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Publication numberUS20040070238 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/393,547
Publication dateApr 15, 2004
Filing dateMar 19, 2003
Priority dateOct 15, 2002
Publication number10393547, 393547, US 2004/0070238 A1, US 2004/070238 A1, US 20040070238 A1, US 20040070238A1, US 2004070238 A1, US 2004070238A1, US-A1-20040070238, US-A1-2004070238, US2004/0070238A1, US2004/070238A1, US20040070238 A1, US20040070238A1, US2004070238 A1, US2004070238A1
InventorsScott Moser, George Mansfield, Richard Traver
Original AssigneeMo-Bility Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet
US 20040070238 A1
Abstract
An ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet, comprising an ergonomic seat portion, an ergonomic back portion with lumbar support, and a bidet portion. Water enters the bidet portion by holding a hand-held showerhead against the main opening of the bidet portion, and is sprayed towards the user's perineal area through bidet nozzles positioned within holes along a longitudinal groove in the seat portion. Because these holes have inner diameters that are wider than the outer diameters of the bidet nozzles, water is drained away through the interstices between the hole walls and the bidet nozzles. The seat portion includes additional drainage holes for fast drainage.
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Claims(16)
What is claimed is:
1. An ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet, comprising a seat portion, a bidet portion, a back portion, backrest pipes, and legs:
said seat portion comprising a front section, a middle section and a rear section, said front section extending downwards in a round, waterfall shape; said middle section having an upper surface of shallow, concave, cylindrical curvature and also having two shallow, parallel, longitudinal depressions corresponding to human buttocks, said middle section further having a perineal groove running longitudinally along the center of said upper surface, said perineal groove extending from said front section to said rear section in order to accommodate the user's coccygeal area, said perineal groove further including drain holes situated along its longitudinal axis; said rear section further having an upper surface of shallow, concave, rounded curvature extending from said middle section;
said bidet portion having a tubular main body and a conical main opening, said main opening being covered by a rubber ring, with water entering said main opening by holding a hand-held showerhead against said rubber ring, said bidet portion further carrying a series of nozzles protruding from said tubular main body, said nozzles being inserted coaxially within said drain holes and said nozzles having an outer diameter narrower than the inner diameter of said drain holes so to allow water to be discharged from said nozzles but at the same time to be drained through the interstices between said nozzles and said drain holes;
said back portion having a double-contoured front surface shaped essentially like the underside of a hyperbolic paraboloid and further having a backward inclination of approximately 15 degrees from a vertical axis, said back portion exhibiting also a vertical groove in the middle of said front surface to accommodate a human spine;
said backrest pipes connecting the rear surface of said back portion with the lower surface of said seat portion;
said legs connected being attached to said lower surface of said seat portion.
2. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, wherein the seat portion consists of a hollow structure made of resilient plastic material and wherein the walls of the drain holes in said seat portion connect the upper surface and lower surface of said seat portion, said walls providing rigidity to the central longitudinal part of said seat portion because of the columnar shape of said walls while allowing the longitudinal areas of said seat portion under the user's buttocks to flex up to 1 cm proportionally to the applied pressure.
3. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, further comprising two seat handgrips of essentially tubular form carved into opposite edges of said seat portion, each one of said seat handgrips being delimited on its inner side by a through-hole of essentially oval shape which widens at one end to accommodate the user's thumb, each one of said seat handgrips further including anatomical impressions on the undersides of said tubular forms to accommodate human fingers.
4. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, further comprising two showerhead holders to position a hand-held showerhead when not in use, each one of said showerhead holders being carved on opposite edges of said seat portion, and each one of said showerhead holders being of essentially semicircular shape.
5. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, wherein the back portion consists of a hollow structure made of resilient plastic material, said hollow structure flexing up to 1 cm proportionally to the applied pressure.
6. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, further comprising a back handgrip of essentially tubular form carved into the upper edge of said back portion, said back handgrip being defined on one side by a through-hole within said back portion and carrying anatomical impressions on the underside of said tubular form to accommodate human fingers.
7. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, wherein height-adjusting means are attached to the back portion and wherein said height-adjusting means allow said back portion to slide upwards or downwards.
8. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, further comprising means for affixing the hand-held showerhead to the bidet main opening, thereby freeing both hands of the user while the bidet portion sprays water onto said user's perineal area.
9. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, further comprising means for affixing the hand-held showerhead to the seat portion while said hand-held showerhead discharges water into the bidet portion, thereby freeing both hands of the user while the bidet portion sprays water onto said user's perineal area.
10. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, further including nozzle flow constrictors to reduce the inner diameter of the nozzles of the bidet portion, said nozzle flow constrictors having a “T” shape consisting of a cylindrical section and of a perforated flange, wherein the outer diameter of said cylindrical section is equal to the inner diameter of said nozzles, and wherein said cylindrical section can be press-fitted inside any one of said nozzles while said perforated flange prevents the total penetration of said nozzle flow constrictors into said nozzles.
11. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, having four legs formed by two reversed U-shaped tubes, wherein one of said U-shaped tubes carries a depression in the center of its middle portion and wherein the middle portion of the other one of said U-shaped tubes is nested in said depression in a “X” position.
12. The ergonomic shower chair with built-in bidet of claim 1, further comprising rubber caps on the end of each leg.
13. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claims 1, 11 or 12, wherein each leg is telescopically extendable, said leg consisting of a tube carrying a spring loaded detent, a separate perforated tube section with an optional a silencing rubber collar, said perforated tube section being slideably assembled over said tube and said spring loaded detent snapping within one of the perforated holes along said perforated tube section, thereby determining the length of said leg.
14. The ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet of claim 1, wherein the bidet portion extends from the lower surface of the seat portion to the rear surface of the back portion, said bidet portion carrying seat nozzles in the area of said seat portion and back nozzles in the area of said back portion, said back portion further having holes along the spinal groove, said back nozzles being inserted coaxially within said holes in said spinal groove.
15. The ergonomic shower chair of claim 1, having no bidet portion.
16. An ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet, comprising a seat portion, a bidet portion, a back portion, backrest pipes, and legs:
said seat portion comprising a front section, a middle section and a rear section, said front section extending downwards in a round, waterfall shape; said middle section having an upper surface of shallow, concave, cylindrical curvature and also having two shallow, parallel, longitudinal cavities corresponding to human buttocks, said middle section further having a perineal groove running longitudinally along the center of said upper surface, said perineal groove extending from said front section to said rear section in order to accommodate the user's coccygeal area, said perineal groove further including drain holes situated along its longitudinal axis; said rear section further having an upper surface of shallow, concave, rounded curvature extending from said middle section; said seat portion consisting of a hollow structure made of resilient plastic material with the walls of said drain holes further connecting the upper surface and lower surface of said seat portion, said walls providing rigidity to the central longitudinal part of said seat portion because of the columnar shape of said walls while allowing the longitudinal parts of said seat portion supporting said user's buttocks to flex up to 1 cm proportionally to the applied pressure; said seat portion further comprising two seat handgrips of essentially tubular form carved into opposite edges of said seat portion, each one of said seat handgrips being delimited on its inner side by a through-hole of essentially oval shape which widens at one end to accommodate said user's thumb, each one of said seat handgrips further including anatomical impressions on the undersides of said tubular forms to accommodate human fingers; said seat portion further including two showerhead holders to position a hand-held showerhead when not in use, each one of said showerhead holders being carved on opposite edges of said seat portion, and each one of said showerhead holders being of essentially semicircular shape; said seat portion further including means for affixing said handheld showerhead onto said bidet portion while water is being discharged from said hand-held showerhead into said bidet portion;
said bidet portion having a tubular main body and a conical main opening, said main opening being covered by a rubber ring, with water entering said main opening by holding said hand-held showerhead against said rubber ring, said bidet portion further carrying a series of nozzles protruding from said tubular main body, said nozzles being inserted coaxially within said drain holes and said nozzles having an outer diameter narrower than the inner diameter of said drain holes so to allow water to be discharged from said nozzles but at the same time to be drained through the interstices between said nozzles and said drain holes; said bidet portion further including nozzle flow constrictors to reduce the inner diameter of said nozzles, said nozzle flow constrictors having a “T” shape consisting of a cylindrical section and of a perforated flange, wherein the outer diameter of said cylindrical section is equal to the inner diameter of said nozzles, and wherein said cylindrical section can be press-fitted inside any one of said nozzles while said perforated flange prevents the total penetration of said nozzle flow constrictors into said nozzles; said bidet portion further including means for affixing said hand-held showerhead to said main opening, thereby freeing said user's hands when water is being sprayed onto said user's perineal area;
said back portion having a double-contoured front surface shaped essentially like the underside of a hyperbolic paraboloid and further having a backward inclination of approximately 15 degrees from a vertical axis, said back portion exhibiting also a spinal groove in the middle of said front surface to accommodate a human spine; said back portion further comprising a back handgrip of essentially tubular form carved into the upper edge of said back portion, said back handgrip being defined on one side by a through-hole within said back portion and carrying anatomical impressions on the underside of said tubular form to accommodate human fingers; said back portion further consisting of a hollow structure made of resilient plastic material, said hollow structure flexing up to 1 cm proportionally to the applied pressure; said back portion further including height-adjusting means attached to said back portion, said height-adjusting means allowing said back portion to slide upwards or downwards;
said backrest pipes connecting the rear surface of said back portion with the lower surface of said seat portion;
said legs being attached to said lower surface of said seat portion; said legs being four in number and being formed by two reversed U-shaped tubes, wherein one of said U-shaped tubes carries a depression in the center of its middle portion and wherein the middle portion of the other one of said U-shaped tubes is nested in said depression in a “X” position; said legs being telescopically extendable, with each one of said legs consisting of one end of one of said U-shaped tubes and carrying a spring loaded detent, wherein a separate perforated tube section with an optional a silencing rubber collar is slideably assembled over said end of said U-shaped tube and wherein said spring loaded detent snaps within one of the perforated holes along said perforated tube section, thereby determining the overall length of said leg; said legs further comprising rubber caps on the lower extremity of each one of said legs.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of provisional application Ser. No.60/418,625“Water Spraying Shower Chair” by applicant Moser, filed on Oct. 15, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0002] Shower chairs and shower stools have become increasingly popular in recent years and are presently available in different shapes and materials. In the present specification “shower chairs” will be understood to include “shower stools,” which are only a category of shower chairs where the back portion is missing.

