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Publication numberUS20030006639 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/170,470
Publication dateJan 9, 2003
Filing dateJun 14, 2002
Priority dateJun 15, 2001
Also published asCN1223298C, CN1395898A
Publication number10170470, 170470, US 2003/0006639 A1, US 2003/006639 A1, US 20030006639 A1, US 20030006639A1, US 2003006639 A1, US 2003006639A1, US-A1-20030006639, US-A1-2003006639, US2003/0006639A1, US2003/006639A1, US20030006639 A1, US20030006639A1, US2003006639 A1, US2003006639A1
InventorsNobuzo Shimizu
Original AssigneeNobuzo Shimizu
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Legrest-carrying chair
US 20030006639 A1
Abstract
A legrest-carrying chair is formed of a chair body 1A provided with a seat 2 on which a user sits, and a legrest 5 provided on a front side of the chair body 1A, the legrest 5 having front and rear surfaces, a leg holding unit 20 provided on the front surface and adapted to hold the user's legs, and a substantially flat leg resting portion 25 provided on the rear surface and capable of placing the user's legs thereon, the leg holding unit 20 having massaging members 23 adapted to massage the user's legs held in the leg holding unit 20, the legrest being mounted to the chair body 1A so that a front and a rear surfaces thereof can be reversed.
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Claims(7)
What is claimed is:
1. A legrest-carrying chair comprising a chair body 1A provided with a seat 2 on which a user sits, and a legrest 5 provided on a front side of the chair body 1A,
the legrest 5 having front and rear surfaces, a leg holding unit 20 provided on the front surface and adapted to hold the user's legs, and a substantially flat leg resting portion 25 provided on the rear surface and capable of placing the user's legs thereon,
the leg holding unit 20 having massaging members 23 adapted to massage the user's legs held in the leg holding unit 20,
the legrest being mounted to the chair body 1A so that a front and a rear surfaces thereof can be reversed.
2. A legrest-carrying chair according to claim 1, wherein:
the legrest 5 is pivotably mounted to the chair body 1A so that the front and rear surfaces of the legrest can be reversed from one to the other.
3. A legrest-carrying chair according to claim 2, wherein:
a support arm 11 is vertically pivotably connected to the chair body 1A, and
the legrest 5 is pivotably mounted to the support arm 11.
4. A legrest-carrying chair according to claim 3, wherein:
a backrest 4 is provided on a rear side portion of the chair body 1A so that the backrest can be turned in the forward and backward direction.
5. A legrest-carrying chair according to claim 3, wherein:
the support arm 11 has left and right side rods 12 connected to the chair body 1A so that the support arm can be turned in the vertical direction, and
the legrest 5 has left and right side portions which are supported by the side rods 12 via a lateral support pivot 26 so that the legrest can be turned around the support pivot 26.
6. A legrest-carrying chair according to claim 1, wherein:
the legrest 5 is provided position-changeably with respect to the chair body 1A so that the legrest can be disposed on the lower side of the soles of the user's feet with the front surface of the legrest directed upward.
7. A legrest-carrying chair according to claims 3 to 6, wherein:
the legrest 5 is pivotably supported on the support arm 11 so that the legrest is turned forward and backward within the range of 180°.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to a legrest-carrying chair, and more particularly to a legrest-carrying chair provided with a massaging function with respect to a user's calves of the legs.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] This type of legrest-carrying chairs include, for example, the legrest-carrying chair disclosed in Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 299565/1999.

[0005] This chair is provided with a backrest at a rear end portion of a seat thereof, and a legrest at a front end portion of the seat. The backrest is provided with a massaging member, such as an air bag. The legrest has a left and right leg holding grooves in which the legs are fitted and held, and the leg holding grooves are provided at both side portions thereof with massaging members, such as air bags.

[0006] The backrest is rendered capable of being tilted forward and backward, while the legrest is made capable of being turned up and down. The backrest and legrest are cooperatively connected to each other so that, when the backrest is brought down, the legrest is turned up, and so that, when the backrest is raised up, the legrest is turned down.

