Title:
Neck rest for a chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed herein is a neck rest for a chair which is installed on the upper end of the backrest of a chair, the neck rest comprising: a pair of chin rests for supporting the chin of an occupant; a pair of vertical supporting rods for supporting lower surfaces of the chin rests, respectively; a pair of clearance adjustment means for supporting the vertical supporting rods, respectively, and allowing the chin rests to be moved within a predetermined range; and a horizontal supporting member fixed on the chair for supporting the clearance adjustment means.



Inventors:
Lee, Jae Ho (Allendale, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/368808
Publication Date:
09/14/2006
Filing Date:
03/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GARRETT, ERIKA P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP NEWARK (NEWARK, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A neck rest for a chair which is installed on the upper end of the backrest of a chair, the neck rest comprising: a pair of chin rests for supporting the chin of an occupant; a pair of vertical supporting rods for supporting lower surfaces of the chin rests, respectively; a pair of clearance adjustment means for supporting the vertical supporting rods, respectively, and allowing the chin rests to be moved within a predetermined range; and a horizontal supporting member fixed on the chair for supporting the clearance adjustment means.

2. The neck rest for a chair according to claim 1, wherein the clearance adjustment means comprises: a resilient member for allowing the vertical supporting rod to be inserted therein; a clearance adjustment member for accommodating the resilient member therein and fixed at the bottom surface thereof to the chair or the horizontal supporting member; and a fastening means adapted to fasten the vertical supporting rod to the clearance adjustment member to each other, in such a manner as to pass through the resilient member and the clearance adjustment member.

3. The neck rest for a chair according to claim 2, wherein the clearance adjustment member is formed in a hollow hexahedral shape which is opened at its top surface, and is formed with a chair fixing rod having a predetermined length extending downwardly from the bottom surface thereof, so that the chair fixing rod is inserted into the backrest of the chair.

4. The neck rest for a chair according to claim 2, wherein the fastening means comprises a bolt and a nut.

5. The neck rest for a chair according to claim 1, wherein the chair is a vehicle seat.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the priority of Korean Patent Application No. 10-2005-0018489 filed Mar. 7, 2005, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a neck rest for a chair, and in more particular, to a neck rest which is installed on the upper end of the backrest of a chair, which is used in the chair having a headrest for supporting the rear portion of an occupant's head, and a backrest capable of adjusting its inclination, and which includes a pair of chin rests, a pair of vertical supporting rods, a pair of clearance adjustment members, and a horizontal supporting rod which are mounted at the upper end of the backrest to support the neck region of an occupant with comfort or provide the tensile force which is applied on a cervical spine by supporting the chin of the occupant, upon the adjustment of inclination of the backrest or the positional movement of the occupant.

2. Background of the Related Art

Generally, in the case where an occupant has been driving on a vehicle seat, or working on an official chair, that is, in a sitting position for an extended period of time, he or she is apt to suffer from fatigue and cervical muscular pain on his or her neck and head due to the excessive psychical strain. Particularly, there may occur a danger that puts some people at a higher risk of cervical disk.

Accordingly, in the prior art, to solve the above problems, there has been disclosed a vehicle seat, or an official chair, in which a backrest is extended upwardly, or a headrest is mounted thereon so that an occupant's head can be inclined while resting, to thereby reduce the load applied on the occupant's cervical spine. However, there still remains a problem in that a vertical load on the cervical spine of the occupant is remained so that fatigue and cervical muscular pain on the neck is not settled completely, although the conventional devices provide comfort to the occupant's neck in some degree.