[0003] The main advantages of shower chairs are the safety and comfort provided to users that are unable to remain in a standing position for extended amounts of time or that simply enjoy prolonged showers. Among these types of users are persons of limited mobility or strength, for instance, elderly users; arthritic users; users that have undergone surgeries; or users that are otherwise affected by various medical or age related conditions. Other users instead are healthy persons that enjoy long, warm showers for relief in cold climates or for general physical well-being.

[0004] No shower chairs are available at present that are ergonomically designed to provide optimal interfaces with the user's body. In particular, no shower chairs are available today that offer both ergonomic design and, at the same time, a built in bidet through which the user can clean and soothe the perineal region of her body.

[0005] Historically, shower chair designs have been dominated by utilitarian or aesthetic considerations. For instance, the seat and back portions of presently available shower chairs exhibit flat or U-shaped profiles, but not profiles that reflect body curvatures or that provide optimal weight distribution on the spine of the user. Some of the presently available shower chairs have been disclosed in U.S. and international applications; among others, U.S. Pat. No. D355,985 by Karten et al., issued on Mar. 7, 1995, discloses an integrally molded, stackable shower chair where the seat and back portions exhibit a shallow U-shape.

[0006] “Ergonomic” is a scientific term that relates to the interaction between humans and artifacts. Specifically, scientific research during the 20th century has shown that typical sitting postures reduce the static muscular efforts of legs and hips, but also increase physical loads on inter-vertebral discs, in particular in the lumbar (mid-back) region of the spine. Such scientific research is outlined in several articles and treatises, for instance, Gavriel Salvendy, Editor, HANDBOOK OF HUMAN FACTORS AND ERGONOMICS (John Wiley & Sons, 1997, 2nd ed.).

[0007] Therefore, an ergonomic shower chair must contain features that minimize stress on the users' bodies while maximizing comfort, and at the same time must exhibit design and construction features that are suitable for a shower environment.

