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Galen Cranz - sociologist, architecture professor, and Alexander teacher - gives new meaning to the term “chair work.” The Chair describes the history and (faulty) thinking behind many ergonomic designs, and questions the cultural assumption that chair sitting is natural. Well written and even humorous, the ergonomic attempts to create a body-friendly chair reads like a dark comedy. She challenges the myth of lumbar support, explains why chair backs should be high enough to support both the shoulders and head, and advocates perching and lounging over traditional right-angle sitting. Practical as well as critical, she helps with the difficulties of selecting chairs for daily life by summarizing criteria for chair design-and-use in a handy one-page chart. Well illustrated with extensive bibliography. [288 pages, pb, 1998, W.W. Norton & Company]
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