US20050155525A1 - Sloped table top and a table having a sloped table top - Google Patents

Sloped table top and a table having a sloped table top Download PDF

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Publication number
US20050155525A1
US20050155525A1 US11/019,679 US1967904A US2005155525A1 US 20050155525 A1 US20050155525 A1 US 20050155525A1 US 1967904 A US1967904 A US 1967904A US 2005155525 A1 US2005155525 A1 US 2005155525A1
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sloped
edge
lateral planar
sections
support members
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Abandoned
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US11/019,679
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Jeffrey Riach
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Oakworks Inc
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Oakworks Inc
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Priority to US11/019,679 priority patent/US20050155525A1/en
Assigned to OAKWORKS, INC. reassignment OAKWORKS, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: RIACH, JEFFREY M.
Publication of US20050155525A1 publication Critical patent/US20050155525A1/en
Assigned to OAKWORKS, INC. reassignment OAKWORKS, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: RIACH, JEFFREY M.
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B3/00Folding or stowable tables
    • A47B3/02Folding or stowable tables with foldable cross legs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B13/00Details of tables or desks
    • A47B13/08Table tops; Rims therefor
    • A47B13/088Sectional table tops

Abstract

A table top including a table surface member having a lateral planar section, and a sloped section at one end of the table surface member. The sloped section is angled upwardly toward an end edge relative to the lateral planar section of the table surface member. In one embodiment, the table top includes a first layer cushion having a wedge portion supported on the sloped section of the table surface member. The table top may be provided with support members that extend downwardly from the periphery of the table top, but not from the end edge. The support members of one embodiment include curved portions proximate to the sloped section.

Description

  • This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/531,627, filed Dec. 23, 2003, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention is directed to a table top for tables that support patients, or clients of professionals who provide therapy or other services, and to tables having such table tops. In particular, the present invention is directed to such tables and table tops in which the table top is provided with a sloped shape.
  • 2. Description of Related Art
  • Table tops of different shape and configuration are known in the art. Most table tops are planar and implemented with a planar table surface member that provides a flat surface for supporting an object placed on the table. Correspondingly, the undersurface of the table top is also planar. In applications where the table top is used to support patients or clients for therapy or other services, the table top is often provided with a cushioned surface to enhance the comfort of the patient or client laying on the table. Service providers may include massage or physical therapists, dentists, or other medical professionals who need easy access to the patient or client laying on the table top.
  • For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,943,965 and No. 6,192,809 issued to the applicant of the present invention disclose massage tables having padded top sections for comfortably supporting a patient or a client laying on top of the tables. Some table tops are made in sectional pieces to allow the table to be folded. Again, the above noted U.S. patents disclose two top sections for the table, the top sections being hingeably secured together to allow the table to be folded for transport or storage.
  • In such applications where a service provider renders services to a patient or client laying down on the table, proper positioning by the service provider to render such services can often be difficult. For instance, to be properly positioned to access the patient/client's neck and shoulders, a massage therapist generally positions himself/herself near the head of the patient/client. In certain situations, it would be advantageous for the service provider to sit with his/her legs tucked under the table top so that access to the patient/client's neck and shoulder is facilitated.
  • Presently, most table tops are implemented with thick padding surfaces, and also typically have support members that extend downwardly along the edges of the table tops. The thick padding and the support members impede the service provider's ability to attain an ergonomically appropriate position to render their services. In particular, the relatively thick padding and the support members add to the increase the total thickness of the table top. Thus, in order for the service provider to sit with his/her legs tucked under the table top, the table has to be sufficiently elevated, or conversely, the seat on which the service provider sits must be relatively low in height.
  • However, when positioned in such manner, the height distance between the service provider's shoulder and the patient/client laying on the table top is substantially reduced. Such a position significantly reduces the vertical advantage that can otherwise be used by the service provider to increase the amount of force exerted on the patient/client. In addition, such a position is not ergonomic for the service provider in that it leads to increased tension in the shoulders of the service provider, and requires uncomfortable, non-relaxed positioning of the service provider's wrists in order to reach the patient/client laying on the table top.
  • In view of the above, there exists an unfulfilled need for a table top that facilitates ergonomic positioning of a service provider to enhance his/her access to a patient or client laying down on the table top. In addition, there exists an unfulfilled need for a table with such a table top that facilitates ergonomic positioning of a service provider.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In view of the foregoing, one aspect of the present invention is in providing a table top that facilitates ergonomic positioning of a service provider to enhance his/her access to a patient or client laying down on the table top.
