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Publication numberUS20050062323 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/865,049
Publication dateMar 24, 2005
Filing dateJun 10, 2004
Priority dateJun 11, 2003
Publication number10865049, 865049, US 2005/0062323 A1, US 2005/062323 A1, US 20050062323 A1, US 20050062323A1, US 2005062323 A1, US 2005062323A1, US-A1-20050062323, US-A1-2005062323, US2005/0062323A1, US2005/062323A1, US20050062323 A1, US20050062323A1, US2005062323 A1, US2005062323A1
InventorsGerald Dicks
Original AssigneeDicks Gerald G.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Chair
US 20050062323 A1
Abstract
A back for an office chair comprises a peripheral frame shaped generally to outline the back of an occupant in the chair; a lumbar base structure attached to the frame; and a lumbar back support for an occupant of the chair connected to the lumbar base structure and extending toward the lumbar area of an occupant through an adjustable connection. The adjustable connection helps to provide comfort to the occupant and comprises one or more of a detent to allow adjustment of the height of the back support in relation to the frame, a movable joint to allow rotary motion of the lumbar back support in relation to movement of the back of the occupant, and an extensible connection to allow adjustment of the distance between the lumbar base structure and the lumbar back support. The chair back may also comprise at least one movable and flexible LED light supported by the back for reading comfort and may contain electrical circuitry to supply power to the LED light. The light may be removable with an electrical plug-in connection.
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Claims(10)
1. A back for a chair comprising
a) a peripheral frame shaped generally to outline the back of an occupant in the chair;
b) a lumbar base structure attached to the frame; and
c) a lumbar back support for an occupant of the chair connected to the lumbar base structure and extending toward the lumbar area of an occupant through an adjustable connection;
d) the adjustable connection comprising a detent to allow adjustment of the height of the back support in relation to the frame, a movable joint to allow rotary motion of the lumbar back support in relation to movement of the back of the occupant, and an extensible connection to allow adjustment of the distance between the lumbar base structure and the lumbar back support.
2. The back for a chair of claim 1 in which the lumbar base structure is mounted to the frame by a central vertical post and at least one pair of arms extending from the post in opposite directions and attached to the frame.
3. The back for a chair of claim 2 in which two pairs of arms extend from the vertical post and are attached to the frame.
4. The back for a chair of claim 2 in which the post is adjustable in height to allow adjustment of the size of the frame.
5. The back for a chair of claim 1 in which a headrest is located above the frame and is attached removably to the back.
6. The back for a chair of claim 5 in which the headrest has a central portion and opposing adjustable wings on either side of the central portion.
7. The back for a chair of claim 1 in which the back comprises at least one LED light supported by the back and contains electrical circuitry to supply power to the LED light.
8. The back of claim 1 in which the detent comprises a series of partial holes with intervening channels having a width less than the diameter of the holes and a spring biased cylinder having a cylindrical portion which fits in the partial holes and prevents vertical movement unless the spring biased cylinder is moved out of the holes.
9. The back of claim 1 in which the movable joint comprises a partial ball attached to the back of the lumbar support and mated with a socket contained in the adjustable connection which mates with the partial ball.
10. The back of claim 1 in which the extensible connection comprises two sleeves with one sleeve sliding in the other to extend or retract in response to rotation of a bolt threaded through the sleeve closer to the lumbar back support.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority on provisional application No. 60/477,504 filed Jun. 11, 2003 by Gerald G. Dicks, Houston, Tex.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Chairs, particularly work chairs, office chairs, and other commercial chairs in which occupants spend extensive time, can cause considerable discomfort. They can be hot and they can provide inadequate or improper support. In addition, chairs are usually not designed to accommodate people of different sizes, even though many prior art chairs are adjustable in regard to the height between the seat and the floor.

The inventions relate to an improved chair, particularly an office (commercial) chair, which provides improved features to enhance the use and enjoyment by an occupant.