In this regard, the medical devices providing therapeutic effect in the cervical muscular pain and the cervical disk have been used, by means of which the load applied in a direction opposite to the gravity can be exerted on the cervical spine. However, there still remains troublesome work for the user necessarily to drop in a physiotherapy clinic to use the medical devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention has been made in view of the above-mentioned problems occurring in the prior art, and it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a neck rest for a chair which prevents the incidence of cervical disk due to the load applied on the cervical spine and provides comfort to the neck by means of the tensile force which is applied on the cervical spine. In this instance, the tensile force is generated by assuming postures such that the tensile force is supplied on the cervical spine by means of the neck rest for a chair upon the adjustment of inclination of the backrest or the positional movement of the occupant.

To accomplish the above object of the present invention, according to the present invention, there is provided a neck rest for a chair which is installed on the upper end of the backrest of a chair, the neck rest including; a pair of chin rests for supporting the chin of an occupant; a pair of vertical supporting rods for supporting the lower surfaces of the chin rests, respectively; a pair of clearance adjustment means for supporting the vertical supporting rods, respectively, and allowing the chin rests to be moved within a predetermined range; and a horizontal supporting member fixed on the chair for supporting the clearance adjustment means.

The clearance adjustment means may include; a resilient member for allowing the vertical supporting rod to be inserted therein; a clearance adjustment member for accommodating the resilient member therein and fixed at the bottom surface thereof to the chair or the horizontal supporting member; and a fastening means adapted to fasten the vertical supporting rod to the clearance adjustment member to each other, in such a manner as to pass through the resilient member and the clearance adjustment member.

Furthermore, the clearance adjustment member may be formed in a hollow hexahedral shape which is opened at its top surface, and is formed with a chair fixing rod having a predetermined length extending downwardly from the bottom surface thereof, so that the chair fixing rod is inserted into the backrest of the chair.

The fastening means may include a nut and a bolt.

Also, the chair may be a vehicle seat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a state of assembling of a neck rest for a chair according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the neck rest for a chair shown in the FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view showing a state where the neck rest for a chair is used by an occupant according to the embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a view showing a state where the neck rest for a chair is applied to a vehicle seat according to the embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

To accomplish the above objects, the neck rest for a chair of the present invention which is installed on the upper end of the backrest of the chair 14 having a headrest 10 and which comprises: a pair of chin rests 20, a pair of vertical supporting rods 22, clearance adjustment means, and a horizontal supporting member 40. The clearance adjustment means comprises a resilient member 32, a clearance adjustment member 24, and a fastening means.

Hereinafter, the neck rest for a chair of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the appended drawings.

As shown in the drawings, FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a state of assembling of a neck rest for a chair according to an embodiment of the present invention, FIG.2 is an exploded perspective view of the neck rest for a chair shown in the FIG. 1, and FIG. 3 is a view showing a state where the neck rest for a chair is used by an occupant according to the embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, the neck rest for a chair includes chin rest 20, a vertical supporting rod 22, a clearance adjustment member 24, a resilient member 32 inserted into the clearance adjustment member 24, and a horizontal supporting member 40.

The structure of the chin rest 20 will be described as followings. The chin rest 20 is preferably configured of a thin member having a shape of ellipse in a manner similar to a nose support of a glasses frame, since it is required to prevent suffering from excessive stress on the chin of an occupant 52 while supporting the chin. However, the chin rest 20 may be formed in a rectangular member or any other shaped member having the identical function.

Hereinafter, the structure of the vertical supporting rod 22 and the structural coupling between the chin rest 20 and the vertical supporting rod 22 will be described in detail. The vertical supporting rod 22 is preferably a cylindrical rod, which has a through-hole 23 at the lower portion thereof, so that a fastening means passes therethrough. The chin rest 20 is coupled at the lower surface thereof to the vertical supporting rod 22 in such a manner as to be perpendicular to the vertical supporting rod 22. However, the chin rest 20 may be arranged in such a manner as to be slanted with respect to the vertical supporting rod 22 so as to be in smooth contact with the bent chin of an occupant. The chin rest 20 may be integrally formed with the vertical supporting rod 22, or otherwise, they are manufactured by the individual components to be screw-coupled or welded therebetween.

