If you read this blog, then by now you are probably aware of our award-winning muvman active sit/stand stool. It blurs the line between sitting and standing by offering a 13” height travel range to allow the user the option to “perch” at various heights, no longer just sitting or standing.
For the majority of the population the standard muvman fits the bill with a height range of 20”-33”.
But did you know we offer a muvman TALL as well? It has all the same great attributes as the standard but with a height range of 23”-36”, again a 13” height travel range!
Wow! That’s a high stool.
Those of us who are vertically challenged can’t even get our tush onto it at the highest setting.
But for those people in the 6’2” and taller range…it’s a perfect fit.
Think of those tall people you see on an airplane practically turning themselves into a pretzel to fit into their seat with no leg room. The same goes for the taller person sitting at the standard 29” high fixed desk with a standard task chair. It just doesn’t fit them comfortably and is most likely going to cause back / posture issues or a host of other physical problems down the road.
With the increased use of the height adjustable desks many taller people are now much more comfortable in their work environment especially if they use a muvman TALL with that desk.
The beauty of all our motion chairs is the height ranges are different from the norm so they are all able to accommodate “many transitional” sitting positions. Again, all bodies are different and everyone has different work styles….with our motion chairs : swopper, swopper AIR, muvman, muvman Tall and 3Dee – we can accommodate everyone’s work style.
You can find out more about the muvman tall here. If you have specific questions, leave a comment and I’ll respond within 24 hours.
~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director
If you are one of the lucky employees sitting on a swopper at your place of employment, you’ve no doubt received odd looks or comments from fellow co-workers.
Sometimes it can be hard to put into words what exactly the swopper is and why you love it so much.
Here are some quick responses to some of those curious questions your coworkers may have about your swopper:
- What IS that?? This is my swopper. It’s an ergonomic chair that helps me stay in motion while I’m sitting.
- How does it work? It has 3 dimensional movement, so you can tilt, bounce and sway while sitting.
- Why do you use it? Swopper helps keep me fit. You’re toning your core muscles, your posture is improving and you’re burning calories vs just sitting stationary.
- Isn’t it hard to concentrate if you’re moving? Not at all. Actually studies have shown concentration, focus and energy is improved when we are moving vs. being sedentary.
- Can you show me how you use it? (Give a big 360 degree spin with a big bounce and a big smile….because swopper is also a lot of fun!).
- Can I try it? Of course! Take a test spin, but only if you give it back!
Now after this exchange takes place, don’t be surprised if you start seeing a trend. Remember the “squeaky wheel gets the oil” and we often see that once one swopper is introduced into a workplace, typically there are more to follow.
Is swopper for everyone? Maybe not, but is a standard task chair for everyone? Absolutely not! Now that you’re armed with your swopper elevator speech, you can confidently handle all the curious looks and questions you get when you bring your swopper to the office.
~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director
One of the first questions we often get from customers is “Which chair is right for me?” With three motion chair options – Swopper, Muvman and the new 3Dee – the decision can get confusing. That’s why we decided to write a blog post detailing the differences between the chairs, to better help you decide.
To help illustrate the differences between the chairs, I’m going to profile different people at our office and tell you why they chose one chair over another. This way you can get to know us all a little better too.
- User: me! Jenn Lytle
- Office Habits: 8-10 hours a day sitting at a desk
- Why I chose the Swopper: It allows me to move and stay active during the long stretches of time I am at my desk focusing on a project.
I’ll start with myself, I’m at the office 8-10 hours a day and do a lot of sitting during that time. My choice is the custom Swopper. I have my favorite color upholstered on the seat and wheels on the base. I don’t use the wheels a whole lot but I love that I have the option should I feel the need to visit my neighbor’s desk without removing my body from my chair.
What I love about my Swopper is that no matter how far I reach out…I can grab what I need and bounce right back to where I was, and without bending my body in an unfortunate position. I love to bounce and move constantly and you might find me a little distracting to have a face-to-face conversation but I’m having more fun at my desk than you are!
