Many of us are not strangers to back, neck and shoulder pains. According to some statistics, as much as 80 percent of people suffer from some kind of back problems at some point in their lives. Many of us spend even 13 hours sitting every working day, and naturally the proper sitting position and the work chair play a major role in how we feel. Correct sitting has multiple effects on our wellbeing.
The ergonomically designed seat of the Salli Saddle Chair directs your body automatically in the natural, health-promoting posture. Once you have achieved this, it is easy to work all day.
An upright and healthy sitting position affects the energy levels of your mind and body. As a result of the good posture, the rib cage can expand freely, which deepens your breathing. Improved blood circulation reduces headaches. On the active seat, the muscles in your back and abdomen get a little workout during the day.
On the Salli Saddle Chair, your body weight rests on the sitting bones. The lower back can therefore form a natural curve. The riding-like sitting position lets your back enjoy good posture without unnecessary muscle tension. As the load on the spine eases, the muscles in the neck and shoulder area can relax. The lower body forms a golden triangle: you are sitting on your sitting bones with your legs obliquely forward.
Sitting should disturb the natural vital functions of the human body as little as possible. Balanced sitting is based on the right (upright) position of the pelvis that is supported by the sitting bones and not by the soft tissues (such as muscles, ligaments, fat, connective tissues, blood vessels, nerves, and skin). This will result in a good back posture and in free movement of the limbs and the back.
Long-term sitting is always harmful to the body. These harmful effects can be minimized by sitting in such a way that
- the upper body is free; posture is good and tension-free
- upper and lower limbs are free to move
- thighs are pointing approximately 45 degrees downwards from the horizontal level, and the pelvis is straight
- sitting is supported by the bones in the feet, pelvis and elbows
- the genitals are not under any pressure
Riding-like sitting in a quality saddle chair, in front of a rightly adjusted table, will cause the minimum amount of sitting-related ailments.
Ergonomic and healthy sitting position is best achieved on an anatomically designed, two-part saddle chair. Sitting on Salli automatically creates lordosis in the lower back, which relieves the harmful pressure on the disks. The gap in the seat makes it possible to maintain the good posture even during long operations, because there is no uncomfortable pressure in the genital area – and thus no need to round the back.
When sitting on a saddle chair the body can move almost as freely as when working in a standing position. Moving around the patient and reaching for things is effortless. Furthermore, there is no need for a separate working chair in front of the table, because moving on Salli is so fast and easy. Salli accessories improve ergonomics in operating theatre, ultrasound and when taking samples.
Elbow Rest gives good support for both hands. Excellent for anesthesia nurses, and to be used in laboratories and x-ray.
Ergorest hand support is available with or without the back rest. A very good accessory to be used in laboratories and ultrasound.
Salli Expert has a two-part seat which enables you to maintain the good position even during long operations. Height control both by hand lever and by foot.
Foot Height Control enables you to adjust the height hygienically, without touching the lever by hand.
In dental care the sitting position is the greatest health risk, because during long operations the position is unnatural and involves a lot of repetitive movements. Sitting in a bad position puts twice as much strain on the spine as standing.
Dentists often retire early because of various problems in their shoulders, neck and lower back. Almost everybody working in dentistry is affected by poor circulation in the lower extremities, shortage of oxygen, problems in hip, knee and shoulder joints, or genital health problems.
On a two-part saddle chair the back is in the same position as when standing, and the lower back lordosis can be maintained. That is not the case on one-part saddle chairs because there is a lot of pressure on the genital area and that makes you round your back. That position is a tremendous health risk for the disks and vertebrae in the lower back.
The active seats of Salli SwingFit and Salli Swing guarantee the wide hip angle even in positions where you need to lean forward. The weight of the upper body is always evenly divided on the seat because the seat adapts to your movements.
Allround is excellent for dentists, dental surgeons or dental assistants. The support can be used on either side of the chair, and also as a stretching support by moving it to the backside of the chair. Allround is attached to the gas cylinder of the chair, so it can be used with all the basic Salli chair models.
