Disposture chair forces sitters into an uncomfortable slump

Three design students have created a purposefully awkward chair that encourages sitters into a slump to highlight the long-term effects of slouching.

Disposture Chair by Jessica Ross

Disposture was designed by Jessica Ross, Emily Wallace and Cathrynn Healy, as part of the interior design programme at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

It is made from splayed strips of oak that are screwed together to form an unconventional spiral shape.

The curved sections of the chair make it impossible for users to find a comfortable seating position, whether sitting on the chair, or resting on the floor and leaning against it.

Disposture Chair by Jessica Ross

Ross came up with the idea for Disposture after spending long periods at her own dusk, hunched over a laptop and straining her shoulders and spine.

Disposture Chair by Jessica Ross

She and the team researched the long-term impact of prolonged periods of sitting, often experienced by office workers, but initially struggled to find a solution.

"In experimenting with different bodily angles and shapes we found it difficult to come up with the 'perfect' sitting angle," Ross said. "Every angle seemed to help one body part but still hinder another."

Disposture Chair by Jessica Ross

"As human beings our bodies are simply not designed to be sitting all day, we are designed to hunt and gather," she added.

After coming to the conclusion that "there is no such thing as a comfortable chair", the team decided to create a seat which would be deliberately awkward for people to sit in.

Disposture Chair by Jessica Ross

"By forcing the user into this 'C slump' right from the moment they sit down allows the user to recognise how uncomfortable and damaging it can be to the body," Ross explained.

"This in turn combats the real issue of training the brain to recognise the detrimental effects of the slouch and make a conscious decision to sit straight," she added.

Disposture Chair by Jessica Ross

Other unusual chairs completed recently include Porky Hefer's killer-whale-shaped "nest", Seung Jin Yang's resin-covered balloon seats, and Aranda\Lasch's series of sculptural chairs that look as if they've been squeezed from a tube.