As an office dweller in his mid-twenties, I’ve definitely had my fair share of good, and also very bad, office equipment. I didn’t really have a preference for a specific chair, or cube throne, until I was offered the opportunity to have an adjustable standing desk by my supervisor one day. I had never considered it before, as sitting always seemed to be the most comfortable way to go when it comes to long hours of work in front of a computer. Today, we’re going to settle this and get a firm answer to the no-so-straightforward comparison of standing desks and ergonomic chairs.
Let’s start this by announcing the two contenders.
The Standing Desk: A height-adjustable dwelling that allows its participant to alternate between sitting and standing. The primary purpose of this desk is to keep the user out of the sitting position for prolonged periods, encouraging movement and combating the associated health ramifications of it.
The Ergonomic Chair: A special type of desk chair that encourages natural posture, minimizing any strain on a user’s spine and offering a nice blend of adjustable features and functionality that a normal chair lacks.
Let’s explore the Pros and the cons of each option in order to give you the full picture.
Standing Desk: Pros
Boosts productivity: We can’t deny standing will keep you alert and more aware which leads to higher productivity in general.
Improves health: Multiple studies make it pretty clear that standing for long periods is much healthier than sitting for long periods.
Reduces back and joint pain: Your body is made to stand for long periods. Your joints, back, and muscles are designed for it. When you sit for long periods of time, your body is in an unnatural position for an unnaturally long amount of time.
Standing Desk: Cons
Initial discomfort: It definitely feels better initially to sit down; but after your blood stops flowing, that actually turns into discomfort. Standing is the opposite, where you will feel better for a longer period standing.
Cost: These desks can be significantly more expensive than traditional desks and ergonomic chairs. This is a very obvious con for some individuals.
Not suitable for everyone: Some medical limitations keep certain individuals from standing at all, much less for long periods.
Ergonomic Chair: Pros
Customizable comfort: Ergonomic chairs usually come with many features and high customizability in comparison to normal chairs.
Reduces strain: By supporting the natural curvature of your spine, ergonomic chairs reduce muscle strain on your back and other parts of your body such as your hamstrings.
Improved focus and productivity: In comparison to normal chairs, ergonomic chairs offer a much more comfortable seating position that increases concentration because you’re not overfocused on a bad seating position or back pain.
Ergonomic Chair: Cons
Cost: Ergonomic chairs are usually much more expensive than normal office chairs.
Not a one-size-fits-all solution: May not fit everyone. Some people with specific frame-types or body sizes may not like these types of chairs.
Sedentary behavior: Simply put, it makes you very lazy. Sitting in one position for any extended amount of time will make you lazy.
So who wins?
Well, unfortunately, it’s not really as black and white as you may think. For some, standing desks may be that perfect piece of equipment that changes the way they work completely; allowing them to work more efficiently because of the heightened alertness due to increased blood flow to the brain. For others, an ergonomic chair may be that dream spot they can’t wait to sit in everyday for hours with little to no muscle strain.
But why limit yourself to just one? The ideal combination is both. A sit-and-stand workstation gives you the best of both worlds, and by embracing this hybrid approach you enhance your work life with increased flexibility to adjust your workspace to your needs for a particular day.
Remember, regardless of what you end up choosing, it’s important to prioritize your physical and mental health. Make sure you implement regular movement and breaks in your work routine regardless of your workstation set-up. But In the end, the battle between ergonomic chairs and standing desks doesn’t really have to be a battle. You can have that winning combination that promotes a healthy lifestyle and productive work environment. That, my friends, is the ultimate victory.