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Steelcase Global Study Uncovers New Postures Driven By Mobile Technology

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) today launches Gesture, a new sitting experience, designed in response to the company's latest research about changing postures in the workplace. The global study reveals how new technologies have led to nine new postures -- not supported by current office chairs -- which frequently cause pain and long-term injuries, disrupting concentration and creativity.  The Gesture chair was inspired by studying the movement of the human body and created for the ways people work today.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/60743-steelcase-gesture-chair-new-sitting-experience-posture-in-the-workplace

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130312/MM74612)

"We love our technology – it's become a ubiquitous extension of ourselves," states James Ludwig, vice president of global design for Steelcase. "The user interface is intuitive and responds to various gestures.  But what about gesture recognition for the human body?  The way technology impacts our bodies as we work has been largely ignored."

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 postures 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.

"Tablets were introduced just three years ago.  But many people are using chairs that were designed well before these new devices became pervasive at work.  Back then, chairs were created to help people hold one pose in front of a computer all day.  Now we know that people need to move and change positions regularly, especially as they engage with new technologies. We observed people in pain -- they need a sitting experience designed for the ways we work today," continued Ludwig.

Gesture: A New Sitting Experience

Steelcase researchers studied how the physiology of work has changed, how the human body interacts with new technologies and how it transitions as people shift from one device to another.  Researchers noted a more extreme range of human sizes around the world, which impacts postures.  The company also studied the changing sociology of work and how people rapidly shift between individual, focused tasks and creative collaboration. Each new activity caused people to change postures. Based on this research, Steelcase designed the Gesture chair's three key interfaces – the core interface, upper limb interface and seat interface -- to support new postures driven by new technology and more casual behaviors in the workplace.

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