How to sit on a QOR360 chair

Sitting in one of our active chairs is quite different from a conventional chair. There are a few concepts that you’ll want to get right for optimal chair performance. Watch a short explainer video recorded by Feldenkrais teacher, Uwe Mester.

Play Video

Click to play

How to choose a correctly sized QOR360 chair

Play Video

Click to play

Why sit in a QOR360 active chair?

Play Video

Click to play

Ariel unboxing & review

Play Video

Click to play

How to find your sitz bones

MD DESIGNED

Meet Dr. Turner Osler

Turner is the CEO and Founder of QOR360. Dr. Osler is an academic trauma surgeon turned research epidemiologist who has published over 300 peer-reviewed medical papers and book chapters. As a physician who’s suffered from a tyranny of conventional chairs for most of his life, Dr. Osler’s quest for a healthier way to sit led him to develop The Eccentric Bicylinder, a shape that is central to QOR360’s ergonomic, healthy, and active seating products.

Play Video

Click play to watch

Assembly Video

The Ariel Chair

Play Video

Click to play

Assembly Video

The ButtOn Chair

Play Video

Click to play

Shopping Questions

HOW DO I CHOOSE THE CORRECT QOR360 CHAIR SIZE?

A uniquely shaped rocker (the eccentric bicylinder) sits just under the seat of every QOR360 chair. Because this rocker is curved on both its upper and lower surfaces with the curves at right angles to one another, this rocker allows the seat of a QOR360 chair to tip in every direction. So, while the geometry of the rocker is simple, the healthy motion it encourages is quite sophisticated.

The height of one’s chair is very important to allow you to take full advantage of our active chairs. We recommend that you measure the distance from floor to the top of your kneecap (patella) while standing and then pick the chair with a height closest to your personal patellar height. If you find yourself between sizes, it’s a good idea to choose the larger size. The fit doesn’t have to be exact, but you should select the chair that most closely fits your personal anatomy.

If you purchased an adjustable chair, arrange for the seat top to be even with the top of your kneecap.

CAN I TRY A QOR360 CHAIR BEFORE I BUY IT?

All QOR360 chairs come with a money back guarantee. If you don’t like it, simply return it to us within 60 days and you will get your money back!

DO I NEED A CUSHION FOR MY QOR360 CHAIR?

All our chairs come with a standard cushion made from closed cell foam in red or black, it provides comfortable padding as well as a bit of traction because our wooden seats are smooth. Most find this to be enough, but some want some extra comfort so we also sell our Deluxe Cushion additionally that is thicker and offers more padding. Made from high density memory foam, this is the answer for those who like some extra padding.

WHAT QOR360 MODEL WOULD BE BEST FOR ME?

We believe all our QOR360 chairs provide active sitting that both attractive and affordable. We think you’ll be happy with any of our models. Choose the one that seems to speak to you.

DO YOU OFFER FREE SHIPPING?

Yes, we offer free shipping to most areas within the continental USA. We’re also happy to ship to Hawaii, Alaska, and internationally. Shipping rates are calculated on the shopping cart page once an address is provided.

HOW MUCH ASSEMBLY IS REQUIRED FOR THE QOR360 CHAIR?

Click play to watch

We provide free shipping for all QOR360 chairs, but to help control cost, we ship QOR360 chairs in the smallest box possible. Most models require a bit of assembly, but we’ve worked hard to make this easy and intuitive, and we provide written instructions. Assembly should take only a couple of minutes for any model of QOR360 chair.

WHERE CAN I GET A QOR360 ACTIVE CHAIR?

To ensure that QOR360 chairs are as affordable as possible we decided to sell the QOR360 directly over the web, an approach that avoids the substantial markup in price added by furniture retailers to ensure themselves a significant profit margin. Our direct marketing approach makes it difficult to try out a QOR360 chair. This is why we offer a 60 day trial period. If you aren’t completely satisfied with your QOR360 chair, simply return it to us for a full refund.

