Infuriating Mouse Design Requires Full-Body Movement to Use a Computer

(Photo: Govert Flint)

Some people hate the cubicle lifestyle and the sedentary work of computer-centered jobs.

After I graduated from college, I worked in a warehouse for 3 years while attending graduate school. If I was ever susceptible to this perspective, 3 years of manual labor permanently inoculated me from it. Sitting down in an air conditioned office for 8 hours is totally awesome.

So I would flip out if I walked into my office and found one of Govert Flint’s Dynamic Chairs. Margaret Rhodes of Wired of says that using it “is like attending a new-age Pilates class.” You’ll get quite a workout:

Scroll around by shifting your body’s weight from side to side. Sensors in the seat detect the pressure and angle of your tush and communicate that data to three accelerometers that measure that movement on an axis, and translate it into activity on the computer’s screen. To click, kick up your right leg. Sensors will detect that motion too. For the time being, arms and hands are unencumbered, for typing, but Flint imagines plenty of future possibilities there. (That’s why the video that accompanies Flint’s thesis shows actors using their arms.)

(Video Link)

The movements of ballet dancers inspired Flint’s design. Their hip movements in particular are ideal:

Flint also spoke with a physiologist at the ballet who pointed out that human hips weren’t designed to stay rooted in a chair. There’s a lot of cartilage in there that’s meant to allow walking, hence the hip rotations that let users scroll.

I’m curious about any productivity studies conducted on these chairs. As previously noted, treadmill desks may make you healthier, but can impair the accuracy of your work.

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