The Chair – Galen Cranz

The Chair - Galen Cranz

A friend taking a chair design course at NC State recommended this book for me years ago and I just now got around to reading it. I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer. It’s a real thought provoking book dealing with ergonomics, the cultural history of “sitting”, the history of the chair, and a critique of some chairs designed as objects. One point brought up deals with the idea of comfort, and what aspects of comfort are actually beneficial to your health. I think it is many people’s experience that sitting down in the same position for 8 hours a day isn’t good for your body. Cranz argues that certain sitting positions, such as “perching”, reclining with head support, and squatting are better than 90 degree sitting, and that adjusting your seating position, from standing up, to sitting, to reclining while at the workplace makes for better posture, digestion, productivity, etc.  She even presents research that children, whose bodies are still developing, shouldn’t be forced to sit at desks for long periods to avoid “developmental stress”.  I especially recommend this book for architects and furniture designers.

Cranz argues with lots of research that 90 degree sitting isn't very good for our bodies. Get on your feet!

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