[0008] The use of bidets for personal hygiene has also become increasing popular. In particular, a number of inventions have been disclosed recently that involve bathroom fixtures including bidet attachments.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,581,825“Bidet Shower Seat” by Honsvald, issued on Dec. 10, 1996, discloses a stool upon which a user can seat or which can be positioned under a support chair, and which includes nozzles on its upper surface directing water onto the genital region of the user. This stool has no specific ergonomic features, and includes an interior bowl mounted on the outer body and a number of spray nozzles positioned in the forward and rearward portions of such interior bowl. Water is supplied by attaching a conduit (such as a hose) to a valve and the discharge water is drained through an opening in the central part of the interior bowl.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 6,226,810“Portable Bath Seat” by Weddendorf et al., dated May 8, 2001, discloses instead a platform supported by and clamped to the sidewalls of a bathtub, on which a seat is slideably carried. In one embodiment, this seat may include a bidet attachment essentially consisting of a perforated tube which is snapped into an opening on the seat. Water flows into such tube through a valve connected to a conduit such as a hose and is then drained through holes in the seat.

[0011] In summary, prior art does not include a shower chair designed to meet the ergonomic requirements of the user. In addition, the supply of water into any optional bidets is laborious and requires auxiliary water supply devices, such as a hose.

[0012] One of the objects of the present invention is an ergonomic shower chair that provides the user with optimal comfort and convenience by matching the shapes and characteristics of such chair with the physical shapes and load distributions of a typical user, and that incorporates ergonomic features aimed at reducing spinal disc pressure and at improving blood circulation to the thighs and feet.

[0013] Another object of the present invention is an ergonomic shower chair with a bidet function that is comfortable, effective, and that does not require any specific attachments or set-ups beyond the availability of a typical hand-held showerhead.

[0014] Additional advantages and novel features of the invention will be described in part in the description that follows and may be realized and attained by means of the individual design and manufacturing features and by combinations thereof.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0015] According to the present invention, the foregoing and other advantages and features are attained by a shower chair that comprises an ergonomic seat portion, an ergonomic back portion and a bidet portion, which is activated by holding a hand-held shower head against the main opening of such bidet portion.

[0016] The seat portion of the present invention is designed to reduce loads on the spine of a seated user, particularly in the lumbar section, and at improving blood circulation in the thighs and feet. Accordingly, the upper surface of the seat portion exhibits double curvatures, with an overall curved surface that includes concave, shallow cavities corresponding to the user's buttocks. This design maintains the user safely into position, but at the same time allows the user to sit comfortably with some “wiggle” room, without being pushed toward the center of the seat.

[0017] A longitudinal perineal groove is located in the central part of the seat portion and houses a series of holes, from which water is discharged from bidet nozzles positioned coaxially within such holes, and at the same time water is drained in the interstices between the bidet nozzles and the inner diameters of such holes. This groove extends to the area corresponding to the coccyx (or “tailbone”) of the user for maximum comfort.

[0018] The front edge of the seat portion extends forward in a curved, “waterfall” shape, in order to reduce pressure on the underside of the thighs and to facilitate blood flow to legs and feet. Anatomically-contoured hand grips are also carved in each side of the seat, as well as recesses to rest the hand-held showerhead when not in use.

[0019] In one embodiment, the seat portion has a hollow structure, with supporting columns positioned longitudinally in the central area, in order to provide rigidity but also produce an effect under the user's buttocks similar to that of a padded seat, further reducing pressure on the user's spinal discs. Handgrips, and showerhead holders to rest the hand-held showerhead when not in use, are optionally included in the seat portion.

[0020] The back portion exhibits a front surface with double curvatures, to provide an ergonomic contour corresponding to that of a human back and at the same time relieve disc pressure by re-establishing lumbar curvature. The front surface of the back portion is slightly inclined backwards, in order to transfer some of the user's weight against the backrest, further reducing inter-vertebral disc pressure. A spinal groove runs longitudinally in the central area, in order to accommodate user's spine.

[0021] In one embodiment, the back portion also has a hollow structure, which compresses slightly to provide a comfort level similar to that of a padded chair. Optionally, an anatomically contoured handle is also included in the back portion.

