Physiotherapists belonging to the University of Birmingham tested the 'Bambach Saddle Seat' invented by Australian therapist Mary Gale, and have concluded that it serves to relieve backache.
The chair, which is priced at 399 pounds, was found to keep the spine in its natural 'S' shape and positions the pelvis correctly.
Each person tested was seated in an ordinary chair that made their pelvis tilt backwards slightly and given a task to perform. This was based on the popular game where a metal ring is passed over a twisted wire without touching it. The experiment was repeated using the Bambach Saddle Seat, and the volunteers committed fewer errors while using it.
The researchers also detected increased electrical activity in a key group of muscles in the back. The tests show that it reduces pain and boosts accuracy in tasks performed while sitting down. It could have implications for thousands of employees who spend most of their time seated at a desk.
The chair is so shaped that the pelvis, which supports the upper body, is tilted forward. Most chairs allow the pelvis to tilt backwards, causing the body to slump.
"At the hospital where I worked, we noticed people who were unable to sit in a chair without support, were able to sit upright and independently on horseback," says Mary.
"The ideal sitting position for everyone is with thighs at around 45 degrees to the top half of the body.
"This means the muscles at the front and back of the body are in balance and the body's center of gravity is over the supporting base, rather than behind it. This preserves the natural S curve of the spine."
Up to 80% of the people in Britain suffer back pain at some time or the other. Falls or accidents cause some cases, but poor posture and bad seating is recognized as a major factor.
For millions of people it can be difficult to remain upright and keep the perfect posture when working at a screen, doing paperwork or making frequent phone calls.