This episode is entitled “Active sitting for back pain and sciatica” and it covers:
- How can people find and maintain the best posture?
- Why does sitting lead to back pain?
- Why don’t we just stand?
- The rocking mechanism
- Who is it not for?
- Do you encourage a wobbling?
- The company’s mission statement
How can people find and maintain the best posture?
Maintaining one’s posture is almost impossible when your brain is doing something else. Constantly reminding people doesn’t really work. You want people to be reminded unconsciously, at the spinal reflex level. If you sit on a chair that’s a little bit unstable and tips in all directions, not a lot, but enough so that you feel it, you have to balance on it. You have to consciously have your spinal reflexes engaged with gravity, constantly. Your brain can check out and look at your email or read a book. But your spine is constantly having a wordless conversation with gravity in the background. And as it’s doing that, it’s optimizing your posture. It takes kids months, maybe a year, as long as a year to learn how to walk. And why does that take so long? It’s very hard to walk, but keeping all of your bones upright and balanced is it’s a very heavy lift kids, even though they’re short. And even though their nervous systems are growing at breathtakingly, they’re laying down something like a hundred thousand new synapses a second, so they’re programming their nervous system in order to be able to walk gracefully.
And there’s creeping to crawling, to hobbling cause stumbling to walking gracefully. It takes a long time to develop and program those spinal reflexes to keep your gait upright and balanced. But once it’s in your nervous system, it’s there forever. If you just put people on a slightly unstable surface, their spinal reflexes kick in and their posture reasserts itself, perfectly, their sternum comes up and their headphones back. And the skull balances on the first two vertebra, the Atlas and access the shoulders relax. Within really 60 years, 120 seconds, people adopt the posture of an advanced meditation student. Now they’re just perfectly balanced. This happens without haranguing people or making them watch a video or shocking them, or making them read a book or trying to remember. It’s just a matter of letting their spine and its reflexes whenever the stipular apparatus speak to gravity. I’m organized all the bones in their body in a way that works for them.
Why does sitting lead to back pain?
Because of the way we sit. We humans have an immense need for energy to power our brains. We need resting postures that save energy as we’re waiting for the next thing to happen. The posture that was adopted for most of human history when we were hunter-gatherers was squatting. People balanced on top of their ankles. Populations that still squat as a resting posture are really quite muscularly active. When people squat, their tibia impinges on their tailless bone at the ankle and over time, it leaves an indentation. Humans stopped squatting, between 1600 and 1700, about the time chairs came into use, and they enforced the 90 degrees posture and sat for long periods of time, trying to lean against the background.
This is an odd posture that doesn’t allow the spine to balance naturally. And it’s fine to balance. You have to have your knees lower than your hips so that you get your natural hollow back, your lumbar lordosis, which is the way we stand naturally when we stand and also the way people who are good at squatting squat, I just a little sidebar. We Westerners can still squat. When we are children, you watch any child learn to love. And when they lose their balance, they just drop to a squat where they’re quite comfortable and they can sit there and eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich quite comfortable. But by the time they get to grade school or a little beyond, they have lost the ability to squat. And the reason is because we’ve put them in these 90, 90, 90 chairs and forced them to sit all day long and at the dinner table in school and they lose the ability to squat.
Most of us can never get it back. Squatting is a good position sitting as a bad position, but most of us Westerners will never be able to squat comfortably and watch Netflix. That’s just not possible for us anymore. That was the conundrum we face was that people must sit in the 21st century to do their jobs and enjoy their amusements and go to restaurants. And yet I’m sitting is a catastrophe, causes people to sit slumps, which over the long-term causes them to develop a weakened core. They’re sitting with bad posture and ultimately they developed back pain and worse. They developed sitting disease, not abolish set of consequences. That’s catastrophic on its own that we maybe can talk about later. The key seems to be a way to keep we’re looking for a way to keep people moving while they’re sitting.
And their answer turns out to be, oh, you just have to make a chair. That’s a little unstable under the seat pan. And now people have to stay to stay seated. They have to use big muscles to stay balanced. The internal external while the transfer say list fetus. These are big muscles. They’re burning glucose, but they’re also constantly readjusting small micro readjustments people’s posture moment to moment. And in a very short time, I’m going through a series of these micro readjustments. People really come to their perfect, willing advanced meditation, a perfect posture for there’s five. Now they can pretty much go all day. We tell people if they get one of our chairs to keep it to 15 or 20 minutes the first day, and then see how you feel because most people’s core is fantastically deconditioned from slumping in front of a computer eight hours a day, rather than using their internal bony architecture to support. But we’ve got 85 year old people, happily sitting on our chairs. Although it did take several weeks that kind of build back the core strength that’s required.
