Armi’s story

“I used to sit for hours in a chair in my living-room, because I could not get up by myself. Only when my care assistant arrived, she helped me to get up and have a rest.” This was told to me by an 82-year old lady, who is by no means the only senior citizen who finds it difficult to get up from a chair. This was how the story of an assisting and exercising chair began.

When I was thinking about the old lady’s story, I got the idea of a chair, which could help a person to get up without outside assistance, just by using what is left of his or her own muscular strength. The chair would utilize the strength of the upper limbs and the weight of the upper body, and guide the person to get up so that the joint angles in the lower limbs enable the maximum strength production. A mechanics expert Ismo Kytöviita joined me in developing my idea. In cooperation with other developers we developed a chair, which combines modern mechanics and ergonomics. The chair was tested by an experimental group; Armi Activechair was invented.

Armi Activechair is an internationally patented chair. It assists with getting up, rehabilitates and increases activity, and is suitable not only for elderly people but others, too. According to research, long-term sitting exposes us to diseases. The mechanics of Armi Activechair makes it an outstanding tool for rehabilitation, because it changes passive sitting down into activity. The forward leaning seat and the mechanics of the armrests facilitate getting up, thus decreasing the pressure on the knees and hips. The sitting person him or herself acts as the motor for the chair. The increased muscular strength of the feet improves balance and walking ability, and decreases the risk of falls.

Jorma Eerola
Physiotherapist OMI, MDT