As remote work grows more common and people spend more time in front of a desk, experts continue to state that sitting for long periods of time is not recommended. Sitting for too long can contribute to things like obesity and posture defects among other health scares. As awareness grows around the risks, it’s important to know that there are plenty of excellent office chair alternatives that can promote better posture and health. Here is a list of the best office chair alternatives.
1. Exercise Ball
Exercise balls, or fitness balls as they are commonly known, as an office chair alternative shouldn’t come as any surprise. Requiring you to properly engage your core to balance yourself, both your back and hips benefit from the overall better posture. Your core may feel a little sore for a week or two as your body adjusts to the new sitting format, but that won’t last.
To get the most out of the exercise ball, make a slow(er) transition, sit on the ball for a few hours a day until your body is properly acclimated. You’ll need to do a tiny bit of research to find the right size based on your height, but the exercise ball can be a great office chair alternative.
2. Balance Ball Chair
With all of the benefits of an exercise ball built in, the balance ball chair adds a small backrest to help prevent fatigue. In addition, it’s likely to be smaller than a standalone exercise ball, making it easier to fit into smaller home offices. Like the dedicated ball alternative, the balance ball chair creates a connection between the mind and body, which can lead to increased energy levels. That alone can lead to more productivity as both your body and mind feel rested.
On top of all the health benefits, balance ball chairs also add wheels to make it easy to move around without impacting a comfortable position. Best of all, the ball is removable, so you can use it for a quick workout, then quickly add it back to the chair when working.
3. Kneeling Chair
While the thought of kneeling at your desk for hours at a time may initially make you cringe, the reality is that it’s a healthy alternative to standard office chairs. Design oddities aside, the kneeling chair has some great benefits, like removing the weight from hips and joints as well as your back and shoulders. Similar to the exercise ball, the emphasis is strong on using your core to balance, which can help establish better posture. Find one that has generous padding on both the seat and knee pad area to ensure maximum comfort.
Most options come with casters or rock back and forth, so there is not constant pressure on a floor. Kneeling chairs are not for everyone, but for those that can make it work, it’s an amazing alternative, and your back will thank you for it.
4. Balance Stool
Take a stool, add half a small balance ball to the bottom, and you have a balance stool. The balance stool is both smaller than a traditional stool and more comfortable. There is no question these work best on any type of flooring other than carpet, and they are an incredible office chair alternative. Similar to balance balls, the balance stool enables you to move around a little to find a comfortable seated position. That’s on top of the health benefit of finding better neck alignment and posture while using one of these seating options.
The curve of the base will ensure that your core remains engaged, which can improve balance and increase productivity. Most models can raise to fit different heights, while the seat adds enough cushion for a few hours of sitting at a time.
5. Zenergy Ball Chair
The modern style of the Zenergy ball chair may make you think it’s more about looks than comfort, but that isn’t the case. Like the balance ball chair, the Zenergy is designed to ensure that you can improve your body’s posture by sitting up tall. The “active seating experience” ensures that your core is actively engaged. In other words, it’s all the benefits of the balance ball without rolling around. Height adjustable to fit various people of all sizes, you can also remove the legs to sit lower forcing yourself to sit up taller.
Available in both fabric and vinyl, the Zenergy is as easy to clean as it is to sit on and get comfortable. A manual air pump is included, and you can add or remove weight to find the best fit for you.
6. Standing Desk
One of the best office chair alternatives isn’t a chair at all as standing desks continue to grow in popularity. While the jury is still out on whether or not they burn more calories than sitting, there are still plenty of health benefits. As standing desks help you increase natural movement, they also encourage you to have better posture.
With options like adjustable desks that can go from sitting to standing in seconds, you can get the best of both worlds. You can also go for a treadmill desk that not only allows you to stand but also exercise throughout the day. Between lower blood sugar levels, reduced risk of heart disease and less back pain, standing desks are hard to argue against. You’ll also feel more productive.
While it’s unlikely that there will be a mass exodus away from office chairs in the near future, there are plenty of worthwhile alternatives. Everything from the standing desk to the balance ball adds both health benefits as well as increased energy and productivity levels. That these options are as cost-effective as standard office chairs only increase the appeal of trying something new. What is your preferred seating choice for your office?
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