[0007] Such a massaging chair as is mentioned above is utilized not only for massaging a user but also as a mere chair in many cases.

[0008] Especially, this type of massaging chair contains a soft cushion in the seat in many cases. Since the backrest of this massaging chair has a tilting function, this massaging chair is also utilized suitably as a sofa.

[0009] However, since the legrest has the leg holding grooves in an upper surface thereof, the user's legs cannot be placed on the legrest stably unless the user's legs are fitted in these holding grooves even when the massaging function of the legrest is not used. Due to these holding grooves, free movements of the user's legs are restricted, and it is difficult for a user to take a comfortable posture on the chair.

[0010] The legrest is connected pivotably to a front end of the seat, and a distance between the legrest and seat is at a substantially constant level. Therefore, only a very limited portion such as the calves or ankles of the user sitting on the seat could be massaged. Therefore, it is difficult to meet a user's demand that other parts, for example, soles of the user's feet be massaged.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] The present invention has been made in view of these circumstances, and provides a legrest-carrying chair adapted to enable a legrest thereof to be utilized suitably both when a user's legs and feet are massaged, and when the chair is used simply as a chair.

[0012] To attain the obtainment of such a legrest-carrying chair, the present invention employs the following technical means.

[0013] Namely, the legrest-carrying chair according to the present invention includes a chair body provided with a seat on which a user sits, and a legrest provided on a front side portion of the chair body. The legrest has front and rear surfaces, a leg holding unit is provided on this front surface and adapted to-hold the user's legs, and a substantially flat leg resting portion is provided on this rear surface and capable of placing the user's legs thereon. The holding unit has members for massaging the user's legs held in the holding unit. The legrest is mounted to the chair body so that a front and a rear surface thereof can be reversed.

[0014] When the leg massaging function of the present invention of the above-described construction is utilized, the front surface of the legrest carrying the leg holding unit is directed upward, and the calves of the user's legs are massaged with the his legs held in the leg holding unit.

[0015] When the legrest-carrying chair is utilized as a mere chair without using the massaging function thereof, the substantially flat surface of the leg resting portion is directed upward by reversing the legrest, and the user's legs are placed on this surface. As a result, it becomes possible for the user to take a desired posture with the movements of his feet not restricted.

[0016] It is preferable that the legrest be mounted pivotably to the chair body so that the front and rear surfaces of the legrest can be reversed from one to the other.

[0017] This enables a legrest reversing operation to be carried out simply and speedily.

[0018] It is preferable that a support arm be vertically pivotably provided on the chair body, and that the legrest be pivotably mounted to the support arm.

[0019] On a rear side portion of the chair body, a backrest is provided so that the backrest can be turned in the vertical direction.

[0020] The support arm has left and right side rods connected to the chair body so that the side rods can be turned in the vertical direction. The legrest preferably has left and right side portions which are pivotably connected to the side rods via a support pivot having a lateral axis so that the legrest can be vertically turned about the support pivot.

[0021] It is preferable that the legrest be position-changeably provided relative to the chair body so that the legrest can be disposed on the lower side of the soles of the user's legs with the upper surface of the legrest directed upward.

[0022] The above structure enables the massaging members as described above to massage the portions (for example, the soles) of the user's feet which are lower than his ankles.

[0023] The legrest is preferably supported pivotably on the support arm so that the legrest is turned forward and backward within the range of 180°.