The improvements of the inventions set forth herein relate to, but are not limited to, chairs like those described in U.S. Design Patents D453,079 S and D446,411 S, which issued on Jan. 29, 2002, and Aug. 14, 2001, respectively.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A chair for commercial use has improved features in accordance with the inventions that provide for user flexibility as well as ergonomic enhancements that go beyond conventional mid back lumbar support and headrests. This chair has features that separate it from an everyday office chair.

In accordance with the inventions, a back for a chair comprises a peripheral frame shaped generally to outline the back of an occupant in the chair; a lumbar base structure attached to the frame; and a lumbar back support for an occupant of the chair connected to the lumbar base structure and extending toward the lumbar area of an occupant through an adjustable connection. The adjustable connection comprises one or more of a detent to allow adjustment of the height of the back support in relation to the frame, a movable joint to allow rotary motion of the lumbar back support in relation to movement of the back of the occupant, and an extensible connection to allow adjustment of the distance between the lumbar base structure and the lumbar back support.

The back for a chair may also include a central vertical post and at least one pair of arms extending from the post in opposite directions and attached to the frame, whereby the lumbar base structure is mounted to the frame.

The back for a chair may also include two pairs of arms which extend from the vertical post and are attached to the frame.

The post can be adjustable in height to allow adjustment of the size of the frame. A headrest may be located above the frame and attached removably to the back.

The headrest preferably has a central portion and opposing adjustable wings on either side of the central portion.

The chair back may also comprise at least one LED light supported by the back and may contain electrical circuitry to supply power to the LED light. The light may be removable with an electrical plug-in connection.

The chair can provide a detachable headrest that adjust up and down providing comfort for almost any height person. The headrest can also provide adjustable side wings designed to provide side-to-side support. In addition this headrest provides a fully breathable substructure and is covered with breathable fabric designed to provide cool comfort for the back and sides of the head.

The chair can provide a truly unique lumbar support that is shaped to correspond to a masseuse's hands pressing on the small of your back (a butterfly shape) providing ultimate comfort. This shaped lumbar can be mounted on an omni directional ball to allow the lumbar to follow the movement of ones back in a chair. The lumbar is adjustable up and down and with the same adjustment knob provides in and out adjustment for desired pressure. As with the headrest, the lumbar structure is vented to provide airflow and is covered with breathable fabric designed to provide cool comfortable lumbar support.

The chair may be equipped with a fully integrated plug-and-play LED lighting system designed to provide constant lighting even as the chair moves. This lighting system is powered by a hidden rechargeable battery and can easily provide light for up to 12 hours before recharging. The light is flexible and is located to illuminate an area in front of an occupant of the chair which the occupant needs to have illuminated, such as a reading area. The light is preferably attached removably to a connector on the upper back of the chair but it can be located in other suitable locations. The light is preferably a low temperature LED light which requires low wattage and enjoys long life. Low voltage helps maintain safety.

The chair preferably has two connectors on either side of the upper back to allow for attachment of two lights or for locating one light on either side depending on the occupant's preference. The chair also has wiring for connecting the electrical contacts in the connectors to a voltage source located in the chair, such as a battery, transformer or connection to electricity. A rheostat can be included to adjust the intensity of the light. A battery compartment, connectors, and wiring harness can be an addition without modifying the interior of an existing chair.

A chair in accordance with one feature of the invention includes a back frame attachable to back frame supports which are connected to the base of the chair. The back frame is designed to accommodate one or more features of the inventions summarized above, and to accommodate and hold a breathable material such as a fabric mesh as a back to the chair. In addition, the back frame is adjustable in a vertical direction to adjust the height of the chair back and thereby to accommodate persons with differing back heights when seated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a frontal perspective view of a chair in accordance with the inventions.

FIG. 2 is a frontal perspective view of a back frame in accordance with the inventions with back fabric removed.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a back frame in accordance with the inventions with back and headrest supporting materials removed.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view from the rear of the back frame in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the lumbar support in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 6 is a frontal view of the support post associated with the lumbar support.

FIG. 7 is an isometric view of the support post of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is an isometric view of a spring support associated with lumbar support.

FIG. 9 is an isometric view of a holder for the spring and detent associated with the lumbar support.

FIG. 10 and FIG. 11 are a side view and an isometric view of the detent connection with the spring support and holder of FIG. 8 and FIG. 9.

