Active sitting is increasingly becoming the default choice as individuals seek to improve their health and wellbeing whilst seated at work. So how do balance chairs work, and when do you know if it’s the right choice? We explore
Balance stools are a form of ‘active’ seating, something that keeps your body moving whilst seated, encouraging natural shifts in posture that normally occur when standing or moving. They are even less passive than traditional active seats, in that they require the user to balance on them at all times, otherwise, you would simply fall off.
They come in a range of shapes and sizes, but generally, they have a comfortable seat, a height-adjustable body, and a rounded base to allow rolling from side to side.
One of the main reasons that people choose to get a balance stool is down to their health benefits. By requiring the user to actively balance, you are constantly engaged in light activity, strengthening your core muscles, which also protects and strengthens your lower back too. To be able to balance the stool the user has to sit up straight, which also helps to promote a healthier posture.
It’s not just health benefits that come with balance stools though. Keeping your body active is proven to also keep your brain active. Studies have also shown that the rocking motion can help to calm the brain and facilitate concentration. By using a balance stool, you can increase your focus and productivity when working on tasks, and if used when collaborating, help to facilitate more input from everyone around a table.
Added to both of these benefits, they can be a lot of fun! When used in the right places, they add character and personality to a room and spice up your day.
Balance stools are a great middle-ground for those who are to make their time whilst at work more healthy but aren’t sure about going straight to standing up when using a standing desk. Many balance stools are height-adjustable, meaning that you can pair them with a standing desk, and vary from a more traditional seat height to a higher one where you can perch on the stool.
They are also great for people who have struggled to be disciplined with an at-work exercise regime. Many people have tried and failed to stick to an hourly stretch regime, simply because they forget, or feel reluctant to pull themselves away from work tasks. With a balance stool, you can strengthen your muscles whilst maintaining concentration on your work tasks.
Some people complain that they find using balance stools uncomfortable, which is usually a sign that they are working, but the person needs to build up their usage. Much like using a standing desk, going straight to a full day’s work in that position can be tiring, and should be supplemented with a more traditional seat. Some people, however, find it easier and more beneficial to go straight into all-day usage of balance seats – it’s all down to the person.
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