Does anyone have any experience with the Swopper chair?
July 27, 2006 11:37 AM   Subscribe

does anyone out there have any experience with the swopper chair?

i often have lower back pain. i'm pretty sure it is because i sit in front of a computer all day. i've read some good things about the swopper chair (google it).

is it worth the $500-600 price tag?
posted by zzztimbo to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
I've never used one, but on googling, it totally reminds me of those toys they have on some outdoor playgrounds for little kids to ride. (plastic/metal animal on a spring).

Perhaps you could make your own for a lot less money?
posted by JMOZ at 11:46 AM on July 27, 2006

Ikea has a stool with a rounded bottom for like 30 bucks if you want to see if you'd like the general idea of the thing. Obviously, it won't compare in quality, but it might give you an idea.
posted by callmejay at 11:54 AM on July 27, 2006

(Here's the Google link, fwiw)
posted by Handcoding at 2:07 PM on July 27, 2006

i've sat on one several times but not for extended periods. they're definitely comfortable and fun. it's sort of the same concept as those big inflated balls that a lot of people use for desk chairs. it's quite bouncy and requires you to balance a bit - though not as much as the balls - so i guess it improves your upper body strength? i had a hard time *not* bouncing on it continuously because it was so novel and silly but i imagine that wears off pretty quickly.

and i don't think it would be worth trying to make your own. furniture like that has a lot of engineering in it that would be impossible to replicate correctly.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 4:10 PM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have one (sorry for the late reply), purchased it about a year ago.

Like you, I bought it because of lower back pain. I sit at a desk keyboarding away for up to 12 hours/day. My other chair is a fairly decent quality adjustable task chair. My posture is bad; I tend to hunch toward my keyboard when actively working or slump backwards when thinking through a problem. Anyway, enough about me:

The knifing lower back pain I was experiencing was greatly lessened within a month of switching to my Swopper. The chair makes the hunching/slumping postures impossible (you pretty much fall off if you try). I didn't find myself painfully aware of the improvements in my posture when seated upon the Swopper, my body seemingly just adjusted on its own.

I did find there was an adjustment period of a few weeks, namely: my butt got sore. When seated upon the Swopper, the majority of your upper body's weight rests upon the relatively small contact point at the base of your spine:small cushion of the Swopper. Like most chair users, I was accustomed to my upper body weight being distributed across my entire butt and upper thighs. The literature that comes with the chair recommends the user ease into transitioning to a Swopper by using it a few hours/day at first.

I no longer use the Swopper full-time as my office chair because once my back pain subsided, I wanted to go back to slumping in my chair to think so I keep the Swopper under my desk and pull it out when I'm deep in "doing" mode or whenever my back starts to protest.

Regarding worth the money: I can't give the Swopper the unqualified Yes I would give if I were using it full-time but I am glad I spent the money and did help my back.

Incidentally, I tried using a yoga ball as a desk chair first but couldn't get the knack of keeping the ball underneath me without straddling it like one would seat themselves on a horse, thus it wasn't at all the most comfortable long term solution. I suspect if I were taller/longer-legged (I had to choose a large ball in order to get my elbows above the level of my desk), the yoga ball would have been a perfectly good substitute and it's certainly much less expensive.
posted by jamaro at 11:26 AM on July 30, 2006 [1 favorite]

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