- User: Chas Hepler
- Office Habits: Always on the move to various meetings
- Why he chose the Muvman: It offers flexibility by being height adjustable and also portable enough to carry all around the office.
Our CEO Chas Hepler uses a Muvman on a daily basis. Chas isn’t one to sit still and he likes to switch from sitting to perching to standing whenever he wants. He also likes to have the ability to move the chair into a different room for meetings.
That’s why Chas opts for the Muvman. The chair is so light and meets all of his needs whether he is typing on his computer, talking on the phone or holding a conference. The Muvman meets all of Chas’ changing office needs.
3Dee Active Office Chair:
- User: Ken Swanson
- Office Habits: Sitting some of the day; used to a more traditional office setting
- Why he chose 3Dee: It give him the benefits of movement with the comfort and familiarity of a more traditional office chair
Ken has been working in an office setting for 20+ years before coming to our “non-traditional” office space here at Swopper. After sitting in a regular office chair for many years, our motion seats were a big change for him. To help ease him adjustment, Ken is opting for the 3Dee Active Office chair.
With it’s high back and more traditional office chair set up, the 3Dee gives Ken the comfort of he’s familiar work setting, with the added bonus of movement to keep his body healthy. He loves that the 3Dee is his “secret weapon” against back pain, because it provides ergonomic movement while looking more like a traditional chair.
In short, each of our motion chairs provide a unique benefit. We’re confident that one of these chairs is the perfect fit for your needs. If you have additional questions about which chair is right for you, contact us any time at email@example.com
~ Jenn Lytle
It is not uncommon for people who are new to motion seating to need a bit of a “breaking in” period to adjust from their normal sedentary sitting to active motion sitting. Some comments we hear from “newbie” swopper users include feeling tired, out of balance and just plain uncoordinated on their new chair.
Think about it … you are going from sitting stationary most of the day, to suddenly bouncing, tilting and swaying. That can be a big adjustment for your muscles that have gotten used to sitting still.
The good news is the body is very adaptable and in no time swopper users go from feeling clumsy to feeling energized, athletic and revived. Here are some tips for getting through this transition period.
- Transition slowly over time. Don’t feel like you need to immediately start swopping all day. It’s perfectly acceptable to slowly ease into the amount of movement you’re doing in a day. Try two hours swopping and then an hour in a stationary chair. This rotation back and forth will give your body an appropriate break from your newfound motion.
- Adjust the chair settings to limit movement range. The swopper has two ways to adjust settings to limit movement at first. There is a cap on the bottom of the middle post. If you turn the chair upside down and twist this to control the amount of side to side tension.
There is also a plastic piece on the center column that twists around the column that controls the amount of bounce tension. In the beginning it is best to have a low tension on the bounce and less side to side tension. This will enable you to not use too much energy to bounce up and down & side to side, keeping you more upright.
- Listen to your body. Pay attention to cues and prompts that motivate you to move, stretch or sit still. It’s surprising how many of us have a disconnection to our bodies. Swopper and active sitting prompts a lot more communication between the body and the brain. For some this can be a new introduction to an old friend and it may take time again to reestablish that relationship and feel comfortable with it.
- Make a commitment. Active seating is a new way of life in the office. It is about shaking it up and committing to motion vs. stagnant sitting. It is not about rigorous exercise, but the cumulative effect of moving all day vs. very little movement. By committing to this new healthy way of sitting, you’ll be doing yourself a favor in the long run.
- Allow your brain to adjust. If you have been sedentarily sitting for a long period, your muscle (and your brain is a muscle) has memory and gets used to this position and the feeling and state that surrounds it. If you abruptly disrupt this state you change everything and you change it quickly. This creates muscle confusion allowing for a new state to emerge. These are good things and show that the body is evolving to a new way of sitting and feeling creating a sense of new normal.