The structure of the clearance adjustment member 24 will be described. The clearance adjustment member 24 is preferably a hollow hexahedral shape with its top opened, so that the vertical supporting rod 22 is inserted from above into the inner space of the clearance adjustment member 24, however, it is possible for the clearance adjustment member 24 to have a cylindrical shape or other shapes with its top opened. The clearance adjustment member 24 has through-holes 26 at both sides thereof facing each other to allow a bolt 28 to pass therethrough, so that the clearance adjustment member 24 is coupled to the vertical supporting rod 22.

Hereinafter, a fastening means, by means of which the vertical supporting rod 22 is coupled to the clearance adjustment member 24, will be described. The fastening means is preferably a bolt 28 and a nut 30, but other types of the fastening means are possible, as long as the vertical supporting rod 22 is coupled to the clearance adjustment member 24 by means of the fastening means in a state where the center of the movement of the vertical supporting rod 22 is located on the fastening means. In case of the bolt 28, shown as an embodiment of the fastening means according to the present invention, the bolt 28 has such a smaller diameter than the through-hole 23 of the vertical supporting rod 22, so that the chin rest 20 is moved freely within a predetermined range, whose location is not settled, although the bolt 28 is fastened. Such diameters may be varied within a range of lateral movement of the vertical supporting rod 22. The nut 30 is fastened to the bolt 28.

Hereinafter, the structure of a resilient member 32 will be described. The resilient member 32 is formed with a vertical hole for allowing the vertical supporting rod 22 to be inserted therein and a horizontal through-hole for allowing the bolt 28, namely the fastening means, to pass therethrough. Here, the vertical hole of the resilient member 32 is closed at the lower end thereof. In this regard, the lower end of the vertical supporting rod 22 is supported by mean of an elastic material, such as rubber, covered on the inner bottom surface of the vertical hole, so that the impact, which occurs a moment when the occupant's chins rest on the chin rest, can be alleviated. The resilient member 32 has preferably a shape of hexahedron, however, its shape is varied into a cylindrical shape or other shape corresponding to the shape of the clearance adjustment member 24. Preferably, the material of the resilient member 32 is rubber, whose hardness is selected depending on its design standard. Also, the size of the resilient member 32 is a little bit smaller than that of the clearance adjustment member 24, so that the resilient member 32 is readily inserted into the clearance adjustment member 24 to thereby facilitate movement of the resilient member 32.

Further, a chair fixing rod 44 is a rod shaped member, at the upper end of which is connected with the outer bottom surface of the clearance adjustment member 24, and the lower end of which is free. Here, the free end is inserted into the backrest of a chair so that the chair-fixing rod 44 can be more firmly supported.

Hereinafter, the structure of the horizontal supporting member 40 and the structural coupling between the horizontal supporting member 40 and the clearance adjustment member 24 will be described. The horizontal supporting member 40 is preferably the shape shown in FIG. 1. However, it is possible for the horizontal supporting member 40 to have any other shapes, as long as the clearance adjustment member 24 and the vertical supporting rod 22 and the like are perpendicularly erected with respect to the upper end of the backrest of the chair 14 by means of the horizontal supporting member 40 in spite of the load which is applied on the lower end portion of the clearance adjustment member 24 due to the load of the chin of an occupant.

The lower end of the clearance adjustment member 24 is inserted into the through-hole 42 of the horizontal supporting member 40. At this time, the length between both through-holes 42 of the horizontal supporting member 40 must be larger than the thickness of an occupant's neck 52, and smaller than that of the size of the occupant's head, so that the both chin rests can be positioned within a range where the occupant's chins 52 are sufficiently supported.

Further, a head rest 10 is formed at the middle portion of the horizontal supporting member 40 in such a manner as to be integrally extended therefrom and then bent.

In accordance with the present invention having the structure described above, real-time operating status of the neck rest for a chair will be described.

