Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3863978 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 4, 1975
Filing dateApr 17, 1973
Priority dateApr 17, 1973
Publication numberUS 3863978 A, US 3863978A, US-A-3863978, US3863978 A, US3863978A
InventorsGillings Jr Peter Richard
Original AssigneeGillings Jr Peter Richard
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3863978 A
A body supporting structure is shaped in a way so that the user may rest in a combination of sitting and kneeling positions.
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 [1 1 3,863,978

Gillings, Jr. Feb. 4, 1975 [54] KNEE-CHAIR 3,037,570 6/1962 Olson 280/325 X 3,541,313 11/1970 Buzzi 297/195 Inventor: Peter Rlchard Gllllngs Jr. BOX 1 R 2 7 1193 Claremom, NH. 03 743 uppert 9 H95 X [22] Flled: 1973 Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves [21] Appl. No.1 35 75 Assistant Examiner-Thomas E. Kocovsky [52] US. Cl 296/63, 280/325, 297/195 [51] Int. Cl B62j 1/00 57 ABSTRACT [58] Field 01 Search 296/63; 297/195, 423, 427,

297/439, 239; 280/325, 32-6; 180/5 R A body supporting structure is shaped in a way so that the user may rest in a combination of sitting and [56] References Clted kneeling positions.

UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,448,427 8/1948 Gordon 280/325 6 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTED 3.863.978

sum 10F 3 PATENTED 41975 3. 863 ,978

sum 30F 3 KNEE-CHAIR The present invention relates to a body supporting structure which might be called a KNEE-CHAIR in which the occupant sits, kneels, sits and kneels. Thus, the invention conforms to the body as an outer and inner contoured shell capable of supporting the body in the positions of kneeling and sitting simultaneously. The invention is a total unit accommodating the occupants total weight in the above-mentioned positions.

At this invention conforms to the bodys contours in a sit-kneeling position its structure allows for the body to be supported from the back, seat, crotch, thighs, knees, lower legs and feet while the weight of the upper body pressing down is distributed on the knee-chair back, seat, knee pockets and lower legs.

In the sitting position the occupants legs are placed in front as in convention seating with support being primarily on the back and seat.

When utilizing the invention in the kneeling position, support is given by the cushioned knee pockets as well as the contoured shell which partially surrounds the upper leg, enabling the kneeling occupant to lean partially forward.

The invention having two spread legs which conform to the occupants inner thighs and having for their base the pockets for the knees and lower legs. The seat is contoured to cover the buttocks and rises to support the back.

It is a well known fact that sitting and kneeling have previously been two distinct operations. Such an arrangement holds various drawbacks. Sitting in a chair or seat of the conventional type and having the weight of the upper body press down on the intestines can cause organ malfunction. Sitting can be an occupational hazard. Kneeling exhibits similar discomforts, however, the intestines are not compressed as in conventional seating. Also, chairs built which are not stackable for easy storage are great space wasters, especially when not in use. The knee-chair being adaptable for vertical stacking and is of light weight and of less vertical area than seats of the conventional type.

Therefore, an object of the invention is to produce and utilize a combination sit-kneeling situation, thereby creating a new and useful structure.

By kneeling and sitting at the same time and/or separately many advantages occur. In the sit-kneeling position the intestines remain closer to their natural positions. Less exertion is placed on the lower trunk because the weight of the upper body is distributed down through the legs and rests not only at the seat but with knees and lower legs.

The knee-chair has enormous space saving advantages. It requires less vertical space than conventional seating. It is also adaptable to vertical stacking.

The knee-chair can be adapted for use in many areas e.g. transportational use, medical use, religious use, farm use, childs toy or rocking seater. Such an invention associated with further features to be described hereinafter make possible more efficient methods of sitting, kneeling or sit-kneeling which is certain areas are superior to conventional chairs, seats and kneelers.

It permits the body to occupy a smaller vertical area than conventional seating space. Because of the space saving proportions of this invention it can be of value in transportation, as in cockpit control seat and car seat and by curving the base of the knee-chair it can be utilized as a rocking knee-chair. The seat will also have enough structural give to allow for an up and down motion.

The knee-chair can be manufactured in one piece out of molded plastic, fiber glass, wood, paper and light weight metal, or assembled in parts. It can be custom made or manufactured to standard body sizes such as large, medium and small, male and female.

Other modifications and improvements will be apparent to those skilled in the art after reading the following specification in connection with the annexed drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a perspective view ofa preferred form of improved support for the human body constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the same;

FIG. 3 is a front elevation of the support;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the same as viewed from the righthand side of FIGS. 2 and 3; and

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the improved support adapted to serve as the operators seat for a motorized vehicle, such as a snowmobile.

