The Back App Ergonomic Chair from Back App was created to gently exercise the core muscles from a seated position. The unique design, featuring Back App's "Magic Ball," puts the chair into a state of slight but constant (and tip-proof) imbalance. With the ball at its centre, the Back App Chair shifts every time the user moves, requiring that the user maintain a constant yet almost imperceptible degree of engagement in the core muscles in order to continuously reorient and maintain balance. The degree to which the seat shifts can be adjusted using the Magic Ball. The ball can also be fully retracted to create a rigid base if desired. A rubber bumper pad underneath the aluminum base acts as a cushion to ensure smooth transitions of movement as well as serving to protect flooring.
The seat is styled as a saddle, is heavily cushioned, and features a wrap-around bolster to encourage the forward tilt of the pelvis that brings the spine into proper alignment. An optional wheeled base is available for those who require the ability to shift around a work space. (The BackApp Chair retains the full range of rocking movement when the seat is on the mobile base.)
The high-end Alcantara artificial suede covering on the seat provides a secure seating surface and is breathable for comfort.
Note: The Back App Ergonomic Chair raises the user to a greater elevation than traditional office seating does. As a result, the Back App Chair will be most successfully deployed at an elevated desk or at an adjustable height workstation.
Promotes "Active Sitting" - The movement which the Back App Ergonomic Chair introduces will naturally lead to a user being more "active" in their sitting. The "rocking" or "pivoting" movement will ensure that core muscles are actively engaged throughout the day, and the upright posture which the Back App requires will encourage a greater range of reaching employing the upper body and arms. The legs will also benefit as the leg muscles will naturally be involved in the effort to maintain an upright, neutral position. In addition to this, the upright posture encourages users to more readily shift off the chair and move about than does a standard office chair.
Core Strengthening - The continuous movement which the Back App Ergonomic Chair introduces requires that users actively engage their core muscles to micromanage their balance and orientation in respect to their workstation. These continuous movements, although not of a significant degree, can generate a degree of muscle tone and flexibility which cannot be achieved in a traditional static seating position. The subtle movements will work to slowly strengthen the core muscles, resulting in users being better able to maintain the upright posture and correct back alignment necessary to good posture. As users become more adept at controlling their balance they may choose to increase the degree of movement and consciously employ the Back App as part of their overall fitness regime.
Freedom of Movement - The Back App Chair is designed to encourage movement. An upright posture provides users with a much greater degree of torso movement than a traditional seat can provide. Users have the freedom of bending at the waist to significantly extend their reach to the left and right, as well as forward. A degree of backwards arch can even be accomplished, keeping the joints and muscles of the core and back active and moving freely in all directions.
Increased Alertness - The continuous activity which users must engage in while seated on the Back App Ergonomic Chair naturally lends itself to an improvement in mental focus. Not only does the brain remain actively engaged in calculating the degree of response needed to maintain balance but, as well, the upright posture permits the diaphragm to move with much greater ease than traditional seating options. Users will find themselves breathing deeper and being able to better exhale. This will lead to an increase in overall cardiovascular activity far beyond what can be achieved with traditional seating.
Encourages Correct Spinal Alignment (Improved Posture) - When users raise the Back App Chair to a height suitable for their stature, the pelvis will naturally rotate forward. This ensures that the spine is moved back to the natural "S-Curve" which provides the ideal degree of support for the torso, neck and head. Traditional seating actually works against the user, forcing the back into an unnatural "C-Curve" which has the pelvis tipped backward and the lower back rounded out. This translates into sustained high levels of stress on the unsupported soft tissue muscles and ligaments of the lower back. The improved alignment of the spine provided by a properly positioned Back App Chair alleviates or removes that stress, reducing fatigue by enabling those tissues to relax and rest.
Reduced Potential for Lower Back Pain - By positioning the spine in its naturally strongest and correctly aligned position the continuous tension and stress which traditional chairs place on the lumbar portion of the spine is relieved. Much back pain is a response generated by the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, etc) to notify us that overuse, overstressing, or damage has been done to these tissues. This is a natural response by the body in an effort to advise us that something needs to be addressed. Ligaments and muscles are not designed to be held in constant tension. Over time ligaments lose their resiliency and are unable to return to their natural length (much like a rubber band will lose its original proportions once it is repeatedly stretched or held in an extended position). This will result in increased stress on the muscles which are now required to exert extra continuous effort in order to aid the ligaments in providing the necessary support. Associated with this extra stress, muscles will often respond with cramping and spasms, usually accompanied by pain.
