Herman Miller revolutionises the patient chair: Nala, with Herman Miller ergonomics embedded
Tuesday, 15 December, 2015
The Herman Miller Nala Chair is the first patient chair in the world to embed the leading ergonomics from Herman Miller task seating into a patient chair. When researching the chair, Herman Miller discovered that most patient seating was not designed for comfort but rather as a place to put a patient to test if they could tolerate being upright. Herman Miller approached the design of the chair by asking:
"What if a chair could actually be good for the patient to be in? And what if it gave a patient a comfortable and supportive alternative to the bed?”
Researchers engaged with more than 200 caregivers in more than 19 hospitals and healthcare systems to learn about patient seating and what worked and didn’t work in current patient chair offerings. They also consulted ergonomists, physical therapists, gerontologists, and more than 70 healthcare designers.
They found that when a person sits in a chair and uses its reclining backrest, disc pressure can drop by as much as 20 percent. As people age some can develop a great curvature in the upper back, with rounded shoulders and a forward slump. With a large thoracic curve, the backrest actually has to recline quite a bit more, up to 40 degrees, just to keep the neck and upper thoracic regions upright.
Nala’s Harmonic tilt mimics the natural movement of the patient’s body. The chair’s back and seat move synchronously, opening up as the patient reclines and tilting around the body’s natural pivot points. Patients can rest anywhere within a 24-degree recline range. Dampening cylinder controls movement for large- or small-statured patients.
Collaborations biomechanics engineers, ergonomics experts and geriatric physicians led to a greater understanding of the biomechanics of a person rising from a chair. This meant a focus on a few features: armrest design, foot space under the chair and seat height.
The ability for patients to place their feet on the floor, which means the chair must have a lower seat height, was found to be more important than a higher seat to assist ingress and egress. While recliners with integrated footrests might provide a means to elevate the feet, they also prohibit patients from effectively shifting their weight by planting their feet under the seat. An open area under a chair more effectively assists the patient.
Armrests that pivot out of the way can help caregivers with some types of transfers and provide access to the patient while seated. Wider, soft and angled armrests give patients a comfortable place to rest their arms and provides a guide and leverage tool for transferring safely into and out of the chair.
Using the chair is easy – both arms pivot out of the way, the patient can recline using either hand, the recline movement is smooth and easy.
Nala combines ergonomics and technology with the comfort, durability and ease of cleaning you need in a patient chair. Its tilt, support and contours all follow the movement of the human body, creating a patient chair that’s truly designed around the patient.
Nala is backed by Herman Miller’s unique 12 year, 7 day, 3 shift warranty.
For more details on Nala or any of Herman Miller’s healthcare range please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hermanmiller.com.au
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