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Optimum Seating Wedge

The idea for an Optimum Seating Wedge came out of Dr Anikó Ball’s desire to provide good seating for dentists, hygienists, oral health therapists, dental assistants and anyone who works in a prolonged seated posture.

She was inspired by Karyn Chapman, founder of ‘The Back School’ in Brisbane and a trainer in the Optimum Dental Posture training programs. Karyn designed forward sloping custom-made stools with a firm seat over 30 years ago for herself and her Alexander & Yoga students, and improved an existing soft wedge cushion for firm support.  

A firm forward sloping seat encourages sitting on the sit bones (ischial tuberosities), the anatomical weight bearers for sitting, thus allowing the length and the natural curves of the spine to be maintained. The knees being lower than the hip joints facilitates optimal forward bending posture and movement patterns.

Unfortunately most chairs and couches are too soft, many even sloping backwards, resulting in a slumped posture, reversed lumbar curve and chronic back pain. Karyn’s seating designs and improved firm wedges have saved many backs in Australia.

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In the Optimum Dental Posture Workshops dental practitioners train in Inner Ergonomics, learning how to sit on their sit bones and pivot forward at the hip joints without distorting their spine as they gain access to their patients’ mouths. Unfortunately most dental stools lack a firm seat and a forward sloping adjustment, leaving clinicians unable to sit well and look after themselves in the dental surgery.

Although Anikó’s focus has been on the Inner Ergonomics (the clinician’s efficiency in movement and posture), never planning to get involved in Outer Ergonomics (dental equipment and surgery layout), she found it necessary, with Karyn’s assistance, to make available a firm, forward sloping, non-slip vinyl covered wedge, especially designed for dental stools to reduce the risk of occupational chronic neck and back pain in the dental surgery.

The Optimum Seating Wedge is suitable for most dental stools except the saddle type, as well as chairs and couches in the office and at home.

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What’s wrong with modern seating?

The natural elongated S - shape of the spine is compromised by soft and backward sloping chairs, couches, dental stools, car seats and office chairs, resulting in a slumped posture.

When you sit in a slumped posture you create an incorrect loading through your pelvis, the back muscles switch off and the lumbar curve is reversed. Long periods spent in such spinal compression result in neck and back problems.

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Why firm forward sloping seating works?

Firm forward sloping seating corrects the lumbar curve and allows the weight to fall through the sit bones, the anatomical weight bearers for sitting.  

The Optimum Seating Wedge offers improved sitting conditions for the user because the muscular effort required to maintain upright posture is greatly reduced.

It is highly beneficial for postures which require prolonged forward movement such as dentistry, as well as in the office and at home, by facilitating forward bending at the hip joints rather than distorting the spine.

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The Optimum Seating Wedge offers:

  • Firm support
  • Reduced spinal compression         
  • Muscle ease
  • Allows the hip joints to be higher than the knees

This firm, forward sloping, non-slip vinyl covered wedge used on top of a chair, stool or couch creates optimum seating, reducing neck and back problems.

$215 + GST (includes postage within Australia)

Dr Anikó Ball

Anikó is a dentist and a teacher of the Alexander Technique

Founder ‘Optimum Dental Posture’

dr.aniko.ball@optimumdentalposture.com

Karyn Chapman

Karyn is a teacher of Yoga and the Alexander Technique

Founder ‘The Back School’

karyn@backschool.com.au

www.backschool.com.au

Alexander Technique teachers are experts in ergonomics, posture and movement.