Category “Motion Seating”
One of our main goals here at Swopper is to introduce the benefits of motion seating to as many people as possible. A good way we’ve found to do this is to show the chairs to professions we think will have an innate interest in the health and wellness benefits of Swopper.
This strategy has been immensely popular with a specific profession – chiropractors.
We knew that the chiropractic world would understand something like swopper and the benefits of motion. After all, they are all about keeping the spine etc. in proper working condition and they make a living fixing people who suffer from chronic back pain due to injury, sedentary jobs, congenital issues or a host of other impactful conditions.
When we speak to chiropractors about the Swopper chair, here’s what we tell them:
- It opens up the hip/spine angles to better help with circulation, which in turn opens the diaphragm for better lung expansion and breathing capacity
- Swopper provides a gentle intuitive bouncing motion that draws nourishment into the intervertebral discs
- It puts you into a proper posture automatically due to the tilt range functions.
- Finally, it strengthens the abdominal, back, shoulder and leg muscles – all of which play into their treatment. If you don’t have the strong muscles, it just makes everything that much harder on the spine and other parts of the skeletal system.
All of these benefits can be looked at as an extension of what the chiropractor may be doing for the patient. We have many chiropractors that use the Swopper themselves and also recommend them to their patients.
Many prescribe Swopper as part of a treatment plan by having the patient use our motion products at work to assist with everything they are doing physically with the patient during their appointments. Or they may look at them as a preventative program to help with or slow down the onset of a certain conditions.
Any way you look at it – chiropractors, physical therapists, kinesiologists, doctors and many more understand the technical aspects of our motion products and the health and wellness benefits one receives from using them.
That’s why this year we will be attending the National Chiropractic Leadership Conference, showcasing our Motion Division. If you are a Chiropractor interested in trying out a Swopper chair, call us any time to discuss a risk-free trial.
~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director
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
One of my favorite parts of my job is traveling to trade shows and conference where attendees can visit our booth and sit on a swopper for the first time. Seeing their expression after that first moment of bouncing, tilting and swaying on a swopper is priceless.
Here are the four most common first reactions I see people have with the swopper.
“This chair is so fun to sit on!”
I can honestly say every time I’ve witnessed someone sit on a swopper for the first time, their immediate reaction is a BIG SMILE followed by “this is fun!” Often we’ll hear that the movement of the swopper reminds them of their childhood toys – think pogo stick, hippity hop, jump rope, wagons, rocking horses, and wobble boards (all the toys that kept us moving as children).
“There are a lot of health benefits to the swopper, huh?”
Other times, people’s immediately focus when sitting on the swopper is the fact that they are working their core and their back posture is feeling better and that this “fun” item could actually be a very beneficial health and wellness tool – one they could incorporate anywhere (office or home).
When I’m dealing with chiropractors or others within the healthcare industry, they can pretty much assume what the swopper will be doing before they even sit on it. Yet again…they even get the BIG SMILE.
“This chair looks so unique.”
Sometimes people’s first reaction is solely based on the look of the swopper. It’s as if it’s some alien device, and they aren’t sure how to approach it. However, once you explain how it moves and gently prod them to give it a try….wait, here it comes…the BIG SMILE happens once again!
The swopper is definitely a conversation piece and the design alone commands attention.
“My kids would love this.”
The fourth impression I’m receiving more of these days is coming from parents. Parents with kids who love to play video games…for hours! Yes, our kids choices of toys has changed dramatically these days. Unfortunately for many, these video games are taking the place of all the active physical fun things we should be encouraging.
Enter swopper. Parents are looking at swopper with the thought “If they are going to be sitting for hours playing video games, lets at least put them on a swopper, which would encourage them to move while playing.
And yes, I’ve seen young adults try swopper and again….a BIG SMILE!!
The bottom line is … Swopper = Fun = 🙂
If you’d like to give a swopper a try and experience that BIG SMILE yourself, we are offering free returns through October 9. No risk, no hassle, just pure fun.
~ Sandra Bowie, Motion Seating Director
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
We have known for years that the Swopper three dimensional motion stool was light years ahead of its time in North America. While consumers and businesses found it intriguing, it was often viewed as a novelty or just a really cool, fun looking stool.
Well, I’m happy to say that the past few years have started to reveal a whole new appreciation for this funky, fun, yet healthy motion stool. We have seen more and more articles about the dangers of sitting in the media, a mass acceptance of alternative seating options and professional industries begin to think critically about the benefits of motion for their employees.
One industry that has picked up on the motion-seating trend at a faster rate than others has been the healthcare industry. When hospitals start placing orders for hundreds of Swoppers for their nurses, you know tides are shifting in favor of healthier workplaces. We have been encouraged to see that finally, one industry truly gets the health and wellness benefits of motion seating, and is being proactive instead of re-active to their own employees’ health. We refer to it as “Caring for the Caregivers.”
