Getting kids to face forward and sit up straight is a challenge most schoolteachers face. The new Saddle Seat from designer Mashiko Ito is designed to make their jobs easier. As dezeen reports, students who use the chair are encouraged to improve their posture and focus on what's in front of them.

As the name suggests, the Saddle Seat curves like a saddle rather than lying flat like a conventional chair seat. Sitters need to straddle it if they want to stay balanced. This forces them to sit still and upright, the position the designer noticed most kids take when they're paying attention in class, rather than slouching back in their chairs and fidgeting, which often means there isn't much learning going on.

Masahiko Ito

Ito studied product and furniture design at Kingston School of Art in the UK before reinventing the school chair. He writes on his website that he not only wanted to create something that would improve student behavior in the classroom, but that would also teach kids to sit in a way that sets them up for a healthier life.

The Saddle Seat isn't ready for consumers yet, but Ito is already showing it off. It was on display at the New Designers showcase in London from July 4 and July 7.

Masahiko Ito

[h/t dezeen]