Exercise chair, England, 1840-1900

Made:
1840-1900 in England
English exercise chair, 19th century. Full 3/4 view, graduated grey background. English exercise chair, 19th century, detail view, seat back of chair. Graduated grey background. English exercise chair, 19th century, Full side view, graduated grey background.

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English exercise chair, 19th century. Full 3/4 view, graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

English exercise chair, 19th century, detail view, seat back of chair. Graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

English exercise chair, 19th century, Full side view, graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

English exercise chair, 19th century

Made from mahogany and leather and measuring just over 2 m high, this exercise chair was said to offer the equivalent of riding a horse. Known in the 1800s as a chamber horse, the user sat on the seat and bounced up and down on the concertina springs as if trotting on a horse. Horse riding was considered a form of healthy exercise. Judging by the materials and its size, the chair was probably owned by someone who was wealthy.