Why Does It Seem Like All College Dorms Have Rocking Chairs?

Living in a college dorm is a pretty strange experience. You pay a ton of money for living conditions that are sometimes tantamount to military bunkers. Some of them make it impossible to cook up any type of hot food outside of a microwave, and certain dorm programs force first years to share their individual bedrooms with another student they’ve just met.

Why do all college dorms have rocking chairs?

OK, while an official survey hasn’t been conducted to verify that every single dorm room contains these specific types of rocking chairs, ask anyone who’s ever spent time in a dorm in college and they will definitely remember this extremely distinct piece of furniture.

Technically it’s not a rocking chair. It’s officially called a “two-position chair.” Guess why?

That’s right. It’s called a “two-position chair” because it is capable of seating individuals in two different positions.

There are tons of different theories as to why dorms implement the use of these chairs, but this one Quora user, Jennifer Hu, probably offered up the most comprehensive argument as to why they’re so commonly found in dorm rooms.

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From a pure economics standpoint, the two-position chairs satisfy a litany of different furniture solutions for college dorms. They’re sturdy, affordable, relatively cheap to produce, and easy to move.

Jennifer even compared them to other relatively low-cost options and created a handy-dandy chart.

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She went on to explain, “I get the feeling that they’re so popular because they’re well-built for their purpose and well-publicized by furniture companies that also sell dorm desks, dressers, and beds.”

But there’s also a deeper reason as to why two-position chairs are so popular in university dorm rooms and it’s got to do with the relationship between seating ergonomics and learning.

It’s believed that the ability to move around and shift one’s position while working is ultimately a more effective studying method. There are also tons of people who like to tilt their chairs backward while they’re studying, so instead of doing so on a chair that isn’t designed for that kind of movement, why not do so on a two-position chair?

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