ErgoRest hand support is available with or without the back rest. A very good accessory in long oerations.
Foot Height Control enables you to adjust the height hygienically, without touching the lever by hand.
Salli products are well-suited for demanding work environments. Chairs made of stainless steel, with anti-static upholstery or with polyurethane seats are available. Different castors allow the chair to be used also on uneven surfaces, such as concrete floors. Salli products can withstand heavy use.
On Salli Saddle Chairs it is easy to move around, while the 135-degree angle of the knees, and between the thighs and upper body, guarantee good circulation. Because of the gap in the seat it is possible to maintain the good posture throughout the day; there is no uncomfortable pressure in the genital area.
When sitting on Salli you don’t need to think about the working position but can concentrate on the actual work – work becomes more efficient.
Elbow Rest is optimal for precision work and tasks that require support for arms. Elbow Rest is a valuable aid in installation and assembling work, and also in welding. It is also suitable for control rooms for giving support for elbows when watching monitors.
Almost all chair models are available in ESD. ESD is ideal for electronics industry, where the chair needs to conduct static electricity away from the user. ESD chairs discharge even the smallest electric build-ups. They is also useful in offices as they reduce the number of small electric shocks.
Fire-Resistant Seat Cover is ideal for welders.
Industrial castors are bigger than the standard castors. They are made of solid rubber and very good on uneven surfaces.
Sitting in a poor posture disturbs circulation and prevents the brain from getting enough oxygen. This makes us tired: working becomes inefficient and we make more mistakes. Also back pains are a universal problem, due to which millions of working days are lost annually all over the world.
Sitting in a slouched position damages the disks in the lower back and in the long run causes arthritis. In addition, every time we sit, the trousers tighten in the thigh, groin and genital area, which interferes with the sensitive lymphatic system and circulation.
Ergonomic and healthy sitting position is best achieved on the anatomically designed, two-part Salli Saddle Chair. Sitting on Salli automatically creates lordosis in the lower back, which relieves the harmful pressure on the disks. Because of the gap in the seat it is possible to maintain the good posture throughout the day. There is no uncomfortable pressure in the genital area and thus no need to round the back.
To make the most of the saddle chair, you also need an adjustable table, because you sit higher on a saddle chair than on a traditional chair.
The swing mechanism of Salli Swing and Salli SwingFit enables the seat to be tilted in every direction. So you can exercise while sitting - that increases circulation and mobility, makes core muscles stronger, and improves the metabolism in the lower back. The whole body is involved.
ErgoElbo support is used with tables that do not have a recess in them. It imitates the recess and gives support to the elbows thus relaxing the neck, shoulder and back muscles.
10 health effects
The following observations describe impacts that are achieved only by sitting on an active, two-part saddle chair. Sitting on the traditional one-part saddle chair contains so many serious problems in connection with posture, genital health and also with the health of the inner pelvic organs that it cannot be recommended as a working chair.
Riding-like sitting is fundamentally different from the traditional sitting. The change affects positively the whole body, circulation and metabolism. Minimizing the disturbances in metabolism and eliminating health risks are the major goals of ergonomics.
The most essential positive effects of riding-like sitting are focused on the spine, all the way from lower back to the cervical vertebrae. Riding-like sitting affects posture, circulation into the lower limbs, genitalia, external and internal pelvic organs, muscles and joints, bowel movement, breathing, circulation into the head, and the alertness of the brain and the eyes.
Riding-like sitting makes it possible to improve vital functions by exercising, reaching from the chair and tilting the seat. These movements make sitting more active and improve work conditions.
When people start improving their sitting radically, the effort alone brings about a change in them. New kind of sitting makes people more conscious of their circulation, muscle tensions, back health, posture, metabolism and sitting position, and makes them want to improve their sitting environment further.
It is justifiable to say that also your looks improve with the correct use of a saddle chair. Improved circulation in lower extremities is expected to decrease swelling, and the development of cellulite and varicose veins. In addition, the improvement in the posture makes the upper body look better as the shoulders straighten and the neck and the head are held up.