Changing the way you sit all day may take time to adjust to. The good news is that this adjustment period is typically short (a few weeks) and if you follow the tips above, you can limit any discomfort. With time, you’ll begin to feel at ease on your swopper and we guarantee you won’t ever look back.
~ Chas Hepler, swopper CEO
As we all know, sitting statically without moving is very detrimental for our health. We are at a higher risk of developing poor posture, bad circulation and even having muscles deteriorate or atrophy over time.
Recent research also identifies static sitting being responsible for increased risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity. Bottom line – don’t sit all day.
As a direct result of this research, there has been a trend within commercial office environments to evolve to using standing workstations instead of the traditional workstation / work surface being used with a standard office chair. In theory this makes sense i.e. sitting all day is bad, therefore standing all day is good right? Not necessarily so.
There is evidence that suggests that when one is standing statically for long periods, this requires the joints to be loaded on for longer than is healthy, which can lead to joint strain. It is also possible to get into negative or bad postural positions when standing e.g. incorrect leaning on elbows, overloading one side of the body versus the other and the like.
Now research shows that you are in greater risk of developing congestive / heart issues if you stand statically all day. Stands to reason (no pun intended) that when you are standing statically for long periods of time, the heart has to work much harder to pump blood from your feet, against gravity, all the way up to your brain. This is more difficult for the heart when one is standing.
So what is the true solution? Quite simply, it’s motion. Staying in movement allows your larger muscle groups to be active. If you can incorporate motion into your workday, be it standing or sitting, you reduce the risks of everything we just mentioned.
Ideally, transitioning from a sitting position to a standing position several times throughout the day is best of all. It takes a lot of energy and muscle activity to move from a sitting to standing position. This is good.
In the example of standing, if you can incorporate motion (say for example when you use muvman stool) this allows you to take the load off your joints periodically and access multi-dimensional movements (vertical, lateral and forward tilt) easily.
This in turn activates your larger muscle groups (the core, leg muscles and the like) that activate your vein pumps, and takes some of the workload of pumping blood off of your heart muscle. Makes sense right?
If you prefer a sitting position, then using a swopper will allow you to incorporate movement with it’s multi-dimensional spring movement. Even better, in combination, both Swopper and Muvman offer you access to multi-dimensional movement for either sitting or standing, reducing your risk of health issues associated with being static or sedentary.
So, what’s the best solution to the sitting/standing problem? Add as much movement to your day as you possibly can even when you are required to sit or stand. Having large muscle activity stimulates better circulation with reduced workload on your heart, while reducing your overall risks associated with being sedentary.
~Nora Fenlon, VP Sales & Marketing
When people hear the story of how the idea for swopper came to be, I often get asked (as its inventor), “How did you get the idea to combine motion with sitting?”
I tell them that it all comes back to what I know to be true as an engineer. If you look up the definition of engineering you’ll see it’s “the application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to invent, design, build, maintain and improve structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.”
When I was working on swopper for five years in my garage … yes you read that right, my garage! I wanted to focus on bringing scientific AND social/practical knowledge together to create a chair that truly supports the human body.
I knew to accomplish this, we had to examine the central issue with sitting and create a paradigm shift. In a conventional seat, your body has to adapt to the shape and movements the chair allows for – mostly synchro – mechanic. Our goal was to create chairs that adapts to and follows your natural body movement, as that seemed much more natural.
In our whole evolution we never have been fixed and immobile like we are now, stuck behind a desk all day. Our whole body was optimized for movement, through natural selection, over hundred thousands of years.
Since our ancestors raised their bodies and started to walk on two legs instead of four, we have had to keep equilibrium. Our vestibular system developed together with the brain, and we know a good functioning vestibular system is essential for the good functioning of the brain.
