Sitting in an office chair all day, every day has been shown to be a leading factor in obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes, so to improve your health, you can invest in a standing desk. However, switching from sitting all day to standing all day can also cause health problems like aching feet, hyperextended knees, sore back muscles, and varicose veins. The solution to this health issue is a standing desk chair.
Standing desk chairs are set to a height that gives you the freedom to lean or sit when you need to take some weight off of your feet and legs. The best standing desk chair for your home, office, or professional workplace won’t impede your ability to work at your standing desk, and it will reduce the pressure on your joints and fatigue in your muscles. Take a look at the top products below, then read on to learn about the important factors to consider before choosing a new standing desk chair.
- BEST OVERALL: Seville Classics Airlift 360 Sit-Stand Adjustable
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Gaiam Classic Balance Ball Chair – Exercise Stability
- BEST KNEELING: DRAGONN by VIVO Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
- BEST HIGH-END: Varier Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair
- BEST STABILITY BALL: Vivora Luno – Sitting Ball Chair for Office, Dorm
Types of Standing Desk Chairs
There are various kinds of standing desk chairs, including leaning stools, drafting chairs, active sitting chairs, and kneeling chairs. The various types are differentiated by their design and the type of posture that is facilitated while using them.
A leaning stool is a type of standing desk chair that is designed to support a portion of a person’s weight as they lean back against it. This would be similar to leaning against a fire hydrant or a post that wasn’t quite as tall as your waist. Some leaning stools also incorporate a rocking or wobbling motion that is designed to help encourage the user to move around freely while they lean against the stool for support before resuming standing once their legs have recovered.
While these stools can be used to sit on, the height and angle of the stool soon make the seat uncomfortable, ensuring that the leaning stool can’t be used as an excuse to fall back into a more sedentary posture.
For a more conventional style of a standing desk chair, a drafting chair is a good option. It looks like a regular office chair except for the increased height and a footrest that typically encircles the stem of the chair. Typically used by draftsmen and women who work at large, raised-height desks, these chairs are also sometimes used at tall reception desks. These chairs give the lower body actual breaks between long periods of working at a standing desk.
The main benefit of using a drafting chair over a leaning stool, kneeling chair, or active sitting chair is that drafting chairs have a more comfortable cushion on the seat, and they are generally made with a backrest and armrests. However, the comfort offered by a drafting chair may tempt some people away from the health benefits of the standing desk in front of them. Keep in mind that the best path toward better health is a balance between standing and sitting.
Active Sitting Chair
The purpose of a standing desk is to help improve overall health, but a drafting chair, kneeling chair, and leaning stool each remove some of the need for regular movement. An active sitting chair encourages continuous activity throughout the workday with a flexible seat that allows the user to rock, wobble, tilt, rotate, bend, shift, and otherwise remain in constant motion without excessive strain.
Chairs and stools with flexible seats and large stability balls are common examples of these active sitting chairs. Stability balls may not be able to reach the height of a regular standing desk, but they are an excellent option for sit/stand workstations that use adjustable-height standing desks to give the user a range of available postural positions.
Kneeling chairs should only be considered if a standing desk is adjustable. This is because there are very few people who can kneel in one of these chairs while maintaining the same height as when they were standing. This type of standing desk chair focuses more on employing the parts of the body that should be used for proper posture instead of placing the person in a seated position that may strain the back, neck, and hips.
The kneeling position is comfortable, and it helps to stretch out after a long period of working at a standing desk. However, for most people, it isn’t comfortable enough to discourage them from standing at their desk while they work.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Standing Desk Chair
Selecting a new standing desk chair is an important process that should be approached with enough knowledge to make an informed choice. Take a look below to learn about some of the most important shopping considerations to help you find the best standing desk chair for your office, whether on-site at your workplace or at home.
Standing desk chairs are available in a range of shapes and sizes, but stability is an important feature regardless of the design. In order for anyone to properly use and enjoy a standing desk chair, they need to be confident that the chair isn’t going to collapse or move quickly to one side or another. A quick movement of the support as a person leans or sits down can cause them to slip off the chair or stool and may result in injuries.
In order to prevent this type of accident, a standing desk chair should have solid construction that can support applied pressure from directly above and from an angle. Active sitting chairs are made to swivel and move, but even these products have a central point of support that can be used by a person to properly balance their body weight while they sit or lean.
The ability of a standing desk chair to adjust in height is necessary to ensure that the chair is set to the correct height for the person using it. Postural corrections can’t be made just by purchasing a new chair with a great design. The chair needs to be set to the correct height to allow the individual to lean or sit with the correct posture while working at the standing desk.
The standing desk chairs that are not height adjustable, like stability balls, kneeling chairs, and some active sitting chairs, should be paired with standing desks that are height adjustable to increase the versatility of the workstation. Be sure to identify the height range of a chair because some standing desk chairs may not have a suitable height setting for very tall people.
With any chair, comfort should be an important consideration given that its primary purpose is supporting a portion of body weight for long periods of time. With the exception of stability balls, standing desk chairs typically have a cushioned seat, regardless of whether they are leaning stools, drafting chairs, active sitting chairs, or kneeling chairs.
The comfort of the seat can be enhanced if the standing desk chair has a backrest or armrests that can support the arms, shoulders, and parts of the chest and neck musculature when a person sits down. Kneeling chairs have an angled seat, but they also have a second seat or cushion for the knees that should be taken into consideration when assessing seat comfort, given that this secondary seat is intended to hold no more than 15 percent of a person’s body weight.
