The best office chair I have ever used. Bonus: It curbs sitting disease.
Those of you who know me know how conscientious I am about a healthy lifestyle. What you probably don’t know is that a large part of my day is spent sitting. Oh, I am busy. Actually too busy most of the time, but just like many of you, the majority of my activity is done while I’m sitting.
I received some eye-opening facts about what all this sitting is doing to my body when I had the pleasure of interviewing Patrick Harrison, the inventor of the CoreChair. The CoreChair is an ergonomic office chair that is good for your health. Keep reading and you'll find out how a chair can be good for your health.
Patrick explained to me that sitting for hours on end is a health hazard. The average amount of sitting time for most of us is approximately 9 hours a day, cutting real activity to about 2 hours a day. As someone who is on the higher end of that scale, I was extremely interested in what Patrick had to say.
What effect does this amount of sitting have on our bodies?
Health-wise it affects:
- our blood glucose regulation negatively by not producing enough insulin. High glucose levels lead to things like obesity, and potentially into diabetes.
- and vascular reactivity. Vascular reactivity is our body’s response to gravity. So if we aren’t moving, our blood vessels are less inclined to react to anything. This puts us into a more sedentary state, similar to sleeping. It affects how our blood is flowing through our system, how we are getting blood and nutrients into our digestive system, and other body functions including thinking.
These are huge contributing factors to what has become known as ‘sitting disease’ or sedentary disease.
How has sitting disease come about?
Over the years, there are fewer jobs that require us to be on our feet and more jobs that require us to be on our seat. As awareness of the hazards of long-time sitting increased, one answer was to go to a standing desk and the sit-stand desk. However, after several years of research, it was discovered that whether you sit or stand made little difference as you still aren’t moving.
Patrick is a proponent of the sit-stand desk in order to change your position as much as possible throughout the day. But it still poses the problem of how to work standing and yet keep moving.
So how do we sit and yet somehow keep moving?
This is where the CoreChair is the perfect solution. Sitting helps us stay more focused and puts us in a more relaxed position when we’re seated properly. And, it addresses being able to continue moving even while seated.
The CoreChair was inspired by the exercise ball that people were taking to the office to replace their office chair to add more movement to their day. As good as the exercise ball is for short periods of exercise in the right settings, it is not good as an office chair and can present a hazard in an office. In addition, it doesn’t provide good postural support.
How does the CoreChair operate?
In order to make the CoreChair compatible to an office setting, it starts with the typical base of an office chair with casters and height adjustments. From there a pivot point is placed beneath the user’s center balance. This allows good safe mobility to the hips, pelvis, and spine. It also has adjustable resistance so you can tone down the amount of movement or lock it to not move at all.
The seat is sculpted to accommodate your sit bones, hips, and lower back. This low-back support snugs up to the back of your pelvis to allow movement above and below your pelvis to give you more freedom of movement throughout the day.
What does all this do for the user?
- It provides tremendous relief from back pain.
- Your body is in balance which in turn reduces pain and strain for muscles and joints.
- Blood flow is improved.
- Muscles are stimulated.
- The discs in your back stay hydrated.
My CoreChair experience
Personally, I keep my CoreChair set to allow the maximum amount of movement. By the end of my day, after making all these micro-movements, my obliques feel like I did a session of pilates that day. I don’t feel fatigued in my lower back but instead feel like I have engaged my core. It gives me a satisfying feeling like I did something good.
Patrick explained to me that these continual subtle movements throughout the day actually elevates my metabolic output. This was confirmed by a study done by the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University. I’m burning 20% more calories as compared to a traditional chair. A further study by Wealth University showed that just the subtle little movement also reduces swelling in your ankles and calves by increased blood flow. The Mayo Clinic NEAT program found that making subtle little movements throughout the day is superior to getting up and moving around. However, you don’t want to give up doing that as it uses your larger muscle groups.
As an advocate of getting great value, CoreChair is definitely one way you can get great value out of your sitting time.