US 3711152 A
A chair having a contoured portion defining a back rest and a seat. The seat has a central recess extending inwardly from its forward edge of a size and shape to accommodate the upper legs of a person. The contoured portion of the chair is pivotally suspended upon a support member which in turn is supported on a base. The contoured portion is adjustable to different heights with respect to the base. The contoured portion preferably includes a frame and cushions supported by the frame. The chair may be provided with arm rests and lower leg rests. Preferably, the contoured portion is pivotally suspended at its arm rests upon the support member. The contoured portion and the support member are adapted to swivel with respect to the base and means are provided to selectively prevent such swiveling. The chair is particularly advantageous as a marital chair and for persons having stiff or ailing backs.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[541 HEALTH CHAIR  Inventors: Casey R. Sirpak; Yarl Pretorius,
both of Cleveland, Ohio  Assignee: Casey Sirpak, Incorporated, Cleveland, Ohio 22 Filed: Aug.l1, 1971 21 Appl.No.: 170,738
 US. Cl. ..297/282, 297/326, 297/345, 297/349, 297/423  Int. Cl ..A47c 3/026 ' Field of Search ..297/349, 345, 282, 281, 328,
 1 References Cited V UNITED STATES PATENTS 49,132 8/1865 Mcllroy ..297/328 437,235 9/1890 Oswell ....297/327 X 51 Jan. 16, 1973 238,799 3/1881 Morgan ..5/69 X 3,041,121 6/1962 Comper ....5/69 X 439,088 10/1890 Allen ..297/337 X Primary Examiner-Francis K. Zugel Attorney-Roy F. Hollander  ABSTRACT A chair having a contoured portion defining a back I rest and a seat. The seat has a central recess extending inwardly from its forward edge of a size and shape to accommodate the upper legs of a person. The contoured portion of the chair is pivotally suspended upon a support member which in turn is supported on a base. The contoured portion is adjustable to different heights with respect to the base. The contoured portion preferably includes a frame and cushions supported by the frame. The chair may be provided with arm rests and lower leg rests. Preferably, the contoured portion is pivotally suspended at its arm rests upon the support member. The contoured portion and the support member are adapted to swivel with respect to the base and means are provided to selectively prevent such swiveling. The chair is particularly advantageous as, a marital chair and for persons having stiff or ailing backs.
8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAH 16 1975 3.711.152
SHEET 1 OF 3 INVENTORS CASEY R. SIRPAK YARL PRFTORIUS b -ll nnt ouo lllbm v ATTORNEYS.
PATENTEDJAH 1 6 1975 SHEET 2 BF 3 INVENTORS CASEY R. SIRPAK BY YARL PRETORIUS $04M, am t W ATTORNEYS.
PATENTEDJAN 16 ms. 3.711. 152
SHEET 3 BF 3 I INVENTORS CASEY RSIRPAK y YARL PRETORIUS ATTOR NEYS.
HEALTI-ICHAIR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to chairs and more particularly to a health chair particularly suitable for use by older persons, and persons suffering from injuries to or infirmities of the back or legs.
Chairs have been proposed for invalids or those with serious injuries or infirmities who require special support of one kind or another. Such chairs tend to be special purpose chairs and are useful and comfortable only to persons having a specific serious injury or infirmity which the chair is adapted to support or alleviate, or at least not to aggravate, and are not suitable or desirable for a person with a minor back or leg ailment.
From time to time almost everyone, and particularly an older person, encounters a back or leg ailment or stiffness that is relatively minor but which renders it painful to bend at the waist, as in the process of sitting down or standing up. Other persons, and again particularly older persons,'suffer from chronic stiffness of the back and leg joints which causes a comfortable chair to be a virtual necessity. Special purpose chairs are, however, usually not suited for such persons with relatively minor ailments.
Many persons with relatively minor ailments find comfort in contour chairs which conform more or less to the curvature of the body and allow the occupant to assume a reclining or semi-reclining position. While such chairs are generally comfortable once the proper position hasbeen assumed therein, the process of getting into and out of such a chair for a person with a stiff back or similar infirmity may be quite uncomfortable.
Another difficulty encountered by those having minor back ailments or stiffness, again, particularly older persons, is in the performance of the marital act.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A general object of this invention is to provide a chair that is comfortable to all and that is particularly adapted for convenient use by persons having minor back or leg ailments.
Another object is to provide a chair that permits a reclining or semi-reclining position to 'be assumed therein and which allows seating and reclining to be accomplished with a minimum of bending and turning.
Still another object is the provision of such a chair that permits sitting with one or both feet on the floor and in an upright or reclining position.
Another object is the provision of such a chair that is particularly suited for use as a marital chair.
Still another object is the provision of such a chair that is comfortable in use, simple in construction and economical to manufacture and to purchase.
These and other objects of the invention are provided in a chair having a contoured portion defining a back rest and a seat, the seat having a central recess extending inwardly from its forward edge of a sizeand shape to accommodate the upper legs of a person. A support base is provided for supporting the contoured portion. The recess allows a person suffering with an ailing back to seat himself directly on the seat portion with a minimum of bending and then to assume whatever position is desired. The recess also allows the chair to be used as a marital chair, permitting minimum exertion on the part of'an elderly or ailing husband.