  • Another aspect of the present invention is in providing a table that facilitates ergonomic positioning of a service provider.
  • In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a table top is provided, the table top including a substantially rigid table surface member having a lateral planar section and a sloped section at an end of the table surface member, the sloped section being angled upwardly toward an end edge relative to the lateral planar section of the table surface member. In one embodiment, the sloped section is angled approximately between 5 to 25 degrees, preferably approximately 15 degrees, relative to the lateral planar section.
  • In accordance with another embodiment, the table top further includes a first layer cushion supported on the table surface member, the first layer cushion including a wedge portion supported on the sloped section of the table surface member. The table surface member may be provided with another sloped section at an opposing end of the table surface member. In still another embodiment, the table top is also provided with a plurality of support members secured to the periphery of the table surface member and extending downwardly from the table surface member, but not from the end edge. The support members may include curved portions proximate to the sloped section.
  • Another aspect of the present invention is in providing a table including a table top with a substantially rigid table surface member, and a leg structure that elevates the table top. In accordance with the present invention, the table surface member includes a lateral planar section and a sloped section at an end of the table surface member, the sloped section being angled upwardly toward an end edge relative to the lateral planar section.
  • Yet another aspect of the present invention is in providing a table including an articulating table top, and a leg structure that elevates the table top. In accordance with one embodiment, the articulating table top has a plurality of pivotably hinged table sections that are positionable in a substantially lateral planar configuration, each of the plurality of table section having a substantially rigid table surface member. In addition, at least one of the plurality of table sections that is positioned at an end of the articulating table includes a sloped section, the sloped section being angled upwardly toward an end edge when in the substantially lateral planar configuration.
  • In another embodiment, the sloped section is angled approximately between 5 to 25 degrees, preferably approximately 15 degrees. The table may further include at least one first layer cushion supported on a surface member. The first layer cushion may have a wedge shaped portion that is supported on the sloped section.
  • In still another embodiment, the table may further include a plurality of support members secured to the periphery of the table surface members and extending downwardly from the table surface members, but not from the end edge. In this regard, the support members of the table section with the sloped section may be implemented with curved portions proximate to the sloped section. The table section with the sloped section is preferably implemented to be downwardly pivotable and/or upwardly pivotable.
  • In accordance with still another embodiment, the leg structure of the table is adjustable to allow height elevation of the table to be adjusted. In one implementation, the leg structure has a scissor configuration, and further includes a motor and a mechanized cylinder actuable to adjust the height elevation of the table. The leg structure may be provided with at least one foot with wheels secured thereto. Moreover, the table may be further implemented with an adjustment mechanism to articulate at least one of the plurality of table sections.
  • These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention when viewed in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a table top in accordance with one example implementation of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 shows a side profile view of the table top of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a table having an articulating table top in accordance with another example implementation of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 shows a side profile view of the table of FIG. 3.
  • FIG. 5 shows a side profile view of the table of FIG. 3 with table sections articulated to angled positions.
  • FIG. 6 shows a side profile view of a table top in accordance with another example implementation of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a table top 1 in accordance with one implementation of the present invention which provides various advantages described herein below. Likewise, FIG. 2, shows a side profile view of the table top of FIG. 1. The table top 1 of the present invention may be used for any purpose, but is especially useful for service providers that provide various services to patients or clients that lay on top of the table top 1. As will be evident from the discussion below, the present invention is especially advantageous for such service providers that provide services in which easy access to the patient/client at one or both ends of the table top 1 is desirable when the service provider is in a seated position. In this regard, the present invention is especially useful for service providers such as massage or physical therapists, dentists, or other medical professionals who need easy access to one or both ends of the table top 1 to facilitate providing of appropriate services to a client or patient laying down on the table top 1, while in a comfortable seated position. Of course, as noted, the table top 1 may be used in any other appropriate applications, and the noted uses by therapists, dentists and medical professionals are merely examples.
  • Both FIGS. 1 and 2 are described herein below together to fully describe the features of the present invention. It should be noted that in the illustrated embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, leg structures for elevating the table top 1 from a ground or other support surface is not shown since such structures do not limit the present embodiment of the invention. In this regard, any appropriate leg structures for elevating the table top 1 may be used in practicing the present illustrated embodiment of the invention.
