Wilkhahn developed the free-to-move concept in order to combat the increasingly physically inactive style of working in digitalised office environments. A five-part series here on the blog will outline the most important background information, issues and solutions to serve as inspiration in designing workspaces that encourage more agile bodies and minds. In part 3 you can find out how Wilkhahn teaches sitting to walk with its patented Trimension® technology.
There’s one thing that physiotherapists, ergonomists and orthopaedists agree on: our bodies are primarily designed for walking. Which is why our joints, muscles and metabolism need as frequent and varied a range of motion as possible. These movements start in our hips, the body’s powerhouse. The previous concepts for dynamic sitting reflected these aspects unsatisfactorily. Bending and stretching our torso is much better than no movement at all, but it still means we don’t make any vital movements such as rotating our pelvis and the healthy impact this has on our body as a whole.
As a specialist with four decades’ experience in developing dynamic seating, Wilkhahn’s goal was to develop office chairs that enable 3D dynamic movements and therefore teach sitting to walk at the same time. Which is why Wilkhahn partnered with Cologne’s German Sport University to develop its patented Trimension®, which has now had an excellent track record for almost 10 years and proved its worth more than 500,000 times the world over.
Due to the pivotal points for the hip joints and the sliding joints near the knees, the natural flexibility of the hips is mobilised, muscles deep in the back are stimulated and large muscle loops from the joints in the feet to the shoulders are activated. This exact coordination as part of an integrated movement concept ensures fluid movements in all directions while maintaining the body’s centre of gravity at the same time whether users are bending, stretching, tilting sideways or rotating their pelvises. As a result, the slightest of shifts in weight mean a change in posture to stimulate the whole body: the discs in the spine as well as the joints and the muscles as the body’s most important metabolic powerhouse.
The renowned Centre for Health at the German Sport University Cologne monitored and corroborated the concept surrounding Trimension® and its impact on the body. You can read the results of this study in the fourth part of the free-to-move series.
Click here to reach the Centre’s website that advocates healthy bodies through sport and exercise
In the first part of the free-to-move series you can read about the background to and causes of today’s lack of physical inactivity. What conclusions can be drawn for new sitting ergonomics? Part 2 of the series focuses on stimulating bodies and ensuring a natural range of motion as part of the new sitting ergonomics. How does the free-to-move concept help to put this into practice? In part 4, we’ll be presenting three studies by the Center for Health (ZfG) that scientifically underpin the benefits of the free-to-move concept. Part 5 will provide an overview of Wilkhahn’s three office chair ranges in which the concept’s used.
To part 1 of the free-to-move series: Body and mind – a Stone Age DNA in a high-tech era
To part 2 of the free-to-move series: New ergonomics: sitting in natural positions
To part 4 of the Free-to-move series: Study by the Centre for Health: Free-to-move – healthier, happier and more productive
To Part 5 of the Free-to-move series: One principle, three solutions
The trailer to our series, the free-to-move film, entertainingly summarises the issue: