What do a traditional office chair, computer, keyboard, and desk all have in common? These are all long-established, staple products found in almost every home office in the United States. A desk is a key component for any home office as a surface to work on as is a computer and keyboard for getting your work completed. This being said, one would assume the same should hold true in the case of having a traditional office chair to sit on while getting your work completed. While this might have been true in the past, there are now many alternative seating options available to choose from for your home office that offer many distinct benefits that regular office chairs do not offer including affordable pricing, improved posture, and a unique sitting experience.
It is important to discuss what constitutes an alternative seating solution before discussing the benefits these chairs have to offer. An alternative seating solution is a unique piece of office furniture unlike any traditional office chair that you are accustomed to seeing in both design and functionality. There is not one standard alternative seating solution; there are many different makes, models, and designs available for purchase with each offering similar benefits. Most alternative seating chairs are quite different from your typical office chair with most having a backless design and require you to focus on how you are sitting throughout the day. They can be used as your primary seating solution or be used in conjunction with your current office chair. Some of the most common alternative seating solutions include kneeling chairs, saddle stools, ball chairs, rocking stools, sit stand stools, and balance knee chairs.
Alternative seating chairs are generally much more affordable in price compared to an ergonomic office chair designed for sitting up to eight hours a day, typically on average costing between $75-$200. Higher end options that include memory foam or a specialized design might run a little more than the average price, however almost any alternative seating solution will be less than $400 in price. This is considerably less compared to a typical high quality ergonomic office chair that can cost upwards of $600. If you are wary about purchasing something other than a traditional office chair to sit in, consider trying a cheaper kneeling chair to test out. This leaves little risk and a lower return cost than if you were to splurge on a more expensive knee chair or active stool, and you can always upgrade in the future.
Perhaps the greatest benefit that will be gained by sitting on an alternative seating chair is improved posture and core strength. The primary purpose of alternative seating chairs is to force the individual to sit in an upright position and also makes it more apparent when slouching or hunching over. This is mostly attributed to their unique backless designs that deliberately teach you how to maintain proper posture while sitting for extended periods of time. A health benefit that is gained by sitting with proper posture is reduced back pain which is a prominent reason why people make the switch from their standard office chairs or why they may take a break for a few hours at a time by switching to an alternative seating chair.
Sitting in an alternative seating chair is a unique experience that will be unlike your previous experience sitting in any other office chair. You will have the freedom to move around and stretch throughout the day which is often forgotten when sitting in an office chair, and you will see improved posture over time. Your spine is also forced into proper alignment when sitting correctly leaving you with less aches and pains that are normally experienced when sitting for extended periods of time. While these chairs do take some getting used to, especially if you have been accustomed to sitting in an office chair for years, and require you to start sitting for only a few hours a day gradually making your way up to a full 8 hours as the weeks progress.
Home office users usually spend only a few hours a day sitting while at home, which will be a nice break for your back if you are required to sit in an office chair all day at work and then will be coming home to work even longer. Home office users also have the freedom to choose the exact furniture they want in their house rather than having to adhere to corporate specifications in their work environment. Alternative seating chairs also have a smaller footprint over a regular office chair allowing for space-saving which can be useful especially in smaller home offices. No matter what reason you have for considering making the switch from an office chair, there is little risk and much to gain from trying an alternative seating solution.
Office chairs are becoming a thing of the past, as more offices and home users are making the switch to exercise ball chairs. While the idea of using an exercise ball as a chair may seem unconventional, many have already took a leap of faith and have thrown out their old office chairs and replaced it with a ball chair. Whether you use your office chair 8 hours a day at work, an hour a day while studying for a test, or for browsing the internet at home, a ball chair can easily substitute an office chair in any of these circumstances. If you haven’t already seen a ball chair in your office or other offices, you may begin to see them soon as more and more people become familiarized with the benefits of using an exercise ball as a chair.
- Better Posture – Most ball chairs come without a back rest which at first may feel a little unnatural, especially if you have spent years sitting in a traditional office chair. Although it may seem like sitting in a backless chair may be more harmful than beneficial, this actually helps remind the user to sit with proper posture and slouching or slumping over becomes more apparent. Sitting on a ball chair also requires some level of balance forcing your spine into proper alignment because coincidentally, sitting with perfect spinal positioning is the easiest way to balance oneself. Sitting with proper posture not only helps decrease your level of back pain but also improves your health.
