It's common knowledge that sitting is bad for us. But doing away with our chairs altogether is not an option for most – especially for those of us who must sit for a living, spending 40-plus hours a week at our desks. One way to combat all this detrimental posture is to more mindfully sit in our current chairs or to replace them with more supportive (and usually pricey) ergonomic chairs.
The folks at Turnstone have a different sitting solution. The Buoy, a colorful $200, 20-pound cylinder with a rounded bottom and fabric top wobbles, spins, and rocks like no chair (or yoga ball for that matter) we've ever sat on. A radical departure from your everyday office chair – there's no back or arms, it's unsteady, and there's next to no padding – it takes little time to get used to it and requires active adjustments.
While this chair can be raised or lowered with a handle on the side, everything else – the way you position your body – is up to you. You'll have to learn the best way to plant your feet, find a healthy lean, and engage the core. At first, we could manage about two hours on the Turnstone Buoy until we tired and tried to slump, which is next to impossible on this device. By week two, we felt comfortable for four straight hours, and one month in, a full day on the chair was no sweat.
All this active sitting has major benefits. We found that after a 12-hour day in the office, the usual ache in our lower back and neck was absent. Our core strength, too, has grown. We're not suggesting this office chair will give you a six-pack or that it should replace squats or planks, but it sure beats sinking into a cushy chair that does all the work for you. The Turnstone Buoy is the best way we've found to take your posture into your own hands. [From $199; myturnstone.com]