[0024] When such a structure for turning the legrest forward and backward within the range of 180° is employed, the occurrence of twist-off of the electric wires and air pipes connected to the massaging members does not occur even though rotary joints are not used for such wires and pipes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025]FIGS. 1A and 1B are perspective views showing the condition of a legrest in normal and reversed positions, respectively, according to a mode of embodiment of the present invention;

[0026]FIG. 2A is a general side view of a legrest-carrying chair with a massaging surface of the legrest directed upward (forward);

[0027]FIG. 2B is a general side view of the legreslt-carrying chair with the massaging surface of the legrest directed downward (backward);

[0028]FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a legrest-mounting structure according to another mode of embodiment;

[0029]FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing leg holding units provided on a legrest according to still another mode of embodiment; and

[0030]FIGS. 5A, 5B and 5C are a perspective views showing a legrest-mounting structure according to a further mode of embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0031] The modes of embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to the drawings.

[0032] As shown in FIG. 2, a chair 1 in a mode of embodiment of the present invention has a chair body 1A provided with a seat 2 supporting a user's buttocks from a lower side thereof, and a leg portion 3 supporting the seat 2 to a predetermined height.

[0033] The chair body 1A is provided on a rear end portion of the seat 2 with a backrest 4 pivotably which is adapted to support the user's back from a rear side thereof. The chair body 1A is further provided on a front portion of the seat 2 with a legrest 5 for supporting the user's legs (lower limbs) from a lower side thereof.

[0034] The backrest 4 is formed so as to be turned upward and downward, i.e., turned forward and backward via a pivot 8 as a fulcrum provided at a rear end portion of the seat 2 by a reclining mechanism, not shown. The backrest 4 contains therein a massaging mechanism 7, which is adapted to knead or tap-massage a part of the user's body, in such a manner that the massaging mechanism 7 can be vertically moved.

[0035] The seat 2 is also provided in an inner portion thereof with massaging mechanisms 9 adapted to knead and tap-massage the user's body. These massaging mechanisms 9 and massaging mechanism 7 in the backrest 4 can employ a structure for mechanically moving rollers or therapeutical projections, or a structure for expanding and contracting air bags (air cells) by supplying the air thereto and discharging the air therefrom (refer to Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 299565/1999).

[0036] The chair body 1A has a support arm (support mechanism) 11 joined to a front end portion of the seat 2. The legrest 5 is fixed on this support arm 11.

[0037] As shown in FIG. 1, the support arm 11 in this mode of embodiment is formed in the shape of the letter “U” in front elevation having left and right side rods 12 and a lower rod 13 which connects lower ends of the left and right side rods 12 together, but the present invention is not limited to this construction. For example, the lower rod 13 can be omitted.

[0038] The left and right side rods 12 are supported pivotably at upper end portions thereof on a front end of the seat 2 so that the rods 12 can be turned around a pivot 14 as a fulcrum.

[0039] The support arm 11 is set in any position within the range between a position in which the support arm 11 extends in a substantially horizontal state shown in phantom in FIG. 2, and a position in which the support arm 11 extends in a substantially vertical state shown by solid lines. The positioning of this support arm 11 is done by a spring air damper 50. An operating lever 51 for this damper 50 is provided at a side portion of the seat 2. When the operating lever 51 is operated, a valve of the damper 50 is opened, so that the support arm 11 can be turned. During this operation, the damper 50 urges the support arm 11 upward by a spring contained therein. When the operation of the operating lever 51 is stopped, the valve is closed, and the support arm 11 is locked in the stopped position.

[0040] This support arm 11 may be formed so as to be turned vertically by a pivotal mechanism (not shown) in accordance with a tilting movement of the backrest 4.

[0041] The legrest 5 has front and rear surfaces, which are formed rectangularly in plan, and left and right side portions. The legrest 5 is pivotably mounted at a laterally and longitudinally intermediate position on each side surface of the left and right side portions thereof to the left and right side rods 12 of the support arm 11, respectively, via a support pivot 26 having a lateral axis.

[0042] When the legrest 5 is turned around the support pivot 26, the front or rear surface thereof can be directed upward (forward).

[0043] The legrest 5 is formed so as to be turned around the support pivot 26 forward and backward within the range of 180°, and so as to be restricted from turning in excess of 180° in the same direction.