In the drawings the improved support, as a whole, is identified by numeral 10, the support comprising four associated sections, each of which performs a different function and cooperating together to provide a unique and restful type of repose for the human body while in an upright position.

The first section, generally identified by numeral 11, comprises a generally saddle-shaped surface 12 upon which the buttocks rest with the thighs arranged astride the respective vertical sides thereof. The second section, identified generally by numeral 13, comprises a pair of rearwardly facing surfaces 14 (see FIGS. 2 and 4) which merge smoothly with the respective side surfaces of the first section to provide means to confine the knees of the user on their forward and bottom exposures. These knee pockets are preferably cushioned for comfort of the user, and to absorb shocks when the structure is' used as a vehicle operators seat.

A third section, indicated generally by numeral 15, comprises a pair of upwardly directed channel-shaped surfaces 16 which merge smoothly at their forward ends with the surfaces 14 and extend backwardly in generally parallel horizontal directions to provide support for the legs of the user.

There may also be provided a fourth section, identified generally by numeral 17, having a surface 18 which is generally concave and faces forwardly to provide confinement and rear support for the lumbar region of the torso. This surface merges at the bottom with the saddle-shaped surface 12 and extends rearwardly from there in a generally vertical direction.

An added feature of the invention lies in the fact that, as compared to conventional seating devices having a back support, the present invention occupies relatively less space in a vertical direction and, because the saddle-shaped portion extends downwardly and more or less outwardly, as seen in FIG. 1, with the back surface 18 projecting upwardly and backwardly, it is possible to stack several of these supports one on top of the other to conserve space.

The bottoms of the leg portions 15 may also be formed with longitudinally extending downwardly curved surfaces to enable the user to rock backwards and forwards as through occupying a rocking chair.

in FIG. 5 there is shown one example ofthe use of the invention for purposes other than mere relaxation of the body. in this case the body supporting structure is utilized as an operators seat for a self-propelled vehicle, such as a snowmobile, although it should be understood that this is not to be considered as excluding other possible uses.

The snowmobile, which is of conventional construction, may include a pair of horizontal side frame members 19 to which the lower section of the structure 10 is attached. The frame members, in turn, carry a pair of steerable runners 20 at the front, and an endless track type propulsion means 21 at the rear which is conventionally driven by an engine (not shown) contained within the forward compartment 22. The compartment also carries a windshield 23, steering control 24 for the runners, and throttle control means 25 for the engine.

I claim:

1. A structure for supporting the human body with the trunk and torso generally upright comprising a first section having a saddle-shaped surface upon which the buttocks may rest with the thighs downwardly straddling the saddleshaped surface and including downwardly and forwardly extending concave surfaces which merge smoothly with a second section, said second section including rearwardly facing upright concave surfaces to restrain the respective knees against forward motion only, and a third section merging smoothly with said second section having means to support the respective legs from below in a substantially horizontal position.

2. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein said third section is provided with a pair of horizontal channelled surfaces merging with said rearwardly concave surfaces.

3. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein the inner portions of said structure below said first section diverge downwardly and outwardly to permit said structure to be stacked in nesting relationship upon another similar structure.

4. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein said structure is secured to the frame of a self-propelled vehicle in a position to enable the user of said structure to operate a control means of said vehicle.

5. The invention defined in claim 1, wherein said structure also includes a fourth section to restrain the trunk and torso against rearward movement.

