Salli Saddle Chair
I've decided to try a Salli Saddle Chair. I didn't expect to end up with one, but that's what happened.
It started when I discovered Lundia, a store in York that specialises in modular shelving systems, space saving ideas and, most pertinently for me, posture correct seating. (Amongs other things they stock Tempur mattresses and Backfriends.) I actually found Lundia when I was looking for a Stokke stockist - and found one in York. I'd walked past it dozens of times before, but the window display doesn't really sell itself very well - I hadn't realised what they really stocked. (Frankly, the whole store feels like it's in the last century and needs a good dose of modernising, but that's another story.) So I went in and after trying a couple of chairs, decided to try for a Salli Saddle Chair. (They didn't have the Stokke chair I was interested in, so that will have to wait.)
Salli started selling their saddle chair system in 1990 when Veli-Jussi Jalkanen noticed that his aching back was much better when he was sitting on a horse saddle instead of an office chair. From that the Salli Saddle Chair was born.
An alternative to the Salli Saddle Chair is the Bambach Saddle Seat. Lundi also stock those, but to be honest I didn't find them as comfortable. I can't think of a way to put this delicately, but the Salli Saddle Chair seems much better designed for the male anatomy... The Bambach, by contrast, felt as if it might be painful over a long period of time.
So, I have the Salli Saddle Chair for a trial. (The people in Lundia did say that it took a about a week's use before you were sure that the seat was for you. But they didn't directly offer me a free trial until I asked - see what I mean about needing to be brought into the 21st century?)
Anyway, a few days later the chair turned up for my free trial. And I'm sitting on it right now as I type this.
The first thing I noticed is that the Salli Saddle Chair forces you to sit higher - and I've had to lift my workstation. (Everything has boxes under it for the moment so that it's at the right height - and even then the screen could be a touch higher at the moment.)
The next thing I noticed is that sitting on the seat can make you saddle-sore. In fact, a few days later and I still get saddle sore, although it's getting better the more I use it.
Despite that, the Salli Saddle Chair helps me sit more upright. It is possible to slump, but it's almost harder to slump than it is to sit properly. Of course, I'm finding sitting upright slightly hard just because it's not something I'm used to and my muscles need to relearn... which was a little uncomfortable to begin with.
I'm glad I chose the adjustable model. It's taken me a while to get the set into a position that I find comfortable, and I couldn't have done it with the cheaper, non-adjustable model.
What I have had to do is to give the chair a little more padding - so I've found a small throw and I've put that over the seat. I'm not quite prepared to say that it's comfortable (as I write these words it's still only a few days since getting the seat) but it's a marked improvement.
I should probably also mention that my wife finds the Salli Saddle Chair very uncomfortable to sit on. But on the other hand it did help her neckache...
6 month update: I
no longer need the extra padding - I have found that I had it
too far in one direction - which was making the seat uncomfortable for
long periods of time. However, I've now adjusted the tilt and am very
(The only real problem is getting my desk high enough to suit - I am still using cardboard boxes to lift the keyboard and screen to the correct height. I'm hoping to get a proper adjustable desk at some point, but we're in the process of having the loft converted and I am waiting to see how big a dent in my savings that makes!)
As far as my back is concerned, I really can't tell how effective the Salli Saddle seat has been. Since buying the seat, my back has gone through both good and bad patches...
Tips for using the Salli Saddle Seat
- Make sure the store that you buy the seat from has a returns policy. The seats aren't cheap and you don't want to find out the expensive way that you don't get on with it!
- Make sure you try the full range of adjustments - it took me some adjusting before I was completely comfortable with the seat.
Written by Steve Hatherley.