Modern office work consists primarily of static tasks: computer operation, reading, talking on the phone, or sitting in meetings. Ergonomic research has alerted us to the fact that our bodies thrive on motion, and that maintaining fixed positions for long periods of time will degrade our health. There are excellent suggestions for modifying our office routines to incorporate more motion, such as taking brief movement breaks, working from a standing position, or just remembering to change our posture more often. Is there any other type of movement that we can do without being distracted from our computer and desk work?
Fortunately there is, and you’re sitting on the answer. When we sit down, we immobilize the largest and most powerful muscles in our body. The muscles of the pelvis and thigh are designed for the constant work of moving and supporting the body’s weight, they aren’t meant to be cushions! When these muscles are forced to remain inactive for long periods of time, they stop burning calories and accumulate waste products due to decreased circulation. Since most of us can walk and chew gum at the same, it makes sense to allow our legs a greater range of motion while we are sitting. This is the principle behind the Core-flex seating technology, to allow the natural alternating motion of the legs to be continued while we are sitting.
Research on postural sway shows that when we stand still, the body maintains a constant transfer of weight from side to side 2-3 times per minute (Duarte et al, 2011). This is not surprising when we remember that walking is the most natural motion (and the best exercise) for the human body. The alternation of weight from one leg to the other is also crucial for spinal health, as the tilting pelvis flexes the spine and activates core musculature. The natural motion of the Core-flex seat activates the majority of the muscles in the legs and pelvis, but in a voluntary non-distracting manner. If you can walk and talk on the phone at the same time, then you can work on your computer while maintaining intermittent motion in your legs and core. These movements stimulate your metabolism, and can boost your mental and physiological performance all day long.
Steve Pearse is the inventor of the Core-flex seating technology, which is based on the principle that a healthy lifestyle requires movement throughout the day. His background includes engineering, furniture design, fitness and recreation
Duarte, M., Freitas, S. M. S. F., & Zatsiorsky, V. (2011). Control of equilibrium in humans—Sway over sway. Motor control. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 219-242.