6. The invention defined in claim 5, wherein said fourth section is provided with a forwardly directed concave surface merging with said saddle-shaped surface and conforming generally to the lumbar region of ahuman body.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2448427 *Dec 6, 1946Aug 31, 1948Benjamin GordonKnee pad dolly
US3037570 *Apr 26, 1961Jun 5, 1962Harold Olson JohnPowered vehicle controlled by harvesting worker
US3541313 *Aug 23, 1968Nov 17, 1970Holzaepfel Kg Moebel ChristianFurniture for sitting
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4328991 *Mar 26, 1980May 11, 1982Mengshoel Hans ChrSitting device
US4377309 *Jun 15, 1979Mar 22, 1983Mengshoel Hans ChrSupporting device for use in a kneeling-like sitting posture
US4534590 *Jun 1, 1983Aug 13, 1985Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.Chair with a back for reclining
US4552404 *Oct 12, 1983Nov 12, 1985Congleton Jerome JNeutral body posture chair
US4666171 *May 20, 1983May 19, 1987David SellersRecreational sled
US4669992 *Oct 16, 1985Jun 2, 1987Morris Richard MRecreational waterslide with seat
US4738487 *Apr 18, 1986Apr 19, 1988Ergoform Inc.Tilting seat
US4746044 *Dec 17, 1986May 24, 1988Arvizu Jaurez DBack-pack with stand and detachable child carrier
US4772071 *Apr 16, 1987Sep 20, 1988Richards Lee EKnee pads
US4832407 *Nov 27, 1987May 23, 1989Hector SerberVariable posture chair and method
US4843999 *Jul 27, 1988Jul 4, 1989Kobus Robert CBoat seat
US5038761 *Apr 2, 1990Aug 13, 1991Richardson Beverly JTherapeutic apparatus for physically impaired children
US5865507 *Jun 20, 1997Feb 2, 1999Earl, Jr.; Lionel F.Kneeler
US5882081 *Sep 22, 1997Mar 16, 1999Earl, Jr.; Lionel F.Kneeler
US6298508 *Feb 24, 2000Oct 9, 2001Mccloskey GeorgeKneel cushions
US6302413May 7, 1999Oct 16, 2001Racatac Products, Inc.Kneeling apparatus
US6540301 *Jun 22, 2000Apr 1, 2003Auto Products, Inc.Body support for automotive mechanics
US6709052Feb 22, 2002Mar 23, 2004Easydoing OySaddle seat for chair or stool
US6926365Jul 22, 2003Aug 9, 2005Auto Products, Inc.Body support for automotive mechanics
US7152919May 28, 2002Dec 26, 2006The United States Of America As Represented By The Department Of Health And Human Services, Centers For Disease Control And PreventionWearable kneel-sit support device
US7896131 *Jul 25, 2007Mar 1, 2011Bronkhorst Craig SPortable temporary support for workers
US8297706Sep 15, 2009Oct 30, 2012Matthews John PErgonomic chair
US8322731 *Feb 7, 2012Dec 4, 2012Brown Chris TKneeling/sledding snow board apparatus
US8465099 *May 17, 2011Jun 18, 2013Stephan George Ayikwei AddySeating device
US20040232739 *May 28, 2002Nov 25, 2004Wurzelbacher Steven J.Wearable kneel-sit support device
US20050076609 *Jul 22, 2003Apr 14, 2005Bottoms Gary D.Body support for automotive mechanics
US20080022628 *Jul 25, 2007Jan 31, 2008Bronkhorst Craig SPortable temporary support for workers
US20100066148 *Sep 15, 2009Mar 18, 2010Matthews John PErgonomic desk system and chair
US20110203220 *Feb 23, 2011Aug 25, 2011Bronkhorst Craig SPortable temporary support for workers
US20110285188 *May 17, 2011Nov 24, 2011George Ayikwei Addy StephanSeating device
EP0006729B1 *Jun 18, 1979Mar 14, 1984Hans Christian MengshoelA supporting device for use in a kneeling-like sitting posture
EP0017450A1 *Mar 28, 1980Oct 15, 1980Hans Christian MengshoelA sitting device
EP0163437A1 *May 7, 1985Dec 4, 1985Peter OpsvikA chair
EP0286559A2 *Apr 8, 1988Oct 12, 1988Daniel BeyletSaddle with a support for the buttock muscles
EP0286559A3 *Apr 8, 1988Mar 21, 1990Daniel BeyletSaddle with a support for the buttock muscles
EP0665033A2 *Jan 31, 1995Aug 2, 1995SnowBlade CorporationUnitary molded single blade ski-sled
EP0665033A3 *Jan 31, 1995Nov 8, 1995Snowblade CorpUnitary molded single blade ski-sled.
WO1985001643A1 *Oct 10, 1984Apr 25, 1985Congleton Jerome JNeutral body posture chair
WO2000002470A1 *Jul 13, 1999Jan 20, 2000Easydoing OySaddle chair
WO2012175963A1Jun 21, 2012Dec 27, 2012Freedman Seats LtdA seat
WO2015108357A1 *Jan 15, 2015Jul 23, 2015김창호Yoga chair
WO2016055170A1 *Jun 11, 2015Apr 14, 2016Aeris GmbhChair
U.S. Classification296/63, D06/354, D12/10, 280/32.5, D06/330, 297/423.11
International ClassificationB62J1/00, B62M27/00, B62B13/00, A47C9/00, B62M27/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47C7/503, A47C9/005, B62M27/02, B62B13/00, A47C9/027
European ClassificationA47C7/50C, A47C9/02F, B62B13/00, B62M27/02, A47C9/00B2