Traditional sitting on a chair with 90° degree angles in hips and knees inevitably makes people slouch. When sitting on a saddle chair the thighs are in a 90° degree angle in relation to each other and pointing downwards in an approximately 45° degree angle. The pelvis is tilting forward, not backward, like in traditional sitting. In other words, on a saddle chair the pelvis is in a "standing” posture and thus we achieve the healthy posture on the back almost automatically. The lumbar vertebrae are in their natural position and the lower back forms a correct curve, lordosis. This posture can only be maintained on a two-part saddle chair that does not press the genital area and thus allows tilting the pelvis forward comfortably.
This position of the lumbar vertebrae prevents deteriorative damage to the lower back and in most cases quickly decreases pain in the typical lower back/disk problems. In addition, the circulation in the lower back is improved, since the improved posture relieves muscle tension and especially improves the activeness in numerous back muscles. The increased circulation, in turn, increases the oxygen and nutrient contents in the muscles, the absence of which is probably the main cause for the common degeneration syndrome of the lower back.
Since the disks and ligaments have no blood circulation of their own (circulation is also very weak in the vertebrae), it is essential for the lower back to have good circulation so that the tissues can get sufficient amount of nutrients and oxygen and remove wastes. In a physically active back, or in a good posture, this metabolism works well. The arteries of the lower back are surprisingly small and require good muscle activity and relaxation to bring enough blood to prevent degeneration of tissues.
Sitting in a good posture on a saddle chair makes it possible to use the whole body in an effortless and natural way, giving the muscles of the lower back exercise-like movement. The upper body moves, when the chair is rolled from one place to another or reaching movements are made. We call this activity "Roll and Reach”, and it is very helpful in reducing dangerous inactivity during sitting.
Moving with the chair or reaching for things is easy and risk-free, as the feet rest firmly on the floor and the back is able to maintain the good posture with the help of the support from the legs. Correct use of back muscles leads to a gradual improvement in posture and prevents ailments caused by scoliosis.
When sitting upright on a saddle chair, also the sciatic nerve pains become less frequent as the deterioration of the lower back slows down. Typically the sciatic nerve is irritated (and causes pain) when the nerve canal becomes too contracted as a result of the flattening of the disk. The nerve canal can become congested also after changes in the bone structure resulting from lower back deterioration.
Swing mechanism in the two-part saddle chair makes it considerably easier to reach for things, and it also increases circulation (also lymphatic circulation) and muscle activity mainly in the lower back and pelvic area. The users tend to create movement also unnoticed when the body "asks for” activation. Such unconscious movements are swinging the pelvis, smaller or bigger exercise movements and rolling and reaching too.
Up to 25 % of the total circulation goes into the head. The vessels are in a narrow space between the neck vertebrae, throat and outer neck muscles (mainly a muscle called Sternocleidomastoides). All static poor postures of the head or the neck make muscles tense and reduce circulation in the main vessels. The main vein (Jugularis Interna) is actually leaning to Sternocleidomastoides. If the muscle is tense, the circulation slows down, the blood pressure in the brain increases and headache easily follows. Good posture of the neck can be attained only when the whole back is in a good posture. Soft elbow pads close to the body help the shoulder area muscles to relax. The two-part saddle seat enables a good posture and prevents the aforementioned problems.
Using a high-quality saddle chair will increase the oxygen intake considerably. Stiffness and joint locks in the chest, ribs and the upper back decrease. This, combined with reduced muscle tensions and better posture, will make the whole breathing mechanism work better and allow the chest to expand fluently and the breathing to become deeper. Improved oxygen intake will increase the oxygen levels in the whole body and slow down the process of getting tired.
There is about 4 litres of blood in the human body, and about 3–4 times that much lymphatic liquid that collects the wastes and pathogens from the body and transfers them to the blood vessels in the 600–700 lymph nodes of the body. The artery circulation is only 25 % of the blood, about one litre.
