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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CHAIR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1988/004903
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A chair or seating apparatus which is convertible from a conventional seating configuration including a seat and back rest to a semi-kneeling configuration having an inclined seat and knee or shin support. Preferably the seating apparatus includes pivot means to enable simple conversion from one configuration to the other.

Inventors:
HART ROBERT CRAIG (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU1986/000396
Publication Date:
July 14, 1988
Filing Date:
December 24, 1986
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HART ROBERT CRAIG (AU)
International Classes:
A47C1/028; A47C9/00; A47C13/00; (IPC1-7): A47C13/00; A47C1/034; A47C16/04
Domestic Patent References:
WO1985000275A11985-01-31
Foreign References:
GB2171005A1986-08-20
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Claims:
I CLAIM:
1. A chair or body support device adapted to be either free standing on, or attached to, a surface, said device being adjustable from a first or conventional sitting configuration in which a first body support member is adapted to support the posterior of a user and a second body support member is adapted to support the back of the user a second or semikneeling configuration in which the first body support member is adapted to support the posterior of the user and the second body support member is adapated to support the knees and/or shins of the user, and in which the angular disposition of first body support member in the first configuration is different from the angular disposition of the first body support member in the second configuration.
2. A device as claimed in claim 1 in which the first body support member is disposed in a substantially horizontal plane when the device is in the first configuration and in which the first body support member is disposed in a plane sloping towards the second body support member when the device is in the second configuration.
3. A device as claimed in claim 1 or 2 in which the first body support member, when the device is in the first configuration, is mounted on or supported by a base having a front seat support frame member and a rear seat support frame member, one of said seat support frame members including pivot means to permit movement of the first body support member from the first to the second configuration.
4. A device as claimed in claim 3 in which the front seat support frame member includes pivot means to permit movement of the first body support member from the first to the second configuration.
5. A device as claimed in claim 3 or 4 in which the second body support member is mounted on a second frame member which extends from, at one end of the second body support member to, at the other end, an abutment means and is pivotally mounted at a point between its ends to the base, said abutment means being adapted to support the second body support means in the first configuration and said other end of said second frame member being adapted to move the first body support member to its second configuration when the device is adjusted from the first to the second configuration.
6. A device as claimed in claim 5 in which the abutment means comprises the base of the device 'or the surface on which it stands or to which it is attached.
7. A chair or body support device adapted to be either free standing on or attached to a surface having a base frame including a first body support member and a second frame member including a second body support member, said device being adjustable from a first or conventional sitting configuration in which a first body support member is adapted to support the posterior of a user and a second body support member is adapted to support the back of the user, to a second or semikneeling configuration in which the first body support member is adapted to support the posterior of the user and the second body support member is adapted to support the knees and/or shins of the user, and in which the angular disposition of the first body support member in the first configuration is different from the angular disposition of the first body support member in the second configuration.
8. A device as claimed in claim 7 in which the first body support member is disposed in a substantially horizontal plane when the device is in the first configuration, and is disposed in a plane sloping towards the second body support member when the device is in the second configuration.
9. A device as claimed in claim 7 or 8 in which the first body support member, when the device is in the first configuration, is mounted on or supported by a base having a front seat support frame member and a rear seat support frame member, one of said set support frame members including pivot means to permit movement of the first body support member from the first to the second configuration.
10. A device as claimed in claim 8 in which the front seat support frame member includes pivot means to permit movement of the first body support member from the first to the second configuration.
11. A device as claimed in claim 9 or 10 in which the second body support member is mounted on a second frame member which extends from, at one end of the second body support member to, at the other end, an abutment means and is pivotally mounted at a point between its ends to the base, said abutment means being adapted to support the second body support means in the first configuration and said other end of said second frame member being adapted to move the first body support member to its second configuration when the device is adjusted from the first to the second configuration.
12. A device as claimed in claim 11 in which the abutment means comprises the base of the device or the surface on which it stands or to which it is attached. Il ¬ ls.
13. A device as claimed in claim 7 in which the body support members are releasably attached to said frame by attachment means, said first body support member being releasably mounted in either of two positions at a posterior supporting region of the device; the second body support member being releasably mounted on said frame at one position to provide a lumbar or back support member and in another position to provide a knee and/or shin support member; said members, when assembled in the appropriate positions, provide the first or second sitting configurations.
14. A device as claimed in claim 13 in which the frame is of substantially flat metal bar and said means for releasably mounting said body support members comprises stirrups mounted on said bar adapted to releasably engage a similar configuration bar frame which connects the frame to the body support member.
15. A device as claimed in claim 13 wherein said body support members are releasably mounted on the frame by means of one or more nuts and bolts.
16. A chair or body support device substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to figures 1 and 2 of the accompanying drawings.
17. A chair or body support device substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to figures 3 and 4 of the accompanying drawings.
18. A chair or body support device substantially as hereinbefore described.
Description:
CHAIR This invention relates to "chairs" or body support devices and particularly but not exclusively to chairs or body support devices capable of being from one "seating" configuration to another. Preferably the chair or body support device is capable of being altered from a conventional seating configuration to a semi-kneeling configuration.

