The Focal Locus Seat: Are We Sitting Wrong?
The Focal Locus Seat, The New Way to Sit
Recently, Human Solution had Martin Keen of Focal pay us a visit and demo some of their new office furniture. I was already familiar with the Locus Desk, a drafting table with a sleek design, and the Locus Sphere, a similar drafting table but with a unique cockpit-shaped front. But what really grabbed my attention was their line of seating. With one look you can tell they are very different from conventional drafting chairs or stools. The Focal Mogo, Mobis, and Locus Seat all follow the same basic design and philosophy: Don't sit, lean! We all know that sitting for long periods of time is not good for you, and most agree having a height adjustable desk allows you to combat this well enough to negate those effects. But the folks at Focal think we can do more:
"When you sit in a traditional office chair, your legs are at a 90º angle to your back and your spine slumps into an unhealthy “C” curve. Locus’ upright position takes stress off the lungs and other internal organs, allowing for deeper breathing and healthier functioning. Your head balances in a neutral position, reducing tension in your neck and shoulders. Because you are relaxed in a supported leaning posture, the open hip angle keeps major leg muscles lengthened, reducing pull and strain on the lower back. Your legs work with the seat to form a stable yet active pyramid of support. This reduces leg discomfort and swelling that occurs when sitting in a traditional office chair or standing all day."
I usually stand for a large portion of the day, but I do find myself sitting in my Steelcase Leap Chair for at least half of that time, so I decided to test out the Focal Seat for two weeks. The first day was a little awkward, as any new style of seating should be, but I quickly became comfortable with the leaning position. The curved bottom provided plenty of leg support, and the seat was very comfortable. You are also able to adjust the height and tilt of the seat to get a custom fit. The included anti fatigue mat that covers the base made it convenient to go from leaning to a standing position. This revealed the biggest difference for me, when compared with conventional seating. When I normally go from a standing height all the way down to normal sitting height, I felt like I would get tired of all a sudden. Kind of like when you get home from a long day and plop yourself on couch with box of Cheez-its. My energy level shot down.
By the end of the first week I had totally bought in; this was the way to work! Being able to move around in the standing or leaning position prevented me from getting tired, unlike when I would sit. However, the last few days of my trial, I was noticing that I was feeling pressure on my neck and back. I believe this may have been caused by my current desk setup of three monitors. I may have been turning my neck too much to look at the screens and my posture may not have always been correct. I spent a lot of time resting one leg on a piece of furniture in my cubicle, instead of on the mat as intended. At the end of the day I think the idea behind Focal is fantastic, and all their products have a modern look that designers will love. I now have my chair back, but I only find myself sitting in it about an hour a day. I ended up purchasing the Mogo, which may not have be the Cadillac product in the line like the Locus, but works for what I need at a great price. If you are looking for a new way to work, I would definitely recommend checking one out. You'll be leaning and feeling better in no time!
Have more questions about Focal products? Give us a call at 1-800-531-3746
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