Active Sitting

Sometimes, a few simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference, including having the right chair to sit on at work or in the home

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Physical wellness is often so focused around the things we do outside of work, such as running, yoga or going to the gym. But it’s important to remember that we spend more waking hours with our office chair than anyone or anything else — and that could be even more in the era of home or remote working.

So why not think more about how you can spend the 40-plus hours working each week in a more beneficial way, including how you sit.

The posture and furniture experts at Back in Action ( recommend starting with a chair that incorporates movement. The key to all good chairs, it reckons, is movement — forwards-and-backwards, side-to[1]side, up-and-down, the more movement the better.

The company — which offers a range of chairs from well-known design brands such as Varier, HAG, Flokk and Stressless, all designed to encourage movement — calls this ‘active sitting’. The idea is that once you achieve active sitting your core muscles will become stronger and you will find your posture improve overnight, joints will be less stiff, and you will become more focused and have higher concentration levels.

So what’s the answer? That’s a sentiment echoed by yoga teacher Isabel Daniella Lancaster. “Buy a decent chair!” She highlights The Varier Variable Plus, which is a rocking kneeling chair which keeps your hip above your knee to create the perfect weight-bearing shape for your spinal joints and then helps your postural muscles and core to remain engaged through response to movement (small micro movements created just as you type or sip your water).

Great for Zoom calls, intensive keyboard work and long telephone calls, it encompasses three core essentials of healthy sitting: movement, balance, and forward tilt. “Your upright position for typing at the desk allows for you to tilt with your body close to the edge of the desk so you aren’t overreaching, and then the backward tilt allows you to rest upon the backrest to stretch and recoup. Lots of short-period positions to work in are much better than one fixed position for any prolonged length of time.


  • Ensure feet are firmly on the floor and your chair as close to the desk as possible.
  • Sit on an adjustable chair with your knees below your pelvis and with a good lumbar support.
  • Remember not to remain seated for too long. Take breaks to move and stretch your body.
  • Alternate your working between sitting and standing. Your body may at first feel a little tired, but it will be encouraged to get fitter.
400x400 template (55)


Ever heard of Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT)? In essence, MBTs are a redesign of shoes that cause the user to have to balance while they walk. MBT shoes can change the way most of us use our muscles as well as reduce shock forces to the entire skeletal system.

Unlike most conventional training shoes that only support and cushion your feet, the unique lever spring action of MBTs challenge the core strengthening muscles to be more active. This helps posture and increases shock absorption for all the joints. The intention is to create a lifestyle more compatible with the way our bodies evolved, which typically means walking on surfaces with 'give'. Walking on hard surfaces, prevalent today, puts the body through extremes of unnatural pressure and overloads the joints, from the ankles, knees and hips to lower back and upwards through the spine. Available in a formal look for the office and more casual trainers, you can browse a huge range of styles and options with Back in Action (

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.