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Ikaria Designs allowed Mallory to borrow a Soul Seat for 4 weeks in order to write this review. All opinions are our own!
What’s a Soul Seat? Why Did I Try One?
A Soul Seat is a unique chair that allows for maximum mobility while sitting. It’s truly amazing how seamlessly this chair fits into everyday office situations.
Check out these pictures from their website!
So, how did I learn about these seats? How did I get to try one? Well, they’re made here in my hometown!
I witnessed the birth of the Soul Seat by hanging around Orr Street Studios in my early 20’s. Orr Street is a gallery and studio space in my hometown of Columbia, MO. Pack Matthews, the inventor of the Soul Seat and founder of Ikaria Designs has had a studio space at Orr for about 10 years. I was always intrigued by the Soul Seat, but never had the need for one.
Well, ten years, one sewing media website, and two babies later- I need a new way to work at my desk for prolonged periods of time!
Ergonomics: How Should I Sit While I Sew and Work?
I once overheard Pack say “We’re a little past the idea of ergonomics.” while being interviewed, and I was so glad to hear it!
Over in the Self Sewn Wardrobe Group, people often post to ask how they should be sitting while they sew. Members give lots of advice and tell each other what works for them, but the truth is, there isn’t one answer. You really shouldn’t be in one position for an extended period of time!
If you need inspiration for how to take care of yourself while sewing, check out the @WellnessForMakers on Instagram!
No matter what activity you do, you should be taking frequent breaks, changing your position, and doing some kind of stretching to combat repetitive motion. There isn’t an ideal sewing position (or an ideal harp-playing or knitting position) that will be sustainable for hours on end. You must move, readjust, and stretch.
But, what do you do when you NEED to sit in front of a computer for hours on end to edit videos, write blog posts, teach remotely, etc. Well, you need a new way to sit!
The Soul Seat: A New Way to Sit
Ok- it’s not completely new- the company is about 10 years old- but you know what I mean. The Soul Seat lets you interface with a traditional office or sewing space while allowing you to do all sorts of things with your body that would be impossible in an office chair.
I have a condition that makes it extremely painful to sit for long periods of time. In fact, sitting on the couch with my kids can trigger my issues! I have pelvic floor dysfunction. Most people associate PFD with incontinence and the need to strengthen the pelvic floor- but I always like to be special, so I have the opposite problem!
My pelvic floor is prone to spasm, and I have to intentionally stretch and exercise in ways that don’t irritate it. I get incredible hip pain and pain in the pubic symphysis area (read: it feels like someone kicked me in the crotch) when I have a bad day.
If you suffer from incontinence, have lower back pain, hip pain, or pubic symphysis pain, you should seek a qualified physical therapist who is experienced with pelvic floor therapy. You don’t have to be in pain. Pelvic floor dysfunction can affect people of all ages, sizes, genders, and you do not have to have been pregnant or have given birth to be affected. I have had quite a few therapists help me through pregnancies and transitional times, and they’ve greatly improved my quality of life!
All of these therapists gave me exercises to do, and counseled me not to sit for prolonged periods of time. But, when I’m given uninterrupted time to work, I have to take it!
My Review of the Soul Seat
I made a video about how I used the Soul Seat in my production and sewing studio.
I will say that I used the Soul Seat mostly while doing computer work. As I say in the video, I don’t sit for prolonged periods while sewing. I am always sewing, getting up to cut or press, sewing again, switching machines, etc. I don’t have as much trouble with pain while sewing as I do when I have to sit at the computer for prolonged periods.
So, even though this is a sewing blog, I thought this review would be helpful, because so many of us are working from home nowadays!
A Trustworthy Company
I know Pack from hanging around Orr and working there part time. I also know him as a member of my local community who is deeply invested in equity and social justice.
You can read all about Soul Seat, how they’ve developed over the past decade and how they support their products on their website. If you decide to buy from them, you’ll be in good hands.
Would you try a Soul Seat? The have a 90-day Satisfaction Guarantee!