Nissan developing "fatigue-free" car seats


October 23, 2012

Nissan is working on new car seats that are claimed to lessen discomfort and fatigue

Nissan is working on new car seats that are claimed to lessen discomfort and fatigue

You might think that it requires no effort to sit in a car seat. According to the engineers at Nissan, however, that’s not the case. That said, they’ve designed a new type of seat that they claim requires less physical effort to use, thus lessening driver fatigue and discomfort.

Nissan looked at NASA studies, in which the human body was observed to take on a neutral posture when in a weightless environment – that is apparently the position that the body wants to adopt by default. By contrast, the automaker claims that conventional seats force us into an unnatural posture. As long as we’re sitting in that position, we have to exert certain muscles in order to compensate for it.

Developed through a joint research program with Yamazaki Laboratory at Keio University, the new “Neutral Posture Concept” seat attempts to reproduce that zero-gravity posture. It does this partially through an articulated seat back that supports the chest, lumbar and pelvis, along with cushions that reduce pressure points by more evenly distributing the user’s weight.

In tests of the new seat, users were reportedly found to exert their muscles less over extended periods of time. This resulted in increased blood flow, more comfort, and less fatigue.

Nissan hopes to equip all of its cars with such seats in the future. More information is available in the video below.

Source: Nissan

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

This neutral posture is the posture that the body wants to adopt in zero gravity, when it does not have to support itself. It seems unlikely that that is also the ideal posture when the body does have to support its weight.

Michael Crumpton

re; Michaelc

The point is that the chair is supporting you in the relaxed position so you are not supporting yourself.


With the technology we have, it's strange not to have a foam memory system. Add a few resistors and it could ,old to your body. Having said this, it would work for single occupancy seats. In my case, I've always favored the Italian driving position, almost lying down, contrary to the rigid German chair style approach. The more I lean down, the more comfortable and the longer I can drive with little stress.

Nicolas Zart

An additional issue: I am 6' 4" and my wife is 5'4". While the pelvises (differentially shaped, thank goodness) are probably about the same sitting height, the lumbar and chest regions will occupy rather different locations. Can they achieve the same comfort for both of us with the same seat?


Retrofit into my Nissan anytime, 09 Rogue

Stephen Russell

When can I get one made as an office chair?


This is really pretty old stuff. After suffering a back injury I learned some of these issues. 1. Relieve strain on your legs and hamstrings by adjusting the seat back tilt to achieve an angle of 105-110deg. through the hips. 2. Tilt the entire seat backward to get the same angle through your knees as you work the pedals (this also shifts the upper body weight from pressing downward of the low back and hips.) The problem is that if the driver is too comfortable, the chance of nodding off on long drives increases.

Rick Saundry

Will it be equipt with lumbar support?

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