FIG. 12 is a frontal plan view of the lumbar support frame.

FIG. 13 is a top view of the lumbar support frame in FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is an isometric view of a socket or receiver associated with the lumbar support frame of FIG. 12 and 13.

FIG. 15 is an isometric view of a portion of the back post supporting the headrest.

FIG. 16 is an isometric view of the upper pair of horizontal arms forming a part of the back frame.

FIG. 17 is a side view of a tongue and groove connection to the top of the arms in FIG. 16.

FIG. 18 is an isometric view of a cap to replace components associated with a headrest.

FIG. 19 is an isometric illustration of a spacer used in the back post to extend or retract the height of the back post.

FIG. 20 is an isometric view of a coat hook for attachment to the back post.

FIG. 21 is a plan view of a coat hanger for attachment to the coat hook of FIG. 20.

FIG. 22 is an elevational view of the back post and support arms illustrating an LED light and its location and associated electrical circuitry.

DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

With reference to FIG. 1, a chair 10 is shown with casters 12 attached on a five-star base 14 which is connected to a central vertical post 16 having a gas lift height adjusting mechanism 18. A threaded mechanism can also work. The central post supports a swivel-tilt mechanism (not shown) that supports a seat 20 with arms 22. All of these components are well known in the art although modifications can be made as the art progresses.

The chair 10 includes a chair back 24 having a frame 26 with a back fabric 28 such as breathable mesh attached to and supported by the frame 26. Frame 26 is preferably shaped to support the back of an occupant.

The chair may also include one or more flexible lights 28 and 30 having electrical connectors 32 and 34 plugged into electrical connectors associated with the frame 26.

With reference to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 the chair back 24 comprises frame 26 mounted on a lumbar base structure 36 which provides structural support to the frame 26. Lumbar base structure 36 preferably comprises a central vertical post 38 with a pair of support arms 40 and 42 extending in opposite directions from the post 38 to attach to and support the frame 26 by terminal connectors 44 and 46. Terminal connectors 44 and 46 contain bolt holes 47 which allow the arms 40 and 42 to be bolted or screwed to the frame 26. The arms 40 and 42 are preferably located vertically in relation to frame 26 at about the lumbar area of the back of an occupant.

Another pair of arms 48 and 50 extend outwardly from the central post 38 at about the height of the shoulders of an occupant in the chair. These arms 48 and 50 have terminal connectors 52 and 54 which attach to and support the frame 26. Terminal connectors 52 and 54 may contain bolt holes 55 which allow the terminal connectors 52 and 54 to be bolted or screwed to the frame 26.

The bottom end of a central post 38 may also have a terminal connector 56 which can be bolted or screwed to the frame 26 for structural support. The structural connections could be made according to any suitable designs, but bolt or screws appear to be preferred for structural stability, ease of use, and economy. Depending on the material of the frame 26, screws can be used or receiving threads for bolts, including embedded or glued metal nuts, can be provided.

The upper end of the post 38 preferably has a terminal connector 58 which is attached to the upper part of the frame 26. This terminal connector 58 may also be bolted or screwed or otherwise affixed to the frame 26.

The post 38 and arms 40, 42, 48 and 50 are preferably made of an injection molded, hard, rigid, structural plastic such as polyvinyl chloride. The frame 26 may also be made of that material.

The post 38 and the upper arms 48 and 50 are preferably molded with a “c” or half-round shape as illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 16, and 22 which allows access to the interior of these components. These components can contain structural ribs 60 (see FIGS. 6, 7, 16 and 22) and can provide passageways through the interior of these components as illustrated.

Threaded bolt receivers 62 can also be molded in or otherwise provided which allow for flat covers as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 to be bolted over and close the “c” or half-round shape.

