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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
BALANCE CHAIR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/038958
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A chair (1) which includes a rounded lower portion (2), the convex side (2') of the rounded lower portion (2) being arranged to rest on a supporting surface (9), and a seat portion (3); the chair (1) is provided with a rigid supporting element (4) between the rounded lower portion (2) and the seat portion (3), and - the supporting element (4) of the chair (1) is formed of at least two outward-curving arms (42, 44) between the peripheral portion (20) of the rounded lower portion (2) and the seat portion (3); and - the outward-curving arms (42, 44) and the rounded lower portion (2) form a curved joint (49).

Inventors:
SKRETTING FRODE (NO)
Application Number:
NO2013/050156
Publication Date:
March 13, 2014
Filing Date:
September 10, 2013
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BESSEGGEN 1896 AS (NO)
International Classes:
A47C9/00; A47C9/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2009050525A12009-04-23
Foreign References:
US20070138850A12007-06-21
US2049539A1936-08-04
DE202009009160U12009-10-08
Other References:
See also references of EP 2892392A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HÅMSØ PATENTBYRÅ ANS (Sandnes, NO)
Download PDF:
Claims:
C l a i m s

1. A chair (1) which includes a rounded lower portion (2), the convex side (2') of the rounded lower portion (2) being arranged to rest on a supporting surface (9), and a seat portion (3); the chair (1) is provided with a rigid supporting element (4) between the rounded lower portion (2) and the seat portion (3), c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n that

- the supporting element (4) of the chair (1) is formed of at least two outward-curving arms (42, 44) between the peripheral portion (20) of the rounded lower portion (2) and the seat portion (3); and

- the outward-curving arms (42, 44) and the rounded lower portion (2) form a curved joint (49).

2. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 1, wherein, in the position of application, a width (W) of the chair (1) is smaller than a height (H) of the chair (1) and a depth (D) of the chair.

3. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 1, wherein a width (W") of the supporting element (4) in a middle portion is smaller than a width (W") of the seat portion.

4. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 1, wherein the seat portion (3) includes a rounded portion, the convex side of the rounded portion facing upwards.

5. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 1, wherein the chair (1) is provided with an internal space (8) defined by internal surfaces (42", 44", 47", 49") of the outward-curving arms (42, 44; 47, 49) and the concave upper side (2") of the rounded lower portion (2).

6. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 1, wherein each of the outward- curving arms (42, 44) are split into an upper supporting arm (41, 43) and a lower supporting arm (45, 57) so that the chair (1) comprises a lower part (12) and an upper part (10).

7. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 6, wherein the chair (1) is further provided with at least two extension pieces (7) for insertion between the upper supporting arms (41, 43) and the lower supporting arms (45, 57) so that the height (H) of the chair (1) may be changed.

8. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 6, wherein the chair (1) is further provided with an elastic band (6) around the circumference of the chair (1), and wherein the band (6) is arranged to hold the upper part (10) and the lower part (12) of the chair (1) together.

9. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 1, wherein the chair (1) is further provided with an elastic band (6) around the circumference of the chair (1), the band (6) being arranged to give the convex bottom side (2') of the rounded lower portion (2) a sound-deadening surface against the supporting surface (9).

10. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 1, wherein the rounded lower portion (2) of the chair (1) is provided with a weighting means to increase the stability of the chair (1).

11. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 10, wherein the weighting means of the chair (1) consists of a material thickening in the wall of the rounded lower portion (2).

12. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 10, wherein the weighting means of the chair (1) consists of a weight.

13. The chair (1) in accordance with claim 2, wherein the width (W) of the seat portion (3) is smaller than the width (W") of the rounded lower portion (2).

Description:
I

BALANCE CHAIR

The invention relates to a chair for training back and pelvic musculature. More particularly, the invention relates to a chair which is rounded in its contact portion against the supporting surface. The user of the chair must continuously activate the musculature of the body to maintain a sitting position on the chair.

It is known within the specialist environment of physiotherapists and ergonomists that the proportion of the population afflicted with back complaints is increasing. It is also known that the proportion of children afflicted with back complaints is Increasing. This may be owing to both children and adults sitting more than before and being less active in physical play and physical work.

