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The intentionally wobbly, US$8,500 LimbIC ergonomic chair

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August 9, 2012

The LimbIC chair is uses two carbon-fiber cradles (Photo: Inno-Motion)

The LimbIC chair is uses two carbon-fiber cradles (Photo: Inno-Motion)

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One thing that’s generally expected of a chair is that it stays still. True, it might rock or swivel or recline, but if we’re sitting still, we expect the chair to do likewise. Dr. Patrik A. Künzler, head of the Swiss start-up Inno-Motion, disagrees. He has invented the US$8,500 LimbIC - a deliberately wobbly ergonomic chair that's billed as being comfortable to sit in for hours while promoting better health and creativity.

Developed at MIT and manufactured in Zürich, the odd-looking LimbIC chair appears almost impossible to sit on. Instead of a seat, it has a pair of pivoted cradles that look like a cross between a music stand and a gynecologist’s stirrups. These are, in fact, carbon fiber shells from a Formula 1 racer production line that hold the sitter’s legs at an angle. Each chair is handmade to fit the individual sitter, so the cradles are snug, yet comfortable. The chair doesn’t need a back because the sitter, even though in constant motion, remains balanced enough to sit straight without effort. This puts it one up on inflatable balls and other alternatives because no effort is required on the part of the sitter to remain stable.

The constant gliding and swaying motion of the chair is, according to Künzler, a combination of neuroscience and ergonomics aimed at promoting better health and creativity. It does this by stimulating specific “touch points” and moving the sitter in a manner that induces a feeling weightlessness.

All of this is designed to alleviate the problems caused by sitting for long periods while making the sitter feel more relaxed. Künzler says that the LimbIC chair stimulates the limbic system - the part of the brain containing the so-called “pleasure center.” He contends that the LimbIC chair’s stimulation improves the sitter’s performance and creativity and induces a feeling of wellbeing. In addition, the chair promote better health by constantly and minutely moving the spine. This strengthens vertebral muscles and improves spinal nutrition.

Source: Inno-Motion via Bloomberg Business Week

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.   All articles by David Szondy
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5 Comments

The chair is quite pricey, so it may find a customer base among the well-heeled early-adopter set. A serious evaluation of materials can bring a little more sanity to the price tag.

Bruce H. Anderson
10th August, 2012 @ 10:23 am PDT

As a perpetual and compulsive fidgeter, I'd buy one of these if I had the money.

bergamot69
10th August, 2012 @ 11:42 am PDT

So it makes you wiggle constantly. Has there been a study which shows that wiggling in your seat actually improves health and/or productivity?

limbodog
10th August, 2012 @ 01:42 pm PDT

I fell off my chair when I saw the price tag !

Kenneth Yeh
10th August, 2012 @ 05:17 pm PDT

at $85 we can buy one or two of these big rubber ball.

should u need a good chair to work, i mean work & use your brain at the same time, dont we all need total undivided attention?

sadly at $8500 is more for the ones with lots more mulla than brain.

historically any high wire circus acts benefit most folks walking on the side walk?

Jimbo Jim
13th August, 2012 @ 08:46 am PDT
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