Don't ruin the positive effects of exercise by sitting in a bad position

Don't ruin the positive effects of exercise by sitting in a bad position

Heli Onikki, the owner and head teacher of Erottajan Hierojakoulu massage school in Helsinki, Finland, smiles at the school premises, located at the heart of the city. With her impressive credentials as a trained masseuse, sports masseuse, physiotherapist, sports physiotherapist, personal trainer, gym trainer, wellness coach, Crosstraining & Crossfit instructor, and IKSA kettlebell instructor, Onikki has truly turned her dreams into reality.

Her work at the school involves a diverse range of tasks, including administrative work, teaching, supervising client work, and providing physiotherapy services. She also serves as the physiotherapist for the Finnish National Women's Underwater Rugby Team during competitions and takes on various projects through her own company, Fysio-Origo. Onikki finds these aspects of her job to be incredibly rewarding.

While there are numerous rewards in her profession, Onikki also faces challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the increased amount of time she spends sitting. Previously, as a personal trainer, masseuse, and physiotherapist, she had the luxury of sitting very little during the day. However, with her current role, she has noticed how sitting affects her body, although it is still far less than what many office workers experience.

At Erottajan Hierojakoulu, a significant number of clients seek massage or physiotherapy to address existing back problems, particularly in the neck and shoulders, caused by prolonged sitting. On a positive note, Onikki has observed that more and more people are taking responsibility for their own well-being.

Onikki acknowledges that people are becoming increasingly aware of the negative impact of excessive sitting. She frequently hears about adjustable desks that allow working in a standing position, but she advises against standing all day long. Instead, she believes in the importance of alternating between sitting and standing. When using an "ordinary" office chair, she recommends standing more than sitting. However, if using a two-part saddle chair like the ones from Salli, increasing sitting time is acceptable. These chairs provide excellent sitting ergonomics, and their swing mechanism adds movement, enhancing the sitting experience.

Having personally experienced back pain from using traditional office chairs, Onikki has found significant improvement in her back condition since using Salli saddle chairs. These chairs make it easy to move, roll, and reach while maintaining a natural sitting position, preventing accidental spinal misalignment. The height adjustment and easy movements make working on these chairs pleasant.

While exercise and physical activity are beneficial, Onikki wants to dispel the misconception that they can fully counteract the negative effects of sitting. Despite her active lifestyle, she still experiences back problems that are directly associated with sitting. Conversely, sitting all day in a poor posture can also nullify the benefits of exercise. Thus, she recommends maximising natural movement throughout the workday. For instance, using a Bluetooth headset during phone calls and taking walks simultaneously can make a significant difference.

Onikki also emphasizes the importance of two-part saddle chairs, specifically highlighting the middle gap that allows optimal blood and lymph circulation in the pelvic and genital area. Besides promoting health, these chairs also offer enhanced comfort during prolonged sitting.

As an advocate for a holistic approach to ergonomics, Onikki encourages individuals to prioritise ergonomic practices not only in the gym but also outside of it. She highly recommends integrating Salli saddle chairs into an active lifestyle. These chairs noticeably improve back elasticity and functionality, reducing the risk of gym-related injuries.


Onikki expresses her gratitude to Salli for its commitment to spreading awareness about sitting health. Furthermore, she hopes that Salli, as the leading specialist in sitting health, will publish a comprehensive book on sitting ergonomics for vocational and educational purposes, further addressing the need for this essential information.


In conclusion, Heli Onikki emphasizes the importance of taking care of oneself at work and home. With only one body, she believes in nurturing it proactively to prevent potential dissatisfaction and discomfort.