It is known that sitting on relatively large balls filled with air may have a preventative effect on back complaints. When the user is sitting on a ball, the user must continuously activate the musculature of the body to maintain the sitting position on the ball. Even though it is known that to sit on a ball is beneficial, there are some disadvantages to it. In its contact portion against the supporting surface, a ball filled with air will be somewhat compressed. This dampens and retards the rolling movement of the ball. This has the drawback of reducing the training effect somewhat. Another drawback is that the substantially spherical shape of the ball gives a restricted possibility for leg positioning, for example for placing the leg and foot to one side of and under the seat portion. This reduces the sitting comfort over time. The spherical shape also gives an impractically wide chair so that it bumps against table legs when the user is working at a table. It is also impractical for two persons to sit next to each other on separate balls at a table because of the space that the balls take up. This makes it impractical to sit on a ball for a longer time when the user is working at a table.

Further, there is a need for a chair which is suitable for use in a classroom, for example, so that children can strengthen their back musculature when they are at school. A spherically shaped chair may be rolled around and this may create unnecessary dis- turbance of the teaching. A classroom may also be cramped, and there is a need for room for keeping bags or rucksacks and also shoes. With known chairs, bags, rucksacks and shoes can be placed on the floor under the chair between the legs of the chair.

The patent document US 2007/0138850 discloses a chair provided with a base formed with a spherical contact surface against the supporting surface. The seat of the chair is connected to the base via a centred, elongated, straight connecting element. The weight of the base may be greater than the overall weight of the seat and the connecting element. The chair is therefore self-righting when not in use. The connecting element may be provided with means for adjusting the height of the seat. The base is not arranged for storing objects as these would fail off the base as the chair is tilted. The patent document EP 0761136 discloses a similar chair with a centred, elongated, straight connecting element. This one is not arranged for storing objects on the base, either, as they would fall off the base as the chair is tilted.

The patent document GB 22823331 discloses a child seat with a lower part provided with a spherically shaped contact surface against the supporting surface. From the lower part of the child seat, along the outer edge thereof, three straight and relatively narrow supports project upwards, holding a ring. The seat proper is attached to the ring, and the child's legs will be positioned over the lower part and within the outer edge of the lower part. The child seat will function in the same way as a rocking chair when the child bends its upper body alternately forwards and backwards or to the sides. This gives little or no training effect for the back musculature. The child seat is not fit for storing objects within the chair as they will get in the way for the child's legs.

The patent document US 2,049,539 discloses a combined stool and basket particularly suited for gardening. The base of the stool includes a flat middle portion and a convex side portion so that the base of the stool forms a shallow tray or basket. The base further includes a downward outer edge to prevent the chair from being slanted or tilted too much to one side. The seat is attached to the side portion of the base with elongated, straight and relatively narrow connecting elements. The stool is suitable for smaller objects to be placed flat on the concave upper side of the base. Such objects may be smaller garden implements, flowers and weeds, for example. The stool is not arranged for allowing larger objects, such as a bag, to be stored.

The invention has for its object to remedy or reduce at least one of the drawbacks of the prior art, or at least provide a useful alternative to the prior art. The object is achieved through features which are specified in the description below and in the claims that follow.

In a first aspect, the invention relates to a chair which includes a rounded lower portion, the convex side of the rounded lower portion being arranged to rest on a supporting surface, and a seat portion; the chair is provided with a rigid supporting element between the rounded lower portion and the seat portion; and

- the supporting element is made up of at least two outward-curving arms between the peripheral portion of the rounded lower portion and the seat portion; and

- the outward-curving arms and the lower spherical portion form a curved joint.

The width of the chair in the position of application is smaller than the height of the chair and the depth of the chair. In a middle portion, the width of the supporting elements may be smaller than the width of the seat portion.

The seat portion may include a rounded portion, the convex side of the rounded portion facing upwards. The seat portion may include a spherical portion.

The chair may be provided with an internal space defined by the internal surface of the outward-curving arms and the concave upper side of the rounded lower portion. The internal surface of the outward-curving arms may have a concave shape.

Each of the outward-curving arms may be split into an upper supporting arm and a lower supporting arm, so that the chair includes a lower part and an upper part. The chair may further be provided with at least two extension pieces for insertion between the upper supporting arms and the lower supporting arms, so that the height of the chair can be changed.

The chair may further be provided with an elastic band around the circumference of the chair, the band being arranged to hold the upper part and the lower part of the chair together. The band may be arranged to give the convex bottom side of the rounded lower portion a sound-deadening surface against the supporting surface.