All other liquids are in the low pressure systems which are easily and usually disturbed by immobility, conventional sitting with its large pressure areas in thighs and pelvic area, tense back and shoulder muscles, and pressure in the stomach due to slouching and tight clothing. Sitting on a two-part saddle chair, and especially on an active seat, and wearing loose clothes can help to keep circulation and metabolism on a much healthier level.
Roughly 50 % of the adult population in Europe suffers from some kind of physical sexual disorder at least periodically, and the numbers are rapidly rising. We sit on top of our private parts, and that is why it’s logical that sitting has a major impact on the circulation, nerve functions and metabolism of our genitalia.
Men have a tendency to sit with their pelvis tilted backwards. This is an unconscious way of relieving the pressure on the root of penis on the pubic bone, where the nerves and the vessels leading to the genitals are located. When using a two-part saddle chair the lower part of the penis (of which about 9 cm is on top of the pubic bone, below the pelvis, behind the testicles) is not subjected to the same kind of pressure as when using one-part saddle chairs. The harmful compression of the pudendal nerve and vessels can be eliminated almost fully. When the sitting pressure in on the sitting bones (Ischial Tuberosities) the important lymphatic circulation works better.
Men also keep their thighs spread in order to eliminate the feeling of pressure on their testicles; trousers and their middle seam tighten up when men are sitting. In addition, tight clothes keep the testicles too close to the warm body. Sperm production is very sensitive to the rising of the testicular temperature. The two-part saddle chair cools down the testicles to their optimum temperature of 33°C (approx. 91°F). In conventional sitting the temperature of the testicles can often rise to 37°C (approx. 99°F). This is one reason behind the reduced quality of sperm.
For male cyclist the violent pressure on the tissues next to the pubic bone has been proved to cause impotence and testicular cancer. The same phenomenon has also started to occur among men using one-part saddle chairs.
Cycling has also been discovered to cause damage to the female outer genitalia, leading to decrease of sensitivity. Riders and users of one-part saddle chair can experience the same phenomenon.
Tight clothing and long-term sitting with reduced circulation, combined with the use of panty liners and sanitary pads, increase the risk of infections in women's genitalia. Sitting on a two-part saddle chair decreases this risk. Most women find an inadequate gap, or a saddle chair without a gap, uncomfortable around the pubic bone area because nerves and blood vessels get pressed between the seat and the pubic bone. This kind of pressure leads to reduced circulation, which is a health risk in itself.
A gap in the chair encourages both men and women to tilt their pelvis forward without the uncomfortable pressure against the pubic bone and the genitals. This helps to keep the lumbar posture in the natural lordosis, which is the ideal form of the spine. The two-part saddle chair eases the pressure on the genitals and preserves a safe angle between the thighs and the upper body.
Traditionally, many jobs involve standing for the whole day. Working on a saddle chair is a great ergonomic alternative to standing. When sitting on a saddle chair, the employee is approximately at the same height as the standing customer. Less strain on the lower back and the increased circulation in the lower extremities help the employee to stay in a good mood and maintain the high quality of customer service.
By using a saddle chair equipped with wheels, the employee is able to move around effortlessly with just a small push from the legs that are freely positioned on both sides. If the task requires standing up repeatedly, it is also much easier to sit down and stand up from a saddle chair than a conventional office chair.
Intestine and pelvic area
As the upper body posture improves, the pressure on the stomach, small intestine and colon decreases and the stomach is no longer pressed between the pelvis and the chest. The increased muscle activity in the stomach area also increases intestine activity. All this has a positive effect on the bowel movements (peristalsis and its efficiency) and intestine health. In our modern lifestyle the intestine health is weakened also by too little of muscle activity. One-part chairs (traditional or saddle) also press the anus and rectum, slowing down or postponing the evacuation reflex. Slow intestine activity or long stay of food in the body is involved in common intestine illnesses from which a large part of the population suffers. Sitting with good posture would be a strong preventive measure.