Hereinafter, the operation of the chin rest 20 and the vertical supporting rod 22 will be described, as shown in FIG.1.

The chin rest 20 functions to support or push upwardly the chin of an occupant 52, while not providing discomfort to the occupant's chin. The vertical supporting rod 22 functions to support the chin rest 20 and connect between the chin rest 20 and the clearance adjustment member 24.

Hereinafter, the operation of the bolt 28 and the resilient member 32 described as an embodiment of the fastening means and the clearance adjustment member 24 will be described in detail. The resilient member 32 filled up the inner space, which is defined at five inner sides of the clearance adjustment member 24, is operated to generate the force in a direction opposite to that in which the vertical supporting rod 22 is driven at the time when vertical force and horizontal force is applied to the vertical supporting rod 22 inserted into the vertical hole of the resilient member 32. As a result, the impact force applied to the occupant's chin 52 is alleviated. The upper portion of the clearance adjustment member 24 supports the resilient member 32. Also, the upper portion of the clearance adjustment member 24 supports the vertical supporting rod 22, when a great force of lateral direction, which cannot be supported by means of the resilient member 32, is exerted on the vertical supporting rod 22. Further, the bolt 28 of the fastening means fastens the vertical supporting rod 22 and the clearance adjustment member 24 with each other. In this regard, the bolt 28 is operated to be the center of the movement of the vertical supporting rod 22.

Hereinafter, the operation of the horizontal supporting member 40 will be described, as shown in FIG. 1. The horizontal supporting member 40 is coupled with the clearance adjustment member 24, to thereby support the combined body consisting of the chin rest 20, the vertical supporting rod 22, and the clearance adjustment member 24, when a load is applied on the chin rest 20. The through-hole 42 of the horizontal supporting member 40 is a component of coupling means, by means of which the clearance adjustment member 24 is coupled to the horizontal supporting member 40, and functions to adjust the distance between two combined bodies consisting of the chin rest 20 positioned in both sides of a head rest 10, the vertical supporting rod 22, and the clearance adjustment member 24.

Hereinafter, the use method and the operation of the neck rest which is applied on the neck of an occupant 52, according to the embodiment of the present invention. The neck rest can be installed on the upper end of the backrest of a chair, in the case where an occupant wishes to rest when driving on a vehicle seat, or working on an official chair. At this time, the occupant assumes postures by which the both sides of the occupant's neck 52 and both sides of lower end portion of the occupant's chin are located on the upper surface of the chin rest 20, and then the backrest of the chair 12 is given bigger tilt, or the pelvis portion of the occupant 52 is moved forwardly, to thereby generate tensile force on the cervical spine by mean of the chin rest 20.

The pelvis portion of the occupant 52 is placed on the front end portion of a seated portion 50, and the backrest of the chair 12 is given bigger tilt, so that the neck rest pushes the chin and head of the occupant upwardly, whereby the tensile force is applied on the cervical spine of the occupant, which causes comfort to be given to the occupant. Or otherwise, although the pelvis of the occupant is moved from the rear to the front on the seated portion 50 after setting the tilt of the backrest, there provides an identical operation as described above.

FIG. 4 is a view showing a state where the neck rest for a chair is applied to a vehicle seat according to the embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 4, the neck rest of the present invention is installed in the headrest portion of a vehicle seat 50. At this instance, the chair fixing rod 44 is inserted and mounted in the corresponding hole of the upper end portion of the backrest, after the headrest(not shown) is removed from the backrest. Therefore, the stiffness and fatigue on the neck region of the occupant is greatly reduced, when the vehicle moves at a crawl speed or is delayed. Further, the chin rest 20 supports the shoulder of the occupant to protect the neck and head upon overturn of the vehicle.

While the present invention has been described with reference to the particular illustrative embodiments, it is not to be restricted by the embodiments but only by the appended claims. It is to be appreciated that those skilled in the art can change or modify the embodiments without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention.





 
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