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7 Alternatives to Sitting in a Desk Chair

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7 Alternatives to Sitting in a Desk Chair

By Steve Graham, Hometalk

A recent University of South Carolina study found that sitting at work all day is connected with heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes and other serious disorders. Sitting in a typical office chair can also cause long-term problems for the back and other joints.  However, there are plenty of good alternatives available, including standing, more back-friendly sitting and working out while working.

Standing workstations

Standing workstations are gaining in popularity. Standing all day may take some practice, but it is healthier than sitting, and burns more calories.  A variety of antique standing desks are available, as they were quite popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many contemporary desks have keyboard stands and other accessories, and can be adjusted to a variety of heights. DIY buffs can get creative by converting tall bar tables or other items into standing workstations. A final option is to make or buy desktop platforms that convert regular workstations into standing workstations.

Kneeling chairs

If standing all day seems too difficult, you can at least relieve pressure on your back with a kneeling chair. Kneeling chairs tilt the thighs forward while forcing users to use their shins to support some of their weight. Kneeling chairs typically do not have backrests. The design is meant to improve spinal alignment and reduce lower-back strain, though some studies have shown little benefit. The first kneeling chair was the Balans chair, developed in 1979. Since then, a variety of models have been created.

Saddle chairs

Another ergonomic variation on the office chair is the saddle chair, which has no backrest and is shaped like a horse’s saddle. Users straddle the chair and sit higher than in most desk chairs, requiring an adjustable desk set to a height in between a standing workstation and a standard desk. Again, these chairs are designed to reduce lower back pressure. They also force users into better posture, as slouching forward is difficult on a saddle. Split saddle chairs also are available. They are meant to reduce pressure and heat around the genitals, so may be healthier.

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+ add your own
2:24AM PST on Nov 14, 2014


4:14AM PST on Nov 4, 2014

Keep moving

3:52AM PST on Nov 4, 2014

I think the main point is that one shouldn't stay in any one position for any length of time. The body needs exercise and circulation.

10:10AM PST on Nov 3, 2014


9:43AM PST on Nov 3, 2014

Great ideas.

7:13AM PST on Nov 2, 2014


4:53AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

If you're looking for a great ergonomic chair, Aeron chairs are probably one of the best! I've had a few back problems from sitting in my office chairs with terrible posture over the years. It took a lot of exercise and posture correction to get my back feeling better, but I think it definitely helped that I switched to Aeron chairs!

10:45AM PDT on Sep 15, 2012


10:03AM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

Nice article, thanks.

6:14PM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

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Informative. Thank you for sharing.

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