We’ve all heard of the health benefits of standing when we work by now, though many of us just don’t have the stamina to stand for hours on end. If you belong to that group, consider a sit-stand chair instead. This ergonomic piece of ingenuity lets you work upright and maintain good posture and blood circulation while taking the weight off your legs and feet at the same time. In a nutshell, sit-stand chairs give you most of the benefits of standing without the physical stamina and will power required to hold that posture on your own.
In this buyer’s guide I review the very best sit stand chairs in the market right now you should consider. All of them offer something unique based on function, versatility, your existing workstation setup, and budget. A lot of sit stand chairs I’ve examined look functional from the outside, though in fact are impractical from my testing, the biggest issue being the tendency to sag over time. You won’t find that issue with the sit stand chairs reviewed here.
Here are the 4 best sit-stand chairs you should get if you want to start standing to improve your posture, prevent neck or back pain, and improve energy levels.
1. 5000 Stance Move Sit-Stand Chair – Most Versatile 3-In-1 Posture Chair
Regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing, being locked in the same posture for too long inevitably leads to poor circulation and health problems over time. This is why the 5000 Stance Move Sit-Stand Chair is so revolutionary from an ergonomic standpoint. It is one of the only 3-in-1 models in the market that lets you switch between kneeling, sitting, and standing using a single lever. There’s a total of 8 positions to choose from at varying degrees to ensure the utmost support.
Padded cushions and specifically designed angled footrest grant absolute comfort to reduce back and neck tension, regardless of whether you’re sitting, kneeling, or standing. The front casters and lightweight design make the chair easy to move around. It also comes fully-assembled for your convenience.
The 5000 Stance Sit Stand Chair is the ultimate sit-stand chair that combines three chairs in one. For that you are paying a premium for the innovative design, however, at just below $700. On the other hand, when you consider that you’re basically getting a posture chair, kneeling chair and standing chair all in one, the cost becomes much more justifiable.
Note that the 5000 Stance Chair is geared towards people who are 5’9” or shorter. For taller people, you should look at the 5050 model with the extended backrest, as recommended by the manufacturer.
- One lever to adjust between 8 positions
- Padded cushions and footrest angle yield maximum comfort
- Easy manoeuvrability with front casters
- Fully assembled and ready to use instantly
- Durable design made in the USA
- People 5’10” and above required to purchase additional seat extender
- Quite pricey!
2. VARIDESK Adjustable Standing Desk Chair – Great Chair with Articulating Pedestal and Strong Base
The Varidesk Adjustable Standing Desk Chair comes with a one of a kind pedestal that allows you to rock back and forth. This promotes movement and prevents tight back muscles.
The low cut design of the low back rest and cushioned seat give your body no choice but to stay in a healthy upright position for great posture.
Height adjustments are super easy and quick with the air-lift piston. You can go from 23” at the lowest, to 32.75” at the highest. At the highest point, your legs are almost completely straight.
No matter how much you move on the pedestal, the weighted base will keep you in place. It can also be used securely on any floor, which is a problem with some cheaper sit-stand chairs.
The Varidesk Standing Desk Chair weights just 22.1 lbs and comes with a handle on the low backrest for leisurely transportation. It has a maximum capacity of 220 lbs and can be used straight out of the box.
- Excellent moving pedestal
- Low backrest supports good posture
- Air-lift pistons allow for quick and easy height adjustments
- Secure weighted base
- Lightweight and handle design make mobility effortless
- No assembly needed
- Pedestal quality may deteriorate with prolonged use
- Seat cushion is a little too hard
3. Alera AdaptivErgo Perch Stool – Sit Stand Chair with 180 degrees Swiveling Seat
The Alera Perch Stool can be thought of as a slimmed down version of the Varidesk standing chair above. Like the Varidesk, it features a versatile pivoting column. Such a design allows for a lot of forward and lateral movement in your body as you reach for items on your desk or make micro movements, all the while keeping your upper body aligned.