Deciding on how the standing desk chair is going to look may seem like an unimportant consideration when compared to the stability or comfort of the product, but the design encompasses the color, material, and shape of a chair and may be an important factor in your decision. The color of a standing desk chair can range from white to black depending on the product, though the most common color options are black, gray, blue, and red.
A standing desk chair can be made with metal, nylon mesh, leather, fabrics like cotton or polyester, or even rubber in the case of stability balls. Choose a material that is comfortable and durable to enjoy the chairs for years. Standing desk chairs also have a variety of seat shapes, including round, squared, and contoured.
With any purchase, the quality of the item should be high enough that it won’t have to be replaced anytime soon. This varies depending on the object, but a standing desk chair should last for two to three years with regular use if the chair is properly cared for and maintained. A low-quality chair will quickly lose its functionality, becoming loose, unsteady, and unreliable.
To help choose a high-quality product, consumers should read the product descriptions and information provided by the manufacturer as well as consult reliable reviews to understand the strengths and shortcomings of each product. The quality of the materials used to make the chair is another factor to look into to ensure that the chair lives up to the claims made by advertisers, reviewers, and even the manufacturers.
Our Top Picks
The important shopping considerations mentioned above were the main criteria for assembling this list of the best standing desk chairs with a further emphasis on product efficacy and overall value.
A half-dome cushion tops this standing desk chair, providing a comfortable place to sit or lean when standing becomes tiring. The chair is designed to wobble at the base, moving the seat up to 10 degrees off-center. This range of motion allows anyone using the chair to shift and adjust as necessary in order to reduce muscle strain, promote good posture, and help transition toward a healthier lifestyle.
The height of the seat can be adjusted from 20 inches to 28 inches using the 360-degree lever that operates a pneumatic lift system in the stem of the chair. While the seat will tilt and wobble according to the movement of the user, the broad, nonslip base remains in a stable position to support the chair and the user so that they don’t find themselves on the floor if they move a bit too quickly. The chair assembles without the use of tools, making it easier for someone to set up on their own.
This active seating standing desk chair has the flex and active seating potential of a stability ball, mounted in a hard plastic base that uses four wheels to mimic the movement of a regular office chair. The stability ball replaces a traditional, more expensive seat, letting users bounce, stretch, flex, lean, tilt, and roll. This freedom isn’t just to promote physical activity; it also helps to keep the mind alert, making it easier to get through the workday and drive home safely.
The active seating stability ball comes in nine color options, and it has a solid plastic backrest to help support the lower back and lumbar regions. Sitting on this stability ball is intended to strengthen the core and prompt postural corrections that relieve back pain and muscle soreness.
Kneeling chairs, like the DRAGONN by VIVO Ergonomic Kneeling Chair, provide people with an angled seat that helps align the lower back when they adjust to correct their balance. The knees are supported by a single 3-inch-thick cushion instead of two individual knee cushions. This makes it easier to move around and shift weight from one knee to the other or adjust for better balance in the chair.
This kneeling chair has a lightweight metal frame that supports up to 250 pounds. The base sits on four wheels so that it can be freely moved around an office space like a regular office chair. The metal frame also has the benefit of allowing this chair to be height adjustable, ranging from 21 inches to 31 inches.
With a maximum weight limit of 240 pounds, this sturdy kneeling desk is a premium option that has a smooth, clean aesthetic appearance that looks great in a home office as well as a professional setting. The kneeling desk has 10 color-combination options, ensuring it will fit in with almost any office decor, and it comes with a package of soft tape to avoid scratches on hard floors.
The kneeling chair has two separate knee cushions and a padded seat, with a frame that’s made of strong, flexible wood. The frame extends down to a rounded base that can be used to lean, rock, bend, and stretch. The angled seat supports the body’s weight, promoting better posture and reducing strain on the lower-back muscles.
The Vivora Luno stability ball doesn’t have a flat base to rest on; instead, it rolls and shifts with the motion of the person using it. This continuous motion activates various muscles throughout the body to maintain a comfortable balance that won’t result in aches or pains. When the ball is being used properly, it will help to activate and build the core, but if a person begins slouching, the ball rotates back with their movement and prompts them to correct their posture.
This stability ball is made with anti-burst PVC, and it’s wrapped tightly in a cover that has a handle sewn into it to make it easier to carry and manipulate the ball. This ball is best used with a height-adjustable standing desk, as it is likely tall enough for most people to comfortably work at a tall desk.
FAQs About Standing Desk Chairs
Take a look below to find the answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about standing desk chairs.
Q. How tall should a standing desk chair be?
The height of a standing desk chair depends on the person using it. Typically, you want to set up a standing desk chair so that you can comfortably lean back and have the chair take some of your weight or sit while still being able to work at your standing desk.
Q. How do you know if you’re using the standing desk chair correctly?
To properly use a standing desk chair, you need to place the chair behind you, angling it so the bottom of the chair sits about a foot behind you. Adjust the seat to a level that is comfortable for you and that allows you to lean back or sit, depending on the type of chair. Brace some or all of your weight on the chair, but keep in mind that a standing desk chair isn’t designed for hours of sitting. If you are using the standing desk chair correctly, then you should experience reduced pressure on your joints, allowing you to stand for longer periods of time.
Q. What is a good mat for a standing desk chair?
A good mat to pair with a standing desk chair would be an anti-fatigue standing desk mat that helps you comfortably work at a standing desk. When you become tired or want to eat lunch, take a break, and sit at your new standing desk chair.