Sitting on a saddle chair or saddle stool represents for many the healthiest sitting at all. Compared to conventional chairs, it reduces the stress on the spine in particular. This is most noticeable in the intervertebral discs in the area of the lumbar vertebrae. In addition, saddle sitting relieves the internal organs in the abdominal region and has the positive side effect of getting the whole organism moving.
So there are many advantages that speak in favor of a saddle chair or saddle stool. But saddle sitting can also be very unfamiliar for beginners and may be uncomfortable at first. Therefore, it is advisable to test one first. In addition, a height-adjustable, ergonomic desk is a basic requirement for optimal use of the chair. Due to the upright posture, you sit about 8-12 inches higher than with a normal ergonomic office chair.
What is a Saddle Stool?
A saddle stool is a reduced chair in which the seat cushion has the shape of a horse’s back or saddle. This shape automatically lets the sitter maintain an upright and healthy posture and relieves pressure on the spine.
Even though saddle stools are not widely used, they are considered the healthiest seating option available. The height adjustability and the special type of seat result in the best conditions for permanently avoiding back pain while sitting.
Saddle stools are available with and without backrest and most people have seen them before at doctors, dentists or physiotherapists, who can sit on them and simply roll up to the patient. But also at the desk, at home in the home office or in retail, saddle chairs offer a high added value to sit maximally advantageous and to do something good for the body.
Saddle Stool Guide: What to look for when Buying?
- Height Adjustability: A saddle stool should have a continuously adjustable seat height. With an extended height adjustability up to about 80 cm, the seating furniture can also be used as a standing aid at the desk or when ironing, etc.
- Load Capacity: The maximum load capacity should not be neglected. Most models can bear loads of up to about 264 pounds; some saddle stools are even suitable for people with a body weight of up to 396 pounds.
- Rotatability: The saddle stool should be able to rotate 360°.
- Suspension: the seat should have good suspension to effectively support the up and down movement of the body.
- Structure of the Base: A stainless steel or aluminum base with casters for soft or hard floors is common.
- Seat: Typical is the curved, two-part seat, which is usually softly upholstered. Models with gel seat cushions are often found. In some saddle chairs, the seat can also be tilted.
- Design: Many models have a modern design. Black and white dominate the seat, although saddle stools are also available in other colors.
- Price: Saddle stools and saddle chairs are available for purchase in all price categories.
Best Saddle Stool
Saddle Stool with Backrest
A saddle chair with backrest is suitable as an almost full alternative to the ergonomic office chair. Because, who sits up to 8 hours at the office workplace, absolutely needs a backrest from an ergonomic point of view. Only such a backrest can optimally support and relieve the spine while sitting. Armrests would be even better. However, very few saddle chairs are offered with backrest and armrest.
An exception is the Hag Capisco 8106 saddle chair. Due to its innovative ergonomic design, you can sit on the chair in different ways – forward, sideways and backward. The height-adjustable backrest is equipped with a Balanced Movement Mechanism. Through this, the backrest follows the movement of the upper body. However, those who wish can also lock it in any position. Another special feature is the shape of the backrest. The arms can be placed on the side arms.
But it can also be cheaper. It should be mentioned that the following model is mainly used in medical practices or laboratories. However, this does not mean that they are not also suitable for the office workplace. A very good alternative to the Hag Capisco is the FRNIAMC Adjustable Saddle Stool. This saddle chair with backrest is covered with a high-quality leather. The aluminum base rounds off the robustness.
Saddle Stool with Split Seat
A saddle stool with a split seat takes sitting ergonomics to an even higher level. This is because the free space created in the middle relieves the pelvic floor and genital area. On the one hand, possible heat accumulation is avoided. On the other hand, the pressure load is minimized.
The Salli SwingFit is a particularly ergonomic saddle stool. Its saddle seat can be adjusted in height and angle of inclination. In addition, the two-part seat halves can be individually adjusted in seat width. And, to make sitting even healthier, the integrated swing mechanism ensures continuous movement while sitting – active sitting. The massage nubs for the soles of the feet in the base of the chair are a special eye-catcher. The Salli Swing Fit is available in three sizes and various colors.
And again, a cheaper alternative: the Master Massage Berkeley saddle seat stool.
Alternatively, there is this saddle stool with built-in backrest. You can lean against it comfortably.
Simple Saddle Stool without Backrest
The classic saddle stool without backrest. The central component is the saddle seat without a center column. Height adjustment is common. However, at best, the seat can also be adjusted in the angle of inclination. However, the shape, upholstery and cover differ from model to model.
A saddle stool without backrest and one-piece saddle seat should be seen as a temporal alternative to the main office chair – as a change to bring more dynamism into the workday. However, it should not be in use for 8 or more hours.
Why is a Backrest recommended for a Saddle Stool?
You sit very actively on a saddle stool and an additional backrest increases the sitting comfort even more, since the back is ideally stabilized by the ergonomic shape of the backrest. With an activated rocking function of the backrest, you sit particularly dynamically and can move around a lot.
- The backrest adapts ergonomically to the back: The shape of the backrest in a saddle stool has a curved shape and perfectly hugs your back. The back is comfortably enclosed and placed in the correct position for healthy sitting. The healthy posture of the body is thus ideally supported.