[0044] Namely, a locking mechanism 52 is provided in the support arm 11 for locking the legrest 5 at the positions shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B. When the locking mechanism is disengaged, the legrest 5 is turned from the condition of FIG. 2A to that of FIG. 2B or turned in the reverse direction from the condition of FIG. 2B to that of FIG. 2A. This locking mechanism 52 is provided with a stopper so that the legrest 5 is not turned in excess of 180°.

[0045] As shown in FIG. 1A, the front surface of the legrest 5 is formed as a massaging surface 24 adapted to massage the user's legs. This surface 24 is provided with a leg holding unit 20, and massaging members 23 for massaging the user's legs held in the leg holding unit 20.

[0046] The leg holding unit 20 has support walls 21 on both left and right sides and on an intermediate section on the massaging surface 24, and leg holding grooves 22 in which the user's legs are fitted and held are formed among the support walls 21.

[0047] Each support wall 21 contains therein a massaging member 23 for performing kneading massage.

[0048] The massaging member 23 may comprise a mechanical structure adapted to massage the user's calves by laterally swinging a plate member elongated along the longitudinal direction of the user's leg.

[0049] As the massaging member 23 of this mechanical structure, the massaging member disclosed in the International Patent Laid-Open WO 01/76527 A1 may be employed. Namely, the massaging member 23 may be formed of a swinging plate member driven by a motor.

[0050] The massaging member 23 may also comprise a fluid structure, which is adapted to massage the user's calves by an air bag expanded and contracted by supplying the air thereto and discharging the air therefrom, instead of the mechanical structure mentioned above.

[0051] The massaging members 23 may also be provided in bottom portions of the leg holding grooves 22.

[0052] As shown in FIG. 1B, the rear surface of the legrest 5 is formed as a substantially flat leg resting surface 25. When the legrest 5 is reversed so as to direct the rear surface thereof in the upward direction, the user's legs can be placed thereon.

[0053] Therefore, when the chair 1 is utilized as a massager, the massaging surface 24 of the legrest 5 is directed upward as shown in FIG. 2A, and the user's legs are held in the leg holding grooves 22 by fitting the same therein. This enables the massaging members 23 to massage the user's calves. When the chair is utilized as a mere chair without carrying out a massaging operation, the user's legs are placed on the legrest 5 with the leg resting surface 25 thereof directed upward as shown in FIG. 2B. As a result, it becomes possible for the user to take a comfortable posture by moving his legs.

[0054] When only the massaging mechanisms 7, 9 in the backrest 4 and seat 2 are utilized without using the massaging function of the legrest 5, the leg resting surface 25 of the legrest 5 can be set so as to face in the upward direction.

[0055] When the massaging members 23 in the legrest 5 are made of swinging members driven by a motor, the legrest 5 is provided with a motor. The electric wires connected to this motor are inserted through a central portion of the support pivot 26. The reversion of the legrest between the conditions of FIGS. 2A and 2B is carried out in the range of within 180°, so that the electric wires connected to the motor are not broken.

[0056] The “substantially flat” defining the shape of the leg resting surface 25 indicates that the leg resting surface is not provided with such abrupt and large recesses and projections that are like, for example, the support walls 21 and leg holding grooves 22. The words mentioned above further means that the shapes of the leg resting surface 25 as a whole may include a shape which does not restrict the movements of the legs, for example, a moderate arcuate shape and a moderate wavy shape.

[0057] It is preferable that a buffer member, such as a cushion be contained inside the leg resting surface 25.

[0058] Although the legrest 5 is provided on the support arm 11 so that the legrest can be turned around a lateral axis, the legrest can also be provided so that the legrest can be turned around a vertical axis instead.

[0059] As shown in FIG. 3, the legrest may also be formed reversibly by providing the legrest detachably on the support arm 11.