IS THE QOR360 CHAIR MORE APPROPRIATE FOR HOME OR OFFICE USE?

People spend a lot of time sitting at work, so we believe this is a great opportunity for people to be sitting better, accruing the benefits of active sitting. On a practical level, we also think the QOR360 chair makes a great task chair for the office because it facilitates reaching and turning. But because people do a lot of sitting at home as well (computer time, TV time, etc.) having a second QOR360 at home may make sense for some people. And, of course, a home office is a great opportunity to sit actively. “If you have to sit, get something out of it!”

The QOR4 Exercise Video

WHY IS THE HEIGHT OF A CHAIR SO IMPORTANT?

Most conventional chairs have a seat height of 18”, a height which is designed to ensure a “90 degree, 90 degree, 90 degree” (ankle, hip, knee) posture for most people. While the ankles and knees are fine at 90 degrees for prolonged periods, sitting with the hips at 90 degrees has the unfortunate effect of causing most people to slump forward at the low back, collapsing the “triple curve” architecture of the spine into a simple “C” shape. However, this problem is solved by sitting with the hips at an angle that is greater than 90 degrees:

lumbar diagram why chair height is so important

Changes in the curves of the back:
a. Typical Seated Posture (“90/90/90”)—note “C” shaped spine
b. Perch Posture—curves more like standing posture
c. Standing Posture—note normal “S” shaped spine
Drawing from The Chair by Galen Cranz 1998 WW Norton Publishers

Although the lumbar spine is quite flexible, the sustained loss of the normal convex forward curve of the low back (“lumbar lordosis”) quickly makes sitting uncomfortable and has been implicated as the origin of low back pain.

To avoid the loss of the lumbar spine’s normal lordosis it’s important to adjust sitting height to ensure that the hip joints are 3 or 4 inches higher than the knees. This requires that taller people have taller chairs and that shorter people have shorter chairs, something that seems obvious in retrospect. For this reason, QOR360 chairs are not only adjustable but come in two size ranges: 17” – 21” and 20” – 27”. The QOR360 chair that is not adjustable (Juno) comes in three sizes.

HOW LONG IS THE GUARANTEE ON MY QOR360 CHAIR?

Your QOR360 chair has only a single moving part, the eccentric bicylinder held in place by four very tough vibration isolation bobbins (motor mounts), so nothing is likely to wear out or need adjustment. In the three years that we have been continuously testing our chairs no component has required attention. However, in the unlikely event that your chair ever requires some sort of fix, please return it to us and we’ll repair or replace it for free.

DOES THE MECHANISM OR FINISH OF THE QOR360 CHAIR REQUIRE ANY UPKEEP?

Because the QOR360 has only one “moving part” its mechanism requires no upkeep or adjustment. We do recommend checking the motor-mounts for wear once a year, but we doubt that they will ever need replacing.

I’M CONCERNED THAT A VISITOR MAY BE CAUGHT UNAWARE AND POSSIBLY TOPPLE OFF MY QOR360 CHAIR?

Active sitting is new to most Americans, and so, although the problem you suggest hasn’t to our knowledge actually happened, it is likely that sooner or later someone will have an unpleasant surprise. We recommend that if possible everyone new to active sitting have a ten-second explanation and perhaps demonstration. If you’re sitting on a QOR360 chair for the first time by yourself we suggest that you place the back of the chair four of five inches from a wall to foreclose the possibility of falling backward.

HOW DOES THE QOR360 CHAIR WORK TO CREATE ACTIVE SITTING?

A uniquely shaped rocker (the eccentric bicylinder) sits just under the seat of every QOR360 chair. Because this rocker is curved on both its upper and lower surfaces with the curves at right angles to one another, this rocker allows the seat of a QOR360 chair to tip in every direction. So, while the geometry of the rocker is simple, the healthy motion it encourages is quite sophisticated.

WHERE ARE YOUR CHAIR MADE?

All of our chairs are designed and made in America with materials sourced from New England. You can learn more about the materials we use and their origins here.