Knee and hip joints
When using a conventional chair, there is a 90 degree angle between the thighs and the upper body, as well as in the knees. The sharp angle tightens the main tendons and ligaments and creates more pressure on the cartilages. This has a harmful effect to the metabolism of the hip and knee joints. In traditional sitting, the weight of the upper body increases the pressure on the hip joint upper cartilage. On a saddle chair the hips and the knees are in a 135 degree angle, which decreases the pressure on the cartilages. This improves the metabolism and reduces the risk of joint ailments. Being higher than the average office chair, the saddle chair is also healthier for the knees when standing up.
There is lymph liquid and 4–6 litres of blood in the human body, the lymph being filtered in 600 –700 lymph nodes. All liquid is moving through 400.000–500.000 km of vessels, 7.000 km in each kg of soft tissues. Only one litre of the blood is moving because of the pumping pressure of the heart. The rest of the liquids move because of the motions and activity of the muscles and other soft tissues.
Our conventional and modern habits of slouched sitting, tight clothing, poor nutrition and physical inactivity greatly disturb these sensitive systems. This results in various health problems and discomfort. The sensitivity of the circulation can be demonstrated by closing a vein on the back of the hand by pressing it ever so slightly with a finger. This illustrates in a small scale how dramatically the circulation must be disturbed because of our circulation-hostile lifestyle.
Using a two-part saddle chair will significantly reduce the pressure on the soft tissues in the pelvic area, keep the clothes looser, widen the angles of the limbs and activate muscle function, thus activating circulation and the lymphatic system. The effect is most powerful in the typical pressure areas (caused by conventional office chairs), such as thighs, buttocks, genital area, back and lower limbs. Blood circulation speeds up also in the typical tension areas, such as the upper back.
Lower limbs benefit from the riding-like sitting too, since the hip and knee angles become wider, making it easier to use the legs and enabling the so called "muscle pump” to work properly. Sitting bones carry most of the body weight, which in turn eases the pressure on the thighs and buttocks. For example, the Gluteus Maximus muscle remains safely outside the pressure area.
A smart sitter also uses loose trousers or skirt, and underwear that are not too tight. The most beneficial alternative for the circulation would be to use loose-fitting clothes that do not press the waist.
Pelvic floor muscles
Shoulder joints and mouse-hand syndrome
Shoulder joint problems are common in professions where the angle between the upper body and the upper arm is more than 30 degrees, for example, in dentistry. When using a saddle chair, the angle usually stays smaller than 30 degrees and helps to prevent shoulder joint problems.
The detrimental, sharp angle of the wrist, repetitious movements and muscle tensions, together with pinched nerves in the shoulder area, cause most mouse-hand problems. Relieving pressure from the neck and shoulder area, and finding the correct place for the shoulder while sitting in a good posture, also helps in getting rid of the mouse-hand problems. Good posture and good hand support with almost straight wrists prevents the problem.
Solutions to sitting problems
Sitting on a saddle chair can...
...ease shoulder pain
On Salli you sit like on a horse. The chair directs your body automatically in the natural position, provided that the height of the chair is correctly adjusted. Using a Salli Saddle Chair together with a Salli table helps the neck and shoulder area to relax.
According to several studies, long-time sitting in a stable position is fattening. It is easy to move around on a Salli chair and exercise stomach and back muscles on the active seat.
...diminish the risk of joint problems
Sitting on a saddle chair creates a 135-degree angle between the thighs and the upper body. This is the healthiest way to sit because it improves circulation in the hip and knee joints.
...diminish the risk of erectile dysfunctions
Several studies have been made about impotence among male cyclists. The users of one-part saddle chairs are beginning to experience the same problem. On the two-part Salli it is possible to tilt the hip forward to create the healthy lower back curve, and not feel uncomfortable pressure in the genital area.
...speed up metabolism
When we sit in a slouched position, the intestines get pressed between the hip and the upper body, which slows down bowel movements. It is impossible to slouch on a Salli!
...help rehabilitate the pelvic floor muscles
Lots of middle-aged women have problems with their pelvic floor muscles. Sitting on a Salli Swing or Salli SwingFit activates those muscles effectively.
One reason for cellulite is poor blood circulation. On Salli the wide angles in knees and between the thighs and upper body enable good circulation of both blood and lymph in the lower limbs.