There are quite a few threads I would like to pull on their turnover place. Maybe you pick one with this metabolic consequences or prolonged sitting, as you said, the average, whether it be American or Western are probably sits for eight to 10 hours a day. Some people even longer than that or metabolic consequences of that
To put it briefly catastrophic. The whole business of sitting is not something that humans are evolved to do. When we took that first fateful step, we were gatherers for millions and millions of years, but about 3 million years ago, we took the fateful step out onto the African Savannah and became hunter gatherers. Now we were walking five, 10, even 15 miles a day for the last 3 million years. And our, our biochemistry has come to expect this arrangement. If you would take away that exercise, your bad cholesterol goes up, your good cholesterol goes down. Your insulin goes up, your all cause mortality goes up. The epidemiology is very clear on this. It’s been, we now know that the average person who sits eight hours a day loses two life years on average, the sitting disease, which is a constellation of obesity, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and increased in all-cause mortality.
That’s an immense problem. And it’s hiding in plain sight. We think chairs are normal. Everybody sits on them and no one sees them as a health threat. It’s analogous really to the 1950s when everybody smoked, even doctors and smoking, wasn’t seen as a problem, nobody could imagine that smoking was causing emphysema and heart disease and lung cancer because everybody smoked. How could it be a problem? But the answer is if you just study the problem that you discovered that it’s immense. Similarly, I think we’re going to find that. Sitting is the new smoking. Presumably we can’t offset the harm that it causes by going to the gym for two hours a week.
You would think that if at the end of work, you go to the, and sweat heavily as you work out hard for an hour or two, that it would reset everything. It’d be fine. But it turns out it’s not lack of cardio. That’s at issue here. What’s harmful is the mere act of sitting slumped and a nerve with your muscles gone. Electrochemically dark. Your muscles are not just motor units that move your bones around. That’s the obvious thing that muscles do, but they also see three panoply of what’s called small molecules called myokines that adjust various aspects of your physiology, your especially your lifeboat protein lipase levels that protect your arteries and also insulin and cholesterol. And those things, the business of having your muscles active much of the day pays immense benefits. And it doesn’t have to be a lot of activity. We can see clearly people who are just about who admit to being fidgeters in one terrific study out of, out of great Britain had lowered all cause mortality, just the business of sewing machine, me, or tapping your fingers or squirming. It makes a big difference in your all-cause mortality, just that much activity. Our chairs require that level of engagement in order to stay balanced and comfortable. And as a side benefit, your posture looks terrific and your back pain often was lessened or disappears.
Another thread. And this is one for you for future reference. When you’re talking about the benefits of the chair, the fact that being on an unstable surface challenges, your balance. I was listening to a podcast recently by professor Angie Huberman is out of Stanford ladies, a new biologist and ophthalmologist, and the podcast series was on learning and neuroplasticity. He said, if you want to trigger or increase the potential for neuroplasticity, which is what we all want to do when we want to burn something, the best thing you can do is essentially unbalanced yourself. Now we had a number of recommendations within his protocols, but this was a key one is particularly before you start to engage in that learning activity is to unbalance yourself. And that’s what your chair does. And
Pretty much constantly, we have the suspicion that this kind of activity may be extremely helpful to older people who are having trouble with balance as they walk and in the trauma community. We know that falls are a catastrophic problem in the elderly because it can be the beginning of the end of people all at once or twice. And finally they take a hard fall. They break a hip. Now they’re in the hospital, they get operated, we get pneumonia and maybe they don’t get home. The business of helping people have better balance as they’re getting about when their day-to-day lives can have immense public health consequences. We don’t have any data yet, but it’s our suspicion that merely by having people constantly work on their balance, by being a little unbalanced, as they sit their balance improves, certainly the strength necessary to maintain your posture.
