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5 Healthier Alternatives To The Standard Office Chair

by Bruce Lawson

It's hard to imagine sitting down as something that could shave years off your life, but recent studies have found that sitting for 8 to 12 hours a day could have serious health consequences, including an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Sitting in a standard office chair for hours at a time can eventually contribute to back pain, bad posture, and a decline in overall health as you age. So you might want to consider trading your conventional office chair for one of these eccentric but healthier choices.

Kneeling Chair

True to their namesake, kneeling chairs force users to take a unique kneeling position as they sit. The forward slanting seat shifts the hips forward, aligning your back with your neck and shoulders for improved posture. The padded knee and shin supports help keep you in position while distributing your body weight between your knees and pelvis.

Kneeling chairs can take a little time to get used to -- it's not unusual for people to suffer back fatigue symptoms when using these chairs for the first time. But once you acclimate yourself to this unique seating position, chances are you'll find it a lot less stressful to your back and spine than sitting in a normal office chair.

Stand-Up Stool

For those who prefer to stand at their desks but hate the strain that standing in one place places on their feet, stand-up stools can help split the difference between sitting and standing. The stool seat also pivots forward at various angles, exercising your leg muscles as you work.

Most stand-up stools are adjustable in height so workers can alternate between a high standing perch and a low semi-seated position as desired.

Balance Ball Chair

Instead of using a conventional seat, balance ball chairs live up to their namesake by using a large, springy balance ball as the seat. A balance ball offers a more dynamic seating surface than a typical office chair, which means you'll find yourself moving and bouncing more often. The upside is that this promotes better blood circulation and forces you to maintain proper posture.

Another great perk of using a balance ball chair is that the ball itself can be removed and used just like an ordinary exercise ball. Getting a little exercise in using your balance ball can help break up the monotony of the office grind.

Saddle Chair

Saddle chairs also do away with the conventional office seat. In its place is a backless seat in the shape of a horse's saddle. The whole idea is to seat the user in the same seating position as a horse rider. This allows the legs to drop in a more natural manner while promoting a normal spine curvature. With regular use, saddle chairs can even help promote stronger, healthier back muscles.

As with stand-up stools and other ergonomic office chairs, saddle chairs can be adjusted to accommodate a broad range of user heights.  

Active Seating Stool

If you want an office chair that'll keep you moving all day, then an active seating stool just might be what you're looking for. These stools are specifically designed to tilt, rock, and sway as you sit on them, which forces your body to work to keep itself stable. The effort you put into keeping yourself stable also gives your core muscles a light workout, while the extra movement promotes increased blood flow.

The best thing about active seating stools is that they come in an amazing array of designs. As a result, it's not difficult to find an active seating stool that matches your office décor or speaks to your own creative sensibilities.

There are many different options for office chairs nowadays, so talk with professional office companies like D & R Office Works Inc. for more information and options.