Sitting Differently

My last article revealed that although the catch-phrase sitting is the new smoking is a bit exaggerated, it is true that sitting a lot over many years does have fairly serious negative consequences for your health. Standing, however, can be nearly as sedentary as sitting, and is not the panacea solution everyone wanted it to be. The real solution is to keep yourself moving as much possible. In addition to that, however, there are lots of new ways to sit differently – various kinds of chairs and devices that make your sitting more active. Yes, there are the exercise or yoga balls, but there are many new and more interesting options. Check them out:

HOVR: An Innovative Footrest Device that Stimulates Unconscious Movement

The HOVR device is something that can be attached underneath your desk ($65), or used as a freestanding device ($125) when you’re sitting in a chair that’s not at your desk. You place your feet on the discs that are attached to a bar, and the bar hangs by a strap. HOVR automatically gets your lower body moving, engaging the core through gravity, kinetic energy, and harmonic motion. The Mayo Clinic pioneered a concept call NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) and certifies products that meet its standards. In obtaining NEAT certification, the Mayo Clinic’s study of HOVR documented that it helps people burn up to 20% more calories than just normal sitting. Over the course of an eight-hour workday, that’s as much as you would burn during a 45-minute leisurely walk!

ErgoErgo: Boldly Designed for More Active Sitting


This is a kind of stool with no backrest, and it compresses a bit when you sit on it. As a result, it engages your core and back muscles in lots of very small movements, which can lead to better posture, focus, strength, and so on. It is designed to work at standard height desk if you want it to, and should be a good foot for people ranging 5’ to 6’4” tall. As a chair replacement, it’s pretty affordable at $99, and it’s made from recyclable technopolymer.

Muvman: Tilted Stool with Adjustable Height


At first glance, you might wonder if the Muvman stool can really support you. Fear not because it can. The side base gives it a surprisingly solid stance. Adjusting the stool’s height is very easy to do, so if you like being higher up, no problem. The stool naturally tilts you forward by design, and allows for just enough shifting movement as most people will want to experience. Unlike the first two options, this one is much pricier – currently selling for $599.

Turnstone Buoy: Height-Adjustable Cylinder Stool


Turnstone is a brand of office furniture giant Steelcase. It was ocean buoys that inspired the design of the Buoy cylinder chair. You can really move as much or as little as you want while sitting, and the height can be adjusted easily so it’s perfect for typing on your keyboard. One advantage of the Buoy is that it comes in a much wider variety of colors and fabrics than the other active seating options already mentioned. The price point ($200-$230) seems a little high, especially when you realize there isn’t much padding in the cushion, which makes it hard to sit in this chair for very long before it starts feeling uncomfortable.

Focal Mogo: Extreme Portability in Active Seating


Similar to the Muvman, this is a leaning stool that is easily adjustable and collapses down to a mere 18 inches to make it the most portable active seating option you’ll find out there. It typically sells for $99, and while it works for many, there are some drawbacks. Lacking the wide base, some people just don’t feel as grounded as they’d like to feel. Also, the seat has very little padding, so when you lean forward your sits bones are going to feel it. And if you’re not relatively slim, you may also find it’s not very comfortable for you.

With options like these, just about everyone should be able to find something that will help them fight the ill effects of sitting in regular chairs for hours and hours each day during the workweek.

October 11, 2016   Updated :February 24, 2017   alternatives, better sitting, sitting, Wellness   

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