When creating the swopper, we “copied” from evolution the 3 dimensional movement and need to have to keep equilibrium. With swopper, you are sitting in an unstable equilibrium, as the pivot point of the chair is below your seat. Thus your body has constantly to adjust the equilibrium slightly. This keeps you alert, like in nature, where you have to react permanently to all kind of influences. Your cognitive performance increases and you burn more calories.
So you see, while a great deal of work and science went into creating the swopper, in reality the answer to the issue of sitting and health has been apparent since the beginning of time. Humans are meant to move, and the swopper is the natural way to meld our body’s basic needs with the demands of a modern life.
As an engineer and human, I’m proud that swopper is the perfect combination of science and evolution.
~Josef Glockl, swopper Inventor
Whenever we introduce swopper or one of our other motion seating chairs to someone for the first time, we usually get asked “who thought of this idea?” It’s a question we love to answer, because the story behind the creation of the swopper is genuine, authentic and explains exactly why there is so much passion behind this chair.
The story begins in Germany in 1997. Josef Glockl, a renowned engineer, was spending long days in his office … sitting. Like so many others at the time, Josef used a traditional office chair to do his sitting and pretty soon the negative affects crept in. Despite being active in the evenings through sports, Josef started to suffer with lower back pain, just like 80% of the population in Germany did.
While others suffering from back pain may turn to medications, Josef had a secret weapon to help in his quest to solve his pain … his wife. It was lucky for him, and in the end for so many other people, that Josef’s wife is a renowned physiotherapist and osteopath. Dorothea Prodinger-Glockl knew exactly why Josef was having issues … Josef was sitting far too much.
Dorothea knew that the fact that the majority of the population has a daily pattern of static sitting goes against all of human beings natural patterns of movement. As hunter and gatherer, the human being is made for walking, running, bending and stretching etc. This is good because from the start of man’s history, surviving has involved intensive movement.
But, then came the problem – hours of sitting started to become the predominant activity of the human being. This leads to numerous disorders and at the top of the list – BACK PROBLEMS!!
Together, Josef and Dorothea set out to create a chair that would allow Josef to conduct his work, while remaining active. And so grew the idea of a seat that makes movement possible while sitting and in fact actively encourages movement.
The road from vision to success was long and hard. Years of expensive development work (paid out of his own pocket), the search for a designer competent enough to tackle the unique challenge of technology and form along with the inevitable struggle through bureaucratic red tape.
Josef battled on. He founded the company aeris gmbh, found a backer and a young designer, who helped bring his and Dorothea’s dream into a reality. The first chair to be completed was the swopper, the 3 dimensional active seat. National and international awards and recognition soon followed the introduction of swopper in 1997, with scientific tests and medical reports. Josef Glockl’s perseverance and his belief in his invention were finally paying off.
Then came the muvman, a variable height sit to stand active stool. Most recently introduced is the 3Dee Active-Office-Chair, which takes all the great features of the swopper, and adds some new ones, taking the active sitting philosophy more mainstream.
Success stories in the furniture industry have become rare; even rarer when coupled with genuine innovation. Josef Glockl has managed to achieve both. He has revolutionized sitting with his inventions while achieving true cutting edge innovation.
~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director
In today’s work crazed culture, we spend a lot of time sitting behind our desks. Probably more than we realize. We all know it is not good to be inactive for long periods of time. There are studies that show it’s even worse than smoking because of what it does to your body, and the years it can take off of your life. What’s worse, is experts say you can’t make up for the damage done during the day by working out in the evenings.
I am a pretty active person – boating, hiking and being outdoors are all hobbies I enjoy. I also happen to work in an office environment, so I know first hand how important it is to incorporate movement into your day.
The best way I have found to date is to bring movement into every moment of your day at the office, by using a motion chair, like the swopper. Now, as the CEO of Via Seating, who distributes the swopper chair and other motion seating products, I certainly am biased, but here are my 10 reasons why a swopper chair outperforms your regular office chair.