The rounded lower portion of the chair may be provided with a weighting means to increase the stability of the chair. The weighting means of the chair may consist of a material thickening in the wall of the rounded lower portion. The weighting means of the chair may consist of a weight. The width of the seat portion may be smaller than the width of the rounded lower portion. In what follows, examples of preferred embodiments are shown, which have been visualized in the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a chair in accordance with the invention in perspective from three different angles;

Figure 2 shows, on a smaller scale, a chair in an alternative embodiment in which the chair is composed of an upper part and a lower part;

Figures 3A-B show the chair in a further alternative embodiment;

Figure 4 show the chair in a further alternative embodiment;

Figure 5 shows the chair in a further alternative embodiment;

Figure 6 shows indications of the height, width and depth of the chair;

Figures 7A-C show the chair in a further alternative embodiment; A the chair shown in section; B the chair shown in an exploded view; C a portion of the chair shown in perspective from below.

Positional indications such as "lower" and "upwards" refer to the position shown in the figures, and the words are used in accordance with their normal meaning.

In the drawings, the reference numeral 1 indicates a chair in accordance with the invention. As the chair is without a back, it may also be termed a stool. In what follows, the invention will be termed a chair 1. The chair 1 is provided with a rounded lower portion 2 and an upper seat portion 3. Two outward -curving supporting elements 4 extend between the rounded lower portion 2 and the upper seat portion 3. Each outward-curving supporting element 4 is formed of at least one curved arm 42, 44. The convex bottom side 2' of the rounded lower portion 2 rests on a supporting surface 9.

The outward-curving arms 42, 44 are fixed to the peripheral portion 20 of the rounded lower portion 2. In one embodiment, the convex bottom side 2' of the rounded lower portion 2 may have a spherical shape.

In the figures, the seat portion 3 of the chair 1 is shown as a portion formed in a rounded shape with the convex side facing upwards. In one embodiment, the seat portion 3 of the chair 1 may be of a spherical shape. In an alternative embodiment, the seat portion 3 may be flat (not shown). In a further alternative embodiment, the seat portion 3 may be saddle-shaped (not shown). The outward-curving supporting elements 4 of the chair 1 are fixed to the peripheral portion 20 of the rounded lower portion 2 in a curved joint 49 without discrete edges, that is to say the joint 49 is rounded. It is thereby achieved that the user (not shown) of the chair 1 experiences a continuous, rolling movement when the chair 1 is moved forwards or backwards. By large deflections of the chair 1 in a forward movement or a backward movement, a lower portion of the supporting element 4 will be in contact with the supporting surface 9. The outward-curving arms 42, 44 distribute a user's weight to the lower portion in a different manner from that of a centred connecting element. A centred connecting element would be an extension of the user's spine.

The chair 1 is shown as formed with a through hole 5. In the position of application, the hole 5 has an axis 50 which is substantially horizontal, see figure 2. Viewed along the axis 50, the chair 1 is substantially ball-shaped, see for example the left-hand chair 1 in figure 1, as the supporting arms 4 are curved outwards. In the position of application, the width W of the chair 1 is smaller than the height H of the chair 1 as shown in figure 6. The depth D of the chair may be equal to or smaller than the height H of the chair 1. When the depth D is equal to the height H, the chair 1 will be approximately ball-shaped along a continuous outer jacket surface. This is shown the most clearly in the chair to the left in figure 1. For a user, the height H of the chair is the sitting height, whereas the width W of the chair 1 will be the extent of the chair 1 in the user's hip width, that is to say in the extent of the user's coronal plane. The depth D of the chair 1 will be the extent of the chair 1 In front of and behind the user, that is to say the extent in the user's sagittal plane or median plane. The supporting element 4 tapers towards a middle portion so that the width W" of the middle portion is smaller than the width W. This has the effect of enabling the user to sit comfortably on the chair 1 with his thighs approximately straight forwards and downwards with a medial rotation, whereas the knee may be bent so that the leg is moved backwards and lower than the user's seat portion / hip portion and somewhat to the side of this in a lateral direction, that is to say the leg is abducted.

