Sit stand desks are slowly beginning to make their way into businesses across the world as more people become educated on the benefits of standing at work as opposed to sitting. The first and perhaps most obvious benefit that comes from standing as opposed to sitting is movement. When you are standing you are able to move about freely and not confined within the constraints of an office chair, allowing you to burn more calories and stretch easier. The second, and perhaps not as obvious but equally as important benefit that is achieved from a sit stand desk is better overall health. Those who sit for 8-10 hours a day are at twice the risk of suffering from health related issues such as back pain, repetitive stress disorder, carpal tunnel, and even more serious ailments such as heart disease and certain forms of cancer. With more businesses making the switch over to sit stand desks, there comes a need to find furniture that will compliment these desks.
Two key pieces of furniture that are recommended to accompany a sit stand desk are drafting chairs and anti-fatigue mats. Most individuals require a break from standing the majority of the day, which is why it is advisable to have a chair to sit in when a seating break is needed. However, not just any regular office chair will do.
Most office chairs are only suitable for desks that are up to 29-30″ tall with their limited range of height adjustment. Chairs that can extend taller than this can cause safety concerns which is why manufacturers try to steer clear of extended height cylinders when manufacturing their office chairs. The problem with this is that sit stand desks are designed to be high enough for individuals to work comfortably while in a standing position, greater than the average 29-30″ high desk. The perfect office chair solution for this is a drafting stool, which is essentially an extended height office chair. These taller office chairs feature a foot ring or some sort of platform for users to comfortably rest their feet on while seated. In the past, they mainly served as a solution for extended height work stations such as in labs, pharmacies, doctor’s offices, drafting tables, and other places that require individuals to work at higher counter tops. They also work well for use at sit stand work stations with their ability to be adjusted to the right height for a taller work station.
Another advisable piece of office furniture to purchase with a sit stand desk is an anti-fatigue mat. With the goal of standing more than sitting throughout the work day at your sit stand station, your employees will need a comfortable surface to stand on in order to avoid fatigue and loss of productivity. Standing in the same spot on a hard surface such as concrete or carpet will create pressure points and will reduce circulation throughout the lower part of the body. Anti-fatigue mats have fatigue fighting properties that allow for a more comfortable standing experience with their thick cushion designed to promote proper circulation. They also are beneficial in that they reduce back pain and stress, reduce slipping and falling injuries, and provide comfort. These mats can be used in conjunction with a drafting stool, however the drafting stool should not be used on top of the anti-fatigue mat. A smaller size anti-fatigue mat such as a 2′ x 3′ mat will suffice and can be easily moved out of the way with its lightweight design when a sitting break is needed.
Anti-fatigue mats and drafting stools paired together make a complete office solution for a sit stand environment. Neglect one piece of the sit stand set up and you may experience the same work aches and pains experienced from staying seated all day. If you combine all three and you will have the ideal ergonomic office set up.