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Leaning/Perching Seats for Healthy Posture?

glinder
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08/09/2017 - 3:17am
Leaning/Perching Seats for Healthy Posture?

I am thinking about buying a Leaning/Perching chair which encourages a 130-135 degree hip to torso angle instead of the ususal 90 degrees. 

Question #1: Is a Leaning/Perching chair an ergonomically good choice? 

Question #2:  Is the angle of the foot important?  There is just one Leaning/Perching Chair that supports maintaing ankle at 90 degree resting angle.  It is the Locus Seat by Focal Upright.

Abeja Judy Hummel's picture
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06/12/2012 - 12:49pm

We, obviously, highly recommend the chair that Esther Gokhale developed herself for sitting.  You can read more about it here: http://gokhalemethod.com/chair.

The Gokhale Method Pain Free chair has a built-in wedge for good pelvic antiversion (forward angle), and raises and lowers so that your feet can be firmly on the ground, and arms at the correct level for your desk for proper shoulder placement. 

I had never heard of this Locus Seat so I just looked it up.  To me, that doesn't look like something I would enjoy sitting in for a long period of time, and I'm not sure how that would work with my desk, unless I got a new, much higher desk.  I also don't understand why you would want such a large hip to torso angle unless you have extremely tight hamstrings and want to accomodate--rather than remedy--that situation. 

I hope that helps!

Abeja Hummel

Gokhale Method Instructor

 

 

glinder
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Ajeja,

Thank you for your reply.

I sit across from people as a psychotherapist (not at a desk) for several hours in a day.  I am 58 yrs old and in fairly good physical shape.  I want some core activity while sitting and I also thought that it would be helpful for my body to have some time in a regular chair and some time in a more extended posture.  I have tight hip flexors that are impacting the kinetic chain, down to my toes.  I have really tight calves, weak glutes, tight abductors, a couple toes that are growing crooked, and weak ankles.That is why I am checking into a leaning chair.  Are the principles of a core activity and varied movement consistent with the Gokhale Method?

I know with Ester's chair, the ankle would be positioned at a 45 degree angle.  If I choose to buy one on the standing chairs, is the angle of my resting ankle important? All leaning chairs will encourage the foot position in extension, with the exception of the most expensive one whose platform allows the foot to stay in neutral position. 

Thank you for your time and input.

Abeja Judy Hummel's picture
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Great for you to be thinking about how to make your time in a chair as physically productive as possible! The answer to your questions are somewhat complicated, and would best be answered in person with a teacher after taking the Foundations course. 

That said, the Gokhale Method supports a strong and balanced core.  However, sitting is not the time we encourage one to get core strengthening, but rather balanced rest.  Certainly we encourage varied movement as well, but, trying to create small, artificial ways to get that varied movement while you actually are sitting in the same place may lead you to believe you're getting more movement than you truly are getting.  Sitting all day is sitting all day, no matter which chair you're in.

I highly recommend you check out the most recent blog post about sitting and walking: https://gokhalemethod.com/blog, which addresses some of these issues, and suggest things to focus on which are more likely to improve your condition.

Angle of the ankle while sitting isn't particularly important, but it would be good to exercise your feet and ankles as much as you can during the day.  There are good exercises in the appendix of the 8 Steps to A Pain Free Back book that can be done while seated, though they might be a little distracting or awkward in front of a client!

Given your situation, it might make sense to have several different ways that you can sit when seeing clients. That may be as easy as raising and lowering your chair. Set up a chair for stretchsitting.  Have a stool for stacksitting.  But don't count on those things to truly rectifiy the situation.  You may need to get creative and figure out ways to get more movement in your life, and to take the Gokhale Method Foundations Course so that you can be doing those movements well, so that they counter the effects of long sitting, instead of amplifying them.

I hope that helps!  Good Luck,

 

Abeja

 

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