Active Chairs Comparison Review by Mr. Sujoy R. SPINALIS HACKER - SWOPPER - CORE CHAIR
SpinaliS HACKER - Swopper - Core Chair which one will really help you to get rid of back pain?
INTRO: My name is Sujoy R,. I purchased three active chairs: SpinaliS (Hacker), Swopper (Air) and CoreChair in order to resolve my lower back pain and Sciatica issues. I had purchased Swopper and CoreChair in November 2016. Since I was not satisfied with either, after conducting more research
I ended up purchasing SpinaliS in January 2017. This review is based on my subjective experience
in terms of how useful I found them for my specific back issues.
In terms of overall design, functionality, and ease of use, I would rank the 3 chairs in the order:
In addition to its active features, SpinaliS functions like a regular office chair with a full backrest and an adjustable armrest. The backrest has a bit of flexibility in that it swivels on a left-right horizontal axis to align itself with the user’s back contours. While the armrests are not detachable, at the lowest position they do not get in the way of typing on a keyboard. This makes it a great candidate for both office and home use.
I identified 3 issues with Swopper for which I rank it below SpinaliS. Firstly, I believe that a backrest is necessary in order to be comfortable while sitting for long periods of time. While Swopper does have an optional backrest that can be purchased separately, the backrest does not rotate along with the seat. Therefore, the chair needs to be repositioned every time one is switching positions on an L-shaped desk. Secondly, the design of the chair makes it a bit awkward to get on and off. Lastly, the design may look out of place in an office setting. Swopper should be considered by those whose back issues are not fixed by SpinaliS, or those who may want a second chair for their home.
I did not feel there is any key active feature in CoreChair where it performed better than the other two in terms of helping with my specific back issues, and therefore do not recommend it. One good feature in CoreChair is the contoured seat with a depression in the rear surface of the seat, which prevents the user’s tailbone from pressing against the seat. However, I still found myself slipping forward and had to keep pushing backward in order to be snug with the backrest. Also, the seat design makes it difficult to sit with the legs wide apart. Moreover, the backrest is a little too short for comfort.
The feature comparison grid shown below provides a side-by-side comparison of various features of these chairs.
Active Feature – Seat Tilt
The most important active feature common to all three chairs is the seat tilt. The tilt mechanisms and corresponding actions vary amongst the three and appear to target different muscle groups.
The tilt pivot on the SpinaliS is directly beneath the seat and is controlled by a spring attached to the bottom of the seat. The spring aids in bringing the chair seat back from the tilted position to the upright position once the tilting force exerted by the user is relaxed. While the seat can be tilted in any direction, the extent of the tilt depends on the user’s weight.
In Swopper, the tilt pivot is located at the bottom just above the floor and is controlled via a 3 dimensional movement element. The tilting action requires lateral movement and use of legs by the user for tilting. The movement element contains an elastic tilt ring that returns the chair to the upright position. While the seat can be tilted in any direction, backwards tilt on the Swopper is limited, as without the optional backrest there is a risk of the user falling over backwards. Also, the extent of the tilt in Swopper is user adjustable.
CoreChair is similar to SpinaliS in the tilt mechanism in terms of the location of the pivot but does not use a spring, and requires more effort from the user to tilt to a different position with little aid from the chair. The backwards tilt is more limited than the forward and side tilt. It however allows adjusting the extent of the tilt.
Active Feature – Seat Compression
In SpinaliS, the spring that controls the tilt also allows vertical compression. In Swopper a separate spring located between the tilt mechanism and the bottom of the seat controls seat compression. The SpinaliS provides more of a floating feel than a bouncing feel. There is no seat compression on the CoreChair as no spring is present.
Helpfulness in resolving my back issues
In terms of helping with my specific back issues, I have benefited from both SpinaliS and Swopper. While Swopper helped relieve issues on my right side, at least initially I used to feel my left lower back pain aggravated after sitting on it for a while. SpinaliS helped me strengthen my left lower back but it did not fix my right lower back pain and the accompanying Sciatica that radiates into my right leg.
It feels stressful to sit on the Swopper for extended periods of time, likely due to the pressure the spring compression exerts upwards. On SpinaliS, there is no such pressure and it is easier to sit for long periods. As neither chair turned out to be a panacea for my problems, I tend to use both alternately, though over time I have gotten more comfortable with SpinaliS and spend more of my sitting time on it.
I did not find CoreChair to be of much help. I believe that having a spring mechanism is important, and the absence of it in the CoreChair renders it relatively ineffectual in remedying back issues.