posted 6 months ago

New, Twitching Seat Mimics Walking to Improve Health, Jaguar Says

New car seat tricks brain into thinking you are walking to minimise health problems caused by sitting, Jaguar says

Jaguar Land Rover ‘morphable seat’ explained

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a revolutionary seat that tricks the brain into thinking you are walking to minimise any health problems caused by sitting too long, it explained. Whereas it is tempting to consider this ‘morphable seat’ little more than a marketing folly, maybe it could help some people (if it works). The manufacturer has therefore recited a few facts to justify its idea.

For example, the World Health Organisation says that a quarter of the world’s population live ‘increasingly sedentary lives’ (1.4 billion people). This can ‘shorten muscles in the legs, hips, and gluteals’ and cause ‘back pain’. Furthermore, ‘weakened muscles’ increase the likelihood of falling and sustaining further injuries.

Jaguar Land Rover also quoted the Department for Transport to support the case for its ‘morphable seat’. It revealed that motorists travel 146 miles per week in the United Kingdom (on average). That equates to a considerable time sitting behind the steering wheel – particularly if the traffic is slow and heavy.

New, Twitching Seat Mimics Walking to Improve Health, Jaguar Says

The solution

The ‘morphable seat’ is the proposed solution. Its horizontal cushion therefore contains actuators that make it move. First, for example, the part beneath your left leg moves. The part beneath your right leg then follows suit. These ‘constant micro-adjustments make your brain think you are walking’, the manufacturer suggested. 

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Medical Officer, said: ‘The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects. We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies – not seen before in the automotive industry – to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe’, he revealed.

How to optimise your seating position

As the ‘morphable seat’ is not yet available, the manufacturer has revealed how to optimise your existing seating position. Simply:

  • remove bulky items from your pockets
  • push your bottom as close as possible to the back of the seat
  • ensure the whole of your back touches the seat
  • keep your shoulders in contact with the seat
  • adjust the rear of the seat so your spine and pelvis are straight (in other words, avoid leaning too far back)
  • move the seat forward/back so your knees are slightly bent when the pedals are pressed all the way to the floor
  • ensure your elbows are slightly bent when holding the wheel
  • line up the top of the headrest with the top of your head.