Preferably, support means are provided between the support base and the contoured portion of the chair for pivotally supporting the contoured portion for rocking movement in a vertical plane. Means are provided to allow adjustment of the height of the contoured portion. The chair is preferably adopted to swivel and means are provided for selectively preventing swiveling. These features facilitate the act of seating in the chair by a person having an ailing back and also facilitate use of the chair as a marital chair.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a'chair embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the chair with the DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, a preferred form of chair embodying this invention has a contoured portion including a frame 10 and cushions supported thereby, a frame supporting member generally indicated at 12 and a support base 14. Frame 10 is best seen in FIG. 2 and is preferably formed of hollow steel stock of rectangular cross-section but many other materials can, of course, be used. Frame 10 includes a single member formed into an upper cross bar 16 and two side sections 18 and 18a. Short cross members 20 and 21a are joined by welding or in any other suitable way to the inside surfaces of side sections 18 and 18a and are welded or otherwise suitably joined at their other ends to a U- shaped member 22. The upper cross bar 16 of frame 10 and the side sections 18 and 18a outline'a back rest 26 of the chair and the side sections along .with short cross members 20 and'21a and U-shaped member 22 define a seat 27 with a recess 28 therein extending rearwardly from its forward edge. The side sections 18 and 18a also define arm rests 29 and 29a.
A lower leg rest 30 is formed by members 33 and 34 which are welded together as shown at 35. Lower leg rest 30 is pivotally connected by means ofbolts 37 or other suitable means to blocks 41 and 42 that are The supporting member 12 for the frame 10 includes a pair of U-shaped metal bars 44 and 45 of the same type as the frame 10, the bars having base portions 47 and 48, respectively and upwardly extending leg portions 50 and 51a for bar 44 and 51 and 51a for bar 45. Eachpair of leg portions such as 50a and 51a is covered by a sleeve, 57 for leg portions 50 and 51 and 57a for leg portions 50a and 51a, of rectangular crosssection. As shown in FIG. 6, the leg portions are received within the respective sleeves and are provided with a series of vertically spaced transverse holes 58. A single hole 59, 59a in each sleeve 57, 57a is adapted to be aligned with one of the holes 58 to allow a bolt or pin 60, 60a to be inserted therein and support the frame at a particular height. Preferably, there are such holes 58 placed so as to allow the recess 28 to be positioned at heights from 16. to 34 inches above the floor. Each sleeve, 57, 57a is pivotally connected to a block 61, 61a respectively by bolts 63, 63a. The blocks 61 and 61a are joined to side sections 18, 18a, preferably by welding. Frame 10 is thus pivotally supported by member 12 for rocking or pivotal movement in a vertical plane parallel to the side sections 18, 18a and is adjustable in height above the floor.
The base portions 47 and 48 of the bars 44 and 45 of support member 12 are joined at substantially their centers to a plate 65 (FIG. 3) which is part of a swivel assembly including upper plate 65, lower plate 66 and a bearing assembly 67 therebetween. The swivel assembly including plates 65. and 66 and bearing assembly 67 is sold as part No. l32l by Middletown Mfg. Co. Division of Lear Siegler Inc. Lowerplate 66 is suitably connected asby welding to leg members 70 which, together with the swivel assembly of plates 65 and 66 and bearing assembly 67, constitute a support base for the chair. i
It may become desirable to prevent swiveling of the chair at inopportune times, such as in the act of seating and during the marital act. To prevent swiveling a lock device 71 is provided as best seen in FIG. 5. Lock device 71 is mounted beneath frame support member 12 by means of bolts extending through a mounting plate 72 and into base portions 47 and 48 of member 12. Device 71 has an operating handle 73, a pivot mechanism generally indicated at 74 and an extensible and retractable neck 75 provided with a friction member 76. v
' With handle 73 in the full line position of FIGS. 2 and 5 friction member 76-is extended into tight frictional contact with swivel plate 66 and prevents the frame and frame supporting member from swiveling with respect to the support base. With handle 73 in the dotted line position of FIG. 5 friction member 76 is retracted out of contact with the plate 66 so that the chair is free to swivel. The handle 73 is conveniently positioned to be operated by a person in or out of the chair. The lock device 71 is preferably a Model 620 DE-STA-CO clamp manufactured by Detroit Stamping Co. of Detroit, Michigan.
A back rest and seat cushion 82 is placed on frame 10 and secured thereto by a flap 84 on the underside l thereof which encircles the base of the U-shaped member 22 on frame 10 and is strapped to the under side of the cushion orotherwise secured to hold it in place. The cushion 82 has a back rest portion 86 and a seat portion 87 which is provided with a recess corresponding substantially in size and shape to the recess 28 defined by U-shaped member 22 in frame 10. Upper plate 65 on the support may also be provided with a leather or cloth covering to improve its appearance.
