standing desk chair stool

The Ultimate Standing Desk Chair & Stool Buying Guide

Accessories

If you want to get a chair for your standing desk, you should stay away from the regular office chair. Why? Because you have better and healthier options. If you think that you have only 2 options, sitting and standing at your desk, you’re wrong. You can also kneel, using a kneeling chair, or lean, on a leaning chair or stool. Of the two, the latter is better.

Before we get into how to pick the chair, let’s talk about kneeling and leaning for a bit.

Kneeling isn’t new. Kneeling chairs were very popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and were recommended because they allowed for your spine to align into an ideal S-shaped position. Still, later studies have shown that the kneeling chair will also cause more spinal shrinkage than a conventional chair and add pressure on certain spinal disks.

Leaning is much better than sitting

You probably might have heard that the ideal angle for your spine is at a 135-degree angle to your legs. A study conducted by Dr. Waseem Bashir, a Musculoskeletal Radiologist, and a team of researchers showed that this is the best-seated position, as it causes the least strain on the lumbar spine. At the same time, the study showed that hunching over a desk is the worst possible stead posture, closely followed by the 90-degree posture with a straight back and legs parallel to the floor. 

standing desk chair stool
Leaning stool | Image: vari.com

Enter the Standing Desk Chair

The standing desk chair, or standing desk stool, or leaning stool, is a type of chair that is often used with a standing desk. The stool allows you to rest in a position between sitting and standing while keeping your spine at 135-degrees. This type of stool helps you reduce a lot of pressure off your feet, knees, and spine without the increased lower back stress of sitting. 

The leaning stool will also reduce the amount of time you spend sitting, thus reducing the risks associated with excessive sitting. While you don’t burn as many calories as standing, you’re still getting the majority of the benefit over sitting.

Standing desk chairs, or leaning stools, are more expensive than the regular, office desk chair, but they have the following benefits:

  • Increased conform and energy
  • Increased productivity
  • Better mood
  • Less stress on your lower back

What to look for in a Standing Desk Chair

As the interest in healthy office solutions increases, so does the number of available leaning stools on the market, with some better than others. If you want to buy a leaning stool today, this is what you should look for before purchasing.

Stability

Most leaning stools have a single tube that supports the seat. Often, it looks rather thin and doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. You want to make sure that the stool you want to buy has been tested and supports your weight. 

Seat Comfort 

Next is the seat conform. Even if you won’t be sitting, or leaning for too long (link to standing time), you want the experience to be as comfortable as possible. You want to look for stool with ergonomic sitting surfaces 

Height Adjustment

Height adjustability is probably as important as stability. The leaning stool should be adjustable to a height that allows you to use it safely and comfortably while keeping your spine at that crucial 130-degree angle. 

Quality

Leaning stools are pretty expensive so you want to make sure that you buy a quality product. 

The Drafting Chair – the best of both worlds

Leaning stools are great, but they are pretty expensive and unless you’re 100% sure you only want to stand or lean at your desk, you might want to look for other options, like a drafting chair. This is an office chair with a high minimum and maximum height that is designed for a fixed standing desk. The drafting chair is great because it allows you to simply step off your chair to begin standing. Some products even allow you to lean against them, thus keeping your spine at that recommended 130-degree angle.

How to Buy a Good Drafting Chair

Before buying a drafting chair for your standing desk you need to consider a few factors. 

Size

How big is this drafting chair? Will it fit in your available office space? Before you go out and buy one, make sure you measure your available space, especially if you have a small office.

Price 

Price is also an important factor when considering an office chair for a standing desk. This is why you need to set a budget before starting your search. This way you won’t regret your purchase in a few months. Tall office chairs are available at a variety of prices, so no matter how little or how much you want to spend there will always be some products to choose from. This leads us to our next factor: the features. 

Features

Different drafting chairs for standing desk have different features, some more important than others. Excluding the crucial ones, picking the right tall office chair will come down to a matter of personal choice.

Adjustable Height

This is one of the most important features of any high office chair. As you will be switching often throughout the day from a sitting to a standing position and vice versa, you’ll want a drafting chair that has an adjustable height. Moreover, you’ll want your ergonomic standing desk chair to allow you to make the transition as easy as possible. 

Flexible Armrests

Armrests are important because they allow you to keep your arms at a 90-degree angle when typing, but at some point they might simply come in the way of your work. In such a case you’ll want to be able to lift the armrests of your drafting chair and have more room to maneuver while working at your standing desk.

Swivel

A swiveling standing desk chair will allow you to easily move around your office without having to get up every time. While this is not a crucial feature for any ergonomic standing desk chair, a 360-degree swivel will help you save a few crucial minutes now and then. 

Footrest

This is a feature that is more important for people who have just started using a standing desk, as they won’t be able to stand for very long. A drafting chair with a good footrest will help you rest your feet so you won’t run the risk of pulling a muscle when you get up. Be sure that the footrest is wide enough to provide proper support for your feet. If you find a standing desk chair with a footrest that is height adjustable, that is even better.

Balance Chair | Image: ergobunch.com

The Balance Chair – making sitting more active

Your last sitting choice is a balance chair. While this is an option only for when you are sitting, a balance chair is a good option, as it allows you to remain active even while you’re in a sedentary position. As this niche has evolved in the last few years, you’ll also be able to find some leaning stools that act as a balance chair. 

While this certainly makes for an interesting choice, using a balance chair will be pretty distracting at first, so don’t buy one while you’re in the middle of an important project. 

Conclusion

Having a good ergonomic chair is just as important as having a good standing desk. Whether it’s a leaning stool, a drafting chair, or a balance chair, going with an active sitting option is going to help you fight off sedentarism and lead a healthier lifestyle. 

Related: 10 Essential Accessories For Standing Desks

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