- Improves Balance – Sitting on a surface that is unstable requires balance, especially when you are accustomed to consistently sitting on an office chair that stays in one place. Most ball chairs come with a sturdy base which allows for more stability over just using a regular exercise ball, however, some degree of balance is still required. After sitting for a few weeks on a ball chair you will start to see your improved balance, even outside of the office.
- Movability – Sitting on a ball chair naturally causes you to frequently change positions in order to keep balance. Moving around frequently creates a healthy work environment that usually can’t be achieved in a standard office chair. These constant small adjustments build the endurance and strength of the postural muscles which facilitate optimal posture. With this dynamic sitting experience you are taking away the stress of sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time which tends to happen when sitting on a traditional office chair.
- Get Fit While You Sit – What most do not realize is that when you are sitting on a ball chair, you are working to stay balanced. Staying balanced and in an upright position requires your core muscles to work overtime, therefor giving you a low-key abdominal work out while you are working. Despite the low intensity abdominal work out, if you consider all the hours you spend sitting everyday at work those hours are going to eventually add up , resulting in strengthened ab muscles.
- Work Out While You Work – A great benefit of owning a ball chair, whether it has a stability base or not, is that you can easily transform your chair into a work out instrument. If your ball chair comes with a base, simply take it off its platform and it is as easy as that to perform a wide range of exercises and stretches. Your breaks and time spent waiting can be transformed into a productive work out and your equipment of choice is conveniently sitting right beneath you.
- Burn Calories While You Work – Moving around is the easiest way to burn calories, and with the continuous movement you will experience from sitting on a ball chair, it is possible to burn up to 350 calories in one day of working. This is a clear advantage over sitting in an office chair that forces you to sit in one position throughout the day. If you use your ball chair for multiple hours at a time on a regular basis, you may find yourself feeling and looking more fit.
- Inexpensive – A good ergonomic chair will cost about $200 and up depending on the desired quality and level of adjustability. Ball chairs are an inexpensive means of sitting with most averaging around $139 for a ball chair with a sturdy base or as little as $15 if you are just looking for an exercise ball.
- Make Work Fun – Use your imagination to see why a ball chair can be a fun and exciting alternative to an office chair. What kind of office chair allows you to bounce sporadically throughout the day while relieving your back aches and pains at the same time?
New users are recommended to make a gradual transition into sitting on a ball chair full-time to give your body time to adapt to this new way of sitting. Start off by sitting on the ball chair for 15 minutes your first day and increase your time by 15 minutes on each subsequent day until you make your way up to 8 hours. Some users have found that they like to use their ball chair in conjunction with their regular office chair, allowing them to switch to the ball chair at their convenience when their back wants a break. Still apprehensive about owning a ball chair? With its unique ergonomic qualities, obvious health benefits, and inexpensive cost you have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain if you make the switch.
To view Sitbetter’s ultra ergonomic Evolution Ball Chair please click here!
Our Thanksgiving “Tell us why you’d be thankful for a new chair” contest came to an end last week just in time for the holidays. With over 60 heartfelt and compelling entries to choose from, the judging panel had their work cut out for them, making it very difficult to choose just one winner. After a long deliberation and cutting down the potential winners to a top 5, our decision was finally reached. We chose to award Shirley, entry number 22, as the official winner of our contest!
22. Shirley: After 74 years of wear and tear my old vertebra needs all the help and support it can get. Have lugged around 4 children, 4 grandbabies, worked as a nurse helping patients do their things, and for the past ten years since going online, have used a variety of chairs none of which did my back much good so would love to try your ergonomic chair. My back would be eternally grateful I am sure.
Congratulations to Shirley for having the best entry out of 65 other entries! We also appreciate your creativity by including a picture of yourself. Shirley will be receiving an Ergonomic Ball Chair as her prize in the contest, hopefully giving her back the comfort it deserves. You can read the rest of the contest entries by clicking here.
Thank you to all our other contest entrants as well, all stories were very interesting to read and I wish we could have 65 winners instead of one! Look out for our next big contest coming in the beginning of January where we will be giving away yet another office chair. Wonder what kind of chair we will be giving away this time?