Wellness at the heart of Izzy+’s newest chairs


The Wabi and Nikko chairs minimize pressure points while seated and tilt the user slightly forward to maximize spine alignment. Courtesy Izzy+

Izzy+ is focusing its showroom space this year on the importance of movement throughout the day.

The health risks of sitting all day have been well documented and Izzy+ is hoping to help create workspaces that will encourage movement and productivity.

“Wellness is really driving us to focus on movement, and by that I mean movement where you move from space to space as the day goes on, never staying in one place too long, and the other is when you are in a space you aren’t parked, you are actually moving,” said Kevin Kuske, president and CEO of Izzy+.

Debuting this year at NeoCon are Wabi and Nikko, chairs that encourage movement.

“Wabi and Nikko actually share a couple (similar) components, and this is actually the result of a journey that we started with Grand Valley State University, in 2008,” said Brandon Reame, director of brand strategy and market development at Izzy+.

Izzy+ partnered with Barb Hoogenboom, associate professor at GVSU and licensed physical therapist, to understand sitting from the perspective of physical therapy.

“We took her inspiration and insight to inform the design process of these chairs,” Reame said. “What we realized is it’s not so much about the arms or the back of your chair as it is about how you are sitting in the chair itself.”

The company also worked with designer Sava Cvek, president of SCA Development International, to develop the chairs.

Reame said that the goal is to minimize pressure points while seated and the Wabi and Nikko chairs were both designed to cradle the pelvis and tilt it slightly forward so the spine and kinetic chain align naturally.

The Wabi chair is meant to serve as a task chair for longer, heads down work, and the Nikko chair was designed for shorter sitting durations, such as in conference rooms, classrooms and casual meeting spaces.

“The seat design is the same for the two chairs, but the mechanism, the arm options and the back are slightly different and scaled to be more appropriate for those types of environments,” Reame said.

To help people understand the chairs, Izzy+ has designed its showroom space so that visitors encounter the chair parts first and see the finished products second.

“In one area of the showroom we are showing all the parts that make up the chair,” Reame said. “We will have the mechanism available for people to actually pick up and hold and interact with. We think the best way to tell the story of these chairs is to start with these parts and essentially deconstruct the chair before allowing somebody to sit in it.”

In addition to the two new chairs, Izzy+ is bringing back some “old favorites.”

In 2004, the company introduced its HAG seating line, which also focused on movement, utilizing a balanced movement mechanism.

“The idea was to keep your core engaged while you were sitting, and it’s got a pivot point in the center,” Reame said. “We are brining those chairs back.”

Reame said the whole idea behind the showroom is to get people thinking about how important movement is and let them know there are a variety of options.

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