According to the American Heart Association, sitting for extended periods of time, even during work hours, may increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems. Many experts think that a combination of sitting and standing can achieve a healthy balance between the advantages and disadvantages of each. It is also possible that active sitting will provide some additional movement that you would not otherwise get from a normal office chair.
While sitting, active seating increases movement, supports excellent posture, and utilizes your core muscles. Some types can be used in conjunction with a standing desk, allowing you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the course of the day.
We used a combination of testing and research to identify active sitting solutions that were suitable for a variety of body shapes, work environments, and budgets.
The veryThe best overall
The Varier Move Stool is simple to construct and easily adjustable, making it suitable for use with both regular and standing desk configurations.
- Height range: up to 6’5″; maximum weight: 250 pounds
- It is possible to alter the height between 22 and 32.5 inches.
- Dimensions (length width height): 17.6 x 16.1 x 9.4 inches
- 15.5 pounds is the weight of this item.
Pros: Cushioned for enhanced comfort, enabling you to sit up straight, rounded base and 360 degrees of rotation for mobility, lightweight and height adjustable, compatible with standing desks. Cons:
Cons: The saddle-style seat is pricey, and it makes it difficult to wear a skirt or dress with it.
I tried out the Varier Move and can confidently state that it made a significant difference in my posture right away. My back felt significantly better after using the stool, even though it took some getting used to and I still had to remind myself to sit up straighter at times. Additionally, the moderately curved base provided me with a great level of mobility while remaining stable and solid enough that I never felt like I was going to tip over on it.
In addition, the Mayo Clinic has validated the Varier Move as NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), which means it will allow you to burn more calories even while you are sitting down. While this is by no means a complete substitute for getting up and moving around, it is far preferable to sitting slumped over in your standard desk chair.
While the top of the stool is reminiscent of a bike seat, it is considerably larger and more padded. It is available in two sizes. In this position, you maintain the position of your feet on the ground and your legs splayed slightly open, which expands the hips and maintains the core and leg muscles engaged. I would not recommend wearing a shorter dress or skirt when employing this technique of sitting because it is excellent for the posture.
Due to its range of height adjustments, it is compatible with both a regular and stand-up desk setup. The rounded bottom allows you to tilt and balance at any angle, and you can rotate the whole thing 360 degrees if you so choose.
The Varier Move has only one real drawback in my opinion, and that is the price. This is not something I would consider to be cost-effective. For those who suffer from back discomfort or simply wish to be more active while connected to their desk, the Varier Move Stool was the clear winner and the only choice that genuinely worked for me.]
The best for a standing desk
In the event that you prefer not to stand all day, the Locus Leaning seat from Focal will provide you with a comfortable spot to rest your feet.
- Range of heights: 4′ 11″ to 6′ 10″ Weight restriction: 300 pounds
- From 31 to 41 inches in height adjustment
- 45 x 25.5 x 41 inches (length, width, and height).
- Weight: 32 kg
Pros: Encourages excellent posture, has a high-quality design, and is compatible with a standing desk.
Cons: It is more expensive and takes up more room than many other options.
The Focal Locus, as its name implies, is a leaning kind of active seating that occupies a middle ground between sitting and standing positions. It allows you to take a break from standing for the majority of the day while still remaining more mobile than a standard office chair.
The leaning angle encourages hip opening, which in turn relieves pressure on your lower back and neck. Using the Locus, you can lean comfortably since the footboard keeps the angle of your feet and ankles at a more comfortable position, keeping you from exerting any more strain on those muscles. The sole disadvantage of the footboard is that it takes up a significant amount of floor space. There are rollers to make it simpler to move around, and it will also fold to make storage a little more convenient in some cases.
Settees are saddle-style seats, which help to straighten your spine by pushing your pelvis forward and relieve pressure on your lower back and lower back vertebrae. It’s also gently padded, which is intended to alleviate pressure areas that are commonly experienced when sitting in a standard office chair. In addition, the Locus is height-adjustable.
The Locus will take some assembly, but if you’re the sort who gets a shiver just hearing the words “assembly required,” you can hire an assembly professional to help you out.
The Locus is one of the most costly active seating solutions available on the market, but you will get exactly what you pay for in this instance. It’s a durable, well-designed, and high-quality active sitting choice that will last for years.
The very best general
- The Gaiam Balance Ball Chair is a low-cost choice that will help you to engage your core muscles while also improving your overall posture.
- a height range of 5’0″ to 5’11” with a maximum weight of 300 pounds
- Dimensions (length width height): 22 x 22 x 31 inches
- 13 pounds is the weight of this item.