Here are some of the healthcare occupations or industries we’ve seen embrace Swopper recently:
- Chiropractors – Swopper has been recommended for years by chiropractors looking for additional resources to help their clients alleviate low back pain. They love the motion aspect of the chair, and also the fact that using the Swopper maintains the natural “S” curve of your spine while seated, and opens the hip/spine angle.
- Kinesiologists – Kinesiology is “the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement.” Based on that, these people truly understand the idea motion and how great it is for the whole body – joints, muscles, mental etc. I recently did a tradeshow for the American College of Sport Medicine, which was attended by many kinesiologists. It was the first show I’ve ever done, where I didn’t have to do much explaining about Swopper. All they had to do was try it and they knew exactly what it could do for the body and mind.
- Physical Therapists – Swopper has been recommended by many physical therapists, especially those with patients who have knee or hip issues. Simple, subtle, intuitive motion can have a dramatic effect for someone rehabbing a knee or hip. If you’re keeping those joints and muscles moving, they have fewer tendencies to tighten up.
- Insurance Companies – We’ve seen an emerging trend from insurance companies that are recommending Swopper and Muvman to their own clients. Their aim is to be proactive to limit workers comp and try to get employees back to work faster and safer. Many times these workers need to adopt a whole new work style and our chairs can help with that.
Swopper has also been endorsed by:
- Dr. Stephen Hochschuler – Orthopedic Surgeon at the Texas Back Institute
- Dr. Dieter Breithecker – World renown expert on posture and motion
It’s been exciting for us at Swopper to see the healthcare industry get behind the benefits of motion seating. The fact that today’s leaders in health and wellness recognize the importance of staying active throughout the day shows that the future of workplace wellbeing is headed in the right direction.
Do you work in the Healthcare industry? If so, have you witnessed a shift in how your workplace approaches health & wellness for their employees? Leave a comment and let us know about your experience.
~ 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
Welcome to the official swopper blog. We are a group of passionate motion seating experts who work and play at swopper headquarters in Reno-Sparks, NV. On this blog, we’ll share personal stories, health & wellness tips and everything you ever wanted to know about our motion seating products including the swopper, muvman and 3dee chairs.
Here’s a bit more about each of us:
Chas Hepler: President & CEO
Chas…what can we say? His vision for swopper and all of our motion products is why we are here today. When Chas first sat on swopper, he immediately understood the need for this product and the whole motion seating philosophy. His vision has been the driving force in bringing the motion seating portfolio of products together under one roof. He is a brand champion and a very active swopper user. Chas is the chief strategist behind motion seating, and is dedicated to making motion seating products available to everyone. Follow Chas posts on his personal journey to a healthier work life through sitting in motion.
Nora Fenlon: VP Sales & Marketing
Nora is to swopper what a pen is to paper. She fell in love with swopper over 15 years ago, and has dedicated herself to helping it become main stream ever since. Nora shares her experience overcoming back pain with swopper. As a result of this firsthand experience, she is driven to help educate others on the healthful benefits of motion seating. That’s why she became a certified ergonomist. Nora hails from Ireland originally and now is a proud permanent resident of the US. Follow Nora’s posts for the science behind our products with a dose of her personal experiences with swopper.
Sandra Bowie: Motion Seating Director
Sandra, is the driving force behind swopper whether she is attending a trade show or telling the story behind the products. We look to her for guidance in all things movement. Sandra is passionate about our motion products and even worked directly with Aeris, the German manufacturer for over a year to understand swopper, muvman and 3dee completely. The knowledge she brings to the table on these chairs is extremely valuable.
Look for Sandra’s posts to explain the ins and outs of motion seating, the benefits for health and wellness, and her perspective as an expert about swopper.
Tom Robinson: Creative Director
If you can think it, Tom will create it! Swopper wouldn’t be what it is without his special touches whether that is an email, infographic or a doctored photo…the creative curb appeal is all Tom! Tom will bring a creative flair to our blog through images, infographics and more.
Jenn Lytle: Customer Service Director & Social Marketing
Jenn, is the social media maven here at swopper. She oversees the day to day operations of our blog, website, Facebook page, LinkedIn and more. In addition, Jenn handles our customer service; making sure all our customers are thrilled with their experience with our products.
Jenn is our problem solver and our go-to person for literally anything – and she does it all with a smile on her face. Jenn’s writing is a perfect mix of her passion for Swopper and her upbeat, funny personality.
In addition to our regular bloggers above, we’re planning to bring you guest posts from experts and real people who use swopper, muvman and 3dee to maximize their health.
We’re looking forward to going on this blogging journey with you. If you ever have a question, blog idea or just want to say “hi!” leave us a comment or send a note on our contact us page.
Cheers to moving ahead!
~ Team Swopper