I just wanted to dig in a little to, or rather to clarify that like key benefits of this, of the chairs that you developed. One is this idea of being balanced. Having to balance oneself and the other is the encouragement more than upright posture or maintaining the normal or alignment of the spine that can use that technical term apologies. And you recommend people achieve that partly by having the hips significantly higher than the needs,
There is a terrific diagram of the interrelationship of the femur to the lower five lumbar vertebrae, L 1 2 3, 4 5. And because the psoas muscle and XL 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 to the proximal femur, when the femur drops below parallel, it pulls on the smallest muscle and gently reasserts, the lumbar lordosis, which has the normal posture for the human low back. If your femurs are parallel, if your upper leg bones are parallel to the floor, it is almost impossible to have a normal lumbar lordosis. Now, chair designers have noticed this. If you put people in the 90 degrees at the ankle, 90 degrees at the knees and 90 degrees at the hip posture, they immediately round their backs. They sit like a cashier. And because this has been noticed to be an unusual posture, lumbar support was introduced, which just pushes the low back forward, trying to reestablish the normal lumbar lordosis.
But the posture that it reestablishes is basically impossible for any human to enjoy for more or more than a few minutes. People immediately splits this switch forward on their chair to get away from the lumbar support that they’ve paid extra money for. Lumbar support is a work around trying to fix the problematic idea of sitting in a chair with everything at 90 degrees. Your hips cannot be at 90 degrees and have a lumbar lordosis. The hips really don’t flex that far on their own. The only way to get the femurs parallel to the floor is to give up your lumbar lordosis, which is a catastrophic deal. You can get away with it for a few months or perhaps years or maybe decades, but ultimately it catches up with people. And this is why 80% of Westerners ultimately have back pain. So severe. They seek professional help as a biologist, as a epidemiologist, as a doctor, it’s stunning to think that the human spine, which was billions of years under development, and then daily use for the last 3 million years fails 80% of the time. How is that possible? It can’t be that the spine is somehow wrong. When we’re sitting we are abusing our spines until finally they can’t take it anymore.
You probably have some comments to make, particularly as an epidemiologist on some of the research and the reviews of posture and its relationship to lower back pain. Because I reviewed a lot of that literature when I was doing my masters and eight management. And a lot of those would be used, use indicate that there isn’t a correlation between posture and mechanics and pain.
I’m aware of that literature and that correlates to pain turns out to be a very problematic thing for really every line of research. If you line up x-rays of people’s backs and then asks and put them in two piles, normal and abnormal, and then ask the question who are these people have back pain, you’ve pointed the abnormal x-rays and you’d be wrong about it randomly, but it turns out that what on an x-ray is not really much indication of whether people have common, low back pain, non-specific back pain. Non-specific back pain seems not to have an atomic correlate. See, I didn’t know if you have metastatic prostate cancer or broken back or herniated disc that’ll cause back pain, but that’s not most people when you look, you don’t find any of those things. They just have backpacks. And every physician knows that, give them pain medicine and they leave the ER.
And pretty much none of them die and all of them feel better in a week or a month or, and life goes on without actually figuring out where the problem came from or actually solving the problem. Because once people begin to start having bouts of fact, they probably will have more bounce and the business of just giving them some narcotics so that they’ll get out of the emergency room and limp home turns out to be a very terrible strategy because it’s created, who knows how many drug addicts, maybe many, and at least in the United States, more people die of drug overdoses than from gunshot wounds or from car crashes. The business of letting people have pain and just passing out on narcotics and have catastrophic consequences down the road. It’s not enough to get people through the moment. We have to track down a real EDI and the real cause of the problem in order to solve it once. And for all, rather than putting on band-aids that can do more harm than good like narcotics.
Yeah, but this issue of not being able to demonstrate a correlation between syncing volume of setting and back pain has always puzzled me because as a clinician, my experience, and one of the questions we ask all of our clients call and what you will is are you, are you worse for sitting, standing or walking? Is your back pain or science or science go wash with sitting, standing or walking? 72% of the last approximately of patients see setting either the worst while they’re sitting or worse when it gets off. We know that can do it along this order. There is an association. And yet, why is it larger reviews of the literature doing? Don’t see that correlation.
It’s hard to measure back pain. I was a trauma surgeon and did trauma epidemiology for a long time, which is great because people either live or die. And there’s not much argument about whether somebody is dead or not. Pretty much can work that out. Whether somebody has back pain is better or worse is a very dicey thing because you have to ask them and they have to fill out a Likert scale and better in the morning, worse in the evening. It’s a difficult outcome to work with. But what we know from the anthropology literature is that in cultures where people don’t sit on our chairs, places where people still sit in traditional ways like Rita, nom, Japan, back pain is much, much less common. And they, these populations have the same spine as the rest of there. Hasn’t been time for their spine to somehow evolve away from the spines that we in the Western world. I think the onus is pretty clearly on the fact that people sit a lot and that’s at least a major contributor to the whole business of back pain. And when you watch people sit, you can see that the posture that they’re spending immense amounts of time in is not the posture that there’s fine signed on for.