The upper part of the post 38 preferably has a joint 64 which allows for attachment of a headrest 66 mounted on a structural tube 68. The joint 64 may be a T-shaped tongue and groove attachment as illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17 by T-shaped tongue 70 and corresponding T-shaped groove 72. The tongue and groove joint may be held in place with a suitable set screw or other mechanism. Headrest 66 preferably contains a central portion 67 which is attached to the tube 68 by suitable fastening means such as bolts. The attachment can also include a ratchet mechanism for lowering and raising the headrest. Ratchet mechanisms for this purpose are known in the art. The headrest also includes wings 69 and 71 attached to central portion 67 by pins 73 and 75 which fit in cylinders 77 and 79 for rotatable motion. A rubber or friction material can be placed on or between the pins or cylinders to provide friction to hold the wings in place. A comfortable mesh covered breathable, bendable foam 81 may be snapped into snap grooves on the central portion 67 and the wings 69 and 71.

If a headrest 66 is not desired, the headrest can be easily removed and replaced with a structural end support 74 (see FIGS. 27 and 18) which terminates the upper end of the post 38 through the joint 64 and which attaches to the frame 26 through bolt holes 76.

The chair may also be constructed to include an optional coat hook 78 and coat hanger 80 (see FIGS. 16, 20 and 21). Coat hook 78 is preferably located under the joint 64 on the post 36 and fits around the “c” shape of the post 36. Bolt holes 82 allow for the coat hook 78 to be mounted on the post 36. The coat hook 78 may also contain holes 84 to accept pins 86 on the coat hanger 80 for mounting on the coat hook 78. The coat hook 78 and coat hanger 80 are preferably removable and may also be located elsewhere in relation to the chair back.

The post 36 may also include a replaceable section 88 which can be selected with different lengths for attachment to frames of different sizes. Section 88 is a structural molded plastic which can be mounted in the post 36 and replaced with suitable bolts and screws in bolt holes 89.

The chair preferably includes an adjustable lumbar back support 90 connected to an adjustable lumbar base structure supported by the lumbar base structure 36 attached to the a frame 26.

Lumbar back support 90 may be made of a suitable plastic and preferably contains breathing holes or grooves 92. As shown in FIG. 2, it may be covered with a breathable mesh over a breathable foam which can be snapped into and held in place by snap grooves 93 on a lumbar base 94.

Lumbar base 94 has a hemispherical knob 96 on its back with a vertical slot 98 in its center which extends through the lumbar base 94. A receiver 100 fits on the knob 98 to provide for rotary motion. A bolt 102 passes through the receiver 100 and the slot 98 and receives a nut 99 on the front side of the base 94. Vertically parallel straps 104 can help limit movement and provide an esthetic appearance. Thus, the lumbar support can adjust to the occupant with rotary motion within limits.

With reference to FIG. 5, a bolt 106 with a knob 108 or other hand operable structure on its outer end extends through a retainer 110, a spring holder 112, a face plate 114, a detent track 116, a detent holder 118, and an extensible connection 120, and is threaded into a nut 122 which fits in the end of the extensible connection 120 in a space to prevent rotation.

The extensible connection 120 is oval and has sleeve 121 which fits slideably in the detent holder 118 which has a corresponding oval sleeve 119. The detent holder 118 has a detent extension 124 which fits through the detent track 116, the face plate 114, the spring holder 112. The detent extension 124 fits into the retainer 110 and snaps into place with dogs 126 expanding into slots 128 in the retainer 110. The detent extension 124 has a larger diameter 130 which fits in the holes 132 of detent track 116 and a smaller diameter 134 which passes between the narrower passage 136 between the holes 132.

A spring 113 is mounted on the spring holder 112 and fits between a flange 138 and the rear wall of the retainer 110. Thus, a push on the knob 108 will depress the spring 113 and move the larger diameter 130 of the detent extension 124 from the truck 116 allowing the detent mechanism to move vertically to adjust height of the lumbar support 90. When released, the spring 113 will cause the larger diameter 130 to engage a hole 132 in the detent track 116 to hold the detent in place.

The lumbar support 90 can be extended from and retracted towards the post 36 by screwing the knob 108 which causes the bolt 106 to move through the nut 122 in either direction. This motion causes the extensible connection 120 to slide in the oval sleeve 119 of the detent holder 118.

An oval shaped slideway 140 in the post 36 keeps the oval detent holder 118 and extensible connection 120 from rotating when the bolt 106 is rotated.

