Is This the New Ergonomic Airline Seat of the Future?

Leah Ginsberg
·Lead Editor
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ANA's new seats (ANA)

Maybe all the complaining about too-small, uncomfortable airline seats is finally working. First Southwest airlines introduced the widest seats available in a Boeing 737 coach, thanks to a bottom cushion design. And now, All Nippon Airways (ANA) has teamed up with car king Toyota (Toyota Boshoku Corporation) to design new, more comfortable economy class airline seats that will roll out this summer.

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How ANA created comfy seats (ANA)

According to ANA, the new seat was ergonomically developed for comfort across a wide range of body sizes and types. Specifically, the seat is designed “to limit muscle fatigue around the hip” while “firmly supporting the pelvis,” says an ANA statement. “The height, length and angle of the seat and backrest were designed to evenly distribute pressure on the body and accommodate any body structure.” According to the airline, this is key to comfort.

Related: Are You Sitting Down for This? Southwest Seats Will Be Wider

Additionally, the tray tables and armrests are the ideal height and angle to accommodate for a variety of body types.

Though the seats will have a width of 17.5 inches and a pitch of 31 inches, which is not especially big, ANA believes the added comfort and sense of space are what’s important. (For comparison, the width of economy seats on U.S. airlines ranges from 17-18.5 inches, and the pitch ranges from 30-33 inches, according to USA Today.)

While these seats will only be used on ANA (starting on domestic flights in June), we can only hope that the fact that it is possible to combine comfort and efficiency will inspire other airlines to do the same.

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