Additional Sitting Posture Types

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With the advent of laptops and smart phones, our daily working and sitting postures have and new Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) such as the Blackberry Thumb. Steelcase conducted a global study in 11 countries, observing over 2000 people in a wide range of environments and postures. Company researchers discovered nine new sitting posture types that were a result of new technologies and new workplace behaviors. If not adequately addressed, these postures can cause pain, discomfort and long-term injuries for workers.

What Are These Nine New Sitting Posture Types?

Steelcase identified nine new sitting postures based entirely on the result of new technologies. For example:

Nine different types of sitting postures
The nine different types of sitting postures

The Draw

Technology (small and mobile) allows people to pull back from their desks while they use it. They recline. This signals that they’re contemplating or absorbing information. They draw the device closer to their body to maintain an optimal focal length.

The Multi-Device

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

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.

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.

The Swipe

This sitting 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.

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 incoming texts or e-mails.

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 is a long duration posture.

The Take It In

In this sitting 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.

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.