Gentle Movement

MOVEMENT IS ESSENTIAL TO SPINAL HEALTH

Workers using conventional office chairs and computer furniture often suffer from both lower back pain and upper back pain due to a lack of movement and high-compression loadings on their spine.

Research in cellular biology has shown that the cartilage cells of our intervetebral discs, because of the immense pressure under which they operate, are unable to receive nourishment from normal blood supply but rely instead on movement. If this movement is lacking our discs will gradually lose their elasticity as the cells begin to die off - literally from starvation - starting from the centre and gradually working outwards. This process may often lead to an eventual prolapse ("slipped disc") with its associated severe back pain.

The unique advantage you enjoy with the exact balance and continuous, gentle movement of the Kneelsit chair, however, virtually eliminates the chances of this problem occuring.

Balance effect, proprioception and postural awareness

*Proprioception:-

The awareness of posture, movement and changes in equilibrium derived from receptors of your muscles, joints, tendons and vestibular apparatus. (3)

lower back pain relief proprioception pic

Once the seat and your body have been correctly positioned, inbuilt movements  of the seat axle set up a sensation or feeling of balance at the base of your spine. This links up with the natural balance mechanism of your inner ear (vestibular apparatus) through a series of receptors forming a continuous feedback loop - the "balance effect" - which activates and develops your sense of proprioception. Reports indicate that regular use of the Kneelsit balance chair over time brings about a more conscious appreciation of the working of your body's neuroreceptors, particularly those governing your general level of postural awareness. As a result over time the maintenance of good posture becomes virtually a "conditioned reflex".

 

Motor skills

Not only does regular stimulation of your vestibular apparatus assist you in maintaining alertness (see below), it also appears to influence certain learning centres of your brain. Neuroanatomist D.L. Clark from Stanford engaged in research into the effects of movement (specifically vestibular stimulation) on the development of balance and motor skills in children.Working both with normal children and others affected either by Down's Syndrome or cerebral palsy he split the whole group at random giving the first group of children one hour a day's regular stimulation over a period of three months. The second group acted as a control.

Tests on balance and motor skill  co-ordination were carried out at the beginning and on completion of the trial. Scores of the children subject to stimulation increased by more than  20% compared to the control group. What was even more gratifying, however, was the discovery that the rate of improvement among the handicapped children was almost equal to that of the normal children. (4)


Increased Alertness

The gentle back and forth movement of your body which occurs naturally when using the kneel-sit stimulates the tiny cilia lining the tubes of your vestibular apparatus (balance mechanism of the inner ear) to help keep you alert. You will of course be familiar with what happens when a person is falling asleep in a chair and leans too far in one direction. This "alerting mechanism" will tend to jerk them awake . An interesting insight on this phenomenon is given in the 1989 Guinness Book of Records which cites a woman in England who stayed awake eight days and seven hours by rocking in a rocking chair ( i.e. stimulating her "alerting mechanism").   - - - - - -  see also Ken's remarks in the Testimonials.

"The reticular activating system receives input from both auditory and vestibular systems. One of its major functions is to promote general alertness and attention as well as assist in determining how sensitive one will be to any given stimulus."

(Ayres, 1972, p.41).Sensory Integration and Learning Disorders. Los Angles: Western Psychological Services.

* Proprioception:- The awareness of posture, movement, and changes in equilibrium derived from receptors of the muscles, joints, tendons and vestibular apparatus.