WHERE DID THE QOR360 CHAIR COME FROM?

The QOR360 was conceived and developed in Burlington, Vermont by a team of physicians, researchers, and furniture designers with input from bodywork experts in several traditions: Feldenkrais, yoga, Alexander Technique, and Aikido. All QOR 360 chairs are made in our Burlington factory although a few components of our chairs require facilities not available in Vermont: our bent metal chair legs are produced by Acme Wire Products in Mystic, Connecticut, our bent plywood chair legs are produced in North Carolina, and office chair components come from Source Direct in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

IS THE QOR360 CHAIR ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?

A primary component of QOR360 chairs is that most ecofriendly of materials, wood, a material that is both sustainably produced and biodegradable. Unavoidably, a few components of our chairs are not biodegradable. For example, the vibration isolation mounts that attach our rocker to our chairs are made of natural rubber; there are only four of these per chair, however, and they are quite small, so overall they have a small eco-footprint. The rockers in our chairs are injection molded from a very tough plastic, polycarbonate. Although this plastic is produced from petroleum, a carefully engineered structure of internal ribs allows us to make very strong rockers using a minimal amount of plastic, thus controlling both cost and environmental impact. One of our rockers contains about as much plastic as four one-gallon milk jugs, but, unlike milk jugs, our rockers will last a lifetime.

WHAT'S IT LIKE TO SIT ON A QOR360 ACTIVE CHAIR AND HOW SHOULD I FIRST USE IT?

When people first encounter the QOR360 chair there can be several different reactions, sometimes all at once. Surprise is common, as is amusement, perhaps because the expectation of a “solid” seat is challenged. After a moment of disorientation most people “get it”: they catch their balance and sit up in a tall, balanced posture and then begin to explore different modes of rocking. Kids, on the other hand, seem to simply enjoy the ride without trying to figure out or explain the experience.

The first time you sit down on a QOR360 chair we recommend that you place the back of the chair 4 or 5 inches from a wall, to preclude the very slight possibility of falling backward. After a few moments to get over the initial surprise of active sitting sit on your QOR360 chair anywhere you wish, you’ll be fine. Sit playfully, confident that your spine knows its business and will find and express your naturally perfect posture.

Many people report that sitting on a QOR360 feels like they’re floating. Because your posture is constantly changing, adjusting to small changes in the angle of the seat, your spinal reflexes are constantly adjusting your spinal musculature to optimize your posture. All of this activity takes place outside conscious awareness, a silent conversation between your spine, its muscles and gravity.

Another thing often reported by our testers is a profound difference in how they feel when they get up after prolonged sitting: After sitting on a conventional chair many people find that getting up leaves them with a feeling of stiffness in the low back and pelvis, an uncomfortable feeling that requires stretching and bit of cautious walking to set right. This “locked spine syndrome” doesn’t occur even after prolonged sitting periods on a QOR360. Because the active sitting provided by the QOR360 keeps your spine in subtle, continuous motion your spine never becomes stiff from the inactivity that is enforced by static sitting in conventional chairs. So, when you get up from sitting on a QOR360 chair, well, you just get up and get on with your day, no stretching or limping required.

WHAT’S THE BEST SITTING POSITION ON A QOR360 CHAIR?

To begin with, be sure that the seat of your QOR360 chair is high enough; the seat of most Western chairs are only 18” above the ground, too short for most people. This forces folks to adopt an unnatural, slumped, posture in their low back rather than the naturally elegant ‘hollow back’ (lumbar lordosis) that is the spine’s preferred configuration.

Start by sitting on your QOR360 with a basic, balanced posture: feet flat on the floor shoulder width apart, sitting bones perched in the middle of the seat just above the RedRocker™. Your head should be balanced atop the spine, with the jaw bone parallel to the floor. Of course, all this will change once you do a bit of rocking, but it makes a good starting point. So, sit playfully, confident that your spine knows its business and will find your naturally perfect posture over your first few minutes of active sitting.

