Active Sitting — Even at Work

Ariel QOR360 Chair

As equestrians, we probably are more aware of the concept of “active sitting” than most people. When you sit on a horse, your core is engaged, you are responding to movement and your muscles constantly contract and balance you.

Then you go to work, or home, and — if you’re like me — you sit. Very still. I spend hours every day sitting and writing on my computer. Even though I try to get up and move around every hour (thank you, Fitbit), there are long expanses during the day where I am still.

Enter the concept of active sitting chairs. These chairs allow you, or compel you, to engage your muscles while sitting behind your desk. The theory is that active sitting throughout the day increases your core strength, reduces muscle tension, improves your posture, and allows your pelvis to move.

Recently, I was given the chance to try the QOR360 chair (pronounced CORE-360), an active sitting chair inspired by traditions of Yoga, Aikido, Feldenkrais, and bodywork, the QOR360 uses proprietary technology to provide a sitting surface that rocks in every direction allowing your spine to adopt its natural, perfect posture while sitting. The video below shows how it works — the seat is balanced on a patented mechanism they call RedRocker™ Technology, which allows the QOR360 chairs to move effortlessly in all directions, allowing you to stay in motion.

So, what’s it like?

The first thing I noticed is that you need to stay balanced. The chair moves like a young horse — somewhat unpredictable at first in unanticipated directions. The more you sit on it, the more it becomes part of your own movement. As you turn, lean, swivel or adjust your body, the chair moves with you.

As someone who suffers from piriformis pain, I found that the chair put me in a position that stretched my hip flexors, which was a very welcome experience. It also made me sit up straighter — no slumping!

Denny Emerson in QOR360
Here’s a horseman who finds the QOR360 quite helpful! Denny Emerson sat in one while meeting fans and signing his two books at the QOR 360 booth at Equine Affaire, Inc. (Official). Denny uses and endorses the QOR360 chair for a strong core, and to keep his back and hips flexible when he’s Facebooking at Tamarack Hill Farm.

The chair is designed to keep your knees below your hips, which (like sitting in the saddle) stretches the front of your body and encourages you to stabilize your core and find balance. My loaner chair was the smaller size, so I couldn’t get it tall enough to get the full effect, but I definitely could see how it would work even better if you had the right size.

The QOR360 chairs were designed and are built in Burlington, Vt. Compared to most other active sitting chairs, they are very reasonably priced, ranging from $350 to $500. The construction and craftsmanship is top notch. Even better, they ship for free and come with a 60-day trial period. If you don’t like it, they offer free returns.

So, if you are looking for some active sitting when you get home from the barn, consider the QOR360 chair as an alternative to your standard office fare.

11 thoughts on “Active Sitting — Even at Work

  1. I tried one of these at equine affaire! It’s on my wish list, I liked it a lot and my trainer loved them.

  2. I enjoyed having the loaner. I don’t sit at a desk very often or I’d buy one. I do have a saddle chair that I use when I work at a desk, it positions you wtih your knees down and while it doesn’t have the motion of the QOR360, it puts you in a more balanced position. I bought it so many years ago I no longer remember the brand.

  3. Mine arrived today. I am sitting in at as I type this. Thank you for the heads up! I can definitely feel myself sitting ‘dynamically’. I don’t miss the arms from my more conventional office chair. I can feel my lower back responding. I don’t feel as if the chair is going to throw me.
    I like to write…a LOT, and I hope this chair keeps me from getting ‘rump sprung’ as I’ve had happen in the past.

  4. Thank you! About the only problem…well, for me, it’s a relief…one of my cats, Sable, INSISTS on sitting in my or my husband’s lap while we’re at the computer. This wouldn’t be so bad if she also didn’t insist on having one’s left arm used to rest her chin on…NOT to type with. I’m ambidextrous, I touch type FAST and use my left hand to move the mouse, and a cat’s head on my left forearm is NOT conducive to typing. Whereas my husband just…tolerates it. W
    When I sat in the QOR for the first time, she immediately jumped up into my lap…which is now far to active for her. Damn it, she said, jumped down and gave me that you heartless beast look. Then when I got up, I put her on the QOR seat…and that cured her…way too active for her!

  5. I hear you. I often have one cat on my lap and another one tucked up on/under my left arm. They have no appreciation for how much they impact my work (and posture).

    1. I tried both briefly. Given a choice I would have taken the Newton for a longer trial but only the Ariel was available in a tall enough size so that’s the one I had at home. I didn’t buy one in the end because I rarely work at a desk. I think if possible it’s worth sitting on both.

  6. Thank you, both for the advice and for responding so quickly! I don’t think I’ll have a chance to try them out, but working at home at a make-do “office” arrangement is affecting my back and consequently my riding, so either will be a huge improvement.

    1. I hear you! I invested in an Ekornes chair with a desk attachment as I needed to find a better way of working. I was lucky enough to find the chair used for a good price because they are $$.

  7. I think I would fall asleep in those lol! And didn’t know they came with a desk attachment. Enjoy it!

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