  • The table top 1 includes a table surface member 2 made of a substantially rigid material such as wood, metal, synthetic material, etc. designed to withstand and support the weight of a patient/client laying down on the table top 1. The table surface member 2 in accordance with the present embodiment includes a lateral planar section 6 and a sloped section 10, the details of which are described in further detail below.
  • In addition, padding is preferably provided on the table surface member 2 of the table top 1 to increase comfort to the patient/client. In this regard, in the illustrated embodiment, first layer cushion 3 is provided on the table surface member 2 and a second layer cushion 4 is provided on top of the first layer cushion 3, both layers of cushions providing comfortable support to the patient/client laying on the table top 1. Of course, in other embodiments, only one layer of cushion material, or more than two layers of cushion material may be provided. Moreover, the cushions may be segmented into smaller portions that only partially extend along the length of the table top 1. In addition, the table top 1 may also be covered with a durable upholstery material such as vinyl or other material (not shown).
  • In the illustrated embodiment, optional support members 8 are provided to increase the rigidity of the table top 1, and to further enhance the esthetic appeal of the table top 1. In particular, support members 8 are attached to the lateral planar section 6, as well as a portion of the sloped section 10 of the table surface member 2 to increase load capacity of the table surface member 2. In the illustrated embodiment, a support member is not provided at end edge 5 of the sloped section 10 which is described below. In addition, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the support members 8 proximate to the sloped section 10 in the illustrated embodiment include curved portions 9 that increases the aesthetic appeal of the sloped table top 1 while also increasing load capacity. The support members 8 are optional and need not be provided in other embodiments.
  • In accordance with the illustrated embodiment of the present invention, the sloped section 10 of the table surface member 2 increases both the function of the table top 1, and the ergonomic comfort to the service provider such as a massage or physical therapist, a dentist, or other medical professional that provide services to patient/client laying down on the table top 1. In particular, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the sloped section 10 of the table top 1 is angled/sloped upwardly toward the end edge 5. This slope of the sloped section 10 is most clearly shown in FIG. 2 in which line “T1” clearly shows the side profile view of the table surface member 2 of the table top 1. As shown, the line T1 is substantially horizontal in the lateral planar section 6, and angles upwardly by angle a in the sloped section 10. Thus, the undersurface of the table top 1 is unlike those of conventional table tops in that it is not simply planar, but instead, incorporates a slope.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the sloped section 10 is angled approximately 15 degrees from the substantially horizontal orientation of the lateral planar section 6. Of course, in other embodiments, the slope may be implemented with a different angle, for example, between 5 to 25 degrees from the substantially horizontal orientation of the lateral planar section 6 of the table surface member 2. Preferably, this sloped section 10 is sized in proportion to the table top 1 so that it begins around where the neck and/or knees of a typical patient/client would be supported when the patient/client is laying down on the table top 1. This ensures that the torso of the patient/client is supported by the full thicknesses of the first layer cushion 3 and the second layer cushion 4 so as to provide maximum comfort to the patient/client. In this regard, the length of the sloped section 10 may be between approximately 1 to 2 feet in length in example implementations.
  • As also shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, to provide a substantially flat surface on upon which the patient or client can lay upon, a wedge shaped portion 7 is provided on the first layer cushion 3. The wedge shaped portion 7 may be provided as a continuous portion of the first layer of cushion 3 as shown, or alternatively, as a separate portion that is segmented and separate from the rest of the first layer of cushion 3. Thus, the first layer cushion 3 of the illustrated embodiment is implemented to provide a substantially flat surface for the table top 1. The thickness of the second layer cushion 4 that is supported on the first layer cushion 3 is substantially constant in the illustrated embodiment. Of course, in other implementations, the first layer cushion 3 may have a constant thickness or different thicknesses toward the end edge 5, for example, to provide a head rest.
  • Correspondingly, the combined thickness of the cushions, and for that matter, the total thickness of the table top 1 near the end edge 5, is thinner than for the rest of the table top 1 in the illustrated embodiment. However, it has been found that the padding in the area of the head or the feet need not be as thick as the padding in the area that supports larger mass areas of the body such as the torso in order to provide comfort to the patient/client laying thereon. The wedge shaped portion 7 allows the table top 1 to be upholstered with plush, thicker foam system that includes the second layer cushion 4, for example, so as to provide comfortable support to the larger mass areas of the body (such as the torso) without increasing the thickness of the table top 1 at one or more of the ends from where the service provider often renders his/her services.