[0060] In the legrest of FIG. 3, the left and right side rods 12 of the support arm 11 are provided with a plurality of mounting projections 30, while the left and right side portions of the leg rest 5 are provided with mounting members 32 having mounting holes 31. The legrest 5 is mounted to the support arm 11 by inserting the mounting projections 30 through the mounting holes 31, and fixed thereto by fixing slip-out preventing pins or the like to the inserted projections 30. The legrest 5 can be removed by carrying out these operations in reverse order, reversing the mounted legrest, and thereafter mounting the legrest again to the support arm 11 by carrying out the same legrest mounting operations as described above.

[0061] A structure for detachably mounting the legrest 5 to the support arm 11 with screws, and a structure for detachably mounting the legrest 5 to the support arm 11 by providing the legrest with clip members adapted to be engaged with the support arm 11 may also be employed without limiting the legrest mounting structure to that employed in the illustrated embodiments.

[0062] However, the reversing of the legrest 5 done through legrest removing and mounting operations is troublesome and takes much time. Therefore, the structure for supporting the legrest 5 pivotably on the support arm 11 just as in the first mode of embodiment described above is specially useful so as to attain a speedy and simple legrest reversing operation.

[0063]FIG. 4 shows another mode of embodiment of the leg holding unit 20 provided on the massaging surface 24 of the legrest 5.

[0064] This leg holding unit 20 is provided with left and right leg holding belts 34, each of which contains massaging members 23 in left and right portions thereof, and each of which is utilized by winding the same around the user's leg.

[0065] Also with such a leg holding unit 20, when a massaging operation is not carried out, the leg holding belts 34 prevent the legs from being placed stably on the massaging surface 24. When the leg holding belts 34 are wound around the user s legs, the movements of the user's legs are restricted. Therefore, the leg resting surface 25 on the opposite side of the legrest 5 is useful.

[0066]FIG. 5 shows a further mode of embodiment of the legrest support mechanism (support arm) 11.

[0067] The support mechanism 11 of this mode of embodiment has first left and right support arms 11A supported at one end portion of each thereof vertically pivotably on a front end of a seat 2 via a lateral pivot 14, and second left and right support arms 11B supported at one end portion of each thereof pivotably on the other end portion of each of the first support arms 11A via a lateral connecting shaft 36. The left and right side portions of a legrest 5 are connected pivotably to the other end portions of the second support arms 11B via a lateral pivot 26.

[0068] The legrest 5 in this mode of embodiment is provided with massaging members 23 not only in opposite surfaces of support walls 21 but also in bottom portions of leg holding grooves 22.

[0069] In order to utilize a massaging surface 24 of the legrest 5 for massaging the user's calves and ankles in this mode of embodiment, the second support arms 11B are positioned so that the second support arms are laterally aligned in laminated manner to the first support arms 11A as shown in FIG. 5A, and so that the longitudinal directions of the first and second support arms 11A, 11B and that of the legrest 5 (the direction in which the leg holding grooves 22 extend) substantially agree with each other.

[0070] In order to utilize a leg resting surface 25 of the legrest 5, the legrest 5 may be reversed (refer to FIG. 5B) by turning down about 180° the second support arm 11B from the condition shown in FIG. 5A.

[0071] When the legrest 5 in this condition is turned forward (in the direction of an arrow) about 90° with respect to the second support arms 11B, the legrest 5 is positioned below the soles of the feet of a user sitting on the seat 2, and the massaging surface 24 faces in the upward direction (refer to FIG. 5C).

[0072] Therefore, it is possible to fit the portions of the user's feet which are lower than his ankles in the foot holding grooves 22 on the massaging surface 24, and massage the user's soles and left and right side portions of his feet by the massaging members 23.

[0073] Namely, in this mode of embodiment, not only the user's calves and ankles but also the portions of his legs which are lower than his ankles can be massaged, so that the range of use of this chair has been widened as compared with that of a conventional chair of this kind.