[0022] The bidet portion comprises a main body of tubular form with an elliptical cross-section and a main opening of conical shape. Discharge nozzles protrude from the main body of the bidet portion and are coaxially inserted in some of the drain holes in the seat portion, causing a water spray in the user's perineal area.

[0023] Water enters the bidet portion from a hand-held showerhead, held by the user against the main bidet opening. A rubber gasket covers such main opening, in order to eliminate water loss and to relieve pressure on the user's hand. Different embodiments of the present invention include means for affixing the hand-held showerhead to the main opening of the bidet portion, or for affixing the hand-held showerhead to the seat portion while the showerhead discharges water into the bidet portion, thereby freeing the hands of the user while water is being sprayed onto the user's perineal area.

[0024] The back portion and the seat portion are connected by backrest pipes.

[0025] In one embodiment, the ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet comprises means for adjusting the height of the back portion.

[0026] In another embodiment, the present invention includes legs that are telescopically extendable.

[0027] In still another embodiment, the ergonomic shower chair includes a bidet portion discharging water both from the seat and from the back portions of the chair.

[0028] In another different embodiment, the ergonomic shower chair has no bidet portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0029]FIG. 1 illustrates the ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet.

[0030]FIG. 2A shows a top view of the seat portion, while FIG. 2B and FIG. 2C show cross-sections illustrating some of key features of the seat portion.

[0031]FIG. 3 illustrates the assembly of the seat portion with the bidet portion.

[0032]FIG. 4A depicts the holes running longitudinally along the perineal groove in the seat portion, while FIG. 4B depicts one of the seat handles and one of the showerhead holders.

[0033]FIG. 5 illustrates a bottom view of the assembly of the seat portion with the bidet portion.

[0034]FIG. 6A illustrates a top view of the assembly of the seat portion with the bidet portion; FIG. 6B illustrates a cross-section of the assembly of the seat portion with the bidet portion; FIG. 6C illustrates the assembly of one bidet nozzle with one seat hole; and FIG. 6D illustrates the assembly of one bidet nozzles, inclusive of a flow constrictor, with one seat hole.

[0035]FIG. 7 illustrates the bidet portion.

[0036]FIG. 8 illustrates the application of a hand-held showerhead to the bidet portion.

[0037]FIG. 9A illustrates the back portion, while FIG. 9B and FIG. 9C show cross-sections illustrating some of he key features of the back portion.

[0038]FIG. 10 illustrates the backrest pipes and their assembly with other portions of the ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet.

[0039]FIG. 11 A illustrates the underside of the ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet, while FIG. 11B illustrates a telescopying leg.

[0040]FIG. 12 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the ergonomic shower chair, wherein no bidet portion is present.

[0041]FIG. 13 illustrates another alternative embodiment of the shower chair with built in bidet, wherein the bidet portion extends to the back portion.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0042] With reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 11A, the present invention concerns an ergonomic shower chair with built in bidet 20 comprising seat portion 22, back portion 24, bidet portion 38, backrest pipes 26 and 28, and legs 30, 32, 34 and 36.

[0043] As further shown in FIGS. 2A, FIG. 2B, FIG. 2C and FIG. 3, seat portion 22 has an essentially oblong shape. The upper surface of seat portion 22 exhibits a multi-curvature effect, with middle section 42 having a shallow, concave and roughly cylindrical curvature, and with a central axis running longitudinally from rear section 44 through front section 40. Rear section 44 instead has a shallow and concave curvature, originating from middle section 42 and rounding in spherical fashion towards the rear end of seat portion 22. Instead, front section 40 is rounded forward in a waterfall shape, in order to reduce pressure on the underside of the user's thighs and to improve blood circulation to user's legs and feet.

[0044] Two shallow cavities 46 and 48 are imprinted longitudinally in the right and respectively left areas of seat portion 22, mimicking the shapes of human buttocks when seated and generating superior comfort to the user as compared to a flat surface, due both to the anatomical contours of cavities 46 and 48, which provide support to the buttocks, but also because the user is provided with some “wiggle” room and thereby avoids the constrained sitting posture of conventional U-shaped seats.

[0045] Perineal groove 50 runs longitudinally in the middle of seat portion 22, ending at one end in the proximity of front section 40 and extending at the opposite end into rear section 44, in order to accommodate the coccyx, or “tailbone”, of the user.