HOW DOES THE MOVEMENT PROVIDED BY THE QOR360 CHAIR CHANGE SITTING?

The active seat of every QOR360 chair allows and encourages controlled movement in every direction in a way that is simple and unencumbered. The QOR360 chair follows every movement of your body, resulting in a natural sitting position that supports and encourage your moment to moment movements. Additionally, because reaching, leaning, twisting are all facilitated, the QOR360 chair turns out to be an excellent task chair for office work as well as other pursuits.

WHAT’S THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE QOR360 CHAIR?

Epidemiologists have known that static sitting is bad for people for some time now, and it’s become clear that static sitting on conventional chairs causes at least two different sorts of problems.

Sitting in conventional chairs requires that anatomically unusual postures be held for protracted periods, postures that can cause stiffness and contribute to back discomfort. Additionally, the core muscles are put at rest by static sitting, leading to deconditioning of these muscles that sets the stage for back injury and chronic pain. An interesting series on National Public Radio explores some of these problems.

2. A second problem with conventional chairs is that sitting in these chairs causes most of the muscles in the body to “go dark”, that is, become metabolically inactive. This results not only in a decrease in the number of calories used, but a fundamental change our basic biochemistry, resulting in deleterious cardiovascular and metabolic effects: increased blood pressure, increased levels of fasting glucose, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein are all associated with static sitting. Indeed, in epidemiologic studies sitting still has been shown to be associated with increases in all-cause mortality and a host of other medical problems including cancer (Biswas et al. Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults; Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:123-132). Discouragingly and perhaps counterintuitively, the metabolic harms caused by passive sitting are not reversed by periods of vigorous activity; going to the gym will not undo the harm of passive sitting.

There is some good news, however: it turns out that even modestly increasing the amount of activity involved in sitting may have large benefits: a recent study found that those who simply fidget while sitting are largely protected from the harmful metabolic consequences of sitting. Study. (Hagger-Johnson, Sitting Time, Fidgeting, and All-Cause Mortality in the UK Women’s Cohort Study. Am J Prevent Med; 50:154, 2016). Although it will require long term studies, we believe that the increase in seated activity provided by the QOR360 will provide important long term health benefits.

WHY DOESN’T THE QOR360 CHAIR HAVE A BACK, OR ARMS, OR LUMBAR SUPPORT, OR A FOOTREST, OR A HEADREST?

“Supports” provided by conventional “ergonomic” chairs actually prevent your muscular support system from freely expressing itself. Unfortunately, over time static sitting leads to a weakening of the core musculature, a situation that actually makes it difficult to sustain optimal posture. A downward spiral ensues with ever weaker core muscles requiring ever more support when sitting. The QOR360 chair breaks this cycle by subtly engaging the core muscles while sitting. Although reconditioning may take a few days to a few weeks, typically people are comfortable sitting all day on a QOR360 chair within a few days.

CAN I ACTUALLY SIT COMFORTABLY ALL DAY WITHOUT A BACKREST?

Yes, but for many of us who are badly deconditioned from a lifetime of sitting in conventional chairs a period of adaptation may be necessary. Typically, a few days is all that’s required to acclimatize to a backless chair, but for some people a few weeks may be necessary.

IS THE ROCKING MOTION SCARY OR DANGEROUS?

No. Most people find sitting on a QOR360 chair pleasurable experience, combining a feeling of floating with the ability to playfully rock in all directions. If someone were to sit on the QOR360 without being aware of its active sitting function they might be in for a bit of a surprised. For this reason we suggest that you warn any friends that are new to active sitting that they are in for a different experience of sitting if they try out your QOR360 chair – especially if your chair has wheels.

IS SITTING WITHOUT SUPPORTS EXHAUSTING?

Active sitting is more, well, active, than passive sitting. We recommend that those new to active sitting work up to sitting for a full day on a QOR360. Depending on how conditioned one’s core is this period of acclimatizing to a QOR360 chair may take only a day or two or as long as a week or two.

