Get in the saddle: 10 benefits of saddle chairs
Saddle stools have traditionally been popular in workplaces where people need to be able to move around easily while they work, such as healthcare clinics and hairdressing salons. Now, there is a growing trend for saddle stools and other active sitting chairs in offices.
As the name suggests, you sit on a saddle chair as if you are riding a horse. You also tend to sit 20-30 cm higher than you would in a normal office chair. But, what are the benefits of a saddle stool?
- Sitting in this position opens up the angle between your hips and knees to 135° (compared to 90° for an office chair). As a result, your spine is held in its natural curve, which prevents you from slouching and thereby reduces tension and pain in the neck, shoulders and lumbar region.
- The open hip angle lets you lean forwards more effectively than you can on an office chair without affecting your posture.
- This position also improves circulation in your legs.
- Your body has to engage the back and abdominal muscles to support itself, which improves core muscle strength.
- Your legs have to do more work to stabilise yourself, which takes the pressure off your lumbar region and reduces strain on the discs, helping to alleviate back pain.
- You use your feet to propel the chair into position while you are on the seat, which exercises your legs.
- The greater range of motion helps prevent joint problems with your knees and hips.
- Saddle stools are height adjustable and come with a tilt adjustable seat. This means that you can adapt the stool to your body and task to find your ideal sitting position.
- A saddle stool allows you to get closer to your work so you don’t overstretch and put strain on your muscles.
- Some saddle chairs come with a split seat, which puts no pressure on your pelvic floor and lowers the temperature in the genital area. This allows you to sit comfortably on the chair for a longer period of time and is considered to be a healthier sitting position, especially for men.
If you’ve never used a saddle stool before, we recommend starting slowly. Try switching out your current office chair for an hour or two at a time at first. As your muscles grow stronger and your spine adjusts to the change in posture, it will become easier to use your saddle chair for longer for more active sitting.