Finding the right mattress to match a lifestyle
Jerry Epperson -- Furniture Today, July 29, 2013
"I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK; I sleep all night and I work all day," is the beginning of a delightful tune by Monty Python that makes an important point about both mattresses and seating.
I know from the History Channel that lumberjacks still work very hard, but they use chainsaws, not axes, and they have large tractor-looking contraptions that chomp some trees off at the base. The logs are then transported by modern cranes and trucks. This is all extremely labor intensive, but not as much as the old days of lumberjacks. The nature of this work has changed over the past several decades.
This is true in almost every type of work. Could you imagine toting water in large buckets to your home from a well? How about beating your clothes on a rock to clean them, or even using an old electric clothes washer with a wringer? How about waiting for a sunny day to hang your wash on the line?
Elevators and escalators have replaced stairs, cars have replaced walking and running, boat motors have replaced rowing, and machines do most of the lifting and repetitive motion required in most factories and elsewhere. So what have modern folks done? We invented stair-steppers, treadmills, rowing machines, weights to lift and elliptical and other "fitness" devices to recreate what existed before our modern labor-saving devices were around. And we pay big bucks to buy these devices or to join a club to use these machines.
I am so old that I remember making copies on an old lithograph machine that required inking and negatives long before we had photocopiers, using my first electric calculator, and carrying around stacks of computer cards to load into a massive room full of computing machines in the basement of the engineering school at college. In college, I used a manual typewriter and lots of Wite-Out (kids, ask your parents).
Back when almost every accomplishment in life required extreme physical effort, often to the point of exhaustion, I suspect sleep or rest was no problem to most people.
But contrast that with today when so much of our workload is mental, not physical, so the requirements of both our seating and our mattresses are much more complex, personal and important in every consumer's health, productivity and happiness.
In this regard, every home furnishings retailer should help their customers find solutions that match their lifestyles. It is a more complex challenge than most realize - not just "here are your beds and over there are your recliners."
By the way, the average American takes 5,100 steps a day versus 9,700 for Australians and the Swiss and 7,200 for the Japanese. How's that for trivia?