Conventional chairs or body support devices are well known. Such devices include a base, a "seat" portion and a back rest. In such conventional chairs, the weight of a user is almost solely supported by the seat portion of the chair with little or no support being provided by the back rest. It is known that such chairs can result in fatigue or backache, particularly in the lower back region, due to the fact mentioned above that the majority of the weight of the user is transmitted to the seat by the posterior or buttocks, or both of the user.

It is also known that chairs or body support devices may be made in which the weight of the user is distributed between a seat portion supporting the posterior of the user and a kneeling pad which supports the knees and/or shins of the user. In such "semi-kneeling" chairs or body support devices, the seat portion of the chair is disposed at an angle of about 30° to a conventional "seating" disposition, and a knee pad, disposed at an appropriate angle, is provided in front of and below the "seating" portion. Such "semi-kneeling" chairs or body support devices are claimed to reduce fatigue when in use (compared to conventional chairs or body support devices) as the spine of the user assumes a more natural configuration and the weight distribution of the user is not solely cetered, through the posterior and/or buttocks of the user, on the "seating" portion of the chair or body support device.

Such "semi-kneeling" chairs or body support devices

suffer from the disadvantage that they are, for some prospective users, initially uncomfortable and difficult to adjust to, due to the somewhat different weight distribution experienced during the use of such devices. Whilst beneficial results are claimed to be obtained by use of such devices, full benefit of such advantages may not be gained if a prospective user finds difficulty in becoming accustomed to such semi-kneeling chairs or body support devices. Indeed such, an alleged beneficial seating device may well be discarded.

The present invention seeks to overcome the disadvantages of presently known semi-kneeling chairs or body support devices by providing a chair or body support device which is readily convertible from a conventional sitting configuration to a semi-kneeling configuration.

The present invention therefore provides a chair or body support device, adjustable from a first or conventional seating configuration in which a first body support means is adapted to support the posterior of a user and a second body support means is adapated to support the back of the user, to a second or semi-kneeling configuration in which the first body support means is adapated to support the posterior of the user and the second body support means is adapated to support the knees and/or shins of the user, and in which the angular disposition of the first body support means in the first configuration is different from the angular disposition of the first body support means in the second configuration. Several preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 shows a chair in a first configuration, having a back support and a seat portion; Fig. 2 shows the chair of Fig. 1 in a second configuration having a seat portion and a knee or shin

supporting portion;

Fig. 3 shows an alternative construction of chair or body support device in accordance with the invention showing the device in perspective in (a) the first configuration and (b) the second configuration.

Fig. 4 shows the chair or body support device of Fig. 3 in side elevation, again in the first configuration (a) and the second configuration (b).

Referring to Fig. 1 there is shown a chair 10, disposed in a conventional seating configuration, having a base or frame 11, a first support or seat means 12, and a second support means 13. The base 11 ' comprises a flat steel bar, formed as by bending to provide a substantially horizontal section 14, a substantially vertical section 15, an inclined seat supporting section 16, a substantially horizontal seat support section 17 and an inclined second support means section 18. The frame 11 also includes two or more other horizontal sections 19 disposed to stabilize and support the chair. The substantially horizontal section 14 and the two or more other horizontal support sections 19 may include feet or castors 20 as desired.

The first support or seat means 12 comprises seat 21 fixed to seat support frame 22 in the form of a steel bar bent to include set support end 23. The second support means 13 comprises second support 24 fixed to second support frame 25 in the form of a steel bar bent to include second support end 26.

Inclined second support section 18 has fixed thereon steel stirrups 27 adapted to releasably engage and hold second support end 26. Inclined seat support section 17 has fixed thereon steel stirrups 28 adapted to releasably engage and hold seat support end 23 in a first configuration as shown.

Referring to Fig. 2, where like numbers refer to like parts of Fig. 1, the first support or seat means 12 is shown releasably engaged in stirrups 29 fixed on seat

support section 17 by means of seat support end 23. Futhermore the second support means 13 is shown releasably engaged in stirrups 30 fixed to horizontal section 14 by means of second support end 26. It will be readily seen from Figs. 1 and 2 that a chair in accordance with this embodiment may readily be converted from a chair of conventional configuration to a chair of semi-kneeling configuration and vice versa.

Referring to Figs. 3 and 4, there is shown a chair of similar construction to the chair of Figs. 1 and 2. The only difference between the chair of Figs. 1 and 2 on the one hand and Figs. 3 and 4 on the other hand is the method of attachment of the various parts.

