Neutral Posture, Inc. Celebrates 20 Years of Innovation in Ergonomics
Bryan, Texas, date, 2009 – Twenty years ago, the mother-daughter team of Jaye Congleton and Rebecca Boenigk began pursuing their dream to redefine the way the world thinks about ergonomics—a concept virtually unheard of in 1989. With only $50,000 in capital, the duo launched Neutral Posture, Inc. from their household garage and began building chairs that support a neutral, stress free posture in the workplace. Today, Neutral Posture is recognized as a viable leader in a highly-competitive field. To mark two decades of continued growth, the company is putting a spotlight on the N-tune™ seating system, one of its most recent "truly ergonomic" solutions for addressing aches, pains, and weight gain resulting from sedentary jobs.
"We are pleased to see the value of ergonomics in the workplace being realized," said Rebecca Boenigk, chief executive officer of Neutral Posture, the country’s only woman-owned ergonomics seating manufacturer. "In the beginning, we faced the challenge of educating consumers on both the physical and economic benefits of ergonomic seating in the workplace. But once potential customers tried our chair and experienced comfort and its many other benefits, they began to buy."
When in a neutral posture, the body achieves equidistant spacing of the vertebrae and an ideal balance in the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Research has shown that ergonomics can help workers achieve this posture, which in turn can lead to increased morale and productivity and decreased absenteeism.
"Chairs that have a passive backrest or ‘automatically adjust’ have been designed for the average person. Therefore they are uncomfortable for everyone and fit no one, which can result in aches and pains," said Boenigk.
Neutral Posture chairs, however, accommodate the support needs of the widest range of seated workers who vary dramatically in terms of height and weight. Its products combine pressure-reducing seats, back contours, a specialized upholstery process, and a system of up to 14 active ergonomic features for maximum adjustability.
In addition to addressing workplace-related injuries, Neutral Posture is committed to doing its part in the battle against obesity.
"Obesity is a huge health crisis plaguing our country—and our sedentary work culture only makes matters worse," said Boenigk. "Neutral Posture is determined to help individuals stand up and get ‘N-tune’ with their bodies."
Studies show that standing for just two hours a day can burn up to 280 calories, which converts to nearly 20 pounds a year. By raising desk heights from 30"to 40" and then raising the chair to stool height, Neutral Posture’s N•tune™ seating system allows individuals to easily and freely stand up to work throughout the work day.
"The Ntune™ concept helped change my life. Since first learning about it five months ago, I’ve lost 43 lbs. and I’m still losing. No, it doesn’t contain some quick-fix, fad diet. In fact, it’s the emphasis on the simplicity of the math that most helped me. By standing a significant portion of the day, I could burn more calories than I would sitting down. In a short time, I was feeling more energized and began making changes at home, eating better and exercising more. I feel pretty confident that the weight loss will be permanent because I’ve changed my lifestyle and not just engaged in some diet du jour."
—Dr. Robert Wood, Ph.D., Bainbridge Island, WA
Since its inception, Neutral Posture and its founders have continued to be recognized for ergonomic research and development, exceptional customer service, quality craftsmanship; and on the frontline in the industry of creating ergonomically correct seating for the workplace. The following is a sampling of accomplishments:
2008 Rebecca Boenigk named first-ever woman Board president of the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA), non-profit organization which was established to lead, advocate, inform and develop standards for the North American office and institutional furniture industry.
2007 Fortune Small Business and Women’s Enterprise® USA: Top 100 Women’s Business Enterprises Impacting Supplier Diversity
2006 WIPP Fast 5 Award: Women Impacting Public Policy
Platinum ADEX Award: Balance™ and NeXtep™ for Design Excellence
2005 U.S. Small Business Administration: Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Texas
Fast Company: Top 25 Women Business Builders
Platinum ADEX Award: StandUp™ for Design Excellence
2004 Appointment to the U.S. Small Business Administration
The Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World Award™: Chosen by an International Selection Committee from hundreds of nominees worldwide
UPS: Supplier of the Year
2003 National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition: Attendee’s Choice Award
Nine Lives: Stories of Women Business Owners Landing on Their Feet: 1 of 9 women profiled in a book showcasing business success
2002 Office Depot: Business Woman of the Year
1999 Working Woman Magazine: Regional Winner in Socially Responsible Category; Regional Winner in General Excellence Category; Regional Winner for Entrepreneurial Excellence
1998 Women’s Enterprise: Top Women-Owned Businesses in Texas
1997 Ernst & Young LLP: Entrepreneur of the Year
1996 Inc. Magazine: 500 Fastest-Growing Privately Held Companies in America (also recognized in 1995 list)
"While sitting is our foundation, what we stand for is what counts," added Boenigk. "We are a family company with family values that are grounded by integrity, commitment, and respect for others."
Over the years, Neutral Posture has participated in, or supported, more than 30 local charities. Raising public and employee awareness of the needs of the community, Neutral Posture has provided incentives for employees to become involved.
The company is also dedicated to preserving the environment. Minus paint, foam and fabric, Neutral Products are basically 100 percent recyclable. If calculated by weight rather than component count (which is the standard used for environmental burden), its chair yields approximately 95 percent recyclable materials.
Visit www.NeutralPosture.com to learn more about the company’s ergonomic solutions; ask an expert a question; and/or to download information on ergonomic principles. Visitors to the site may also enter for a chance to win a Neutral Posture chair. The next drawing will take place Friday, March 6, 2009.
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Texas-based Neutral Posture is the only woman-owned seating manufacturer in the United States. It is a certified women’s business enterprise (WBE), and is one of the top diversity suppliers for the United States government and Fortune 500 companies worldwide.