Financial News Release


Back Pain Relief, La-Z-Boy Style

MONROE, Mich., June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Does your father have a bad back? Do you? If so, you are not alone. Seventy-five percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Just in time for Father's Day, the nation's leading manufacturer of upholstered furniture has introduced the Airflex(TM) Massage System by La-Z-Boy(R).

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This collection of chairs combines the renowned La-Z-Boy 10-motor massage system with Ergomedics' patented BackCycler(R). Invented by Dr. Rowland G. Hazard, a board-certified physician specializing in spine health, the BackCycler(R)'s innovative air pillow system keeps your back comfortable by gently supporting and moving your spine forward and back, relieving strain on muscles, ligaments and discs. The BackCycler(R)'s continuous passive spinal motion has been proven effective through 10 years of federally funded university research.

"We have taken the massage chair concept to new heights of comfort, ergonomics and style with the Airflex(TM) Massage System," said Greg White, vice president of merchandising for La-Z-Boy. "After identifying the need to develop a recliner that addressed the back pain issues that so many of our customers face, we searched for the best technology. We found it in the BackCycler(R)."

The La-Z-Boy Airflex(TM) Massage System is another industry first. Its primary feature, the BackCycler(R), is a pneumatic, or air-driven, system with two inflatable cushions built into the back of the recliner. A bowtie-shaped air cushion is located in the lower back or lumbar area, and a smaller, rectangular shaped cushion is located just above it.

Key to the effectiveness of the BackCycler(R) is its inflation cycle system. One air cushion inflates while the other deflates, creating a cycle of continuous passive motion that actually moves the spine. Spinal motion nourishes the discs while reducing and shifting the patterns of stress on the muscles and ligaments. The lumbar cushion can be inflated to just the right size to provide stationary support, making it the perfect pillow. The BackCycler(R)'s patented pressure control system allows each person to customize the chair for their own needs and get just the right amount of support and spinal motion.

"Sitting is actually one of the most stressful positions for the human spine, especially if you stay in one position too long. The reclining mechanism that La-Z-Boy invented is great for taking some of the upper body's weight off the spine, and the BackCycler(R) does the rest by keeping the spine moving. The movement makes a big difference," said Dr. Hazard. "The BackCycler(R) has an extensive and elaborate scientific research background, but the bottom line is, it just feels great."

The Airflex(TM) Massage System is operated by a single control wand that allows for individual or simultaneous operation of both the BackCycler and the massage system. The BackCycler(R) has three speeds and three cycle times for controlling the support pressure and motion, plus multiple static lumbar positions, while the La-Z-Boy 10-motor massage system can be manipulated so that the motors work independently or in unison.

"Our commitment to innovation is part of what makes us the industry leader," said White. "Listening to our customers and understanding their daily stresses drove us to design this ergonomically sensitive chair with the goal of making reclining even more therapeutic."

The Airflex(TM) Massage System is currently available in two recliner styles, "Haven" and "Branson." Characterized by shapely arm posts and whimsical, contemporary wings, "Haven" also boasts a properly positioned split back. The familiar and popular "Branson" recliner, with its bowed-out arms and expressive back treatment, was retooled to include the Airflex(TM) Massage System. Both "Haven" and "Branson" are available in selections of fabric and leather, making function fashionable.

Recliners featuring the Airflex(TM) Massage System retail from $999 in fabric and $1,299 in leather. They can be purchased at La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries(R) stores, La-Z-Boy In-Store Gallery dealers and anywhere genuine La-Z-Boy furniture is sold. Consumers can call 1-800-MAKE A HOME (1-800-625-3246) or visit to find the La-Z-Boy dealer nearest them.

Dr. Hazard is a specialist in back pain, as well as a world-renowned researcher in spinal biomechanics and in the prevention and treatment of disabling back pain. He is a fellow in the American College of Physicians, a founder of the Spine Institute of New England and a clinical professor of orthopedics and rehabilitation at the University of Vermont. An editorial reviewer and frequent contributor for leading medical journals and textbooks, Dr. Hazard has published in Spine, the Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine, the Journal of the Neuromusculoskeletal System and the Journal of Spinal Disorders.

Headquartered in Monroe, Mich., La-Z-Boy is the nation's largest single manufacturer of upholstered furniture and the world's leading producer of reclining chairs. The company manufactures a full line of products for the living room and family room, including the company's world-famous recliners, reclining sofas and love seats, sleep sofas, modular furniture and leather upholstery, as well as stationary sofas, love seats and chairs. It is a division of La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE: LZB; PCX), the nation's largest furniture manufacturer.

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CONTACT: Laura Gallarzo, 800-837-7123, or Cynthia Rohde, 312-565-3900, both for La-Z-Boy/