When asked to compare an ergonomic office chair vs a standing desk, it’s important to understand the benefits of each option. So, let’s first consider why an ergonomic chair or standing desk are great options for your office.
Comfort is essential in an office environment, feeling comfortable and calm helps staff to produce their best work by improving their overall wellbeing and reducing stress. Selecting the right office furniture can make all the difference to the amount and quality of work produced.
An upgrade on traditional office furniture, an ergonomic chair is designed to reduce stress on the spine, neck and hips by incorporating a headrest and backrest to support the neck, shoulders and spine. When working at a computer all day, an ergonomic chair can enhance productivity by promoting proper posture and eliminating the pain and discomfort associated with poor posture.
Although they are sometimes dismissed as a fad, standing desks have actually been documented in workplaces from as early as 1626 and were even used by Leonardo Da Vinci. Standing desks became more common in the 18th and 19th century, long before the world’s first standing computer desk was invented in 1998. The benefits of a standing desk are reducing back pain, standing encourages better posture, lowering your risk of weight gain, obesity and heart disease, lowering blood sugar levels and improving your mood, energy levels and alertness and therefore increasing productivity.
So, which is better when deciding between an ergonomic chair vs standing desk? It is widely acknowledged that standing is better for your health and posture than sitting and so, if you are able, using a standing desk could be the best option. The downsides to using a standing desk are a risk of varicose veins, standing for too long can mean that veins in the legs that transport blood to your heart, down to your feet and back to your heart again have to do extra work, which results in swelling and the appearance of varicose veins on the skin’s surface. Varicose veins are common in professions such as nurses, retail staff and production workers. It is also important to point out that if you spend your day at a standing desk it is important to stretch and wear appropriate, comfortable footwear to avoid injury to your leg muscles.
If your office is not able to facilitate you using a standing desk, an ergonomic chair is certainly the best and most comfortable option as opposed to another office chair which doesn’t offer the same support for your neck, shoulders and spine. It is also worth considering whether you would want to stand all day at work. Although it’s nice to be able to stretch your legs and stand or walk around from time to time, it can be tiring to stand up for long periods.
While standing desks include an impressive list of health benefits, it’s important to remember that standing doesn’t replace exercise and that the extra amount of calories that you burn in your working day are minimal. It is also important to note that although ergonomic chairs ensure that the user’s body is kept in a safe position, sitting all day can contribute to causing health conditions such as obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Standing desks are known to be quite expensive in comparison to regular office furniture. They cost more than an ordinary desk because of the electric motors which are required to adjust the desk height to the user’s comfortability which increases the price. Ergonomic chairs vary more in price but tend to be quite affordable, although it’s advisable to purchase a good quality ergonomic chair as maintenance costs can apply. The return on your investment for an ergonomic chair should outweigh the initial cost when increasing workplace productivity by raising levels of comfort, avoiding workplace injury and improving job satisfaction.
Taking into consideration that not everybody is able to stand or would want to stand for the duration of their work day, ergonomic chairs provide an inclusive approach when considering which is better between an ergonomic chair vs standing desk, they could even be the more cost effective option and would eliminate any risk of injury by standing all day. However, if you want to alternate between sitting and standing, then a sit stand desk would be the perfect option for you.