Engineering movement into automotive seating: Does the driver feel more comfortable and refreshed?

The concept of introducing movement in automotive seating was investigated. Three seat conditions, a control (no movement) and two movement conditions (fore-aft and cushion-backrest) were compared. Movement was introduced at a fixed speed, slow, smooth and within a small range. Ten participants took part in a 60 minute simulated drive for each condi-tion - single blind, repeated measures, and balanced order. Discomfort ratings were collected for six body areas and overall discomfort, together with a wellbeing questionnaire. Driver posture and Seat Fidgets and Movements (SFMs) were captured. There was a trend for lower ratings of discomfort, overall and in the neck, shoulders, lower back, buttocks, and ankles with both seat movement conditions. Wellbeing ratings were also better with movement. Sig-nificant differences were found at minute 60 for buttock discomfort - less discomfort with seat movement. Overall discomfort and SFMs frequency increased with time driving. Gener-ally, passive seat movement was well received.