Research: Global Posture Study

by | Dec 17, 2021 | Workplace Wellness | 0 comments

Steelcase Design Studio

Technology is the single greatest force driving the changes in the way we work, live and behave. The new, multiple devices we deploy throughout our work day allow us to flow between tasks, fluidly, and frequently. But how is this impacting our seating experiences and our health in Co-Working Spaces? Steelcase conducted a global posture study to find out.

Research: Global Posture Study by Steelcase WorkSpace Futures and the Steelcase Design Studio. 

We undertook a global posture study in 11 countries, observing 2000 people in a wide range of postures and uncovered nine new postures as a result of new technologies and behaviors. We studied how the human body interacts with technologies and how it responds as workers shift from one device to another. Research revealed ergonomic implications that, if not adequately addressed, can cause pain and discomfort for workers. Because these new postures are not adequately supported, workers are uncomfortable, in pain, and doing long-term harm to their bodies. While technology boosts productivity, it can cause pain that disrupts our work, our ability to concentrate, and our creativity.

Based on this research, we designed the Gesture chair to support posture changes specifically influenced by technology devices we use + today.


Design: Inspired by the Human Body

We didn’t start with a chair design. We started by looking at the unique movements and gestures of the body. Like the human body, Gesture is designed as a system of synchronized interfaces.

1) The Core Interface.

•    The Gesture back and seat move as a synchronized system moving with each user to provide continuous and persistent support.

•    The back cradles the user no matter the posture or device.

2) The Limb Interface:

•    The Gesture arm moves like the human arm, which allows users to be supported in any position.

•    Arms and shoulders remain supported when texting on a smartphone, typing on a keyboard or swiping a tablet.

3) The Seat Interface:

•    The Gesture seat brings comfort all the way to the edges.

•    It is flexible at the perimeter to allow users to sit in a range of postures without obstruction.

4) The User Interface:

•    Gesture takes into account various body types and sitting preferences, quickly adjustable to meet the needs of each individual user.

•    Users can adjust the Gesture chair as easily as adjusting their posture.


Gesture is the first office chair designed to support our interactions with  + today’s technologies.   It was inspired by the movement of the human body and created for the way we work + today .

Posted by Steelcase WorkSpace Futures and the Steelcase Design Studio on 27th May, 2014 

Poor posture can cause stiffness, back pain, and muscle imbalances. This is why having good ergonomic habits is important. A Chair like this is very beneficial in a Co-working Space and could be a factor to improve the wellness of users.

Updated June 24th, 2022


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