10 Reasons Why You Need a swopper Chair
1. It’s fun. Work is serious and often stressful. Almost everyone smiles the moment they sit and bounce on a swopper. At any moment you can have a fun bounce or three dimensional swerve that is much more entertaining than being confined to a normal chair.
2. At the end of the day, You’ll feel better. I always hope to work out every day but I don’t always have the time. Having moved all day on my swopper chair is invigorating. It is not a hard-core workout but rather a continuous motion that keeps my heart more active and my circulation flowing.
3. It’s comfortable. The swopper chair helps me maintain a proper hip-spine angle, keep my back engaged, and my core active. Sitting properly becomes natural and I don’t have those aches and pains I sometimes get from sitting improperly in some chairs.
4. The transition from sitting to standing is effortless. In a normal chair, sometimes when you get up you have a head rush or your legs are wobbly because you need to get the blood flowing. When you go from moving and bouncing on a swopper to standing not only is it assisted by the bounce in the chair, but your body is ready to move and start walking.
5. It keeps your muscles loose. There are studies that show vigorous exercise followed by long periods of inactivity can cause someone to be more prone to injury. In other words, constantly moving keeps everything lubricated and warm vs. rigid, tight, and cold.
6. It is a great conversation piece. Everyone wants to discuss how you like sitting on a Swopper. You are the opposite of a wallflower. When you use a chair like the swopper, people assume you’re on the cutting edge of innovation and are a natural, confident leader.
7. You burn calories. Studies have shown you will burn up to 500 calories a day sitting on a swopper vs. a normal chair. That’s equivalent to Running at 6 MPH (a ten minute mile) for 42 minutes.
8. It’s a lifestyle and commitment to consistently do what is best for your body in a low impact way. Day after day, week after week, month after month this adds up. The swopper chair is not about just sitting and bouncing every now and then. The positive circulation, respiratory effects on your internal organs, sitting properly vs. slouching over your desk, both have an incredible cumulative effect over time.
9. You’ll be smarter and feel happier. Studies have shown that you learn and retain more information when you are active vs. being stationary. There is a positive mental and spiritual impact to having been moving all day vs. being cooped up behind your desk.
10.You don’t have to think about it. When you are sitting on a swopper, no effort is required. You will just move and it will be natural. You don’t have to make yourself do something that will have all these positive effects. You won’t even be aware how much you have moved but you will go home feeling less fatigued and more ready to enjoy the balance of the day.
Do I have you convinced to ditch your regular office chair for a swopper? I can tell you that after sitting on a Swopper myself, I cannot imagine going back to a stationary chair. The change this chair brings to your health, wellbeing and mood throughout the day is truly impressive.
So, try a swopper. Not only will you not regret it, you will be telling your friends all the reasons they should try one as well.
~ Chas Hepler, CEO
All of us over at swopper are buzzing with excitement over the newest addition to our family – the 3dee active-office-chair. In a nutshell, this chair is the perfect seating option for anyone looking to incorporate more movement into their day, but aren’t ready for the full on commitment of a sit-to-stand chair, like the muvman, or a backless chair, like the swopper.
Basically, 3dee allows you to get all the health benefits of movement throughout the day, while blending in seamlessly with your coworkers who haven’t caught on yet.
As swopper’s Director of Sales & Marketing, I’ve gotten a lot of first-hand experience sitting on the 3Dee before it’s been released, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I love about this chair.
1. “The Most Innovative Chair in the World!” That statement isn’t just a tag line…it’s the truth. The first thing that caught my eye with 3dee is the design. It’s sleek, contemporary, fun, sexy and makes a bold statement. It’s unlike any chair you’ve ever seen. It belongs in a James Bond movie with a martini on the side.
2. Obviously, with its swopper-based inspiration, you’re getting the same health and wellness benefits with 3dee and you are with the swopper, but within a more mainstream looking chair. You can tell a lot of thought and engineering went into 3dee. Everything is designed to promote the movement and comfort of the person sitting it. Even the back and lumbar are completely adjustable to make the chair suited to your preferences.
