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Instability vs Stability: When and Why Both are Necessary (Core-Tex Sit Review)

In the world of gaming, achieving peak performance is not just about mastering skills and tactics, but also ensuring physical comfort and well-being. With the high prevalence of sedentary lifestyles among gamers, the demand for ergonomic solutions that prioritize both comfort and performance has become more pronounced. In this context, the Core-Tex Sit emerges as a game-changer, offering a unique approach to addressing the health concerns associated with prolonged sitting during gaming sessions.


Why Is Instability Necessary? 

Instability training is a form of training used to improve one’s balance, coordination, stability, and/or proprioception through creating an unstable environment or surface. When presented with an unstable surface the body will naturally have to adapt by simultaneously engaging multiple groups as the body works to remain upright. This is a popular form of training due to the functional benefits of it in our everyday life as it combines strength, stamina, balance, and coordination. To complete this training safely and effectively, devices are frequently used and recognized such as a Bosu Ball, TRX, Balance Boards, Swiss (yoga) Balls, and more. These devices have become popular due to their low cost, ease of transportation, accessibility in a small space, and marketing towards in-home use with more people working from home. Additionally, more people are becoming aware of the benefits of instability training as it relates to increased balance and core/bodyweight strength. More recently an emphasis has been placed on incorporating these while working for long periods of time as individuals understand how detrimental a prolonged static posture can be. One device gaining in popularity more recently is the Core-Tex Sit.

The Core-Tex Sit, developed by Core-Tex Fitness addresses this issue by incorporating dynamic movement into a traditional static activity. The design is unique in the fact that it enables motion both with multidirectional tilting and swiveling. This mechanism not only encourages subtle movements but also promotes active sitting, thereby preventing the negative effects of prolonged static posture. The cushion’s 360-degree range of motion supports natural body movements, enhancing blood circulation and preventing muscle stiffness commonly experienced during extended periods of sitting.

Ergonomic Comfort and Posture Support:

One of the most noteworthy benefits of the Core-Tex Sit is its emphasis on ergonomic comfort and posture support. The cushion’s adaptive design conforms to the user’s body, providing optimal support for the spine and pelvis. This ergonomic feature is particularly advantageous for gamers, as it helps alleviate back pain and reduces the risk of developing musculoskeletal issues caused by poor posture. By encouraging users to engage their core muscles and maintain a balanced sitting position, the Core-Tex Sit contributes to improved overall posture and spinal health, thus enabling gamers to focus on their gameplay without the distraction of physical discomfort.

Rest breaks are also important and are recommended to be taken every 40-60 minutes to stand up, stretch, and move around to prevent muscle stiffness and imbalances often seen as a result of prolonged static sitting which is so common in gaming.

Use Recommendations:

Though the Core-Tex is a great device to help passively strengthen the core, there are exercises which can deliberately be done using the device. First, start by reclining the back of the chair so the backrest is out of the way. Next, complete the following exercises each day.

      • Seated Cat-Camel
            • 3 sets of 15 reps each day

        • Seated Lateral Shifts
              • 3 sets of 15 reps each day

          • 360 lumbar rotations
                • 3 sets of 15 reps each day

          *Note: Passive sitting can be first started with 20 minutes a day and gradually working up as tolerated

          In addition to the use of a device such as the Core-Tex Sit, one should also consider including the following into their daily habits:

              • Strengthening exercises:
                    • Focused on gluteal muscles, hip flexors, and core to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting

                • Stretching
                      • Focused on improving flexibility in the hip flexors and lower back

                  • Posture awareness
                        • By being more cognizant of your posture you will be able to identify if you are constantly slouching forward or to any one side which can help to show what may need addressed

                  Additionally, physical activity outside of the game cannot be under emphasized due to the many benefits that this alone provides. 

                  Injury Prevention: 

                  Through the encouragement of core stabilization, injury prevention is a key reason why one may find the Core-Tex to be useful. The onset of an injury in gaming can be detrimental to an individual as performance may be affected. In esports there are always individuals vying for a spot which makes performing at the top of your game so important each day. One common injury which can be prevented through core strengthening is that of lower crossed syndrome. 