Reduced "Overreach" - A complaint commonly associated with traditional seating is that it is difficult to reach items positioned to the sides or front. Doing so requires a significant rotation forward or outward from the shoulder, often combined with a forward bend from the waist. This can be a cause for concern for two reasons. First, the extreme reaching of the arms and the high degree of rotation necessary to accomplish this can lead to the development of shoulder-related issues. Usually this is addressed by trying to adapt the work area to the user by bringing frequently used items and equipment closer. However, there is always a limitation to the comfort zone of the user so this is usually only partially effective as a solution. The second area of concern related to the overreach is that when items are out of reach users will attempt to extend the limited range of their arms by “bending” or “stretching” forward from the waist. This exerts unnatural and unnecessary stress on the lower back, increasing the potential for development of lower back pain. The Back App Ergonomic Chair addresses both of these concerns by providing a significantly increased reaching zone. The forward tilt of the pelvis immediately provides several inches of additional forward reach that cannot be available when seated in a traditional chair as the upper body is brought into closer proximity to the work space. In combination with this is the fact that a saddle seat position permits the entire torso to accomplish the reach, rather than relying on a single joint such as the shoulder. By spreading the reaching movement throughout the upper body not only are users able to reduce the angle of the shoulder rotation but also the potential for stress on the lower back. The result of this is that the reach of an average user can easily and comfortably be extended 12" - 18" beyond what they could normally reach from a traditional chair.
Achieve Sit/Stand Benefits WITHOUT Standing - Due to the unique posture and active seating position which the Back App Ergonomic Chair offers, the user is able to realize many of the benefits attributed to an active standing posture without some of the accompanying concerns. The pivot motion of the seat can improve core muscle tone, posture is improved, blood flow is increased due to the greater degree of movement offered, and improved overall abdominal activity due to the open and upright stance ensures improved bloodflow and increased metabolism. This automatically results in a greater degree of alertness and the ability to better focus on the tasks at hand.
Avoids the Risk Factors of Standing When Working - Standing to work is rapidly gaining in popularity due to solid scientific evidence that extended sitting in the traditional office environment greatly increases numerous health risks. Current media coverage which is to a great extent fuelling this movement has almost solely focused on the "benefits" of standing to work, ignoring the equally compelling evidence that extended standing can also be extremely detrimental to one's overall health. Studies have shown that extended standing can result in blood pooling in the lower legs due to the static state of the leg muscles, resulting in edema (swelling of the feet and lower legs) and a corresponding increase in varicose vein problems. This also increases the load on the circulatory system which has to push this pooled blood back out of the legs. There is good evidence that this can exacerbate existing or possibly lead to heart and circulatory problems. Many people who stand extensively, especially on hard floors (concrete, ceramic tile, etc), develop heel problems that can manifest as bone spurs or plantar fasciitis. Standing is also more tiring, something which is has been well-known in industry for many years. While standing does burn more calories it is also rated to consume 20% more energy than sitting which can result in fatigue. Industry has addressed this by providing anti-fatigue mats, anti-fatigue footwear, and chairs to sit on during rest breaks - each of which is aimed to reduce the tiring effects of standing. The Back App Ergonomic Chair enables users to maintain the upright posture which is most beneficial to their health while at the same time reducing their exposure to the risk factors described above. Since the saddle seat carries the majority of the weight load the leg muscles are no longer required to remain in “tension” mode in order to support the user. Instead, these muscles are now free to relax and flex as needed to move the chair around the work area. This movement activates the “pumping action” that aids in moving blood from the lower legs. By transferring the majority of the weight to the saddle seat, the feet are also permitted to rest, reducing the ongoing strain that occurs with extended static standing.
IMPORTANT NOTE - Moving to a Back App Ergonomic Chair will generally require some modifications to the workstation. Since it elevates the torso of the user there will be a requirement to ensure that keyboard, mouse and monitor are all able to be brought into an appropriate height position in order to maintain a neutral posture for the hands, arms, and neck. For average or shorter users this might be able to be accomplished by elevating the desk using specialized lifters such as Raise-Its which can safely raise a desk by up to 3". Standard keyboard arms and trays may also provide enough elevation or may be utilized in combination with a product like the Raise-Its. The monitor mount may have enough range to elevate the screen to the desired greater height or a few simple monitor risers in combination with its integral movement may provide the necessary elevation. For more complex scenarios such as taller users it may be necessary to provide an elevating workstation that can be raised enough to bring these devices into the correct alignment. The advantage that the Back App offers over offers over a Sit/Stand workstation is that the user is still in a seated position and the monitor and keyboard do not need to shift throughout the day as the range of motion and viewing angles do not change.
In order to properly equip a true Sit/Stand Workstation it would need to accommodate the changes which occur when the user switches from Sitting to Standing. These include small but significant changes in the hand/arm positions and more significant changes in the viewing angle required for the monitor. This may often require a monitor arm with a fairly wide range of elevation adjustment, adding additional cost to the adaptation.