In one embodiment, the chair 1 may be split into an upper part 10 and a lower part 12. In this embodiment, the arm 42, 44 is split into an upper supporting arm 41, 43 and a lower supporting arm 45, 57. The lower supporting arm 45, 47 is fixed to the peripheral portion 20 of the rounded lower portion 2 in a curved joint 49 without discrete edges. By large deflections of the chair 1 in a forward movement or a backward movement, a lower portion of the lower supporting arm 45, 47 will be in contact with the supporting surface 9. In one embodiment, in which the chair 1 is split, the upper part 10 and the lower part 12 of the chair 1 may be held together by an elastic band 6 surrounding the chair 1 along the continuous outer jacket surface of the chair 1. The elastic band 6 also has the advantage of deadening noise when the chair 1 is used on a supporting surface 9 having a hard surface. In figure 3A, the chair 1 is shown assembled and surrounded by the band 6. In figure 3B, the chair 1 is shown with its main components.

In one embodiment shown in figure 4, the chair 1 may be split into an upper part 10 and a lower part 12, and an extension piece 7 has been inserted between the upper supporting arm 41, 43 and the lower supporting arm 45, 57. A possibility of adjusting the chair 1 to a user's sitting height is thereby achieved. In this exemplary embodiment, the height H of the chair 1 is larger than the depth D. The extension piece 7 is positioned in the middle portion of the supporting element 4 and has a width W"\

In one embodiment shown in figure 5, the supporting arms 41, 43, 45, 47 may be divided into two parts, the supporting arms 41, 41', 43, 43' 45, 45', 47, 47' respectively.

In its seat portion 3, the chair 1 may be provided with a pad 31 as shown in figures 4 and 5.

The weight of the rounded lower portion 2 of the chair 1 can be increased by increasing the material thickness in the portion facing the supporting surface 9. In another embodiment, the rounded lower portion 2 may be provided with a weighting means 29 such as a weight, for example, see figures 7B-C. This has the advantage of the chair 1 returning to an upright position and remaining in an upright position when the chair 1 is not in use. The weighting means 29 may be permanently or releasably fixed. In a further alternative embodiment, the width W of the seat portion 3 may be smaller than the width W" of the rounded lower portion 2, see figure 6. The width W" will also be the width W of the chair 1. In this embodiment as well, the centre of gravity of the chair 1 is closer to the rounded lower portion 2 and the chair 1 will remain in its upright position when the chair 1 is not in use. It may be advantageous for the training effect when the chair 1 is being used that the rounded lower portion 2 does not have too large a mass relative to the seat portion 3 because the chair 1 will be slower in moving when the centre of gravity of the chair l is low.

The chair 1 is provided with an internal space 8. The space 8 is defined by the concave upper side 2" of the rounded lower portion 2 and the internal surfaces 42", 44" of the outward-curving arms 42, 44. The internal surfaces 42", 44" may have a concave shape. In embodiments in which the chair 1 is provided with bipartite supporting arms 41, 43, 45, 47, the space 8 is defined by the Internal surfaces 45", 47" of the lower supporting arms 45, 47. The internal surfaces 45", 47" may have a concave shape. Objects, such as a bag, sack or shoes (not shown), will be held in place within the space 8 even if the chair 1 is subjected to large deflections forwards, backwards or to the side, because the internal surfaces 2"; 42", 44'; 45", 47" provide sufficient support and contact surface for the object to rest against them.

The chair 1 is shown in an alternative embodiment in figures 7A-C. The parts of the chair 1 are formed of a polymer material. The upper part 10 and the lower part 12 of the chair 1 are held together by a locking piece 14 as shown in figure 7A. The locking piece 14 is provided with locking dogs 16. The locking piece 14 is positioned in a pocket 17 in the supporting arms 41, 43, 45, 47. One wall 18 of the pocket 17 is provided with a cut-out 19. The cut-out 19 may extend through the wall 18. The locking piece 14 may be moved into a pocket 17 in the supporting arm 45, 47 until the locking dog 16 engages the cut-out 19. At its opposite end portion, the locking piece 14 projects above the pocket 17. Then the upper part 10 is positioned in such a way that the pocket 17 in the supporting arm 41, 43 can be moved over the opposite end portion of the locking piece 14 until the locking dog 16 engages the cut-out 19 of the upper part 10.

In this embodiment, the pad 31 of the chair 1 Is arranged to be attached in a recess 32 in the upper part 10. In its rounded lower portion 2, on its convex bottom side 2', the chair 1 is provided with a silencer 61 or a friction coating 61. The silencer 61 or the friction coating 61 is attached in a recess 63. The recess 63 may also include a recess 63' arranged to accommodate the weight element 29.

The chair 1 may consist of a polymer material. The chair 1 may be rotation-moulded or injection-moulded. The chair 1 may also consist of wood, such as press-shaped veneer, or metal, such as aluminium.




 
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