Journal of Ergonomics

Journal of Ergonomics
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7556


Investigating Car Passenger Well-Being Related to a Seat Imposing Continuous Posture Variation

Sigrid van Veen, Victor Orlinskiy, Matthias Franz and Peter Vink

Static sitting when travelling by car is known to cause physical fatigue. It is generally encouraged to periodically engage in non-sedentary activities, but this is not possible when traveling by car. The present study aims to investigate the influence of moving the vehicle occupant’s body passively. This posture variation is realized by continuously varying the seat configuration, i.e., the seat pan and backrest inclination. For the experiment, 21 participants sat twice on the same seat for 45 minutes: Once in a static and once in a dynamic configuration. The measurements obtained were the observation of body movements and questionnaires on perceived discomfort, seating comfort and experiential feelings. The results show that participants move significantly more in the static configuration and that they perceive more discomfort. The seat’s comfort and support are evaluated significantly better in the dynamic configuration. The dynamic configuration results in participants feeling significantly more active, energetic, stimulated, pleasantly surprised, pleased, comfortable, accepting and calm. The static configuration results in the participants feeling marginally more tired and significantly more bored. Further research should investigate the effects in the context of driving on the road and an actual driving task. However, it can be concluded that the continuous movements of the seat have a beneficial effect on objective and subjective indicators of well-being.