Here she is – Galen Cranz.
She knows about chairs:
- She taught in the architecture school at UC Berkeley, so she knows about design and how it influences human behavior, comfort and health.
- She’s a teacher of the Alexander technique, so she knows about posture, how the brain monitors and controls movement, and how simple daily activities (like sitting) have a powerful impact on our body, mind and spirit.
- She’s an author. Her book The Chair, Rethinking Culture, Body and Design tells the history of sitting, placing it in interwoven social, design and ergonomic contexts.
Here’s some of what she recommends: (this is excerpted from a NY Times article)
As a species we are designed for movement. The best posture probably is the next posture.
That means changing what you do over the course of the day; nobody should get stuck sitting — or standing — in the same position for the entire day.
That said, some postures are better than others.
The neutral body posture is half way between sitting and standing; it balances our musculature between front and back. This position is used in the martial arts (the horse) and in the Alexander Technique (position of mechanical advantage). Also called the perch position, it requires a higher than currently conventional desk, not a standing desk, but definitely higher than 28 inches.
In addition to using a chair that allow you to work in the “perched” position (Professor Cranz recommends a Capisco chair, as an example) she also recommends reorganizing work (if possible) so that some tasks can be carried out in a lounge chair. Or from the standing position.
Here’s a link to an article from Your Body of Knowledge that will give you more info about the perching posture.