The Evidence: Scientific Studies

Study 1: Ergonomist Study - Dohrmann Consulting - consulting engineers and ergonomists

Ergonomics product assessment

Dohrmann Consulting’s team of Ergonomists and safety specialists were asked to assess the supportive properties of the Ergolife range of beds from an ergonomic perspective.  This ergonomic assessment is based on supporting a human body in its ‘ideal’ laying posture, which is - a posture that allows a neutral position of the spinal column to be maintained such that the whole torso is relaxed and fully rested.

Based on ergonomic principles, such a bed/mattress system should provide a body support surface which allows the musculoskeletal structure (bones and joints) and in particular the spinal column, to adopt a neutral position for maximum rest.

The ergonomic principles of a neutral position of the spinal column, thus reducing strain, can only be achieved through a bed/mattress system which can be adjusted to accommodate the variations in weight of the human torso, as well as the large variations in shape, in particular – the shoulder, waist and hip dimensions of each individual.

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Study 2: The Study of Posture & Pressure on the Human Form on Comparative Bed Types

This study was conducted by Noel Lythgo, Senior Bio Mechanics Researcher Melbourne.

This work investigated the alignment of the body on 15 bed types that are commercially available.

Information about the position of the back (vertebral column), shoulders and pelvis in 3-dimensional space was recorded buy a VICON motion analysis system.

The results show the variable support system (ergonomics within a bed) to align the body in a position similar to that achieved when standing (neutral position).

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Study 3: The Study of Bed Construction and the Dynamic Impact on the Human Form

This study was conducted by Dr Ray Hayek, Macquarie University, Sydney, School of Chiropractic.

A range of male and female subjects were tested on a bed unit without variable support (ergonomics within a bed) and then on the same bed unit with Variable Supported (ergonomics) introduced.

Use of variable support (ergonomics) showed the following benefits:

  • Decrease in “disc wedging” demonstrating less tension and compression at those levels.
  • Decreased spinal rotation.
  • Improved spinal alignment closer to the ‘zero stress’ posture.
  • Notably improved pressure distribution demonstrating a significant decrease of peak pressure points.

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Study 4: Supporting the Human Form on Engineering Principles

This study was conducted by Associate Professor Nicholas Haritos, Reader at Engineering – Melbourne University.

The study was conducted on the recognition of varying weight and shape of the human form, particularly noting the region of hips, lumbar and shoulders.

It was apparent that the supportive materials used in the mattress/bed construction must be able to:

  • Support the body continuously along the many curves of the body with a force equal to and opposite to the weight of the body at each point (Newton’s 3rd Law).
  • The shape taken by the compressed mattress must correspond exactly to the shape of the particular body that is being supported if we are to prevent distortion.
  • The variation in support between the shoulders and waist is in the vicinity of 600% highlighting the variations required between the main bridging points, i.e. hips and shoulders.

Associate Professor Nicholas Haritos stated: “No mattress/bed construction with a flat surface and near uniform firmness can by itself be capable of supporting the human body in an orthopaedically correct (zero stress) posture.

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