As standing desks grow in popularity, people are starting to swivel their attention to another necessary piece of ergonomic office furniture: their chair. Everyone loves the benefits of being able to stand periodically throughout the day with a standing desk, but what about the time spent seated? Having an adjustable standing desk chair instead of a standard office chair is like comparing a custom-tailored suit to an off-the-rack version. Except for the fact that the chair can actually affect your health.
Needless to say, if you’re sitting for eight hours a day on a rock hard, inflexible chair, it’s time to switch it up! For your health and productivity levels, give yourself an upgrade that will make you feel better and work smarter. We’ve rounded up some tips on how to choose from the best standing desk chairs and why one should be at the top of your office shopping list. Say goodbye to back pain, poor posture, and low energy with an ergonomic chair that will transform the way you work.
Too many hardworking people live highly sedentary lives, chained to a desk in the seated position all day long while they type away at a computer. Sitting too much has dramatic health consequences, from slowing down the metabolic system to wreaking havoc on the joints and spine. Without movement every thirty minutes or so, you increase the risk of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal dysfunctions.
A study conducted in 2013 found that office employees who were trained to make ergonomic adjustments at work experienced significant decreases in musculoskeletal symptoms including fewer instances of pain in the low back, neck, knees, and wrists. In addition, sitting for too long reduces productivity levels, leaving you feeling sluggish all day. By getting an ergonomic chair to go with your standing desk, you can alternate between sitting and standing, fully reap the benefits of a standing desk, and lead an overall healthier lifestyle.
Types of Standing Desk Chairs and Stools
Based on your preference, you can choose either an ergonomic desk chair, a drafting chair, or a stool to accompany your standing desk. Some people even prefer a combination of a chair and a stool that they can alternate between depending on what type of work they are doing and how they feel during the day.
Ergonomic Desk Chair: Many people opt for an ergonomic desk chair to be used between standing sessions because it is a very comfortable choice that supports the whole body. An ergonomic chair should conform to the spine and be highly customizable with adjustable features to accommodate every user. If you are someone who prefers to switch between fully standing and fully sitting, an ergonomic desk chair is a perfect companion to your standing desk.
Ergonomic Stool for Standing Desk: What about a standing desk stool? A stool can be used either instead of, or, in addition to the standing desk chair. Some people like to have an active sitting stool that is essentially a suspended seat that you can lean against.
Other benefits of ergonomic stool: Standing stools allows you to take a quick break while your desk is in the standing position without having to adjust down to sitting, allows you to buy a standing desk and still alternate between sitting and standing, uses more core musculature since it does not have a back rest.
Ergonomic Drafting Chair: A drafting chair is named as such because it was traditionally designed for artisans and architects who spend long hours at a tall desk known as a drafting table in a bent-over position. A drafting chair has a taller seat than most ergonomic desk chairs, but many of the same features. It generally comes with a built-in bar footrest that is above the ground. This will allow you to sit at your standing desk with your back supported and reap all the benefits of an ergonomic desk chair while also being able to switch between sitting and standing throughout the day.
Finding the Right Model: 7 Factors to Consider
Let’s take a look at the main factors to consider when choosing a standing chair so that you can decide which will best suit your needs.
- Design, Materials, and Construction: Is the chair you are considering made of sturdy, high quality materials that will also be comfortable to sit on? Is the chair attractive or will it be an office eyesore? Is it easy to assemble or does it require hours of your time or a professional to put it together? These are the questions you should ask yourself to make sure the chair will both fit in with your other office furniture and be durable and long lasting.
- Height Adjustability: If you are wondering what height your desk chair should be, we recommend an adjustable height version because the best height is the one that conforms to you.When sitting with your back upright in the chair, you should be able to adjust your chair so that your feet are firmly planted on the ground with knees bent at a 90-degree angle to be in the optimal ergonomic position and reduce pain from long bouts of sitting. From there, you should adjust your standing desk to be wrist-level when your elbows are by your side and bent at a 90 degree angle for the correct position of your upper body to reduce strain on your hands and wrists.
