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 evey 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!
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.