Adjustable Standing Desks and Seating
by Kenny Rhoads
When you invest in an adjustable standing desk, you’re getting a more ergonomic workstation. However, the ability to set your desk to the perfect ergonomic height and work standing and sitting is just one piece of the puzzle of a healthier workstation that protects your back, neck, and spine and keeps you comfortable and effective. Proper seating and seating alternatives are also essential, and when paired with adjustable standing desks, represent the majority of what you need in your workstation.
The most common option is a nice, ergonomic office chair. There are several different types of office chairs that offer all the customization necessary to set the right height for proper leg and arm positioning and support the back. They are, however, more expensive on average and don’t tend to be very attractive. When shopping for these chairs, prioritize newer designs that explicitly mention how they provide sufficient lumbar support and help you support your legs and elbows. Better yet, try the chair and get a feel for how it will work with your desk and keyboard tray.
Aside: Non-ergonomic Chairs
Some people can’t stand most ergonomic office chairs and prefer stylish or pretty seating, especially if their home office is not in a separate room where the chair is out of sight. This is clearly an inferior option as far as health and comfort are concerned, and doesn’t make sense if you’re already investing in an adjustable computer desk. But if you have to have a fashionable chair, there are ways to minimize ergonomic downside. You probably won’t find a chair with worthwhile armrests, but everything else – the height of the seat, the angle and support of the back, and the size of the seat component itself – is doable.
Just be sure you try your options and compare them to ergonomic ideals. You can also use a pillow or two to make minor corrections to lower back support and leg position, and then remove the pillows when not in use to maintain your desired aesthetic.
Back health experts often suggest using a stability ball as a chair because it develops core strength and encourages good posture. This is especially effective with an adjustable height desk because once you have a ball that complements the height of your body, it’s easy to set the desk to a comfortable height so you can type or work. You do have to be more conscious of your posture and maintaining an erect spine because there’s nothing to prevent you from bending forward. But the results are great for many people who use them as office chairs. Provided you don’t mind a few weird looks, this is a great option.
Purchasing an adjustable height computer desk is only one part of the ergonomic health equation. A complementary chair is also important, and perhaps more so as far as protecting your body while you sit. Just remember that the chair needs to be easy to move so you can get it out of the way when you want to work standing.