- Weight Capacity: Be sure to check the weight capacity of the chair or ergo stool. We’re not fans of flimsy chairs that fall apart when you sit down and we can bet you aren’t either!
- Ergonomics: Does the chair provide proper support? An adjustable chair should have built-in lumbar support for your back, armrests, and an adjustable seat that moves forward and backward. If you are opting for a stool, the best choice will have a seat designed to eliminate pressure on your lower body. Your chair or stool should encourage good posture so that sitting for long hours during the work day doesn’t end with all-over pain.
- Seat Comfort: Consider the material of the seat of the chair and try it out if you can. Whether you prefer an ergonomic desk chair, drafting chair, or wobble stools, a molded seat made of foam is an ideal choice as this will minimize pressure on any one spot, providing relief for your spine and hips.
- Mobility: Can the chair or stool move around? Ideally, choose a chair that is lightweight and has wheels so that you can easily roll to reach something on your desk without having to strain your shoulders and arms. It should also have an easy swivel function so that the chair accommodates your every motion.
- Pricing: Finally, compare pricing to find a good option that is also affordable. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a great chair for your standing desk!
What is the Best Chair for a Standing Desk?
If you are in need of a sleek, modern standing desk chair with a super comfortable, ergonomic design, there’s no better option than the Ergonomic Office Chair by Yaasa. This high quality chair fits perfectly into the Yaasa Adjustable Desk, but is versatile enough in style to be used with almost any other desk as well. The chair fulfills all the points outlined above, from being fully adjustable to having polyurethane rollers for total mobility as you move around the office.
As for support, this ergonomic chair delivers all the best features without being too complicated. It has six adjustable features: adjustable armrests, adjustable backrest angle, backrest resistance control, adjustable seat height and depth, and an adjustable lumbar support. With these adjustable features, this chair will fit every body type and provide an ergonomic position for when you are sitting during the work day.
The 3D molded foam seat is incredibly comfortable. Plus, the chair is designed to promote movement and features anti-shock locking to keep you safe. It arrives straight to your door free of charge and is very easy to assemble, so you don’t need to struggle for hours or hire a professional to set it up. This chair is a smart addition to any workspace — home or office!
The 3D molded foam seat is incredibly comfortable. Plus, the chair features synchronous mechanics to promote movement and anti-shock locking to keep you safe. It arrives straight to your door free of charge and is very easy to assemble, so you don’t need to struggle for hours or hire a professional to set it up. This chair is a smart addition to any workspace – home or office!
The Bottom Line
Upgrading your desk chair to a standing ergonomic version is a small step that can have a dramatic impact on your health and mental wellbeing. When deciding on what chair to pick, think about how you prefer to work and what your concerns are when it comes to height requirements. We’d recommend an ergonomic desk chair that can do it all before considering a stool for full-time standing. The best part? Adjustable chairs can easily be cleaned and shared between family members and office employees so each person gets a customizable fit!
Medically Reviewed by Dr.Sarah Juul, DPT, OCS, FAAOM on June 7th, 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should You Alternate Between Sitting and Standing?
It’s a question we’re asked a lot: what’s the ideal ratio to sit vs. stand? While it will depend on your body and fitness levels, you should try to stand at least the same amount of time that you sit. It will likely take days to reach this ratio as you get used to a new way of working where you are on your feet more and working different muscle groups. If you experience any new pain while standing, then you are standing too much and should alternate to sitting more often. However, most people will find numerous benefits as they increase their amount of time spent standing. Luckily, the more you stand, the more you will get used to it as you start to lead a more active lifestyle.
How many calories does a standing desk burn?
When using a standing desk, an individual burns about 88 calories an hour compared to the 80 calories burned while sitting. While these additional 8 calories may not seem like much, adjustable desks offer many additional health benefits.
Learn more about burning calories with an adjustable desk here.