It will be apparent that the chair completed as described above and shown in FIGS. 1 and 4 provides restful and relaxing support to any occupant and is not confined to use by persons suffering from back ailments. The recess 28 does not interfere with normal use of the chair for ordinary relaxation, the portions on either side of the recess providing support for the upper portions of the occupants-legs. The leg rests and 30a, which can be pivoted to any desired position, provide support for the lower parts of the legs. The pivotal suspension of the chair frame about the support member 12 allows the chair occupant to vary his position from upright to reclining merely by shifting his weight. The flexibility or give of the cushions allows an occupant to position himself higher toward the back rest portion without sliding to a lower-position as would The chair is completed by providing cushions supl ported by frame 10 as shown in FIGS. 1, 3, and 4. Cushions 78 and 780 are provided for the lower leg rest 30 and 30a, respectively and are connected thereto by means of flaps 79 and 79a which encircle the frame members of the leg rest such as 33, 34 and 33a, 34a and are then snapped or otherwise fastened to the back of the cushion to hold it in place. 7
Arm rest cushions 80 and 80a are provided for the arm rests 29 and 29a, respectively, of frame 10 and are secured thereto by cord for easy removal if desired.
probably happen in a stiff molded contour chair.
In addition, unlike prior contour and reclining chairs a of which we are aware, a person suffering from an ailment or stiffness of the back or legs which renders it difficult or painful to bend or change position can gain entrance to the chair conveniently with a minimum of bending. This is done merely by the person positioning himself within the recess 28 and pivoting the chair about the support member 12 to a convenient position so that he can seat himself down directly in a straight line with a minimum amount of bending or stretching. One or both of the occupants feet can remain on the floor if desired or one or both legs maybe positioned on the upper leg supporting areas on either side of the recess 28. The height adjustment can t of course facilitate entry into and exit from the chair since when the chair is properly height adjusted bending will be minimized. Use of the locking device to prevent swivelin'g during the act of seating or arising minimizes motion and so also assists in getting into and out of the chair; Y r
The chair is particularly useful as a marital chair for older husbands or those having back or leg ailments'or stiffness. When used for this purpose the wife may recline in the chair and the husband may stand within the recess 28. In this use the height adjustment and the swivel lock are particularly important and advantageous. The contoured portion of the chair can be positioned at the ideal height for the husband and swiveling must, of course, be prevented at this time. When used in this way the chair allowsolderhusbands not to overexert themselves and removes the. necessity for painful bending by husbands suffering from back ailments or the like.
While a preferred form of the invention has been shown and described, it will be apparent that other forms are within the spirit and scope of the invention and that all the features described herein are not absolutely necessary for providing a useful and advantageous health chair. For example, it will be apparent that the chair could be made without arm rests or lower leg rests and need not be capable of swiveling. In addition, the pivotal suspension of the chair about the support member, while preferable and highly advantageous, is not absolutely necessary for its basic use. The frame could be Supported directly on the support base 14 and the chair would .still provide many of the advantages described above. It will also be apparent to those skilled in the art that the chair need not be made in a frame and cushion structure but could be made in a one piece molded form supported on a support base and having the recess 28 in the seat portion.
Other modifications and improvements will also become apparent to those'skilled in the art who come to understand the essential principles and accomplishments of this invention. Accordingly, this invention is not to be limited to the form herein specifically disclosed nor in any other way inconsistent with the progress in the art promoted by this invention.
What is claimed is:
1. ln an easy chair or the like, a contoured portion defining a back rest and a seat extending forwardly from the back rest a sufficient distance to support the posterior and upper legs of a person occupying the chair, said seat having a central recess extending inwardly from its forward edge, said recess being of sufficient depth and of sufficient width through its entire depth to accommodate the upper legs of a person facing toward or away from said chair, said seat including upper leg supporting portions on opposite sides of said recess, arm rests on said contoured portion, a support base, means mounted on said support base and pivotally connected to said arm rests for supporting said contoured portion for swinging movement with respect to said support means in substantially a vertical plane, andmeans for adjusting the height of said contoured portion.
2. A chair as claimed in claim 1 further comprising lower leg rests extending forwardly and downwardly from said upper leg supporting portions.
3. A chair as claimed in claim 2 wherein said lower leg tests are pivotally connected to said contoured portion adjacent said upper leg supporting portions. I
4. A chair as claimed in claim 1 wherein said contoured portion includes a tubular frame defining said back rest and said seat including said recess, and a cushion supported by said frame and having a corresponding recess overlying the recess defined by said frame.
5. A chair as claimed in claim 1 wherein said support means is pivotally connected to said support base for rotation with respect thereto in substantially a horizontal plane.
6. A chair as claimed in claim 5 including means for selectively preventing rotation of said support means with respect to said support base.
7. A chair as claimed in claim 1 wherein said support means is a generally U-shaped member having a base and two legs, said base portion being mounted on said support base and each of said legs pivotally supporting an arm rest on said contoured portion.
8. A chair as claimed in claim 1 wherein said contoured portion includes a tubular frame defining said back rest, seat, arm rests, and'lower leg rests, the por-