                  Lower crossed syndrome is a postural imbalance that primarily affects the muscles of the lower back, hips, and legs. It is characterized by a specific pattern of muscle weakness and tightness that leads to an forward pelvic tilt and increased lumbar lordosis (a pronounced inward curve of the lower back). This puts increased strain on the lumbar spine and increases the likelihood of experiencing an injury. This syndrome is not solely seen in gamers, but is commonly associated with prolonged sitting, poor posture, and a lack of regular physical activity.

                  Enhanced Concentration and Cognitive Performance:

                  Beyond its physical benefits, the Core-Tex Sit also offers advantages that extend to cognitive performance. Through its dynamic seating experience, the cushion stimulates sensory input, triggering subtle muscle contractions and enhancing proprioception. This sensory stimulation has been shown to promote increased alertness and concentration, ultimately aiding gamers in maintaining focus and mental acuity during intense gaming sessions. By incorporating the Core-Tex Sit into their gaming setup, users can benefit from improved cognitive performance, leading to enhanced responsiveness and strategic decision-making, crucial for competitive gaming environments.

                  Versatility and Adaptability:

                  As previously mentioned, instability devices such as the Bosu ball, TRX, and balance boards are easily accessible and compact. The Core-Tex is no different and yet even more compact than its counterparts. The versatility of the Core-Tex Sit makes it a versatile addition to any gaming setup as its compact and lightweight design allows for easy integration into various gaming environments. Additionally, the cushion’s portability makes it convenient for gamers who frequent tournaments or travel for gaming events, ensuring that they can maintain their comfort and performance regardless of the setting.

                  When to Use Instability vs When Not to?

                  Though Instability devices like the Core-Tex Sit can be beneficial to increase core strength which can help prevent injury and increase performance in the long term. Performance while using it is likely to be diminished as it is critical to maintain proximal (Core) stability to increase distal mobility, accuracy, and coordination. This means that individuals should NOT utilize this device during competitions where performance is the primary goal. Instead however, the Core-Tex Sit is best used when casually playing, browsing the computer, or other instances where one is likely to be sitting for a prolonged period of time without a need to perform optimally. 

                  Don’t let the body of Fall Guy Characters fool you. Their instability training requires them to have the core strength comparable to Kratos from God of War.

                  Conclusion: 

                  The Core-Tex Sit stands as an exemplary solution for gamers seeking to optimize their gaming experience while prioritizing their physical well-being. Its innovative design, ergonomic support, cognitive benefits, and versatility make it a valuable asset for both casual and professional gamers alike. By promoting active sitting and mitigating the adverse effects of prolonged sedentary behavior, the Core-Tex Sit not only enhances gaming performance but also fosters a healthier and more sustainable gaming lifestyle. As gaming continues to evolve, products like the Core-Tex Sit pave the way for a more holistic approach to gaming that prioritizes both physical and mental well-being.

                  If you’re interested in getting a core-tex sit, 1HP discounts are available through our partner shop!

                  Disclosure: EHPI and 1-HP have a product partnership with Core-Tex

                  References:

                  Holmes MW, De Carvalho DE, Karakolis T, Callaghan JP. Evaluating Abdominal and Lower-Back Muscle Activity While Performing Core Exercises on a Stability Ball and a Dynamic Office Chair. Hum Factors. 2015 Nov;57(7):1149-61. doi: 10.1177/0018720815593184. Epub 2015 Jun 25. PMID: 26113019.

                  Schult TM, Awosika ER, Schmunk SK, Hodgson MJ, Heymach BL, Parker CD. Sitting on stability balls: biomechanics evaluation in a workplace setting. J Occup Environ Hyg. 2013;10(2):55-63. doi: 10.1080/15459624.2012.748324. PMID: 23252582.

                  Wahl MJ, Behm DG. Not all instability training devices enhance muscle activation in highly resistance-trained individuals. J Strength Cond Res. 2008 Jul;22(4):1360-70. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318175ca3c. PMID: 18545166.

                  Willardson JM. Core stability training: applications to sports conditioning programs. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug;21(3):979-85. doi: 10.1519/R-20255.1. PMID: 17685697.

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