In an evolutionary sense humans are designed to be standing, walking, lying down and occasionally sitting. Unfortunately, modern life increasingly involves sitting down for prolonged periods. Often we sit hunched over in front of a computer unaware of the postural strain we are placing on our spine until it is too late.
Earlier this year I suffered a recurrence of a disc injury in my lower back. Too much sitting and then too much bending in the garden triggered the injury. This time the injury was worse and I had a prolapsed L5/S1 disc which was compressing my S1 nerve root. A nasty injury which was really painful and started causing weakness in my calf. Sitting and bending made the pain worse.
I found myself spending most of my day standing because sitting was just too painful. However, constant standing was not practical for work given that I have to sit down to interview patients. A standing desk wasn't a great option or I would be towering over my patients as they sat and told me about their injury. The solution to my problem was to buy a saddle stool. This allows me to sit but still keep my pelvis and spine in an upright position as if I was standing. The stool is fantastic and has helped my back a lot. Once I overcame the initial saddle soreness I found the position really comfortable.
There are a lot of saddle stools on the market. I opted for a Salli Sway saddle stool which has a split down the centre to take pressure off the perineum (a very good feature, particularly for men).