The first support or seat means and second support means may include padded sections as shown, however, this is not essential. The base or frame of the chair of the invention and the first or second support bars are preferably made from a flat steel bar but may be made of any suitable material as may be desired. For example the frame members may be made of flat bar shaped suitable synthetic plastics material or the flat bar may be replaced by appropriately formed circular or non-circular tubular members. The method of attachment. of various releasably attached and "movable" parts is not particularly important to the performance of the invention.

Referring now to Figs. 3(a) (b) and 4(a) (b) there is shown a chair 50 having a base 51 including a front base section 52 and rear base section 53 formed from tubular steel and joined such as by welds 54. The front base section comprises forwardly directed feet sections 55 substantially vertical leg sections 56 and forwardly directed substantially U-shaped upper section 57 having a substantially horizontal front seat support rail 58. The rear base section similarly comprises rearwardly directed feet sections 59, upwardly directed leg sections 60 and rearwardly directed substantially U-shaped upper section 61

having a substantially horizontal rear seat support rail 62. Seat 63 is supported substantially horizontally on front 58 and rear 62 support rails and is pivotally connected by a hinge or hinges to front rail 58. Additionally rear base section feet 59 may be joined by further tubular rear rail 64. It wil be seen that in this preferred form the rear base section may be formed from a single tubular steel member appropriately formed and joined at its ends such that the rear base section forms a continuous "loop" of tubular steel material. Similarly (although not shown) the front base section may form a continuous "loop" of tubular steel material. The embodiment as shown however shows the front base section terminating at the ends of the feet 55 remote from legs 56. Thus it will be seen that the base 51 supports seat

63 in a substantially horizontal plane whilst the chair is in the first configuration (as herein described). Seat 63 is capable of pivoting or rotating about the hinge on rail 58 as described before. Similarly the back rest or second support means 64 of the chair in its normal or first configuration (or the knee or shin rest of the chair in its semi-kneeling or second configuration) comprises a pad 65 held within a U- shaped tubular position 66 of the pivoting support 66. The pivoting support 66 includes the tubular portion 66, arm rests 67, rest portions 68, pivot leg sections 69 joined by second configuration seat support rail 70. The pivoting support is pivotally fixed to the base by means of pivots 71. As described above when the chair is in the first configuration, seat 63 is substantially horizontal and second support 64 is disposed above and behind the seat 63 to support the back of a person occupying the chair. It will be seen that the posterior of the occupant is supported by the upper face of seat 63.

As described the second support is pivotable about

pivots 71 and in the first configuration the second support is prevented from pivoting beyond a normal seat configuration by abutment of second seat support rail against the rear base section feet 59. Excess pivotal movement in the direction of arrow A of Fig. 4(a) is thus prevented. Appropriate manipulation of the second support in a direction opposite to arrow A causes the second support to rotate about pivots 71. As rail 70 approaches the second or semi-kneeling configuration it contacts and bears upon the rear of the underside of seat 63 causing it to pivot about the hinge as previously described until such time as rail 70 is abutting the floor on which the chair 50 is placed. Seat 63 is thus raised at the rear to an angle of abut 30° to the horizontal and supported in that position by rail 70 when occupied by a user in the second or semi- kneeling position.

It will be seen that the various sections of the pivoting support are so constructed to permit case of access to the device in the second configuration. For example rest portions 68 of the upper pivoting support between " the arm rests 67 and the pivot leg sections 69 are so formed as to rest along the floor on which the device is situated when the device is in the second configuration. As explained this preferred feature whilst not essential does allow ready access by a user to the device when in the second configuration by providing clear space or access area 72 for the feet of the user.

The device preferably has plastics material sleeves or inserts 73 on the underside of the front and rear feet sections of the base to provide a base for the device or on the top of rear feet to provide a base for the rail 70 to rest upon when the chair is in the first configuration.

Preferably the underneath of the rear of the seat 63 includes lug 74 to prevent accidental sudden pivoting of the device from the second to the first configuration if pressure is applied in the direction of arrow B of Figure

4(b) as by application of the posterior of a person in a manner not intended.

It will be readily seen that the device may be readily converted from the second to the first configuration by merely lifting upper section 64 and allowing it to return, by pivotal motion to the first configuration. Operation of the device from or to either configuration may be assisted by provision of a spring or other biasing means which operates on an "over centre" locking principle so that the device is biassed by the spring or other means to either the first or second configuration once a "centre" point in the travel from one to another configuration is reached.

It will be readily apparent that the second support means may be of substantially triangular transverse cross- section to provide the appropriate angles between the back support face 75 and the knee or shin support face 76.

It will be seen that from one configuration to another, the back rest or second support means 64 travels through an arc of approximately 130°. Whilst we have described a preferred form of our invention it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that many modifications or variations may be made to the chair or body support device as described without departing from the scope of the invention disclosed herein.