I don’t know about you but all I have heard about lately are standing desks. “Oh my office has had those for at least a year,” or “I want one so badly! I’ve only been working at a desk for a few years but already have restless leg syndrome!” It’s definitely an office trend, but it’s also scientifically proven to be better for your health (when used alongside normal desk-sitting*). Just a shameless plug, our office in New Jersey has standing desks. We are all eager to see them in action!
Not all of us have the money to shell out for a desk that moves up and down with the touch of a button, they range anywhere from $500-3000. Alternatively, I can buy a pretty sweet normal desk setup from Target or IKEA for $150. It’s not hard to do the math. I would love to try a standing desk, but the initial investment for an office of even 20 people would be, at minimum, $10,000. That’s a pretty penny! The office aesthetic might be thrown off as well having a tall desk here, short desk there, tall desk there, all sporadic-like. So what are some alternatives?
How about new desk chairs? Until you actually are searching for a new office chair, you really have no idea of the thousands of types out there. It’s like going cars shopping really; you have a plethora of options which you can test drive and then you empty your bank account in one transaction. Yes, they can be very expensive. You all know what normal desk chairs look like–the ones that are bad for our health. Let’s take a look at some that are unique and their designers are on a mission to improve our health while sitting.
Limbic® smashes our expectations of what a chair should look like. Instead of one seat cushion there are two fully movable seating shells which are carefully formed with the latest research into ergonomics and neuroscience. These ‘shells’ look like artist, carbon-fiber accessories for a sports car. Seems weird, looks weird, but apparently is awesome. It’s the first chair to combine the latest ergonomics with neuroscience (Limbic, as in, the limbic system in our bodies).
A equestrian saddle and a stool had a baby and it was called the saddle chair. This uniquely shaped stool boasts comfort beyond the norm and promotes proper posture. Sitting in this position lowers the thighs, opens up the hips, and allows for increased circulation. This posture also reduces pressure points on the tail bone which will enable more long-term comfort.
This is the ultimate luxury with a luxury price tag. One particular brand MWE Lab hand builds these to your specifications. Features include air filtration system, light therapy, powered leather seat, 3 monitors and a built-in Bose sound system. It’s more of a workstation than just a chair, but it definitely elevates the working experience. Another similar chair is the Zero Gravity chair.
This chair prevents unhealthy postures that we are so accustomed to falling into with our current desk chairs. Probably intended for home office use since it would need a large space to operate in. It isn’t as involved or intricate as the scorpion chairs but definitely gets the job done. A similar chair is the uChair.
This odd shaped stool swivels, tilts, goes up, goes down and has the option for a backrest. This is “the first ergonomic chair in the world to move in all three directions.” Some benefits of using the Swopper are strengthening of the your back, breathing deeper, improved concentration, improved circulation, having fun sitting.
This chairs boasts that it achieves the same posture in sitting as when standing. It looks a bit like an alien corpse, but I’m sure feels like a dream when sitting in it. The chair articulates on a steel ball which allows smooth, controlled movements of each ‘butt pad’. It seems similar to our first highlighted chair above, but definitely looks more other worldly.
This is a collapsible pogo-stick-like, portable chair. Labeled as a task chair, the MOGO is the perfect companion for standing desks or tall conference tables. The rubberized base of the single support leg is grippy for wood, tile, carpet, etc. This is also a great seating option for outdoor events. It’s portability make this a good option for those who are constantly on the go.
These chairs may have their benefits, but I am not sure if I am ready to make the leap from the traditional style of an office chair (or the price point). Herman Miller offers many amazing and traditional office chairs, they just have hefty price tags. All in all, I just wanted you to think about how you are sitting, your developing posture, and if there are any ways for you to mitigate those compounding negative effects on your body. You Only Live Once (YOLO) so you should make the changes to keep your health in order.
*The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Forbes, The Boston Globe, American Cancer Society