouraged by the use of mobile devices like tablets, smartphones, and laptops. These postures are not accounted for by traditional chair designs, which are still built with the assumption that the user will be writing at a desk or using a traditional computer.

Steelcase therefore designed the Gesture with independently configurable arm, back, and seat positions that combine to provide support for nine new postures.

Steelcase Gesture Chair New Postures

The Gesture is scheduled for release this fall. There’s no official word yet on price, but rumors from alleged Steelcase employees suggest the chair will be priced at $900. If successful, the core design concepts could hopefully be adapted by other firms who could then introduce similar products at a much more affordable price point.

While the Gesture promises support for the awkward postures of mobile device users, the question that Steelcase hasn’t yet answered is if encouraging these postures is a good idea. The Gesture may indeed prevent pain and discomfort initially, but we’ll leave it to the medical professionals to determine if these postures, even with the additional support of the chair, will still cause long-term health issues.

Therefore, regardless of price, it is unknown if the Gesture is a solution to a problem or if it merely delays the inevitable. Until that question is answered, be sure to keep yourself familiar with the current understanding of good posture guidelines.

Those interested in hearing more about the Gesture can check out Steelcase’s teaser video, below:

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