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While a large part of office furniture now seems intuitive to those of us who enjoy a gentle curve at our back and the ever-adjustable seat height, comfort at work didn’t always take priority. In fact, it wasn’t until after World War II that the applied science known as “ergonomics” made its way into mainstream consciousness.
While the reach of ergonomics has since extended into the tech world and automobile design, it is arguably best known for the advancements of contract (office/work) furniture. In the early 1980's, at the same time as the UK’s Ergonomics Society (now known as the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, or IEHF) declared itself both a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity, the U.S. company, Humanscale, was born into the the ergonomics market of contract furnishings.
By definition, ergonomics is equipment design for the workplace that is intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort. The concept arrived by way of the military in the 1940's in response to the difficulties performing physically and cognitively demanding duties during the war. Naturally, as advancements in equipment became more technical, long-term productivity became a vital part of every machine and piece of furniture designed.
Since 1983, Humanscale has been one of the leading companies in ergonomics research and development worldwide. They were named by I.D. magazine as one of the ten “best companies” worldwide that “help push design forward”. As if that isn’t enough, their team of researchers and designers have collaborated to include more than ultimate office seating, reaching into task lights, sit/stand desks and monitor arms as well.
An intelligent U.S.-based company dedicated to sustainability and environmental preservation, Humanscale has never lost sight of their vision: to make the world a better, more enjoyable place to live and work.