  • In addition, as can also be seen, the table top 1 of the illustrated embodiment is not provided with a support member at the end edge 5 of the sloped section 10. Because of the absence of a support member and the upward sloping of the table surface member 2, ergonomics for the service providers such as therapist or the like can be improved. For instance, if the table top I is implemented in a table having a low height that allows the service provider to provide services while sitting down, the absence of a support member and the upward sloping at the sloped section 10 of the table surface member 2 allows the service provider to easily place his or her legs underneath the table top 1 with the service provider's thighs positioned underneath the sloped section 10. This enhances the ability of the service provider to get close to the patient or client laying down on the table top 1.
  • More importantly, by providing a sloped section 10 with the wedge shaped portion 7, and optionally, not providing a support member at the end edge 5 of the sloped section 10, the thickness of the table top 1 is significantly reduced near the end edge 5 as compared to the midsections of the table top 1. Thus, the seat position of the service provider at one or both of the ends of the table top can be more elevated relative to the patient/client laying down on the table top 1 than would otherwise be possible with conventional table tops. This allows the service provider to be ergonomically seated with his/her shoulders well above the head (or feet) of the patient/client laying on the table top 1. Such positioning provides the height advantage desirable for rendering the required services, reduces tension on the shoulders of the service provider, and providers a more natural orientation of the service provider's wrists. All of these ergonomic benefits minimize fatigue and improve comfort for the service provider.
  • FIGS. 3 and 4 show a perspective and side profile views of a table 11 in accordance with another implementation of the present invention which provides various advantages as described herein below. The table 11 may be used for any purpose but is especially useful to provide physical therapy, or other services to patients/clients by a service provider such as a therapist, dentist, or other medical professional. For example, the table 11 may be used by a massage therapist to provide massage services to a client or patient laying down on the table 11. Both figures are described herein below together to fully describe the features of the illustrated embodiment of the present invention.
  • The table 11 shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 includes an articulating table top 12 made of a plurality of table sections, in the illustrated embodiment, four different table sections 14A-14D. The table sections 14A-14D are pivotably attached via hinges 15 to adjacent table sections, the table sections 14A-14D together forming the articulating table top 12 that is shown in the substantially lateral planar configuration in FIGS. 3 and 4. Of course, it should be recognized in view of the discussion above relative to FIGS. 1 and 2 that the table top in accordance with the present invention need not be provided with multiple table sections, but may be implemented using the single table top shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In addition, in other embodiments, the table may be implemented with different number of table sections such as two or three table sections, at least one of which having the sloped feature of the present invention.
  • Each of the table sections 14A-14D of the articulating table top 12 include a table surface member, only table surface member 40A of table section 14A being indicated in FIG. 4. The table surface members of the table sections are preferably made of a substantially rigid material such as wood, metal, synthetic material, etc. designed to support and withstand the weight of a patient/client laying on the articulating table top 12. In addition, padding is preferably provided on the table surface members of the table sections 14A-14D. In the illustrated embodiment, first layer cushion 36 is provided on the table surface members and a second layer cushion 38 is provided on top of the first layer cushion 36, both layers of cushions providing comfortable support to the patient/client laying down on the articulating table top 12. Of course, in other embodiments, the plurality of table sections may be provided with only one layer of cushion material, or more than two layers of cushion material. In addition, each of the table sections 14A-14D may also be covered with durable upholstery material such as vinyl or other material (not shown). Furthermore, support members 42A-42D are also provided in the illustrated embodiment to increase the rigidity of each of the table sections 14A-14D, and to further enhance the aesthetic appeal of the table 11.
  • The articulating table top 12 is supported by a leg structure 20 which supports the articulating table top 12, and further allows the height of the articulating table top 12 to be adjusted to a desired elevation. The adjustability of the articulating table top 12 allows the patient/client to be elevated or lowered to better correspond to the ergonomic needs of the service provider such as a therapist, dentist or other medical professional. In the illustrated embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4, the leg structure 20 is of a scissor type configuration including legs 22 which are pivotably hinged at pivot 24, to thereby allow folding or expansion of the legs 22, and corresponding raising or lowering of the articulating table top 12.
  • As can also be seen, the legs 22 are provided with feet 26 which stabilize the table 11 in its operating configuration shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. One foot 26 is provided with traction grommets 28 which provide stability to the table 11 so that it will not move during elevating or lowering of the articulating table top 12. In this regard, the other foot 26 is provided with wheels 30 that allow the legs 22 to be collapsed together by displacing the foot 26 with the wheels 30 in the direction of arrow “A” closer to the other foot 26 with the traction grommets 28, thereby raising the elevation of the table top 12. Alternatively, the legs 22 can be expanded by displacing the foot 26 with the wheels 30 in the direction of arrow “B” further away from the other foot 26 with the traction grommets 28, thereby lowering the elevation of the table top 12. In addition, the wheels 30 facilitate transport of the table 11 from one location to another.
  • Furthermore, the leg structure 20 of the table 11 in accordance with the example implementation of the present invention is provided with mechanized cylinder 32 that is operable via motor 34 to variably adjust the height elevation of the articulating table top 12. In particular, in the illustrated embodiment, when the motor 34 is actuated to extend the mechanized cylinder 32, the articulating table top 12 is elevated to an increasing height. If the motor 34 is operated to retract the mechanized cylinder 32, the articulating table top 12 is lowered closer to the ground surface. Of course, in other implementations of the present invention, different mechanisms for adjusting the height of the articulating table top 12 may be provided.
  • Thus, the table 11 of FIGS. 3 and 4 allows the height of the articulating table top 12 to be adjusted easily so as to facilitate providing of services by the therapist or other professional. For example, when the service provider needs to stand in order to provide proper services to the patient, the articulating table top 12 may be raised. However, if the required service can be performed with the service provider sitting down, the articulating table top 12 of the table 11 can be lowered to an appropriate height that allows the service provider to provide the required services while sitting.
  • In accordance with the illustrated embodiment of the present invention, the articulating table top 12 is further provided with specialized features that increase both the function of the table 11, and the ergonomic comfort to the service provider using the table 11. In particular, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the table surface member of table section 14A includes a sloped section 16 at one end of the articulating table top 12, similar to the sloped table top discussed above relative to FIGS. 1 and 2. In particular, the sloped section table surface member 40A is angled/sloped upward toward the end edge 43 of the table 11. This slope is most clearly shown by line “T2” of FIG. 4 that shows the side profile view of the table surface member 40A of the table section 14A. Thus, the undersurface of the table section 14A is unlike the other table sections in that it incorporates a slope.
  • In accordance with the illustrated embodiment of the present invention, one or more of the table sections 14A-14D of the articulating table top 12 are also adapted to be articulated into alternate position or positions that will facilitate providing of appropriate services to the patient/client by the service provider. In particular, in the illustrated embodiment, the table 11 is provided with position adjustment mechanisms 44A and 44C which allow table sections 14A and 14C to be articulated, respectively. In particular, by operating the position adjustment mechanism 44C, the table section 14C may be angled upwardly relative to the other table sections of the articulating table top 12. For example, this feature may be used to elevate the knees of the patient/client laying on the articulating table top 12. Such articulation may be attained by providing a cam, a crank, or a clamp device that is operated by the adjustment mechanisms 44A and 44C.
  • In addition, in the illustrated embodiment, the position adjustment mechanism 44A may be actuated to change the angle of the sloped table section 14A upwardly in the direction of arrow “U”, or downwardly in the direction of arrow “D” illustrated in FIG. 4. This angling feature of the table section 14A allows the articulating table top 12 to be configured to allow ergonomic positioning of the patient/client to facilitate providing of services by the service provider. For example, when providing massage services to the shoulders of the patient/client, the shoulders may be raised (with the patient/client laying on his/her back) by angling the table section 14A upward. Alternatively, the patient/client's shoulders may be positioned lower by angling the table section 14A downward, thereby allowing the therapist to sit at the end of the articulating table top 12 while providing massage services to the shoulder/neck regions of the patient/client (with the patient/client laying on his/her stomach).
  • FIG. 5 shows the articulating table top 12 in which the position adjustment mechanisms 44A and 44C have been actuated to articulate the table sections 14A and 14C, respectively. In this regard, the position adjustment mechanism 44A is actuated to downwardly angle the sloped table section 14A in the direction of arrow “D”. In addition, the position adjustment mechanism 44C is actuated to upwardly angle the table section 14C in the manner shown. In the present embodiment, because the table section 14C is pivotably hinged to the table section 14D, the table section 14D is also upwardly angled, with the hinged 15 being upwardly displaced as shown in FIG. 5.