- Very comfortable when sitting for longer periods of time: Especially if you ever sit on a saddle stool for more than 15 minutes, it is particularly pleasant to have a backrest. After some time of active sitting without a backrest, it can become uncomfortable on the one hand, but also somewhat exhausting. For this reason, a backrest is useful if you often sit on such a chair for a whole hour.
- Help for sitting straight: With a normal saddle stool, the sitting posture and straight sitting is already promoted, but together with a backrest, this effect is further enhanced.
- Increasing well-being: A backrest is a retreat when sitting and promotes comfort and well-being. We like to sit on a chair with a backrest and enjoy propping ourselves up.
- The rocking function makes for dynamic sitting: Saddle stool backs allow you to activate or deactivate the rocking function with a lever on the bottom of the chair. With the rocker function activated, the backrest yields slightly when we lean against it, ensuring that we are not sitting too statically but can move freely. This is the ideal compromise in a backrest.
Saddle Stool – Functions and Advantages
On a conventional chair, the seat angle between the upper body and lower leg is about 90°. This causes the spine to assume an unnatural posture. Intervertebral discs are stressed and organs in the abdominal region can be crushed. Saddle riding is much healthier in this respect and has other advantages as well.
- Reduced strain on muscles and joints: When sitting in a saddle, the seat angle increases to up to 135°. This puts much less pressure on the thighs, buttocks, genitals and back. Muscles are activated and the metabolism of the whole organism is stimulated. The joints are moved more by the special sitting position on the saddle and are therefore better lubricated. In addition, due to the upright position, the joints are less stressed when you stand up.
- Improved blood circulation: Just by the reduced load, the blood circulation is both improved and promoted. Organs can work better and muscles and joints work more efficiently.
- Brings the spine into a natural posture: When used correctly, the saddle chair ensures that the back moves almost automatically into its natural posture. The spine assumes its typical S-shape. This reduces the tension in the lumbar region in particular and relieves the intervertebral discs. Especially those people with pain in this area will quickly feel an improvement.
- Improves breathing: The upper body straightens up, the chest can expand and the neck region is relaxed. These are essential features for good breathing. Oxygen uptake is improved, which especially counteracts signs of fatigue.
- Supports intestinal function: Due to the saddle stool, there is no squeezing of the abdominal region, as is often the case with conventional office chairs. The pressure on the gastrointestinal tract is reduced. The organs can unfold and have enough space to work properly. A two-piece saddle chair can further enhance this effect. This additionally reduces the pressure on the internal organs, which is caused by one-piece saddle chairs in the pubic area.
- Protects the genitals: One-piece saddle chairs or saddle stools exert increased pressure on the genital area. With two-piece saddle chairs, this is significantly reduced by the center gap. For men, there is the additional advantage that the saddle stool with center gap regulates and lowers the temperature of the testicles. Usually, when sitting, the testicles are often also pressed directly against the body by tense pants. Here they heat up to body temperature, which is detrimental to the quality of sperm. In women, too, the genital area is considerably relieved by a central cleft. This leads to better blood circulation and less sweating. This can also prevent infections.
- Reduces the formation of varicose veins and cellulite: Due to the upright posture and the resulting increased blood circulation, you get a nice side effect: the formation of varicose veins and cellulite is significantly reduced.
- Training effect: One is inclined to move more on a saddle stool – dynamic sitting. This ensures that muscles and joints are used more. The positive effect of this is that you get some training effect.
Sitting correctly in the Saddle – Tips for Use
You sit correctly when the thighs point downward by 45° when viewed from the horizontal and they have an angle of about 90° to each other. This creates an angle of 135° in the knee joints. Both feet are completely on the floor. This ensures that the pressure load is optimally distributed.
Once the correct position has been adopted, you can see why the height of the work table should be adjustable. Compared to an office chair, you sit much higher.
A swivel saddle stool with wheels is optimal for bringing even more movement into the workday. With the help of the legs, you can easily move from one place to another on the chair.
Saddle chairs or saddle stools are mainly used in places where you have to move a lot during work. That is why they are often found in doctors’ or dentists’ offices. But they can also be used in industry at assembly workplaces, in hairdressing salons, at office workplaces or in home offices.
If you want to sit on such a chair for 8 hours or longer, you should buy a two-piece saddle stool with backrest. This is because of the advantages described above and the disadvantages of one-piece saddle stools.
FAQs for Saddle Stools
Who should buy a Saddle Stool?
The seating furniture is interesting for people with back problems, because on a saddle stool you sit higher, wider and more upright. The body does not buckle during work, which provides many health benefits for the back, spine and intervertebral discs. The buttocks, legs and knees also experience noticeable relief. In addition, the seat offers a lot of flexibility, which is ideal for those who prefer dynamic sitting and mobility.
Can a Saddle Stool serve as an Office Chair Replacement?
A saddle stool is a useful addition to a conventional office chair. Since most models have a recommended sitting time of around 4 to 5 hours a day, it is not recommended to work on the saddle chair all day, but to switch between chair and stool regularly.
Are Saddle Stools better for the back?
Yes, the special shape of the seat automatically promotes upright sitting. In addition, the wider seat angle distributes the weight optimally, which also relieves the spine and back.