THE NEWTON AND CLEO CHAIRS ARE SLIGHTLY CYLINDRICAL. WHY IS THAT?

The surface of the QOR360 seat is slightly curved to allow front to back rocking without compressing the muscles of the upper leg (biceps femoris) or of the buttocks (gluteus). The human pelvis is an engineering marvel. Not only does the pelvis allow the spine to balance directly on the the femurs (leg bones) while standing, but the pelvis also provides a sort of “kickstand” on which we can balance while sitting. Called the “sitz bones” (or ischial tuberosities), these two bony prominences are located at the very bottom of the bony pelvis, one precisely beneath each of the femoral sockets. This arrangement allows the legs to rest while the entire weight of the upper body is transferred directly to the sitz bones. Importantly, when we sit on the sitz bones the upper body can use the same reflexes to stay balanced and comfortable that it uses while standing. The slightly curved seat of all QOR360 chairs facilitates perching on the sitz bones. Sitting directly on the sitz bones not only provides clear input to the reflexes required for natural posture, but also facilitates rocking by allowing the pelvis to tip forward and backward without compressing the biceps femoris or gluteal muscles, gently flexing and extending the lumbar spine.

THOSE WOODEN SEATS ON THE CHAIRS LOOK PRETTY UNCOMFORTABLE. ARE THEY?

Sitting directly on wood is uncomfortable for most of us accustomed as we are to cushioned furniture, so we think using a cushion of some sort when sitting on the QOR360 is a good idea for most people. We recommend going light on the padding, however. Try using the basic cushion that we provide with every Newton and every Cleo chair first. By keeping the amount of padding to a minimum you allow yourself to clearly feel your sitting bones and respond to the very important input that they provide about your balance and posture while sitting actively. However, if you find you need more cushioning to be comfortable, we make a thicker cushion for our chairs that you can find on our website. This cushion incorporates two types of cross-linked polyethylene foam: a thin layer of very firm, closed cell foam to prevent “bottoming out” of the sitz bones on the chair top is bonded to a thicker layer of memory foam to provide traction while sitting. This cushioning “foam sandwich” slides into a sleeve heavyweight cotton material to complete the cushion. This cushion then firmly attaches to all QOR360 seats in a way that provides a solid, non-slip connection between the cushion and the wooden seat, but allows for easy removal should you wish to wash the cover of your cushion in a washing machine.

IS THE QOR360 CHAIR DIFFERENT FROM OTHER ERGONOMIC CHAIRS?

The word “ergonomic” is often applied as a “marketing tactic” by various seating companies. The term is applied to static structures that support the back, neck, spine, etc. Unfortunately such “support” forces one to sit in a single, non-active posture which fails to support natural spinal movement and health. QOR360 takes a radically different approach, with true ergonomic seating that promotes continuously subtle and healthy movements of the vertebrae.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A QOR360 CHAIR AND AN EXERCISE BALL?

An exercise ball provides a fundamentally different type of motion than the QOR360 chair because the ball allows the pelvis to translate through space. The QOR360 chair, by contrast, allows the pelvis to tip in all directions, but does not allow translation. Unfortunately, the exercise ball allows one to sit in a slumped posture, losing the natural convex forward bend of the lumbar spine.

This slumped posture is hard to arrive at on a QOR360 chair, and even harder to maintain. Furthermore, the exercise ball height is hard to control, as it depends on not only the size of the ball but the inflation pressure. The QOR360 chair provides precise control of the height of the chair. This is important, because the angle formed by the femurs (leg bones) at the hip joint determines whether the lumbar spine is free to assume its natural curve. Read more…

Active Sitting Questions

WHAT IS ACTIVE SITTING?

All QOR360 products are designed to promote active sitting instead of static sitting. Also called dynamic sitting, active sitting refers to the idea that your spinal reflexes are free to adjust your posture from moment to moment while in a seated position.