  • As can be seen, the table section 14A is provided with a table surface member 40A having a sloped section 16 which slopes upwardly toward the end edge 43 of the table 11. Correspondingly, the table 11 is provided with the benefits discussed above relative to the table top 1 of FIGS. 1 and 2 in that the total thickness of the table 11 is substantially reduced at the end edge 43 to allow ergonomic positioning of the service provider, while at the same time, allowing provision of cushions that are of sufficient thickness to comfortably support the heavier mass portions of the patient/client's body such as the torso.
  • Moreover, when the service provider actuates the position adjustment mechanism 44A to downwardly angle the table section 14A as shown in FIG. 5, the sloped shape of the table surface member 40A allows the table section 14A to rest on the lap of the service provider when he/she is sitting under the end edge 43 of the table 11. In this regard, the illustrated embodiment of the table section 14A is not provided with a support member at the end edge 43 of the table 11. Because of the absence of a support member and the sloped section 16 of the table surface member 40A, the table section 14A can be comfortably rested on the lap of the service provider when the table section 14A is angled downward, without a support member or the end edge 43 pressing down into the legs of the service provider which would cause significant discomfort to the service provider.
  • Thus, by providing a sloped table section 14A in which the table surface member 40A is not parallel to the cushion surface, but instead, is sloped upward, the ergonomic comfort for the service provider can be greatly improved when the table section 14A is angled downwardly. In addition, as also shown most clearly in FIGS. 3 and 4, to provide a substantially flat surface on the sloped table section 14A, a portion of the first layer cushion 36 for the sloped table section 14A is wedge shaped. As previously described, the wedge shaped padding of the table section 14A allows the table 11 to be upholstered with plush, thicker foam system in the midsection of the table 11 while also providing reduced thickness at the end edge. Of course, as noted previously, the cushion of the table section 14A near the end edge 43 is thinner than for the rest of the table 11 in the illustrated embodiment.
  • Moreover, as most clearly shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the support members 42A for the table section 14A in the illustrated embodiment is shaped in a uniquely curved manner that increases aesthetic appeal of the table 11. As can be seen, the support members 42A are sized to at least partially limit the view of the position adjustment mechanism 44A. It is again noted that the provision of such support members are optional and need not be provided in other implementations of the present invention. In addition, as previously noted, the absence of a support member at the end edge 43 of the table 11 enhances ergonomic comfort to the service provider, and allows the table section 14A to be comfortably rested on the lap of a service provider in its downwardly angled configuration.
  • FIG. 6 shows a side profile view of a table top 50 in accordance with another example implementation of the present invention. The table top 50 is similar to the table top 1 discussed above relative to FIGS. 1 and 2. In this regard, the table top 50 includes a table surface member 52 made of a substantially rigid material designed to support the weight of a patient/client laying down on the table top 50. As can be seen, in the illustrated embodiment, the table top 50 is not provided with the optional support members. Correspondingly, the table surface member 52 should be strong enough to support the weight of the patient/client without such support from additional support members.
  • The table surface member 52 in accordance with the present embodiment includes lateral planar section 54, and sloped sections 56 and 58 at the ends thereof. In contrast to the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, the present embodiment is provided with sloped sections at both ends of the table top 50 so that the advantages discussed in detail above are realized for the service provider, both at the patient/client's head and feet. In particular, the sloped section 56 is angled/sloped upwardly toward the end edge 57 while the sloped section 58 is angled/sloped upwardly toward the end edge 59.
  • Furthermore, in the illustrated embodiment, the padding provided on the table surface member 52 to increase comfort to the patient/client is implemented in separate segments. In this regard, in the illustrated embodiment, first layer cushion 60 is provided on the lateral planar section 54 of the table surface member 52. In addition, two wedge portions 62 and 64 are provided on the sloped sections 56 and 58 of the table surface member 52, respectively. A second layer cushion 66 is provided on top of the first layer cushion 60 and the two wedge portions 62 and 64, both layers of cushions providing comfortable support to the patient/client laying on the table top 50. As noted, the cushions may be implemented in a single layer. The table top 50 may also be covered with a durable upholstery material such as vinyl or other material (not shown).
