The Evidence: Scientific Studies

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Study 1: The Study of Posture & Pressure on the Human Form on Comparative Bed Types

This study was conducted by Noel Lythgo, Senior Bio Mechanics Researcher Melbourne.

This work investigated the alignment of the body on 15 bed types that are commercially available.

Information about the position of the back (vertebral column), shoulders and pelvis in 3-dimensional space was recorded buy a VICON motion analysis system.

The results show the variable support system (ergonomics within a bed) to align the body in a position similar to that achieved when standing (neutral position).

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Study 2: The Study of Bed Construction and the Dynamic Impact on the Human Form

This study was conducted by Dr Ray Hayek, Macquarie University, Sydney, School of Chiropractic.

A range of male and female subjects were tested on a bed unit without variable support (ergonomics within a bed) and then on the same bed unit with Variable Supported (ergonomics) introduced.

Use of variable support (ergonomics) showed the following benefits:

  • Decrease in “disc wedging” demonstrating less tension and compression at those levels.
  • Decreased spinal rotation.
  • Improved spinal alignment closer to the ‘zero stress’ posture.
  • Notably improved pressure distribution demonstrating a significant decrease of peak pressure points.

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Study 3: Supporting the Human Form on Engineering Principles

This study was conducted by Associate Professor Nicholas Haritos, Reader at Engineering – Melbourne University.

The study was conducted on the recognition of varying weight and shape of the human form, particularly noting the region of hips, lumbar and shoulders.

It was apparent that the supportive materials used in the mattress/bed construction must be able to:

  • Support the body continuously along the many curves of the body with a force equal to and opposite to the weight of the body at each point (Newton’s 3rd Law).
  • The shape taken by the compressed mattress must correspond exactly to the shape of the particular body that is being supported if we are to prevent distortion.
  • The variation in support between the shoulders and waist is in the vicinity of 600% highlighting the variations required between the main bridging points, i.e. hips and shoulders.

Associate Professor Nicholas Haritos stated: “No mattress/bed construction with a flat surface and near uniform firmness can by itself be capable of supporting the human body in an orthopaedically correct (zero stress) posture.

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