3. When you sit on 3dee for the first time, you will know immediately it’s unlike any other chair you’ve tried before. The smooth (and I mean smooth!) lateral and vertical motion feels great and is just plain fun. Who knew that something as simple as a chair could actually make your work day a little bit more fun and be healthy for you at the same time?
The response we received, when 3dee had its North American debut at Neocon last month, was amazing. First off, every person who sat on it immediately smiled and said how comfortable the motion was and how “free” they could move on it. The chair follows you instead of making you conform to it. The old saying “The best position is your next position” is spot on here. In fact “Every position on 3dee is your best position”.
The 3dee active-office-chair exemplifies our philosophy here at swopper:
– Combating static postures (sitting and standing)
– Working those core muscles that we abuse all day long when stuck sitting behind a desk or computer
– Creating ongoing intuitive healthy motion
– Bringing some FUN into your workday!
We were meant to move, and with the addition of 3dee, you now have three easy ways to incorporate movement into your workday. Learn more about the 3dee chair over on our website, or leave a comment here and I’ll respond personally.
~ Sandra Bowie, Director of Motion Seating
Innovation comes slower to the office furniture industry than others. Its common place now, but it took 30 years for the industry to adopt height adjustable chairs. The main reason being:
- Early height adjustable desks were expensive. If a company was outfitting new offices, something like an adjustable desk was a cost that couldn’t be justified even though many employees probably would have preferred to work that way.
- The idea that sitting 8-10 hours behind a desk could be bad for you was an unforeseen problem that has since turned into an epidemic in the workplace.
- There weren’t a lot of options to choose from. Now you can get different mechanisms, sizes and finishes and easily design them to work within an existing environment.
Sit to stand desks have been prevalent in Europe for many years, but the U. S. has been slow to adopt this work style until recently.
People and corporations are finally paying more attention to the health implications of the way their employees work as it’s having a significant impact on their business i.e absenteeism, workers compensation claims, presenteeism, employee retention etc.
As advocates of motion seating, we, of course, stand firmly behind this trend and support the adoption of height adjustable workstations as the benefits of sit-to-stand desks contribute to the active office.
What’s frustrating is seeing these desks being used with a standard chair or drafting stool. Reason being:
- If using a standard task chair, the user is being forced to either sit or stand (nothing in between). Research has shown that standing for long periods of time can be just as bad as sitting for long periods of time.
- If using a drafting stool, the user is still sitting in the same static posture, just at a different height.
The beauty of an height adjustable desk is it has all the range of motion to encourage the user to change positions all day. But typically without a height adjustable chair, the user eventually doesn’t bother changing the desk height at all and goes back to their old bad habits.
This is where muvman comes in! Welcome to new heights…and everything in between.
The muvman stool is the ideal sit-to-stand companion. This stool has a 13” travel range from 20”-33” which means you can go from sitting, to perching, to standing and every level in between. This is ideal because you are not limited on how much you move and change your position throughout the workday. In addition to the great height range, muvman also offers:
- A pre-set 4 degree forward tilt – this ensures that you’re always sitting/perching in a proper posture and at the proper angle to work at hand. Eliminates “hunching” over your work.
- The muvzone – where the column meets the base – is where all the lateral and forward motion occurs. It’s a safe movement, as your feet are always on the ground (think tri-pod), and you control how much motion you want. The nice thing is, with that subtle motion you are working your core abdominal muscles, legs and back. You’re also keeping circulation moving which helps concentration and focus…not to mention it’s also FUN!
- And that height range mentioned previously, well that’s controlled by two cleverly designed buttons (no knobs or paddles to break off!) integrated into the seat pan on both the right and left side, so you can use either one.
Bottom line, the muvman is the ultimate companion to height adjustable tables. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it because research has shown it’s a healthier way to work.
~ Chas Hepler, President & CEO