As you look at this computer, the chances are that you’re sitting down. Actually, statistics show that, on average, we sit for 8.9 hours a day - mainly on seating that’s unsuitable for our posture. With that in mind, it’s small wonder that back pain is the leading cause of disability, leading to as many as 1.1 million people disabled by it.1, 2 And that’s in the UK alone.
Really, though, we shouldn’t be terribly surprised. After all, the basic design of conventional seating wasn’t intended for many hours of continuous use. That’s because, the chairs we know date back to ancient Egypt when the Pharaohs began to use a throne to make sure that they were physically above their subjects to show their superiority. That was fine for Pharaohs because they only used those seats for short periods of time. By the eighteenth century and the time of the industrial revolution, though, most factory workers were required to sit for long periods on this ancient and basic design.
Why? Put simply, it was to make their life easier. Sitting helped in several ways - it relieved the load-bearing joints of the lower limbs, helped to avoid working in unnatural positions, reduced energy consumption, made less demand on the vascular system and, of course, gave greater stability.3
Now, while this may have helped the workers in some ways, sitting on this type of seat actually has many disadvantages, some of them serious. The most serious is that it forces the spine into a poor position, especially in the lumbar region. You see, when you sit on a conventional flat seat, the pelvis isn’t supported in any way. This means it simply rotates backwards, so the spine has no foundation. The result is that the spine changes its shape from a healthy S-shape to an unnatural C-shape. This C-shape is bad for the body.4
The C-shape is not good for the body because, in this position, the body’s centre of gravity is behind the sitting bones rather than over them, which is an unstable position as there is minimal weight bearing on the legs, resulting in significantly increased pressure on the lumbar discs, stretching the ligaments and muscles supporting the spine, and this position puts pressure on internal organs. This makes breathing and digestion harder, and even means that the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body.5
Furthermore, because your thighs are at a 90 degree angle to the upper body, the hamstrings - which are connected to the pelvis and the back of the knee - are stretched. This also causes the pelvis to rotate backwards, contributing to the negative effect that the flat seat is having on posture.
And that’s not all. When you sit on a flat seat, some important postural muscles become inactive, and they almost stop producing lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that’s important for removing fat and cholesterol from the blood. Studies show that, when these muscles are relaxed, enzyme activity drops by 90 - 95%, leaving fat in the bloodstream. Within a couple of hours of sitting, levels of a certain healthy kind of cholesterol plummets by 20%.6
So - conventional flat seats are clearly not good for the body. Yet, despite the abundance of medical and scientific evidence that shows the dangers of this conventional kind of seating7, we continue to use it. That’s because we’re educated to sit on such seats from an early age, so it becomes a habit.
Of course, manufacturers of flat seats do their best to correct the tendency of their products to force the sitter into an unhealthy C-shape. That’s why they include backrests - it’s an attempt to support the spine, prop the body up, and keep it from falling off the seat. But this is too little, too late because the pelvis is already in the wrong position for proper spinal support.
The result of all this is that many experts suggest that, rather than sitting down to do your work, you should stand up so you can avoid the musculoskeletal problems caused by conventional sitting positions.9 When you’re standing, the pelvis is in a neutral position, and the postural muscles help to keep the spine in a natural “S” shape. But, of course, standing to work is not an option for most of us.
What’s more, it has long been known that standing all day is not only more tiring, but it dramatically increases the risk of carotid atherosclerosis by a factor of nine to be precise. That’s because of the additional load that’s put on the circulatory system. It also increases the risk of varicose veins.10, 11 Clearly, standing is not the solution to the problem.
So, what is? Well, there is a solution - a solution that replicates all the advantages of standing, and puts the spine in its natural S shape, without actually making you stand. It’s a seat that’s specially designed to work with, not against, the musculoskeletal system and keep your upper body in a balanced position. Put simply, it stops your body from slumping while you’re sitting. What is it? It’s called the Bambach Saddle Seat.
The Bambach Saddle Seat will change the way you sit forever and transform your experience of living day to day.
To find out more, explore this website and watch our other videos of the Bambach Saddle Seat in action. Or if your keen to quickly improve your health and posture, call us on freephone 0800 581108 and ask for a free trial.