Saddle stools are becoming the latest trend, in part because of the health benefits of using them.
This is especially true of those who must sit to work for long periods.
There are many reasons why this type of seat is healthier than others on the market.
Why Are Saddle Stools Good?
Interested in why saddle stools are good options for office or craftwork? In this article, I will go over the numerous benefits of using this type of seating including:
- How the saddle stool relieves pain and prevents it from reoccurring
- How saddle seating can reduce fatigue and improve circulation
- How you can improve strength, balance, and mobility with the saddle stool
Let's get started!
What is a Saddle Stool?
A saddle stool or saddle chair is one where the seat is designed with curves similar to a saddle.
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It is shown that this type of design relieves pain in the back, neck, hips, and arms and can improve circulation in the legs, among other benefits.
How Do Saddle Stools and Chairs Work?
The saddle stool design is similar to an equestrian saddle in that it has a wide seat that forces you to sit with your legs apart.
It has a dip and decline in the seat that pushes your body forward.
A saddle chair typically doesn't have a backrest although it can have one. It is on caster rollers and can be adjusted for proper height as any other chair.
The idea behind the design is to take pressure off certain areas like your back and neck. This is said to relieve pain.
Read More >> Top 5 Best Ergonomic Saddle Chairs (2021 Review)
It can also relieve pressure on your hips and decrease arm pain as well. the question most people have is do saddle stools work?
Are saddle chairs good for posture?
A study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows the saddle stools help improve posture.
The change in seating position then leads to less pain in other areas such as the lower back.
The first studies on the saddle stool were done among dentists.
Dentists were a targeted community for this type of study because they sit on stools to work more than other occupations.
Dentists are also known for having significant skeletal problems.
The conclusion from the research study was that saddle seats are better for dentists and dental students than conventional seats as the new sitting position improves posture and reduces pain.
Are saddle stools comfortable?
While saddle stools are effective in relieving pain, many may wonder if they are truly comfortable.
A research study published in another NIH publication indicated there were pros and cons to using the saddle stool for comfort. The saddle stool was compared with a standard office chair among several subjects.
Study found that all subjects had discomfort if they used either chair for longer times and the discomfort increase the longer either chair was used.
Saddle seat had a greater trunk-to-thigh angle on everyone who tried it so it provided optimum sitting posture.
Read More >> Are saddle stools comfortable?
It did reduce the amount of pain in those with lower back problems. However, there was more reported discomfort in the legs, hips, and buttocks.
Generally, most found the saddle stool comfortable for a reasonable amount of time it was used. Like any other chair, it may take a couple of weeks to grow accustomed to the new sitting position.
Are saddle stools good for the office?
All the research shows that saddle stools are good for the office, especially if your job has prolonged sitting.
It can allow for more outstretched movement than a regular chair and will definitely improve your posture.
The one thing to be aware of if using saddle stools in the office is the height of the desks may need to change to a higher level. Saddle stools, even at the lowest level, tend to have people sit higher than in a regular office chair or stool
Read More >> Top 5 Best Ergonomic Saddle Stools for the Office (2021 Review)
Part of the reason for that is they sit taller with better posture.
Are saddle stools good for your back?
There are plenty of studies that show that saddle stools can and do relieve pain in your lower back. That's because it completely changes how you sit.
The saddle stool is made where the upper legs have a declining position and that pushes the pelvis forward. It also puts the lower back into a correct position, which straightens the upper back leading to better posture.
Read More >> Are saddle stools good for your back?
The result is reduced tension for the upper part of your body including the upper back, the shoulders, and the neck. Pain is then relieved because of the reduced tension.
Medical studies suggest that saddle chairs are incredibly good for your back, especially if you have chronic back pain. It's a simple solution that can have a big impact on those who must sit to do their work.
Are saddle chairs bad for your hips?
There aren't any downsides to saddle chairs regarding your health.
Prolonged sitting on them can cause some leg and hip pain if you aren't used to them or sitting in that position but the chairs aren't harmful to you and they aren't considered bad for your hips.
It's quite the opposite if you use a saddle stool regularly. The new sitting position will strengthen muscles in the back, abdominal, and buttocks, which should positively affect your hips.
Plus, sitting with your legs positioned as they are will also relieve tension off your hips and that can reduce joint pain too.
What Other Benefits Do Saddle Stools Provide?
The simple act of changing your posture while using a saddle stool has enormous other benefits for your health.
This style of sitting reduces fatigue because it improves overall circulation.
The saddle seat will not let you slump as you would in a regular office chair.
That means you will continually have good circulation and that lessens fatigue.
It has been shown to improve leg circulation over traditional chairs and also reduce swelling in the feet.
Feet swell when people sit too long because their leg circulation is cut off by how they are sitting.
With a saddle stool, there isn't an edge that presses against your upper leg so circulation continues.
Also, there is no contact pressure on the leg and buttock muscles so your veins and arteries remain in an open position.
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Those who love these stools state the new positions of your legs, with each being wider from each other, causes less pain in them.
That is true partly because your legs remain more active sitting in a saddle chair than in a regular chair.
Since the legs are further apart, called hip abduction, the pelvis is now in an upright position and this provides for more relaxation while sitting.
Balance is improved with a wide foot stance and it becomes easier to move about in the saddle stool.
The saddle stool is particularly helpful to those with neurological impairments. These types of people tend to fall out of conventional chairs but can sit alone in a saddle seat just fine.
That is because the wide stance of the feet and legs allows for better balance and have "active seating" rather than slumped seating in a chair keeps muscles working and busy, which also keeps their brains busy.
Better Strength, Better Hand Reach
Saddle seats change how your shoulders are positioned as well as the upper back. Those using it have a more stable torso.
All of these helps when you reach and grab things. Your stomach and back will improve in muscle and strength over time using the saddle stool.
The way you sit on a saddle stool is called "active sitting." It's really a form of exercise that can strengthen your core and your back over time.
Sitting this way works your muscles constantly, even though you don't feel it. This is how it strengthens your back, shoulders, and core over time and use.
Saddle stools also help you reach further, providing more safe mobility. That's because your feet are firmly planted on the floor and your posture is correct. These two things allow for a more stabilizing reach and further reach extension.
The caster wheels are easy to move around and your legs are already in a position for quick turns and safe movement, so you may end up moving more during the day on the stool.
This is one reason studies suggest this is the best stool for dentists and others who sit to work but need freedom of movement.
Final Thoughts On Why Saddle Stools Are Good
Why are saddle stools good? They use a simple design to change how you sit to a correct posture.
That has implications for your entire body and can improve many aspects of your health from reduced pain to less fatigue and better mobility.
There are no disadvantages to improving your posture, your circulation, or reducing tension to your shoulders and upper back.
While you can't sit on a saddle stool for an extended time without feeling uncomfortable, using them for work can help make your desk time easier to handle with less pain and tension.