- Pros: Improves posture, strengthens core muscles, is inexpensive, and the ball provides a cushioned seat.
Cons: This form of active seating will not work with a standing desk and can make it easy to slump while using it.
While you could utilize a stability ball as a stand-alone office chair, there is always the possibility of losing your equilibrium while doing so. Located on a chair frame with added back support, the Gaiam Balance Ball is comfortable to sit on. In comparison to other active seating types on the market, it is a reasonably priced piece of seating equipment.
While it is possible to slump in this type of active seating, the backrest can make it less likely to do so. Several metal bars across the front of the chair help to keep the ball in place while the four casters on the bottom allow you to move the chair around. These can also be locked in place for more stability when it is required, if necessary.
Unfortunately, this chair will not work with a standing desk, and its height adjustability is dependent on the amount of inflation in the air cushion. It is, on the other hand, intended to suit most standard-height workstations.
Also a wonderful alternative if you’re searching for something a little more padded. In addition to encouraging you to engage your core muscles and improve your posture, the ball’s substance and bounce make it an extremely comfortable seat. Although some basic assembly is required for this chair, it does come with an air pump, allowing you to inflate the workout ball and begin using your chair right away after purchase. As an added bonus, Gaiam provides you with a variety of color options so that you can add a splash of color to your room if you so wish.
Despite some of its flaws, the cost of the Gaiam Balance Ball Chair, as well as the benefits it delivers, make it a worthwhile addition to your office if you’re searching for a means to enhance your overall posture and posture correction.
The best for back pain
It is perfect if you are searching for active seating that does not require perching, leaning, or wobbling to be effective. The Varier Variable Balans Kneeling Chair is a good example of this.
Height range: up to 6’5″ in height.
- 240 pounds is the maximum weight limit.
- Dimensions (length width height): 28.8 x 21.3 x 4.1 inches
- 14 pounds is the weight of this item.
Pros: Promotes a posture that reduces back strain, and is made of sturdy materials.
Cons: Not compatible with a standing desk; for others, it may place too much strain on the knees.
The Varier Variable Balans Kneeling Chair differs from other active sitting alternatives in that it requires you to kneel rather than sit at your workstation. The kneeling position requires you to move more than you would if you were sitting in a traditional desk chair. It also alleviates pressure on the spine and hips, which is beneficial. In the event that you suffer from back pain and are seeking for a technique to vary your seating routine throughout the day, this is an excellent answer.
The Varier Variable Balans, which was first designed in 1979, is composed of a hardwood frame and huge cushions that provide comfortable support. Each of the two knee rests is set at an appropriate width to allow you to loosen up your hips and relieve pressure off of your spine. The legs are somewhat bent, which allows it to rock gently when walked on. This allows you to lean forward and back with greater freedom, expanding your reach and enhancing your mobility as a result of the increased freedom.
It is possible to use the Variable Balans with a standard desk, however it will not operate with a standing desk.
Some customers have reported that putting their weight on their knees becomes uncomfortable over the course of the day, but it is crucial to keep your core muscles engaged when using this chair to avoid discomfort. By doing so, you will avoid putting unnecessary strain on your knees and will instead rely on your other muscles to keep you upright.
Best to avoid
How to select the most appropriate active seating choice for you
It’s crucial to remember that active seating is similar to learning a new fitness routine. Because you’ll be engaging your core muscles more than you would in a traditional desk chair, it may take some getting used to in the beginning. You’ll want to progressively increase the amount of time you spend in your active seat throughout the day. Below are a few other considerations to keep in mind when searching for the ideal form of active seating for you.
- What kind of look are you looking for? If you have a regular desk, a standing desk, or a height-adjustable workstation, you’ll want something that complements your setup. You’ll also want a seat that will be the most comfortable for you, whether you’re looking to strengthen your core or improve your posture while sitting.
- Is it possible to modify the height? Non-only is this vital for allowing you to relax in the most comfortable posture, but it is also important for making your chair compatible with a sit-stand desk, if you have one.
- What level of cushioning do you require? The amount of padding you require will be determined by how frequently you intend to use active seating. If you plan on rotating between active seating and your regular office chair on a regular basis, you may not want as much material.
- What is the approximate amount of space it will take up? Active seating that is collapsible or portable may be a good option if you don’t have a lot of room or if you travel frequently and want to be able to take your seat with you.
- Is it simple to put together? The less time it takes to build your new office chair, the sooner you’ll be able to start utilizing it in your workspace.