The outer flange of the extensible connection 120 is bolted to the receiver 100 which completes the connection between the lumbar support 90 and the knob 108 through the supporting post 36 to provide an adjustable lumbar base structure. This structure is adjustable vertically and horizontally and also allows rotary motion of the lumbar support 90 in relation to the remainder of the structure. Such adjustment capabilities increases the comfort of the chair significantly.

The entire back of the chair described above may be attached to a chair base by opposing attaching brackets 142 and 144 which may be bolted or screwed to the frame 26 by bolts 145. These brackets may contain opposing oval spaces 146 which accept an oval bar associated with the tilt-swivel mechanism of the chair.

The lights 28 and 30 (FIG. 1) may be associated with electrical circuitry in the back of the chair. A rechargeable battery may be located in a battery box 150 in the lower portion of the back, although it could be located higher. The battery box 150 may have a snap-on cover with a battery inside.

With reference to FIG. 22, the wiring and electrical connectors are preferably located to pass through the passageways of the post 36 from the 12 v battery 152 to the structural terminal connectors 52 and 54 which contain electrical connectors 154 and 156 (plug connectors). Corresponding electrical connector 34 may plug into connector 156. The lights 28 and 30 should be movable and flexible to allow ease of movement and good location of constant lighting for use by the occupant.

The light should be below about 24 volts, preferably below 12 volts, to maintain safety. Lights and connectors made by Littlife are suitable, although LED lights and connectors are made by others. A rheostat can be included to adjust the intensity of the light. A battery compartment is preferably located in the lower back with a cover which preferably includes a lock or other positive closure.

An improved chair in accordance with the features of the invention can provide comfort to a user and ease of use. The improved chair allows alternative sizes and adjustments and is relatively easy to manufacture without undue costs.

Various modifications, of course, can be made to the chair within the spirit and teachings of the invention, and are intended to be within its scope.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7066537 *Nov 18, 2004Jun 27, 2006Hni Technologies Inc.Chair back construction
US7303232 *Dec 7, 2006Dec 4, 2007Chen Yung-HuaBackrest adjusting device for office chairs
US7347495Nov 10, 2006Mar 25, 2008Haworth, Inc.Chair back with lumbar and pelvic supports
US7458918 *Nov 22, 2004Dec 2, 2008Fitness Quest Inc.Back support for an exercise device
US7484802Mar 24, 2008Feb 3, 2009Haworth, Inc.Chair back with lumbar and pelvic supports
US7517024 *Feb 5, 2007Apr 14, 2009Sava CvekPost-assembly tension adjustment in elastomeric material applications
US7837272 *Oct 12, 2005Nov 23, 2010Okamura CorporationChair and the structure for stretching a mesh over an element of the chair
US7878590 *Feb 22, 2010Feb 1, 2011B&B Innovators, LlcVertebral column support for mesh back chairs
US8313143Feb 2, 2009Nov 20, 2012Haworth, Inc.Chair back with lumbar and pelvic supports
US8602494 *Mar 16, 2011Dec 10, 2013Sava CvekPivoting task chair
US20120062005 *Mar 16, 2011Mar 15, 2012Sava CvekPivoting Task Chair
US20120242130 *Mar 21, 2011Sep 27, 2012Yu-Ching HungChair with waist rest and armrests
US20130001993 *Sep 2, 2010Jan 3, 2013Fumihiro KurataLumbar support device for chair
DE102008009509A1 *Feb 15, 2008Aug 20, 2009Volker EysingOffice chair, has lumbar support element vertically provided between backrest cover and center strand of backrest frame behind load-distributed element and fixedly provided by detent in vertical position with respect to center strand
DE102008009509B4 *Feb 15, 2008Feb 20, 2014Volker EysingBürostuhl
WO2006094261A2 *Mar 1, 2006Sep 8, 2006Haworth IncChair back with lumbar and pelvic supports
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/284.4
International ClassificationA47C7/46, A47C7/00, A47C7/40, A47C7/38
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/46, A47C7/38, A47C7/402
European ClassificationA47C7/38, A47C7/46, A47C7/40B