[0074] In this mode of embodiment, the legrest 5 may also be connected to the second support arm 11B so that the leg resting surface 25 faces in the forward direction in the condition of FIG. 5A. In this case, the leg resting surface 25 in the condition of FIG. 5C takes a posture in which the leg resting surface 25 on the lower side of the soles faces in the upward direction. With this structure, the soles can be placed on the leg resting surface 25 without restricting the movements of the legs, so that the leg resting surface can be utilized as a footrest.

[0075] It should be noted that the design of the present invention can be changed suitably without being limited to those of the above-described embodiments.

[0076] The structure of the leg holding unit 20 of the legrest 5 and massaging members 23, for example, are not limited to those of the above-described embodiments, and various known structures can be employed.

[0077] The backrest 4 and legrest 5 may be formed so that they can be turned independently of each other without being cooperatively connected together, and these two parts may also be non-pivotably fixed to each other.

[0078] The massaging mechanisms 7, 9 in the backrest 4 and seat 2 can also employ various kinds of known structures. A structure in which one of these massaging mechanisms is not provided, and a structure in which neither of these massaging mechanisms 7, 9 is provided may be employed.

[0079] The support arms 11 are not necessarily supported pivotably on the front end of the seat 2 but they may also be supported pivotably on the front section or lower section of the leg portion 3 of the chair. The support arms may also be fixed non-pivotably. The construction of these support arms is not limited to that of the above-described embodiments.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7293839 *Aug 25, 2003Nov 13, 2007Daito Electric Machine Industry Company LimitedFootrest device
US8015926 *Oct 2, 2009Sep 13, 2011Innova Patent GmbhChair for a chair lift and chair lift
US8051778 *Oct 2, 2009Nov 8, 2011Innova Patent GmbhChair for a chair lift and chair lift
US8443734 *Oct 2, 2009May 21, 2013Innova Patent GmbhPivoting system for a chair
US20080086804 *Dec 20, 2005Apr 17, 2008Goh Aow Lee LToilet Training, Bathing And Toileting Devices For Infants, Toddlers And Pre-Schoolers
US20100083867 *Oct 2, 2009Apr 8, 2010Innova Patent GmbhPivoting system for a chair
US20120157896 *Sep 2, 2010Jun 21, 2012Panasonic CorporationMassage device
US20120245496 *Aug 26, 2010Sep 27, 2012Tetsuya IshikawaChair-type massaging machine provided with leg massaging device
DE102005056241A1 *Nov 25, 2005May 31, 2007Volkswagen AgArrangement for footrest at vehicle seat e.g. aircraft seat or motor vehicle seat, has seat part and backrest whereby footrest is attached to vehicle seat in a reversible manner in a mounting or demounting position
DE102007010158B4 *Mar 2, 2007Sep 27, 2012Faurecia Autositze GmbhKraftfahrzeugsitz
DE102012003763A1 *Feb 24, 2012Aug 29, 2013Volkswagen AktiengesellschaftArrangement of lower leg support at vehicle seat, has adjustment mechanism is fastened at body shell of vehicle seat of vehicle such that adjustment mechanism and lower leg rest part are arranged in non-use and use positions
EP1555003A1 *Dec 23, 2004Jul 20, 2005Omron Healthcare Co., Ltd.Chair-type massaging machine
EP1555004A1 *Dec 23, 2004Jul 20, 2005Omron Healthcare Co., Ltd.Massaging device
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/423.17, 297/466, 297/423.18
International ClassificationA61H23/02, B60N3/06, A61H15/00, A61H7/00, A47C7/62, A47C7/50, A61H1/00
Cooperative ClassificationB60N3/06, A47C7/62, A61H15/00, A61H1/00, A61H7/00, A61H23/02, A47C7/50, A61H2205/10, A61H2201/0149
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 16, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: DAITO ELECTRIC MACHINE INDUSTRY COMPANY LIMITED, J
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SHIMIZU, NOBUZO;REEL/FRAME:013299/0018
Effective date: 20020612