Sitting has been declared the new smoking, with a host of health hazards that come with being stuck in the same posture for hours on end. The body simply isn’t designed to maintain the same position for a prolonged period. The end result: Constant back and neck pain, poor circulation, muscle atrophy, and even death.
So what’s the solution? Designers are constantly asking that question, and one integral part of the equation may be chairs like the Swopper. Let’s review and see just what all the fuss is about.
Swopper What? Origins and General Overview of the Swopper Chair
The idea behind the Swopper is simple- create a chair that encourages- even forces- constant movement as you sit. To that end, German designers combined the best features of a regular office chair with a exercise ball chair to create a 3D moving ergonomic stool that is nothing short of amazing from a ergonomic stand point.
The Swopper Chair’s design hails from classic German engineering- practical, durable, and highly functional. It comes with a sturdy base that gives rise to a adjustable spring to create a flexible stool that encourages constant natural movement and revives energy as you sit. The strong springs in the Swopper tell me this is a chair that’s built to last, and won’t sag after just a few months of usage.
The best way to describe sitting on the Swopper Chair is to imagine sitting on a exercise ball chair, but one that self balances and allows 3D movements without rolling away. Having the chance to move around as though you’re on a stable version of a balance ball feels fantastic, and just after a few minutes, I can already feel my back and neck muscles loosening.
I’ve never come across an ergonomic chair that moves the way the Swopper does.
Benefits of the Swopper Chair For Your Back, Neck, and Posture
- 3D motion for constant micro movements (up and down, backwards and forwards, or side-to-side)
- Encourages great posture with the lack of backrest
- Improves blood flow for better energy and focus
- Strengthens back and core muscles as your body subconsciously tries to maintain balance.
- Loosens neck tension as you sway slightly in all directions.
Using a Swopper Chair ensures the days of hunching over a desk and working uncomfortably are in the past.
What is the Proper Way to Sit on a Swopper Chair?
Since the spring is located directly underneath the middle of the seat, sitting right above it establishes the most effective position.
To benefit from this, ensure your pelvis is slightly above the knees and your feet are flat on the floor. This allows you to sit organically by opening up the entire body to prevent tightness and hunching.
You can then adjust the height to make sure any monitors are in line with your eye level and keyboards and mouses are comfortable to use.
How long can I sit on the Swopper Chair?
Much to my delight, you can sit on a Swopper Chair all day if you wanted to!
With standard office chairs, your posture deteriorates over time as you slouch, and muscles become tighter. You have to get up and move around during the day to alleviate at least some of these negative effects.
Since the ergonomic features with Swopper Chairs are centred around movement, you can stay active as you sit and work throughout the day,
The only time you may need to get up is if your co-workers are queuing up to give your Swopper Chair a try!
Aeris Swopper Classic Chair Reviewed
The Aeris Swopper Classic is the most popular version of the Swopper Chair, and is probably the one you’ll want to buy. The Swopper Air (see below) comes with a softer seat and casters for increased portability, though is $50 more expensive.
The three-dimensional movement aspect to the Swopper Classic Chair is why people are falling in love with it.
You can move horizontally, laterally, and even vertically, with the help of a spring strut underneath the seat. This spring aligns naturally with your spine to stimulate movement. It can be effortlessly adjusted with a control located towards the bottom of the chair.
An easily adjustable height lever makes this chair a great accompaniment for any type of sitting desk. The seat can be elevated from a low 22″ up to 27 1/2″.
The convex shape of the Swopper Classic prevents pressure from building up on the underside of the thigh. The cushion is made of 2 1/4″ high-density “molded” foam, which feels quite firm. The chair has a maximum capacity of 290 pounds.
If you’re worried about assembly, putting together the Swopper Classic Chair can be done in three simple steps and you won’t even need any tools.
- Unique sprung 3D technology to allow constant 3D movement
- Height Adjustable to suit a wide range of desk
- High grade alumimum and steel for an ultra durable chair
- Convex seat that prevents pressure from building in your thighs as you sit
- On the pricey side!
- Seat a little too firm for some
Swopper Classic versus Swopper Air- What’s the Difference?
The Swopper Air is another model made by Aeris, with a couple of key differences compared to the Swopper Classic.
The most notable change with the Swopper AIr is the fabric used on the seat. The Swopper Classic uses foam as one of its main materials and the seat is pretty firm. The firmness has caused some people to experience butt pain after sitting on it all day. The Swopper Air incorporates a new three-dimensional textile that consists of top and bottom layers of performance fabric, buffered and held together by pressure-sensitive threads. The end result is a much a softer sitting experience without the annoying sag. This material is woven knit onto the seat for improved heat regulation and breathability.
There are also castors on the Air model that can be used on all types of flooring. It makes the chair easier to roll around to different areas of the house without having to pick it up like the Classic.
Having said that, the castors combined with the three dimensional movement of the Swopper Air may cause more motion than you were anticipating.
The Swopper Air is also $50 more expensive than the Classic. I would say get the Swopper Air if you are prone to feeling discomfort in your behind after a while after sitting on firmer cushioned seats. Otherwise, the Swopper Classic is the best chair to get for most people.
What About the Backrest?
The exercise ball-like movement will undoubtedly be the first thing you notice with the Swopper Chair. But the other main thing that’ll stand out to you is the lack of a backrest.
You’ll be glad to know this is actually a key part of the ergonomic design.
Initially, having no backrest may take some getting used to. As you now know, Swopper Chairs are ergonomically engineered to promote movement will sitting, and a backrest would work against this goal.
Feeling apprehensive about having no backrest? Don’t be.
The spring lets you lean forward on your desk if you’re not used to the upright position straight away. While doing so, however, the Swopper Chair will keep your back from rounding over and causing pain.
After using a Swopper Chair for a week, you’ll realize the backrest on standard office chairs were doing you more harm than good. They encourage slouching or hunching, which inevitably leads to back and neck pain.
What’s the Difference Between a Swopper Chair and a Balance Ball?
On the surface, it seems like there are many striking similarities between a Swopper Chair and balance ball chair. They both promote movement and keep the core engaged.
So why not just use a balance ball instead?
- Swopper Chairs allow for a much wider range of movements than ball chairs (without rolling over)
- Swopper chairs are height adjustable for use with different desks
- Health and safety regulations don’t allow for balance balls in some workplaces
- Swopper Chairs let you fine-tune spring tension to control range of motion
- Design and color scheme of Swopper Chairs are more visually appealing
Are You Ready to do the Swop?
Working for 8+ hours sitting on a regular office chair would usually cause inflexibility, a weaker back, and poor posture.
Who would’ve thought you could improve on these issues by sitting and working all day?
A Swopper Chair will add a surprising element of fun to your standard workday. But more importantly, it will keep your posture aligned as well as prevent back and neck pain. Give it a go to see the results for yourself!