The Chair King of Rock and Roll

by | Aug 22, 2022

While sitting, the majority of K-12 students spend most of their school day in “stupid chairs.”

Let me clarify. I’m not saying all chairs are “stupid,” just the typical traditional district standard four-legged chair found in most K-12 classrooms in the United States. You know this classroom chair, you’ve sat in its many generic forms of hard plastic many…many times. The four-legged chair is touted more for its stacking ability, rather than its actual sitting function. It’s the ire of Dr. Deiter Breithecker, a leading health and kinetics scientist, a very smart fellow who has got me using the “stupid” word here (my mother would not approve).

Dr. Breithecker is worth the 7:46 minute run time of this video. I’ll even speculate that he will inspire you to start looking differently at seating options for K-12 students, and yourself. I’ll catch you on the flip side with a couple of exceptional chair options worthy of a crown.

Dr. Breithecker’s last words in the video, “Even a smart chair is the worst chair if you use it…for hours.” As I research and write (like this blog) in my home office, I practice my normal work routine of sitting for about 20-25 minutes. Then, using my sit/stand desk, I raise it and stand for about 20-25 minutes. I then might go downstairs to talk to my wife or maybe outside to tend to the succulents, then back to work, repeat.

I’m lucky, I have an ergonomic task chair and a sit/stand desk to keep my body in motion, that in turn, helps keep my mind in motion. When I was a K-12 student back in the middle of the 20th century I could only have dreamed of such options, you too?

As a teacher and now learning environment designer, I’ve sat and tested many K-12 chairs for classrooms. I’ve been looking for the optimal plastic shell student chair that is both durable and ergonomically flexible for young people.  In 2022, I’ve had the opportunity to work for D&D Integrated Solutions, a leading advocate and furniture dealer for VS America. In experiencing VS’s impressive seating and table options, the good folks at D&D have led me to the “Panto” line of chairs designed by Verner Panton for VS.


Here I showcase two essential Panto models I see as the crown jewels for K-12 student classroom chairs.

The PantoSwing-LuPo

This chair is a forward flexing cantilever, and the only cantilever (that I’m aware of) that begins at the 12″ pre-school size. The PantoSwing comes in six different graduated sizes 12″, 13″, 15″, 17″, 18″, and 20,” and is a true comprehensive seating solution.

I featured the PantoSwing in my recent post, Back to the Future with Cantilever Chairs. In the video above, Dr. Breithecker illustrates the dynamic linear back and forth movement that the cantilever chair provides; and in my opinion is the immediate replacement for the four-legged rigid chair that goes through all K-12 years. This chair swings! The PantoSwing is worthy of its place on the chair throne.

The PantoMove-LuPo

It joins the crown with four progressive Panto shell sizes typically starting at middle school to adult. (The PantoMove-Plus also comes in a task stool model.)

As a standard swivel task chair, it comes in two different pneumatic gas spring height-adjustment models, 13-16.75″ (Medium seat shell)  and 16.5-21.5″ (Large seat shell). It has a standard star foot frame with casters, but really all comparisons with other student task chairs ends here.

The PantoMove is really in a class (or I’ll say flexible classroom) by itself. It’s ergonomically superior to all other student chairs in both its poly shell design and exceptional ability to rock and roll. By rock and roll, I’m referring to the PantoMove’s patented 3D Rocker Mechanism housed directly under the seat.

Rock and Roll Baby

The PantoMove literally goes to a whole other level of motion with “Rock” – moving forward and backward at 6 degrees, and “Roll” – moving side to side at 3 degrees in a gentle all-round 360 degree motion. The 3D Rocker flows in a ball in socket-like motion providing a full range of hip motion in the seat. This hip motion allows for subtle weight transfer as students are not going to fall off this chair. For me, it’s the sitting version of the “Elvis Pelvis” and I’m calling the PantoMove-LuPo,
The Chair King of Rock and Roll.”

Now let’s take the PantoMove-LuPo for a test drive.
Note- “LuPo” means the seat shell is made from double-walled, structured polypropylene for comfortable seating with an air cushion effect.

In this short video, no translation is required-

Let’s finish with this 3:00 minute product demonstration video from the good people at VS America. And, that task chair I mentioned earlier that works with my sit/stand desk in my home office, is of course my very own PantoMove-LuPo.


Doug McIntosh was a 35 year K-12 teacher and resource teacher in special and general education. In 2014, he started Groupwerk® an educational consulting business collaborating with schools and vendors to craft engaging learning spaces. As a designer, Doug advocates for the 21st century transformation of a school's three most common learning spaces from: classrooms to learning studios; libraries to learning commons; and labs to makerspaces. In 2022, he joined the D&D team as their Learning Environment Designer, combining his passion and experience in the K-12 integration of learning design, physical space design, and digital space design in D&D’s projects.


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