Why don’t we just stand?
Standing is only the linguistic opposite of sitting. If you watch people at a standing desk, you’re not like doing Tai Chi, they lock a hip when they lean on the desk and that’s where they are. They’re locked in all day, pretty much without moving. The opposite of sitting is actually moving. And whether you move by doing patchy or walking or sitting on a chair that requires that you move constantly to adjust your balance. Moving is the opposite of sitting. We know that standing. People say, oh, standing desk, we got it. There’s serious problems with that. First of all, standing is not a comfortable posture for most people. I’ve spent a lot of time standing on rounds as medical students and residents recite the lab work, where they kind of thing. And then we move on to the next patient.
You can stand for 5 or 10 minutes for pretty soon, you’ve got one foot on the wall or the other foot, or you’re leaning against the wall. Squirming standing is hard because we’re not really designed to stand for long periods of time. And it turns out that standing is bad for us physiologically. If you’ve ever stood for a long time and then check your pre tibia region by pushing firmly and right in front of your tibia, your lower leg bone, you can leave a fingerprint deeply embedded into your flesh, which is where lymph has leaked out and saturated water log your subcute, your, the space beneath your skin. The standing allows water to leak out of your circulatory system. It also slows the return of blood to the heart because when your muscles and your legs are moving as walking or on an active chair, muscles squeeze the veins and the veins squeeze the blood.
And because there are valves in the deep veins, that blood makes it way back. It’s way back to the heart. But the muscular activity of the legs actually pumps blood back to the heart. When people stand the veins stretch, because there’s a column of blood from the right atrium, all the way down to the ankle, until finally the valves are no longer competent. They don’t reach the lips of the valves, don’t reach each other. And as a result, the flood is just pooling in the lower extremities. All this comes to a head when it turns out that terrific study by Smith at all 2019 American journal of epidemiology, but all of 7,500 people, half of whom were standing, half of whom are sitting for their day. And those who spent the day standing had twice the rate of heart attacks.
The business of trying to saw, oh, it’s fine. I’ll just stand. We’re not really designed to stand. There are extremely serious downsides like a heart attack. The United States massively adopted standing desks without really studying them. First is we’ll have what has already had catastrophic public health consequences. But the deal really seems to hypocrisy famously said, man’s best medicine is walking. We’ve understood for thousands of years. Walking is really what humans ought to be doing some or maybe most of the day. And it can be as little as get up and walk for two minutes, every half hour. And most of the problems go away. Problem is most people aren’t disciplined enough or their workflow doesn’t allow them to stand up and go for a walk every day for two minutes, every 30 minutes.
But here’s a very interesting, it turns out people think walking has something to do with your legs, but I think that’s just wrong. You can see this. If you look up on YouTube, there’s a terrific video of a guy, um, walking quite comfortably, who has no legs. He was born with a congenital agenesis of the femur. He just doesn’t have any leg bones, but he’s striding along quite comfortably, walking with good form posture and balance on his issue. Tuberosities on the sitting bones on the lower part of his hip, his strikes are quite short. They’re only three or four inches long, but he walks with good posture and grace, which shows that walking isn’t about your legs. Your legs just amplify walking really is something that happens with the spine and the pelvis. And that’s exactly what active chairs do. They allow people’s spine and pelvis to be free so that they can be walking as far as their spine and pelvis are concerned without their legs taking them. Our chairs allow people to walk without them while they’re deciding where to go.
Your chair, which has been the product of a lot of thinking and new experimentation. It’s a iteration. How long have you been doing that?
About five years since I’ve dove into the problem. And I, and I never would have solved it except I was in a Makerspace here in Burlington, Vermont. And I came in with an idea and a couple of guys with real design experience. So they graduated from Pratt Institute and I worked in New York city for decades and they could see that I had a good idea and they could also see that I was hopeless. And so they, because I didn’t get out much, I was in the Omar for the last 25 years. I think about design or manufacturing or business or any of that stuff. So they took me aside. Some doctor let us help you. And I said, no, you, you don’t really understand I’m in this lose money now, I want these things to be so cheap that anybody can have.
