What IS a Standing Desk Chair?
A standing desk chair is a super adjustable, multi-function chair designed specifically to make working at a standing desk comfortable and energizing, as intended.
This kind of chair is sometimes called a perching stool, standing height stool, mobile standing chair, height adjustable stool, leaning stool or active stool.
Your typical standing desk chair has two basic components
1. A sturdy post that you can adjust the height of
2. A stress-absorbing seat that you can adjust the angle of
Together the post and seat itself adjust dynamically to support the body in any number of working postures, sit to stand, and through every position in between. And subtle yet powerful design features in both of these components allow more comfortable, energized, working postures.
A Doctor-recommended Chair
A quality standing desk chair is designed by experts in orthopedic medicine, ergonomics, and physical therapy who understand how the body works, and what kind of support it needs.
Which explains the first thing people are struck by when they see one: it looks funny.
A high-quality standing desk chair looks incredibly engineered, because it is — by experts. In fact, upon first impression, they can be off-putting and make one wonder a few things...
How in the heck is THAT thing going to make my body feel better than just standing?
Is it even stable?
Where’s the back?
Why do some cost more than others?
But I thought the whole point of the standing desk was to stand…?
And these concerns are completely valid. For the main reason that your typical standing desk chair looks a whole lot less like a traditional office chair and more like something from the future.
And it is just that! A standing desk chair looks like something from the future because it IS a new breed of chair designed for a radical new purpose.
The Standing Desk Chair: a Radical New Breed of Chair?
A traditional office chair is designed for ‘comfort’
Traditional office chairs are designed to achieve a singular goal of ‘comfortable sitting’ for extended periods of time. The problem with this is that our bodies were designed to move!
If you work at a computer for a living, it’s not news to you that sitting for long periods of time locks up your hips, makes your legs stiff, gives you pain in your lower back, and makes you tired and achy, in general.
Whereas a standing desk chair is designed to help you move
A standing desk chair, on the other hand, is designed with a more nuanced goal of encouraging and supporting movement throughout the day.
Because it adjusts dynamically to support the body in a variety of working postures, it can be seen as the ultimate tool to help you make the transition toward moving more, and comfortably, when working. It is for this reason that a standing desk chair is the natural companion to a standing desk setup for those want to feel and think better at work.
So what can the right standing desk chair offer you?
A chair with a heavy, stable platform will give you the support you are looking for, as you move through postures throughout the day, sit to stand.
In video above, Physical Therapist Joanna Sevim explains how a standing desk chair adjusts to support your body (using our LeanRite as an example). And though the LeanRite looks like it might topple over when used, Dr. Sevim emphasizes that it’s built with a stable platform and feels secure.
The LeanRite is ideal because it allows you to change positions throughout the day, which is natural for human beings.-Dr. Joanna Sevim
Movement is the remedy to the pains of sedentary, deskbound work. But how can one get movement at the desk? That’s where a standing desk setup comes in, complete with a standing desk chair.
Because a versatile chair adjusts to support your body in a variety of working postures, it will give you the freedom and support to move as you desire.
The LeanRite is helpful for me especially because I am someone who needs to be in constant motion.-Katelin Rodriguez, owner of the POW! Gym Chicago
The key thing to look for is adjustability and maneuverability with your chosen chair, so moving to the ‘next’ position isn’t a hassle, but instead a natural adjustment.
What to look for in your chair.
The following features will help:
Foot pedal to easily adjust chair height
Wheel within base to easily roll chair around
Accessible levers to easily seat angle
For computer workers, the primary culprit for fatigue in the body is the lack of movement that goes along with holding sedentary, static postures for hours at a time. A standing desk chair can bring more movement to these sedentary, static postures and thus reduce fatigue by keeping the muscles active and engaged — by sustaining what are called micro-movements.
This active engagement of the muscles through micro-movements keeps the blood flowing, preventing that fatigue, stiffness, and achiness — which helps the body feel better, and the mind think better.
But how in the heck can a chair actually give me more energy?
1. Anti-fatigue mat = more energy
An anti-fatigue mat energizes your body by three means:
Distributes the weight in the body to reduce stress
Provides comfortable cushion to the feet
Actively engages the muscles in the legs as they counteract the cushion of the mat to maintain stability
We mention, because it is highly recommended to use an anti-fatigue mat if standing is in the works for you. Just check out our blog post on how Dwight Schrute demonstrates the wrong way to use a standing desk — by not using a mat, for instance.
As reference on what this setup would look like, our LeanRite Elite comes with a built-in anti-fatigue mat.
2. Springs and coils within the chair = active, energized sitting, standing, leaning, and perching
A finely engineered standing desk chair has springs and coils built into it that facilitate activity — i.e. subtle rocking, bouncing, fidgeting, and any other kind of movement that you do naturally. What kind of springs? Gas spring cylinders in the seat post and coiled springs beneath the seat of the chair.
These mechanisms, together, absorb the body's weight while providing a subtle bouncing effect. This ‘bounce’ prevents your muscles from becoming static (which causes that fatigue, achiness, and stiffness in the first place).
3. Lumbar support = energizing, supported standing
Standing for periods of the day engages your core, providing critical relief for and protection against back pain. And if you want to stand comfortably, finding a chair with lumbar support is the way.
The beautiful thing about the body is that it will tell you when you need to change positions — in the form of fatigue, stiffness, pain, and overall discomfort. And the beautiful thing about a quality standing desk chair is that it adjusts to support you through each position, sit to stand, as you change positions to find greater comfort and the support your body needs.