The Swopper Chair Review: Is Motion Seating Right for You?

Interested in an ‘active seating’ option for your office? The Swopper Chair offers a unique design with motion seating technology.

For people that suffer with back pain, finding a comfortable chair is like winning the lottery. It could happen, but the odds are slim.

That’s where the Swopper from aeris comes in.

Anyone that’s been to a physiotherapist with back pain will be familiar with the advice to exercise more. That’s because regular movement strengthens the body and helps to prevent problems associated with spending all day sitting down.

This is the concept behind the Swopper design. A chair that can reduce discomfort through “healthy sitting in motion.” Aka, motion seating.

What is motion seating?

Today, back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the western world. This is not surprising given our modern lifestyle of office jobs and driving to work.

But humans have only been living this way since around the 1950s. Before that, we were much more active.

Motion seating is a branch of ergonomics with the aim to counteract the effects of this lifestyle change. Something that Swopper says our bodies have not evolved into and is the reason for so much back pain.

So, what exactly is motion seating?

It involves enabling natural movement during long periods of sitting. This strengthens the body and helps to prevent damage and injury.

In a nutshell, the motion encourages active, dynamic sitting. A concept pioneered by Swopper.

Swopper’s seating technology

Swopper was invented in Germany in 1997 by Josef Glöckl to revolutionize the office chair market. The chairs have since been sold around the world and won awards for design and functionality.

But what makes Swopper different to other ergonomic chairs?

To put it simply, it’s the movement. The signature Swopper model even looks like a stool on a spring, which means you can’t help but move when sitting on it.

Sounds good? Let’s take a look at some of the models to find out more.

Swopper

This is the classic model from Swopper. It’s a backless seat that helps the body to sit in a healthy position. Instead of the hunched-over C position that most of us sit in when at a desk.

The idea behind the design is to reduce damage to the intervertebral disks in the spine by encouraging good posture. This is done through movement.

When sitting on a Swopper, the body naturally moves from the bounce in the spring tension and the sway from the 360-degree rotation. The movement strengthens the back and core muscles, which in turn supports the whole body.

Other technical features include:

  • A 15-degree built-in lateral motion in the 3D joint
  • A solid base to support the movement of the chair

So, what are the pros to the Swopper?

It’s innovative and gets the body moving while sitting. Users love it for improving their posture and reducing back pain. The convex seat can also be customized with different fabrics and colors.

The cons?

Sitting on a backless, moving chair can take some getting used to. Especially after years of sitting in regular chairs. As a result, some people initially feel more tired from the extra movement.

Oyo

The Oyo is a multi-functional chair. It looks like a cross between a saddle-seat and a rocking chair. Complete with a contemporary finish.

There is more to the design that just aesthetics though.

Using a saddle-seat helps to improve posture and relieve pain in the back, neck, hip and arms. This is done by rotating the pelvis forward and curving the lower back into a correct position.

You can also enjoy different seated positions with this chair. For example, you can sit forwards in the cradle position, sideways or backwards. As well as rock, sway and bounce to strengthen the body.

Oyo technical specs are:

  • Double tubular steel frame with polished chrome
  • Foam padding under the seat cover
  • Polyamide shell with fibre-glass reinforcement
  • Felt tape skids for floor protection

The pros of this chair are the cool, modern design and the ergonomic features. Plus, it has a backrest for those that find backless chairs difficult to sit in.

The cons are the saddle-seat style and the hard-shell finish. Both of which might not suit some people.

You can find out more about saddle-chair design in our Buyer’s Guide.

Muvman

The Muvman is a sit-to-stand stool so users can alternate between positions throughout the working day.

The 3D joint in the Muvman is located close to the ground and has a 4-degree tilt mechanism to keep the hips open, the back straight and the chest lifted. This allows for deeper breathing and keeps the blood circulating.

When it comes to style, this is a sleek-looking chair. You can choose between matt black or grey for the framework, and different colors and fabrics for the seat cover.

Overview of the Muvman:

  • Height adjustment up to 33in off the floor
  • Flexible seat cushioning to accommodate body pressure
  • Non-slip rubber-rim base plate
  • Easy grip handle for moving the chair
  • Lightweight – less than 14lb

The Muvman also has a tall option for people with longer legs.

The biggest benefits of the Muvman are the sit-to-stand functionality and the lightweight design. But the main drawback is the backless style. Again, this might not work for some people.

3Dee

The 3Dee is an active office chair. It’s the most traditional option on the list but has been designed with modern technology and ergonomics in mind.

As a swivel chair, the 3Dee allows natural movement in three dimensions: up and down, side-to-side, and backwards and forwards. Plus, this chair comes with a backrest and built-in lumbar support.

Other details include:

  • 3D joint for a 4-degree tilt to encourage forward sitting
  • Climate-active seat cover
  • Back support in polished or black aluminum
  • Wheels for easy movement

The pros? It has a backrest, a swivel function and is incredibly stylish.

However, this is the most ‘normal’ looking chair. So, if you’re looking to embrace backless chair technology, this might not be the one for you.

Final thoughts

After years of sitting in regular chairs, switching to a backless seat or saddle chair can seem daunting. Throw in natural movement with the need to balance and your old chair will look like the safer option.

But if you suffer with pain from sitting for too long, a new chair could be the solution. And ergonomic design can really make a difference to your overall health.

For that reason, investing in a Swopper is a wise move.

Do you spend most of the day sitting down? Find out how to avoid back pain with this useful guide.