And they looked at me and they said, we’re in. Because even though these are the right from, these are my kind of people. Really with their design input and unfold, other people who dove in to help us, we had a serviceable design within a year, and now we’ve got really rock design that we’ve sold 5,000 of these things. And because they’re so weird, no one would buy one, except we say, you don’t like it, send it back. We’ll pay the postage both ways and give your money back. And, and people think that’s generous, which really, because only about 4% of these chairs come back to us. People love them.
As I said at the beginning and have this about 10 days, I have a collection of chairs and I have a bold share. I’ve signed long wall, orange balls, small balls, all sorts of different share wobble cushions that we throw on top of conventional chairs and the term, this is my favorite chair. Obviously we won’t put links in the show notes to your website and so on. It’s incredibly portable and tiny, it disappears under people’s desks. The first time I got up from it and pushed it to one side because that’s something to do shots across the room, bashed against the wall. Cause I’m used to having to give a chair it’s shot.
The rocking mechanism
It’s a new geometric solid, which I discovered, and it turns out that you can own a geometric solid. We have a patent on this shape and the shape is this will be of no help to anyone, but it’s the volume of intersection of two cylinders intersecting at right angles with non coincidence axes and possibly different radio. But it is it’s curved on top and then it’s curved underneath, but the curves are 90 degrees with respect to each other. A flat surface on top rocks in one direction, and that the whole mechanism can rock on a lower surface, 90 degrees of post. And because rocking adds as vectors, if it allows a really effortless rocking in any direction with no sense of where the middle is. It really feels more like floating than anything else. It’s a feeling I don’t get tired of. Really. I’ve been sitting on one of these things for five years now and I haven’t gotten bored yet.
I suppose the one thing that may challenge people is that the actual seating surface is really quite small. But the distance between your ischial tuberosities, that people often refer to a sitting bones and I keep pointing out to them. They did not evolve to be set apart. They offered the attachment muscles, but those sitting bones are really only zoned 12 centimeters apart.
It’s the same in men and women. It’s shocking how consistent the sits bones are. And because that’s where humans bear weight. When they’re sitting, your chair can be quite diminutive and still because it’s providing bony support. And then the rest of you hangs off of the bones. What happens to the, to the flesh under your skin is really less relevant. We, but we’ve had a number of people say, wait, it looks awfully narrow. Is it, oh, it’s plenty of room for your issue. Tuberosities are sitting bones, which is all you need, but in a, in a bow to people’s reasonable expectations of the chair, be as big as they are. We’ve got another version with a slightly wider seat that kind of seems more normal. But at first we were eager to make a chair as minimalist as we could, that would do everything way, nothing and store invisibly.
We can’t quite meet all of those exactly. But that was the goal. And also we wanted something that would help people with their posture and let them get exercise while they’re sitting. And it had to be not ugly, right? It had to not be so ugly, no one would want it. And we worked hard to make it nice. And then we won a design competition, a design awards competition in Europe in 2020. And all of these other chairs are designed to look good. We started with a chair that solves a problem and turns out it looks good enough that we want to design a ward.
Yeah. I can see why mine is very shiny red handle for the update mechanism. And yeah, I would agree. I don’t know. I can’t go. As far as seeing, it’s a thing of beauty, a certain function, I think it would be.
That’s where the design guys came in. I just invented the weirdo geometric shape and the design guy said here, let us work on the seat a little bit. That’s what people are going to see.
Who is it not for?
Initially I was concerned that it would be thought of as a way to treat acute back pain because we get calls from people in the throws of an acute back spasm, begging us to send them a chair and ship it overnight. And the idea that I’m uncomfortable with the idea that people think of it as a, as acute therapy for back pain. I’m not sure that’s where its strength lies. For sure. It’s great prophylaxis. People are keep their posture, correct. We’re strong and core strong and develop. These chairs are really the simplest way forward. And you only have, yeah. If you want core strength and you’d plan to go to the gym or swim or do Pilates, you have to make the, to go to the gym or swim or be polite every day. If you just change the dynamics. You get rid of your crumbing slumpy office here and put an active chair onto your desk.
Now you get your core straightened out in a workout every day, without having to decide to do it. You just build it into people’s environment. And then it protects them for the rest of their lives. Winston Churchill said, we shape our environment once and then it shapes us forever. If you allow a crummy office here into your office, it’s going to keep shaping your posture for the rest of your life. But if you can make the switch to a chair that lets you sit with balanced posture and get a little exercise, every waking moment, you get the benefit of every moment.