[0046] With further reference to FIGS. 4A and 4B, handgrips 52 and 54 are situated on each side of seat portion 22 and are of essentially tubular shape. Through-hole 56 delimits handgrip 52 on one side and has a roughly oval shape, enlarged at end 58 to allow proper fit with the user's thumb. Lower surface 60 of handgrips 52 is also anatomically contoured, carrying impressions resembling human fingers.

[0047] Showerhead holders 62 and 64 are also carved on each side of seat portion 22. Each one of showerhead holders 62 and 64 is semicircular in shape and provides the user with a place to rest a hand-held showerhead when not in use.

[0048] A number of holes run longitudinally along perineal groove 50. In the preferred embodiment, water is sprayed through bidet/drain holes 66, 68, 70 and 72 and is drained both through bidet/drain holes 66, 68, 70 and 72 and is also drained through drain holes 74, 76 and 78.

[0049] As further illustrated in FIGS. 5, 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D and 7, bidet portion 38 is positioned on the underside of seat portion 22 and fastened to seat portion 22 by bolts 80, 82 and 84, which are affixed to matching nuts embedded in seat portion 22. Bidet portion 38 has an elongated shape, with main opening 86 of conical shape and covered by rubber ring 88 while main body 90 of bidet portion 38 has a roughly elliptical cross-section. Bidet nozzles 92, 94, 96, and 98 extend parallel from main body 90 and are assembled into bidet/drain holes 66, 68, 70 and 72, so that, after assembly, the highest point of each nozzle is positioned below the top surface of each bidet/drain hole, and so that each nozzle is coaxial with each bidet/drain hole. The assembly of bidet portion 38 with seat portion 22 is further illustrated in FIGS. 6A, 6B and 6C, which depict the assembly of nozzle 94 with bidet/drain hole 68. Because the outer diameter of nozzle 94 is narrower than the inner diameter of bidet/drain hole 68, a coaxial interstice remains available, within which drain water flows away from seat portion 22 after performing a cleansing function on the perineal region of the user. Additionally, T-shaped flow constrictor 1 58 can be inserted into nozzle 94, in order to reduce the inner diameter of nozzle 94 and increase water velocity.

[0050] As further shown in FIG. 8, water enter bidet portion 38 when the user holds hand-held showerhead 100 against rubber ring 88, so that water flows into bidet main body 90 and is discharged from nozzles 92, 94, 96 and 98. When not in use, hand-held showerhead 100 can be rested in showerhead holder 62 or 64. In a different embodiment, bidet main opening 86 comprises affixing means to attach hand-held showerhead 100 to bidet main opening 86, thereby freeing the user's hands while handheld showerhead 100 discharges water into bidet portion 38. In a still different embodiment, seat portion 22 comprises affixing means to attach hand-held showerhead 100 to seat portion 22, thereby freeing the user's hands while hand-held showerhead 100 discharges water into bidet portion 38.

[0051] In the preferred embodiment, seat portion 22 is manufactured in a resilient plastic material, such as polyethylene or polypropylene, and is hollow in the center. Each one of bidet/drain holes 66, 68, 70 and 72 and each one of drain holes 74, 76 and 78, serve as columns within the hollow construction of seat portion 22, providing torsional rigidity. At the same time, the user's buttock rest over cavities 46 and 48, which can flex up to 1 cm because the underlying structure is hollow, thus providing the user with a comfort similar to that of a padded seat and insuring a more evenly distributed pressure on thighs and buttocks.

[0052] Back portion 24 also exhibits an ergonomic shape, as shown in FIGS. 9A, 9B, 9C and 10. Specifically, the front surface of back portion 24 has a curved shape, essentially resembling the underside of a hyperbolic paraboloid (commonly referred to as a “horse saddle”) and matching the shape of a human back, with lower section 104 having a convex curvature at its lower end to provide lumbar support. Further, back portion 24 has a backrest angle of approximately 15 degrees from a vertical axis, in order to transfer some of the weight of the user's body onto back portion 24, thereby reducing inter-vertebral disc pressure and also static strain of the back and shoulder muscles.

[0053] Spinal groove 106 runs vertically in the middle of back portion 24 and serves as a housing for the spine of the user.

