The research was conducted to determine if the proprietary high-tech material called Technogel® contributed to less back muscle activity and therefore greater comfort and potentially less back pain. Technogel is a unique polyurethane material licensed from Bayer MaterialScience and produced by the Technogel company, the world's leading gel producer. Technogel's exceptional "liquid solid" material properties are engineered for health, comfort and durability. Technogel has been adapting this unique polyurethane material for over a decade into a wide variety of applications where the reduction of pressure points from sitting or laying in one position can be a life-saving necessity. Unlike many other cushioning materials, Technogel works because it provides superior pressure displacement in all three dimensions: front to back, side to side, and up and down.
In the study, participants sat in each of two identical ergonomic chairs—one that incorporated a layer of Technogel over the foam seating and one that simply used the standard foam in the chair. The participants' back muscle activity was measured in three different positions reflecting actual common working postures: 1) back straight and knees bent at right angle with both feet on the ground; 2) back straight and one leg over the other; 3) back leaning forward and knees bent at right angle with both feet on the ground. A statistically significant result was achieved with only 24 subjects. The office chairs used in the study were the Freedom® chairs by Humanscale®, the leading manufacturer of ergonomic work tools for the office. The Freedom chair was selected because it is so well designed throughout that any results could be more confidently attributed to the Technogel material. The new Delsys study supports findings from a similar study performed in Europe.
The amount of time people spend sitting to do their work is increasing, and computer advances now make it convenient to accomplish various tasks without leaving the chair. New software programs are available to remind workers to take rest breaks at specific intervals. Still, it's easy to get absorbed in a project or task with deadlines looming and ignore that nagging back or bottom ache. Recognizing the increased time spent sitting at work led to an office chair revolution in the '90s that is now entering a new era: the office chair has become a critical tool for health and its benefits can be related to productivity.
Health and Comfort via Technogel
The initial uses for this high-tech material were wheel chair seat cushions, pressure-relieving bed pads for long-term bed-ridden patients and operating tables, and prosthetic liners for amputees. Realizing the health and comfort benefits of the material, subsequent applications put Technogel into shoe insoles, bicycle saddle seats and gel wrist supports for keyboard and mouse. Beginning in 1999, Technogel worked with Humanscale to develop for the Freedom chair the first ever gel seat cushion for an office chair. Because Technogel is so aligned with Humanscale's mission of improving the health and comfort of office workers, Humanscale has since incorporated the gel cushions into its revolutionary new Liberty® office chair. Now Technogel is being used in the new Zody® chair from venerable office furniture manufacturer Haworth. The Zody chair is designed to bring the benefits of next-generation ergonomic design to a wider group of sitters through its mid-range price. Technogel is also used in the Allsteel #19® chair as part of their patented Tria® seating system which is designed to regulate heat, as well as reduce pressure points. Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with 18,000 employees at 40 sites around the world and 2004 sales of 8.6 billion euros. Our innovative developments in coating, adhesive and sealant raw materials, polycarbonates, polyurethanes and thermoplastic urethane elastomers enhance the design and functionality of products in a wide variety of markets, including the automotive, construction, electrical and electronics, household and medical industries, and the sports and leisure fields. Our inorganic basic chemicals unit produces chlorine and related essential products for the chemicals industry. Let us give life to your vision. Bayer MaterialScience—Where VisionWorks. Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is part of the worldwide Bayer Group, an international health care, nutrition and innovative materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, as of April 2005, Bayer employed about 16,000 and had net sales of 8.3 billion euros. Bayer's three operating companies—Bayer HealthCare LLC, Bayer CropScience LP and BayerMaterialScience LLC—improve people's lives through a broad range of essential products that help diagnose and treat diseases, protect crops and advance automobile safety and durability.
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Name: Jeanne Cobetto
Company: Bayer Corporation