Do you encourage a wobbling?
Right now we encourage people to let the chair cause them to find their perfect posture that guarantees a core workout, just staying balanced on the chair. But we find that people every 10 or 20 or 50 minutes, you don’t want to just play games. I want to do a little dancing or salsa or stretching or make hip circles or head circles, or there’s lots of games you can play on the chair, which are great way to stretch. We have one chiropractor who loves our chairs and made a little video. He calls for the core four kind of exercises to do on our chair when you’re bored with your spreadsheet or whatever.There’s scope for using it as like a low grade exercise machine. And then we have one Pilates instructor who she just couldn’t help herself after a game. And she’s like doing pushups and handstands on the thing. Not necessarily recommended, but just to say, you can engage with our chair at all. Different levels. Merely sitting on it is a lot for, is plenty for most people because it helps with their posture or strengthened keeps their muscles active all day. But for those with higher ambitions, there’s more to be done. We have a couple of these are just videos that were contributed by people. And we put them up on our website about this Jason chiropractic here in Burlington made one, he calls for the core and there are different ways to engage with.
Because I frequently promote what I call sitting wobbling to clients, patients, as you said, we evolve to walk rather than stay still. While I definitely on board with your idea of trying to find your balance point and all the muscles that you’re going to engage in that process, I also like to encourage people to move while they’re sitting. I’m intrigued if you’d like a warranty perspective. I mean, how much are you moving? Do you think we can do on this? Were they breaking something?
No. I built a robot to test them and put it through 4 million cycles and couldn’t break it. Then we took a couple to a middle school and had kids jump up and down on them. And the kids managed to break them within a month. We had to go back to the drawing board and put in some tilt limiters that make sure it doesn’t stretch too far. If you look at your chair, you’ll find there are four tilt limiters around the perimeter to protect it from middle-school children.
I’ve explored those limits. With those tilt limiters in, we should be good for a few years of use, right?
No. And we meet some people where we haven’t had these things out in the world, but for years don’t really know the lifespan of the motor mounts that hold everything together. So we encourage people to check them every year or so. And if they see anywhere, give us a call and we’ll send them new mountain motor mounts or with instructions about how to replace them. But really it hasn’t been an issue. And we’ve got 5,000 of these out in the world house. So we think these motor mounts are going to last forever. But
So I’m looking at the bottom. What is Right? No. So, um, so this, the red plastic shape is what allows the, the chair to, to rock, but you can’t just put it under or it’ll slide off. So we have these pieces of rubber that are three quarters of an inch in diameter. That’s stretch a little bit and hold everything in place. At least in theory, these could wear out over time with following millions of cycles. We haven’t seen that, but out of an abundance of caution,
There’s a little rubber insert into the seat base and into the rocker. They hold everything together and there they’re two above and two below. So there’s redundancy. If one should fail, it doesn’t come apart. But you’ll notice there’s a difference in the rocking and now it’s time to fix something.
I’m probably a good test or I will wobble on your seat. So we’ll see how it goes over the next couple, your area. You’re the kind of tester we want.
Stories. Cause people are always interested in what other people think. So you mentioned an 85 year old who’s using it, but you had people who just are just falling over themselves with praise for this chair.
We made a little video of one guy just talking to the camera where he had back pain. So severe. He was going to have to give up his 20 year careers. They had an information technology at Burton snowboards here in Burlington, Vermont. And it just so happened that we dropped off a dozen shares for Burton to try out a few days before he sat down on one, he was basically perfect within a day. And when it came time to like hand his chair to somebody else, he refused to give it up. He had seniority. Wasn’t about to get off of this chair. And he made a video about just how it was transformative because he really was going to retire. He said his back hurt him so much. And so I thought, boy, even if that only happens once made it worthwhile to develop this thing. And we’ve heard that story many times.
A similar tend to stories you saw, I was promoting your chair to the client yesterday. Now he runs a medium size business. He’s an owner manager or a business 200 people. And he has the classic executive chair. That’s big it’s Lander. He can slump back into it. It gives him this a roles. He is the mom. He is the boss. Nobody else in the company has this kind of chair.
Those chairs can cost four or even $5,000. It’s breathless.