Active Movement: The Back App Ergonomic Chair provides a unique "rocking" or "pivoting" movement which requires users to maintain a degree of constant tension in their core muscles as they are actively engaged to seek a balance point. The degree of movement can be easily adjusted by the user, increasing or decreasing it as desired.
Comfortable Padded Saddle-Style Seat: The Back App seat is heavily padded for comfort and the contoured saddle is designed to optimize user seating posture. A wrap-around bolster encourage the maintenance of the pelvic "forward tilt" to optimize spinal alignment while also giving users a sense of security as the seat shifts beneath them.
High Quality Upholstery: The Back App Ergonomic Chair is upholstered in Alcantara faux suede (used in high-end sports cars and furniture.) The result is a comfortable, breathable seat which eliminates potential slippage, keeping the user securely in place on the Back App seat while transmitting optimum movement to the torso and hips as the seat shifts beneath them.
Adjustable Tilt Range: The "Magic Ball" is attached to a tube which threads inside the base of the Back App chair. This enables the user to finely adjust the degree of movement for the desired effect. The Back App Ergonomic Chair movement can be increased by moving the ball further out of the support or fully eliminated by raising the ball until it no longer makes contact with the floor.
Height Adjustable: The Back App Ergonomic Chair is equipped with a gas cylinder spring which provides a height adjustment range from 21.4" - 30.3".
Tilt Indicator: There is a highly visible red and green indicator on the Magic Ball mount which clearly shows the current tilt setting.
Large Diameter Base for Stability: The sturdy base is 24" in diameter, large enough to ensure safety and stability even when utilizing the maximum movement.
Cushioned "Damping Ring": A rubber "Damping Ring" provides protection for flooring as well as a cushioning effect when the movement reaches the maximum range.
Optional Rolling Base: The Back App Ergonomic Chair is designed for use where the user is not required to move about a workspace. However, a Wheeled Base which provides the mobility necessary for such movement while retaining all the ergonomic benefits of the Back App Chair is available as an option.
Easily Replaceable Mechanical Parts: The Back App Ergonomic Chair is designed to provide many years of service. For this reason the limited mechanical parts which may fail over usage and time are all easily replaced, restoring full functionality to the chair.
Sustainably Environmentally Friendly: Back App chairs are designed with sustainability in mind. The base of each Back App Chair is created from 300 recycled pop cans, all plastic parts are clearly marked and the chair can be fully dismantled and the independent components recycled appropriately when the chair ultimately becomes no longer serviceable.
Images (Click on any thumbnail to view larger image)
Back App Ergonomic Chair - Black Alcantara Fabric
Back App Ergonomic Chair - Red Alcantara Fabric
Back App Ergonomic Chair - Blue Alcantara Fabric
Back App Ergonomic Chair - Adjustable "Magic Ball"
Back App Ergonomic Chair - Optional Wheeled Base
Back App Ergonomic Chair Positioned on Optional Wheeled Base
Placing Back App Ergonomic Chair into Optional Wheeled Base
Watch the "How to Use the Back App Chair" Video. Movement adjustment, height setting, mounting, and positioning the Back App at your desk are presented in this short video clip.
When using the Back App Ergonomic Chair you should be comfortable with the degree of movement available. If you feel that you are out of control then you probably need to reduce the degree of movement available by rotating the Magic Ball upward into the chair base. Once you become accustomed to the movement you can then gradually increase the movement range by extending the ball further from the base. Gradual adjustment is better in this case, giving you time to become familiar with the movement.
Set the Back App to a height where the angle of your torso to thighs is about 135°. At this point the thighs should be angled down at roughly 45°. This angle optimizes the benefits of the Back App by tilting the pelvis forward and moving the spine into a naturally relaxed and supportive "S-Curve".
Sit with your feet on the base, not the floor. Moving your feet to the floor will result in a significant loss of the value which can be achieved with the Back App Chair. Positioning the feet on the floor introduces a stabilizing factor which might be desirable at times but keeping them there greatly reduces the degree of movement which the torso can receive. Remember to return your feet to the base ring in order for the Back App to generate the greatest degree of movement and provide you with the greatest level of benefits.
Ensure that your desk or work area is raised to a height which provides optimum ergonomic positioning when you are seated on the Back App Chair. You want to be able to access your input devices at a level which offers a neutral posture—shoulders relaxed, elbows at or open slightly past 90°. Do NOT lower the Back App to accommodate a worksurface which is too low as this will begin to tilt the pelvis backward and round the back (the lower back especially) into an unnatural "C-Curve", increasing the stress and strain on the lower back.