Standing desks get a lot of press. Many workers who perform office tasks while standing report less fatigue, and research suggests people are as able to engage in tasks while standing as when sitting. However, eight or nine hours on your feet each day, combined with starting at a computer screen, can be rough on the body. Some people get tired or complain of leg muscle cramps and prefer to switch between standing and sitting throughout their workday. Enter: the perfect chair.
Standing desk chairs look different from chairs for traditional desks. They allow you to avoid the consequences of excessive sitting, and they give you the option to change positions during the workday to relieve pressure on your spine, knees, feet, and lower back. In this article, you’ll learn about different types of chairs designed to complement standing desks. Plus, you’ll discover how to transition from sitting at work all day to a combination of standing and sitting for optimum physical health.
How to choose the perfect chair
Keep in mind these factors when evaluating standing desk chairs for maximum comfort during your workday.
You don’t want to sink into the cushion, nor do you want to balance on an unforgiving board. Your seat should conform slightly to pressure while providing ergonomic support to prevent pain in your back, wrists, lower back, and shoulders.
Height and posture differ from person to person, so your standing desk chair should provide lumbar support and allow for active sitting, meaning you can engage your core and other muscles while you sit.
Standing desk chairs allow you to perch or sit comfortably to take pressure off your feet and legs. Find a stable model so it doesn’t make you feel like you’re going to fall over. Consider purchasing a chair mat for additional comfort.
Look for a chair that’s lightweight so it’s easy to relocate if you need to tuck your home workspace into the closet for the night or rearrange your office for a brainstorming session.
Aesthetics are important whether your home office is in a corner of your living room or in your cubicle. Standing desk chairs come in a variety of colors, fabrics, and styles ranging from classic to avant-garde.
You’ve invested money into a standing desk, and you want a chair that lasts a lifetime. Search online for reviews of the product you’re considering, and keep in mind details such as the longevity of the fabric and other parts.
Types of chairs for standing desks
Once you start your search for a standing desk chair, you may be overwhelmed by all the options available to you. Here are a few of our favorite types of standing desk chairs.
These seats may tip slightly forward to alleviate pressure on your spine. Many come with a stable base, helping you feel secure as you sit high above traditional desk chairs.
Active sitting stools
These stools improve circulation and help maintain your energy by encouraging small movements which activate core muscles while keeping your spine aligned and opening your hips.
These chairs allow you to strike a balance between sitting and standing, with a third of your weight resting in the chair and two-thirds supported by your feet.
These tall seats include a footrest, a backrest, and a mechanism that allows you to swivel.
These unconventional chairs reduce pressure on your back and open your hips by tilting them forward. This posture makes more room for your lungs, and it may even increase the flow of oxygen to your brain.
These seats — also called yoga balls — build core muscles by shifting with your movements and prompting you to change your posture when you slouch.
How to make the switch
Adjusting away from a traditional desk and chair to a standing desk and seat takes time. Initially, standing may cause fatigue in your legs and feet. Train yourself by standing at your desk for 15 minutes a day and add time as your body adjusts to the new position. Get an anti-fatigue mat to reduce foot, leg, and back pain with a soft, supportive surface for standing.
Change your standing and sitting positions frequently. Every 15 minutes, look away from your computer, stretch your arms over your head, and rotate your neck and shoulders. Consider doing a series of gentle yoga stretches while closing your eyes and focusing on breathing deeply. Don’t forget to take breaks whether you’re in the office or at home. It’s important to stay active throughout the day.
Maintaining a balance of sitting and standing during your workday has tremendous mental and physical health benefits. Research and test standing desk chairs, make the shift gradually, and you’ll reap the physical — and mental — benefits.