You might think that it requires no effort to sit in a car seat. According to the engineers at Nissan, however, that’s not the case. That said, they’ve designed a new type of seat that they claim requires less physical effort to use, thus lessening driver fatigue and discomfort.
Nissan looked at NASA studies, in which the human body was observed to take on a neutral posture when in a weightless environment – that is apparently the position that the body wants to adopt by default. By contrast, the automaker claims that conventional seats force us into an unnatural posture. As long as we’re sitting in that position, we have to exert certain muscles in order to compensate for it.
Developed through a joint research program with Yamazaki Laboratory at Keio University, the new “Neutral Posture Concept” seat attempts to reproduce that zero-gravity posture. It does this partially through an articulated seat back that supports the chest, lumbar and pelvis, along with cushions that reduce pressure points by more evenly distributing the user’s weight.
In tests of the new seat, users were reportedly found to exert their muscles less over extended periods of time. This resulted in increased blood flow, more comfort, and less fatigue.
Nissan hopes to equip all of its cars with such seats in the future. More information is available in the video below.