The sturdy base of the Alera ensures stability while leaning forwards, standing, or swiveling. That’s right, the seat can swivel up to 180 degrees! It’s proven to be a surprisingly fun element of activity that keeps the energy flowing. Furthermore, when you get up off the seat, it automatically returns to the front-facing position.
The easy-to-reach levers on each side of the Alera Perch Stool enable you to effortlessly go from sitting to standing. The chair seat can go from a height of 21″ all the way up to 30.5″, letting you alternate between the two positions at ease.
The Alera Perch Stool weighs around 18 lbs and can support a maximum weight of 250 lbs. It comes with instructions that make it easy to assemble too.
- Sturdy pivoting column allow small forward and lateral movements in the upper body.
- Height adjustable to go from sitting to standing
- Swivel seat increases activity
- Simple levers take you between positions easily
- Stable base
- Thin cushion not the most comfortable for prolonged sitting.
4. TerraMat Standing Desk Mat – Best Standing Mat to Energize your Body as you Stand
If your goal is to stand without the aid of a sit-stand chair, the TerraMat is your best companion. Developed by an engineer and personal trainer, the TerraMat comes with six topographical features that target different areas of your feet and legs while you stand and work. These range from massaging your feet on the mounds, to stretching your calves on the power wedge. By engaging different parts of your lower body as you stand, you’re more energized and less likely to be bored, allowing you to stand for significantly longer.
Keep the mat under your desk and slide it out using just one foot when you feel like standing. I was surprised how well the mat stays in place while moving around on it. The meticulous ergonomic design of the TerraMat with over 11 different standing positions all leads to subconscious movement as you stand. And more you move, the better your body will feel at the end of the day.
Standing for a long time isn’t easy, but with the TerraMat Standing Desk Mat, it’s made a lot easier.
- Over 11 standing positions
- 6 excellent topographical features to engage different parts of your feet and legs.
- Easily stored under desk and can be pulled out with one foot
- Stable while in use
- 100% refund for dissatisfaction
- Massage mounds too far apart for some
- Signs of wear and tear show up sooner than other materials
The Science Behind Standing And Its Health Benefits
Did you know that sitting for prolonged periods of time can increase your chances of heart disease by up to 147%? People who spend less time sitting are also 49% less likely to die than those who do.
One of the biggest reasons why people opt to stand and work is because of back and neck tension. Well, researchers discovered that within just one month of standing when at work, participants experienced a 54% reduction in neck and back pain.
Furthermore, sitting and being sedentary for a long part of the work day has been found to cause mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
People also fatigue quicker while sitting down for endless hours a day. One study concluded that participants who stood when working had more energy and were less stressed compared to those who were sitting all day.
In conclusion, standing is good for you, and sit-stand chairs make standing feasible for anyone that wants to commit to standing for more energy, better posture, and reduced neck and back pain.
How long should I Stand and Work for?
This really comes down to personal preference. Some people may love standing up all day and working, whereas others like the option of switching between sitting and standing. Whichever stance you pick however, make sure you still physically get up and move around periodically to help circulation and bring blood to all parts of your body.
Do I need a Standing Desk to use Sit-Stand Chairs?
You don’t necessarily need to invest in an expensive standing desk to enjoy the benefits of a sit-stand chair. An alternative and cost-free method is just to elevate your monitor and computer peripherals using a pile of books. It may look odd but it works.
Or for a fraction of the cost of a standing desk, get a desk riser or stand that not only elevates your monitor and keyboard/ mouse, but is also height adjustable for when you want to occasionally sit down to work. There are also laptop stands that prop up and tilt your laptops to the precise angle and height for sustained comfort.
Lastly, you can purchase a full fledged standing desk to go with your sit-stand chair, though the bottom line is, you don’t need it necessarily. The key is to start moving in the direction of getting off of your seat and standing, and making the necessary purchases incrementally based on your needs and set up as you go.