He is reluctant to give up this chair. I think Lars will be able to do this kind of image perspective. And I got to sit on this and his face lit up because it instantly puts you in this kind of optimal position. And he said, wow, this is just so different than ours. And use the word fluting. Whereas he said, normally I just feel trapped and might share rooting around there. And he’s smiling.
It’s positive. It’s positively liberating for people. Who’ve been trapped by their massive expensive piece of junk.
But then he said, he looked at each student and he looked at it and he said, the governance it’s too small. I said too small for a wall. He said many of my people walk in. And the thing is that all he can afford,
If it would make him feel better, he can send us a check.
I’ll tell him, listen for you is $3,000. Maybe that’ll make it more inclined to spend money.
What are your plans as a company for future distribution focused on U S markets or is it going to work?
I have no idea because I have no experience in the world of business, but my agenda is that we want to get these things under as many people as we can, as quickly as we can. We want to change really the way sitting works in the entire world. We’ve got people in Australia and Taiwan that are gearing up to start building and distributing our chairs. We’re looking for partners really anywhere and UK as well, because we think that the public health catastrophe of passive sitting is a crisis that has to be addressed immediately. And the way to do it is to make people think the chairs can be fun and can be interesting. And w we need like super bowl ads of super bowl is like the biggest ad opportunity in the United States each year for American football, we need super bowl as it makes active sitting seem cool in order to help people get to the, get past the, I just have my slumpy office chair or my big leather Chrome slumpy office here. They’re all the same, all terrible. That’s our goal is we want to have so many active chairs out in the world that if somebody sits down on a conventional chair, they’ll say, what’s wrong with this. It doesn’t move.
And to that end, we’ve got a design that we give away for schools for free, that we have a different website that, or what we call button shares, U T O N C H a I R s.dot dot.org, but on is like a double entendre intended for the middle school set. But it’s made out of plywood. You can stamp them out with a CNC router by the hundreds self-locking joints. You don’t need any tools to put it together. You just bang it together with a rubber mallet and for a rocking mechanism that uses a, I started out using tennis balls because use tennis balls are everywhere and they’re free. But we found that when we gave these things to kids in schools here in Burlington, they wore out the tennis balls were holes. We switched to lacrosse balls, which are solid rubber that they can’t wear. Our ideas not just get adults moving, but kids too. The kids will establish the habit of being responsible for their own posture and being active while they sit. And if you watch kids, they squirm like crazy. They know they should be moving. And when adults tell them to sit still, they’re doing them a catastrophic disservice. And we really shouldn’t. We really shouldn’t be giving that advice to our children.
They move because they need to be. And adults too, they may have forgotten, but they need to move to
The company’s mission statement
The mission statement is we are going to make these things so shape that everyone will have one. We’re constantly looking for ways to make a less expensive version of our chair. And there’s, we’ve got prototypes on the horizon that we think are, it’s going to be hard to be free. We give away the button chairs for kids, but we need a little more vote, one that, but anyway, we’re working to, and that’s the challenge of it. The challenge is to make a kazillion dollars. The challenge is to make these things so solid and so inexpensive that everybody can have one and so attractive that people will want
Sounds like you’ve got a routine in place or striving to be
No, it’s a great team. And I love it because these kids are half or a third, my age, they can do website design and optimization and graphics and all that stuff. And I just get the putter in the basement, inventing these things like scheming, about how we can get them under more people.
You and I get to check chats. I’ve met so many interesting people. In fact, we had a terrific phone call with the inventors of the vivo barefoot shoe a couple of days ago. And their, and their idea was shoes are terrible for people’s feet. And if we could just set the foot free, all of its architecture would work so much better. That’s what we, yeah. We had a very animated conversation about we’re really on the same page. The human body really wants to be free, and it does so much better when it’s unconstrained and they figured it out for feet. And, and we’re trying to get the idea for the chairs next.
I’m a big fan of nivo fibrosis at the moment to be sacred tombs.
And when I was talking to the vivo, it’s a father son team, actually that, that invented them just like our company is a father son. And they were very Frank. They said the Vibrams are terrific. And the more people are wearing shoes like this, the better, we’re happy to have competitors that are helping people walk better. I love their DNA. They’re just trying to change the way people walk and they’ll take any help they can get. No one is a competitor.
If you want to know more about these chairs, go to the website qor360.com. Everything’s there. I write a blog in there, videos and links.
If you’d like a free online assessment of lower back pain / sciatica, click the link.