  • The above described sloped sections 56 and 58 of the table surface member 52 and the wedge portions 62 and 64 increases both the function of the table top 50, and the ergonomic comfort to the service provider. These ergonomic benefits to the service provider have been discussed in detail above and thus, omitted here to avoid repetition.
  • While various embodiments in accordance with the present invention have been shown and described, it is understood that the invention is not limited thereto. The present invention may be changed, modified and further applied by those skilled in the art. Therefore, this invention is not limited to the detail shown and described previously, but also includes all such changes and modifications.

Claims (30)

1. A table top comprising a substantially rigid table surface member having a lateral planar section, and a sloped section at an end of said table surface member, said sloped section being angled upwardly toward an end edge relative to said lateral planar section of said table surface member.
2. The table top of claim 1, wherein said sloped section is angled approximately between 5 to 25 degrees relative to said lateral planar section.
3. The table top of claim 2, wherein said sloped section is angled approximately 15 degrees relative to said lateral planar section.
4. The table top of claim 1, further comprising a first layer cushion supported on said table surface member.
5. The table top of claim 4, wherein said first layer cushion includes a wedge portion supported on said sloped section of said table surface member.
6. The table top of claim 1, wherein said table surface member has another sloped section at an opposing end of said table surface member.
7. The table top of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of support members secured to the periphery of said table surface member and extending downwardly from said table surface member, but not from said end edge.
8. The table top of claim 7, wherein said support members include curved portions proximate to said sloped section.
9. A table comprising:
a table top with a substantially rigid table surface member; and
a leg structure that elevates said table top;
wherein said table surface member includes a lateral planar section and a sloped section positioned at an end of said table surface member, said sloped section being angled upwardly toward an end edge relative to said lateral planar section.
10. The table of claim 9, wherein said sloped section is angled approximately between 5 to 25 degrees relative to said lateral planar section.
11. The table of claim 10, wherein said sloped section is angled approximately 15 degrees relative to said lateral planar section.
12. The table of claim 10, further comprising first layer cushion supported on said table surface member.
13. The table of claim 12, wherein said first layer cushion includes a wedge portion supported on said sloped section of said table surface member.
14. The table of claim 9, further comprising a plurality of support members secured to the periphery of said table surface member and extending downwardly from said table surface member, but not from said end edge.
15. The table top of claim 14, wherein said support members include curved portions proximate to said sloped section.
16. The table of claim 9, wherein said table surface member has another sloped section at an opposing end of said table surface member.
17. A table comprising:
an articulating table top having a plurality of pivotably hinged table sections that are positionable in a substantially lateral planar configuration, each of said plurality of table sections having a substantially rigid table surface member; and
a leg structure that elevates said table top;
wherein at least one of said plurality of table sections that is positioned at an end of said articulating table includes a sloped section, said sloped section being angled upwardly toward an end edge when in said substantially lateral planar configuration.
18. The table of claim 17, wherein said sloped section is angled approximately between 5 to 25 degrees.
19. The table of claim 18, wherein said sloped section is angled approximately 15 degrees.
20. The table of claim 17, further comprising at least one first layer cushion supported on a surface member.
21. The table of claim 20, wherein said first layer cushion includes a wedge shaped portion supported on said sloped section.
22. The table of claim 17, further comprising a plurality of support members secured to the periphery of said table surface members and extending downwardly from said table surface members, but not from said end edge.
23. The table of claim 22, wherein said support members of said table section with said sloped section include curved portions proximate to said sloped section.
24. The table of claim 17, wherein'said table section with said sloped section is downwardly pivotable.
25. The table of claim 17, wherein said table section with said sloped section is upwardly pivotable.
26. The table of claim 17, wherein said leg structure is adjustable to allow height elevation of said table to be adjusted.
27. The table of claim 26, wherein said leg structure has a scissor configuration.
28. The table of claim 26, wherein said leg structure further includes a motor and a mechanized cylinder actuable to adjust the height elevation of said table.
29. The table of claim 17, wherein said leg structure includes at least one foot including wheels secured thereto.
30. The table of claim 17, further including an adjustment mechanism to angle at least one of said plurality of table sections.
US11/019,679 2003-12-23 2004-12-23 Sloped table top and a table having a sloped table top Abandoned US20050155525A1 (en)

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