Working on an assembly line isn’t exactly a desk job, but Ford of Europe has moved towards making it a more sedentary job with the development of the "Happy Seat," a swivel chair on a suspension arm. The seat lets workers sit and glide into the car while fitting parts instead of kneeling and bending.
They’re in use in Belgium, Germany, and Spain. How far behind can the United States be?
"Employees just push themselves back and forth and the chair swings in and out of the cabin — very simply and not requiring much physical effort," said Martin Chapman, operations plant manager in Cologne, Germany, where Ford produces the Fiesta. "And the back feels fine, allowing employees to remain in employment longer to the benefit of Ford."
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee