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Header image. Varier chairs in an office setting.

Varier Chairs

We design and produce high-quality ergonomic chairs that invite people to move when they sit.

Based in Oslo, Norway, Varier is the designer, innovator, and manufacturer of high-quality ergonomic chairs that “invite people to move while they sit.” Creating innovative and inspiring furniture since 1979. Varier’s chairs change the traditional balance of furniture design by mixing stability with movement. While leading the innovation within the ergonomic furniture field and inspiring creativity in workspaces and homes across the world. Believing that we can all live healthier and more sustainable lives by being in balance.

Whether at home or work, people in different industries and occupations can be exposed to posture risk factors. Such as lifting heavy items, bending, pushing, and pulling, working in awkward body postures, and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively. Exposure to these known posture risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders increases a worker’s risk of injury. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders can be prevented. Ergonomics helps lessen muscle fatigue, increases productivity, and reduces the number and severity of work-related injuries. ...

Varier designers including Opsvik, Øie, Ekstrøm, Salto, and Sigsgaard, have been widely recognized for their positive effects on ergonomic health.

At the beginning of 1976, Hans Christian Mengshoel initiated a study to answer how we could sit in more balanced and ergonomic ways. Via observation and research, Mengshoel found that a seat that was tilted slightly forward encouraged a natural posture that provided greater mobility and relieving unwanted pressure while seated. The idea of shin support was introduced to keep the user from sliding off the seat while simultaneously maintaining an open hip angle. With this, Mengshoel initiated the concept of the kneeling posture in Norway and set the standard for a truly experimental time in Norwegian design history.

Mengshoel invited designers Oddvin Rykken, Peter Opsvik, and Svein Gusrud to design products based on the novel balans concept. The collaboration resulted in several experimental designs, where stereotypical views of sitting and seating were abandoned. A collection of balans prototypes were displayed at the 1979 Scandinavian Furniture Fair in Copenhagen. These ergonomic prototypes received significant attention. In 1984 the three designers and Mengshoel were awarded the Jacob Prize, the highest recognition granted to designers, architects, and artists in Norway, for their original contributions. Which we now know to be the start of the ergonomic furniture industry.

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