Finding the Right Active Sitting Stool for Back or Hip Pain
The average person spends approximately eight hours of their working day sat down, which for some people can create pain and discomfort in the back, hips, and other joints around the body.
Though many people often feel the need to compensate for their sedentary work life by balancing this with very high-energy social lives, this may not be as helpful in counterbalancing the common complaints as we may assume. This is where active sitting comes into its own!
What is Active Sitting?
Though many know this term as “dynamic sitting,” it is most often referred to as “active sitting.” This is when some of the muscles within the body are being engaged during the action of sitting, although the working muscles will not necessarily always be the same. It could be muscles in the legs, back or stomach that are engaged, but nevertheless, a muscle group would be in motion. This is thought to help improve the core muscle strength, although there is no conclusive research to prove this.
Originally constructed from the Swiss concept of sitting on a ball, active sitting is thought to have many health benefits. However, many of these supposed pros have not been proven by medical research or testing. Many longer-term users have felt as if they have gained a more stable core, have reduced spine and hip pain, and even burned through more calories each day when they have been using the active sitting stool for working.
Finding the Right Active Sitting Stool for Your Condition and Work
As with anything, there is no one single thing that is perfectly suited for everyone; the same applies for finding the best active sitting stool. Just as we are all made differently as people, the active stools are all designed and made to suit the fact that we are all different, accounting for our likes and dislikes. So, being realistic, there is not one best active stool to recommend that would be ideal for every user because there is no right or wrong answer. Instead, we have put together a Top 5 Category List so that you can see the potential benefits in different active stools so that you can scope the potential best active sitting stool just for you!
Flatter Active Sitting Stools
As back and hip pain can be two of the most common complaints for people seated for long periods of time, predominantly in offices, flatter active stools are thought to be useful by some users. The Core Chair, for example, aims to reduce pain in the lower lumbar and enhance posture. This could be due to its lumbar support, pelvic stabiliser and sculpted, cushioned seat. Some users feel the gentle movement eases discomfort.
An alternative option, where users have described similar outcomes, is that of the Swopper Active Stool. Again, suited for long periods of time sitting in an office environment, it is thought to promote spinal strength and good posture. It has also been noted by some of its users that it has assisted with their concentration levels and helped them to feel happier and fitter when going about their daily lives. Though none of these factors can be proven, these individual psychological findings are interesting.
Firmer Saddle-shaped Active Stool
With their roots firmly seated in the medical field, the firmer saddle-shaped active stool could be a good solution for users wanting to try to reduce the sedentary seated experience. The Salli Swing is geared more towards males, with male dentists in particular having a high rate of purchasing and giving positive feedback on this style of active sitting stool. They have reported that this is due to the two individual split saddle parts being more helpful to the tilting of the pelvis whilst putting less pressure on the saddle area. The idea behind the active stools’ design is to increase the individuals’ use of their core as they work
A popular saddle shaped active movement stool for female dentists is the Score Amazone Balance. As they are narrow and well angled, they are seemingly well aimed at fitting the female body shape in alignment with the pelvis tilt. Medics, dentists and office workers alike have given positive individual feedback of this chosen style of active stool type which they personally feel assists with their posture, reduction of lumbar pain and increase in lower limb circulation, although there is no proof
Softer Saddle-shaped Active Sitting Stools
Some users prefer a softer saddle seat which brings us to the Backapp smart active sitting stool. With its Norwegian design and Swedish build, this active sitting stool is thought to open the hips, promote balance of the user and offer a soft seating experience. Users with prior back injuries or generic back pain have commented on the positives of this stool, especially those working in a seated position, as it has been noted by individuals that they feel that it has assisted them with strengthening their core and balance.
Best Active Sitting Stool with High Leaning Position
Most commonly purchased in the hope of assisting with low back injuries or as an injury preventative tool, the Muvman is thought to be one of the best active sitting stool options for a high leaning position. It can be used in many different sit stand desk setups, sits high in its design and is frequently made as a replacement for the common bar stool. Tilting to engage the core of the user, this stool is said to be well suited to an active workplace, and users have commented that its gentle movements and higher position of seating have assisted with their previous injuries.
Best Active Stool Options with Backrest Feature
Created to assist with the stability of the pelvis, the Core Chair has a small backrest which users have said helps to prevent them from slumping, slouching and regressing into poor postural positions over the course of their busy working days. With a tilting seat, the user must engage their core and strengthen muscles to stay in position. Users have given feedback that they like that there are no armrests on this active sitting stool so that they are not restricted from the type of work they are able to undertake whilst using this stool. However, whether this is the best active stool remains to be seen, as there is no large scale scientific evidence as to how it supports the spine, improves the core or assists with injury prevention. Whilst not strictly a stool we should also mention here the aeris 3Dee which has combines an active sitting stool with a backrest and armrests. Some people are particularly drawn towards the 3DEE when they still feel the want the security of a backrest and arms with the mobility and movement of a stool.
Active Stool Sitting Transitioning
Making the transition from an ordinary office or work chair can be challenging, even for the fittest, healthiest and most resilient of people. But do not give up! It just takes a little time and some getting used to.
What you need to do is to start slowly and begin with using your new active sitting stool for approximately 30 minutes each day to enable your body to acclimatize. It is unknown why your body needs the time to do this but it is thought that soft tissues within the body require time to adjust. Continue over time to build up in 30 minute blocks and within a few weeks your body will have transitioned to the use of your active sitting stool. Give your body the time that it needs.
Active Stools Summary
Despite the fact that many people are aware that sitting for long periods of time in a sedentary position can, and will, have a negative impact on the body, especially over a long period of time, it is not always easy to work out how to change this. Finding an active sitting stool is thought to be a very positive move towards helping your body, but there is no right or wrong answer as to which is the best active sitting stool style; it is merely a case of working out which is the best active stool for you, your body and your profession. As there is sadly limited medical evidence on the ways in which the active sitting stool can assist with back and hip pain, focus on what helps you subjectively!