Unlike static, conventional chairs, active sitting is the concept that flexibility and movement while sitting can improve posture, core strength, and be beneficial to the human body. You can read more about active sitting here.

WILL ACTIVE SITTING IMPROVE MY POSTURE, CORE STRENGTH, AND ACTUALLY BURN CALORIES?

Yes, yes, and yes. Because the active sitting allows your spinal reflexes to naturally move and adjust, most users find that their posture immediately improves when they sit down on a QOR360 chair.

Moreover, because the active sitting gently and continuously conditions your core musculature this improved posture over time becomes habitual. Slowly and gradually, active sitting can condition core muscles that may have been ignored in your day to day routine of sitting in a fixed position. Active sitting has been shown in studies to increase your metabolic burn by up to 15%.

Why “Ergonomic” chairs are bad for your posture.

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE HAZARDS OF CONVENTIONAL SITTING?

Epidemiologists have known that static sitting is bad for people for some time now, and it’s become clear that static sitting on conventional chairs causes at least two different sorts of problems. First, sitting in conventional chairs requires that anatomically unusual postures be held for protracted periods, postures that can cause stiffness and contribute to back discomfort. Additionally, the core muscles are put at rest by static sitting, leading to deconditioning of these muscles that sets the stage for back injury and chronic pain. A second problem with conventional chairs is that sitting in these chairs causes most of the muscles in the body to “go dark”, that is, become metabolically inactive. This results not only in a decrease in the number of calories used, but a fundamental change in our basic biochemistry, resulting in deleterious cardiovascular and metabolic effects: increased blood pressure, increased levels of fasting glucose, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein are all associated with static sitting.

There is some good news, however: It turns out that even modestly increasing the amount of activity involved in sitting may have large benefits: a recent study found that those who simply fidget while sitting are largely protected from the harmful metabolic consequences of sitting.

Why “Ergonomic” chairs are bad for your posture.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER A FEW WEEKS OF SITTING ON A QOR360 ACTIVE CHAIR?

Most people rapidly acclimatize to the QOR360 chair, and within a few days sitting on a QOR360 chair seems normal. Indeed, sitting on a conventional chair can seem surprising, feeling dead and unresponsive compared to the QOR360 chair.

Exercise videos to get you moving in your new QOR360 active chair.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST BENEFIT OF THE QOR360 ACTIVE CHAIR?

Sitting becomes more interesting, and more fun, when it’s active. Additionally, posture is improved when your spinal reflexes dictate your posture rather than your chair. Finally, active sitting improves metabolic parameters, a change that likely provides important long-term health benefits.

WHAT PHYSIOLOGIC CHANGES DOES SITTING ON THE QOR360 CHAIR PRODUCE?

Sitting in conventional chairs causes most of the muscles in the body to “go dark”, that is, become metabolically inactive. This results not only in a decrease in the number of calories used, but fundamentally alters our basic biochemistry, resulting in deleterious cardiovascular and metabolic effects: increased blood pressure, increased levels of fasting glucose, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein are all associated with static sitting. Indeed, in epidemiologic studies (Biswas et al. Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults; Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:123-132 ) sitting still has been shown to be associated with increases in all-cause mortality and a host of other medical problems including cancer. Discouragingly and perhaps counterintuitively, the metabolic harms caused by passive sitting are not reversed by periods of vigorous activity; going to the gym will not undo the harm of passive sitting. There is some good news, however: it turns out that even modestly increasing the amount of activity involved in sitting may have large benefits: a recent study (Hagger-Johnson, Sitting Time, Fidgeting, and All-Cause Mortality in the UK Women’s Cohort Study. Am J Prevent Med; 50:154, 2016) found that those who simply fidget while sitting are largely protected from the harmful metabolic consequences of sitting. Although the research is not yet available, we believe that the increase in activity while sitting afforded by the QOR360 will provide important long term health benefits.

We’d love to hear from you.

Please fill out the form below to contact us or call (802) 448-0362.