[0054] Back portion 24 is also made of a resilient plastic material, such as polyethylene or polypropylene, and is hollow in the center, giving the user a “padded” feel. In one embodiment, back portion 24 further includes height-adjusting means, in order to slide back portion 24 upwards or downwards for the convenience of users of different sizes.

[0055] Back portion 24 also includes back handgrip 108, which is carved into the upper edge of seat portion 24 and is of essentially tubular form, delimited by back through-hole 110. Back handgrip 108 exhibits an anatomical contour 102 on its underside that resembles human fingers.

[0056] Backrest pipes 26 and 28 connect back portion 24 to seat portion 22. For instance, backrest pipe 28 is affixed to back portion 24 by first being positioned in back housings 112 and 114, and then by inserting bolts 116 and 118 into holes in backrest pipe 26 and successively into matching nuts embedded in back portion 24. Similarly, as shown in FIG. 11A, backrest pipe 28 is affixed to seat portion 22 first by being positioned in seat housings 120 and 122, and then by inserting bolts 124 and 1 26 into holes in backrest pipe 28 and successively into matching nuts embedded in seat portion 22.

[0057] U-shaped pipes 128 and 130 (forming legs 30, 32, 34 and 36) are overlapped cross-wise over backrest pipes 26 and 28, and are fastened to seat portion 22 by bolts 116, 118, 132 and 134. Depression 136 in U-shaped pipe 128 allows for proper nesting of U-shaped pipes 128 and 130. Optional rubber caps 138, 140, 1 42 and 144 provide anti-slip properties to legs 30, 32, 34 and 36, and at the same time prevent scratching of the shower surface.

[0058] Legs 30, 32, 34 and 36 can extend telescopically to increase the height of the ergonomic shower chair. As shown in FIG. 11B, leg 36 consists of one end of U-shaped pipe 128, of spring-loaded detent 160 and of perforated pipe section 162, which is optionally covered by silencing rubber collar 164. When U-shaped pipe 128 is assembled with perforated pipe section 162, spring loaded detent 160 snaps within one of the holes in perforated pipe section 162, thereby determining the overall length of leg 30.

[0059]FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate different embodiments of the present invention. In embodiment 146 shown in FIG. 12, there is no bidet portion attached to seat portion 22. Therefore, all holes in seat portion 22 operate only as drain holes.

[0060] Instead, in embodiment 148 shown in FIG. 13, bidet portion 150 extends from seat portion 152 to back portion 154. Seat portion 152 in this embodiment is different from seat portion 22 in the preferred embodiment due to the need to accommodate the more extended shape of seat/back bidet 150 on the underside of seat portion 152. In this embodiment, bidet portion 150 carries additional nozzles, such as nozzle 156, that are housed within the bidet/drain holes in back portion 154.

[0061] While the preferred and alternate embodiments have been shown and described, there is no intention to limit the invention to such disclosure, but rather all modifications and alternate constructions are covered that fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7789463 *Mar 15, 2007Sep 7, 2010Sung Gil GangChair which is used in waist enhancement
US7883145 *Jun 30, 2009Feb 8, 2011Kolcraft EnterprisesHigh chairs and methods to use high chairs
US8262160 *Nov 14, 2008Sep 11, 2012Mehri MafiAdjustable padded chair
US8657308 *Feb 18, 2013Feb 25, 2014Phil And Teds Most Excellent Buggy Company LimitedPushing vehicle for transporting a child, modular supporting system, and components
US20130154322 *Feb 18, 2013Jun 20, 2013Phil And Teds Most Excellent Buggy Company LimitedPushing vehicle for transporting a child, modular supporting system, and components
EP2557977A1 *Mar 14, 2012Feb 20, 2013Evolution Technologies Inc.Bath chair
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/183.9, 297/217.1
International ClassificationA47K11/12, A47K3/28
Cooperative ClassificationA47K3/282, A47K11/12
European ClassificationA47K11/12, A47K3/28B1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 19, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: MO-BILITY 1NC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MOSER, SCOTT A.;MANSFIELD, GEORGE A.;TRAVER, RICHARD D.;REEL/FRAME:014497/0479
Effective date: 20030319