Few things are going to handicap your productivity at work as much as the wrong chair and desk set up.
But what is the best way to create a more comfortable ergonomic workspace?
Should you prioritize a standing desk or an ergonomic chair?
Let's find out!
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of folks at the office are punching the clock for hours and hours on and in front of desks and planted in chairs that aren’t just wrecking their energy levels and crippling their productivity – they are also putting extra stress (and even extra pounds of fat) on their body, too.
Luckily, some really innovative engineering solutions have come out in the last few years to improve office furniture significantly.
No two innovations have had more of an impact than the standing desk and ergonomically designed chairs, though.
Two absolutely fantastic options that can dramatically change the way you feel at work (almost instantly, really), choosing between the two is never all that simple or straightforward.
But that’s why we put together this detailed guide!
What is a Standing Desk?
Standing desks are exactly what they sound like – desks that have a higher work height that individuals will actually stand at instead of sit down in front of.
Once thought to be a bit of a gimmick, a huge study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology in 2017 conclusively proved that standing at a desk for six hours a day rather than sitting down would not only help prevent excessive weight gain, but that it actually helped to burn fat at work, too!
You’ve also likely seen all of the studies that show how sitting down at work for hours and hours on end, at least five days a week, may end up being more disastrous to our health than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
Living sedentary lives and parking ourselves in office chairs all day long can lead to serious back pain, heart disease problems, and even insulin resistance.
Standing desks eliminate (almost) all of those problems at once!
What is an Ergonomic Chair?
At the same time, not everyone is going to feel totally comfortable standing up at work for hours and hours on end at a standup desk.
Just ask a waitress, chef, or construction worker how it feels to spend all day long on their feet!
Ergonomic chairs are designed to cradle the human body in ways that traditional office chairs simply don’t.
They almost force the body to shift into a more supported position and posture, relieve pressure points and improve comfort, all while helping to protect and shield your body from the negative health impacts that sitting all day long has on the body.
These are also game changing pieces of office furniture technology that deserve a closer look.
What Are the Pros of Standing Desks?
As we highlighted above, there are a bunch of big benefits you’ll enjoy if you make the switch to standing desks – benefits that include (but definitely are not limited to):
- A major reduction when it comes to the risks of weight gain and obesity – Study after study (one recently published by the Mail Clinic) shows that sitting down for hours on end each day contributes significantly to weight gain, obesity, and all of the negative health impacts those conditions bring to the table. Standing desks eliminate sitting entirely.
- Dramatically lower risk of heart disease – Researchers in Australia recently discovered that standing desks can help to improve the “good” cholesterol in your body while decreasing the “bad” cholesterol at the same time. Standing instead of sitting for even just two hours a day can drop your blood sugar levels by 2% and your triglyceride levels by 11%!
- Next to no back pain – Stanford University researchers have shown just how bad sitting for 6 to 8 hours a day can be on your back, twisting and contorting your spine in ways that our ancient ancestors never had to worry about. Standing (even just for three hours a day) at your desk can eliminate almost all of your back pain.
Combine all of those benefits with the fact that you can (usually) also adjust standing desks down to sit at them when you need a break from standing and you’ve got something special here!
What Are the Pros of Ergonomic Chairs?
Ergonomic chairs also come with a big list of benefits, not just from a productivity angle but on the health improvement side of things as well. We are talking about benefits like:
- Dramatically improved posture – Traditional office chairs are one of the biggest reasons folks today have such horrific posture, leading to awful back pain (and a bunch of other health problems). Ergonomic chairs almost compel your body into the right positioning, boosting your posture and improving your health at the same.
- Unbelievably more comfortable – Ergonomic chairs also offer significant improvements in the comfort department, giving you (almost) infinitely adjustable components to really customize your sitting experience to your body specifically. This guarantees that you are perfectly cradled in these chairs rather than forced into positions you wouldn’t find natural or comfortable otherwise.
- Eliminates back pain and hip pressure – The biggest benefits you’re going to see with ergonomically designed chairs come in the way that they eliminate back pain and hip pressure from your body almost entirely. These chairs are designed with backrests that support the natural curvature of your spine, usually have extra high support to protect your entire back, and include seats that eliminate pressure placed on your hips and lower lumbar area, too.
These chairs negate the negative impact that sitting all day long at the office has on your health and wellness but also boosting improve your energy levels and your productivity at the same!
Read More >> Why Do You Need an Ergonomic Chair?
What Are the Biggest Differences Between Standing Desks and Ergonomic Chairs?
Apples and Oranges – The biggest difference between a standing desk and an ergonomic chair is that they are two completely different animals altogether!
A standing desk is, after all, a desk and ergonomic chairs are chairs – two huge pieces of the puzzle when it comes to office furniture, but separate pieces all the same.
Truth be told, it may not be a bad idea to combine sitting chairs and standing desks with one another if you’re looking for the best results possible.
Standing Desks are Better for Your Back – Though both of these pieces of office furniture are going to do a good job at improving your back health compared to traditional desks and office chairs, the standing desk is going to do a bit of a better job.
Throughout our human history the spine was never subjected to the positions that we place it in when we sit at our desk for hours and hours on end, every single day of the work week.
By standing you’re able to better stretch your spine, improve your posture, and eliminate a lot of the back pain that you have likely been struggling with.
Ergonomic Chairs Are (Usually) Less Expensive – At the end of the day, even the most expensive ergonomic chairs are usually going to cost less than your average standing desk.
This makes them a lot more attractive when purchasing furniture for an entire office, and ergonomic chairs are still going to make a huge impact on the health, wellness, and productivity of employees.
At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with either a standing desk or an ergonomically designed office chair.
Both of these pieces of furniture are going to have a huge impact on the way you feel at the office, which inevitably improves your output, your energy, and your attitude.
Both of these are also leaps and bounds better for your body and your long-term health than traditional office desks and chairs!
Trying to pick between the two is a bit of a challenge, if only because they both work so well and yet take different approaches to producing the results you’re looking for.
When you get right down to it, it may not be a bad decision to go with both of them!