New Chair Or New Desk?

Which is the better investment, a new chair or new sit/stand desk

  1. Are you trying to ensure you are more comfortable when working at your desk?
  2. Are you wondering whether it is more beneficial to invest in new chair or a sit/stand desk?

Having a properly supportive chair is essential to providing comfort whilst you sit.  If you are going to be at your desk for more than a few hours a day, your chair needs to adjust to cradle your body in the right places to reduce tension and pain build up.   If you fidget or find pain building up, then you know you need to get a better chair.

The key indicators for changing your chair are

  1.  Is your lower back supported in the right place?  If you are always experiencing pain or aching in this area after sitting, it means you need better support (consider a good back support cushion or a new chair)
  2. Are your arms supported in line with the desk? If you experience shoulder, neck or arm issues, a new chair, with adjustable armrests, is needed to take the weight off your upper back and keep your arms relaxed when typing.
  3. Do you find yourself always slowly starting to slouch and getting upper and lower back pain?  Then you need a chair that will encourage an upright, open-chested posture.
  4. Do you have a back condition?  Then it is essential to support the whole of your back in all the right places so the body can start to heal and not continuously battle against a cycle of pain and tension build up.

However,  no matter how good the chair is, you also need to take regular breaks from sitting, to get the blood and oxygen flowing through your body.  Indeed, some back conditions make it difficult to sit for long periods of time.   So how do you do this?

One solution is indeed to invest in a sit/stand desk, allowing you to change your position from sitting to standing.  There are also now desktop adaptors to transform your existing desk into a sit-stand desk set up.

However,  I often see this misused in the workplace.

Yes, it is great to be able to stand for a bit at work, but it is all about balance – as in balancing your time between sitting and standing, not the standing on one leg kind!

The key is not to wait until you are tired sitting and then stand for the rest of the day, but to mix it up throughout the day.   Public health guidelines recommend 2 -4 hours maximum, spread THROUGHOUT THE DAY, not all in one go.

So unless you are tied to your desk, you can achieve this by:

  • Standing/walking when on the phone
  • Moving to a higher worksurface for some of your work away from the computer
  • Taking regular standing breaks away from your computer

So it is wonderful to be able to have a sit/stand desk option, but this can equally be recreated elsewhere.  You can’t recreate the advantages of a properly supportive ergonomic posture chair.  In an ideal world I would recommend both, but if you had to choose, albeit I am a bit biased, I would recommend the chair.

The advantages of investing in a properly adjustable, posture correcting chair are:

  • Reduced risk of postural back pain
  • Reduced rehabilitation period after a back pain injury
  • Greater enjoyment of sitting at your desk, free from pain
  • Enhanced mood – no more struggling with the distraction of discomfort
  • Better posture and reduced slouching
  • Enhanced productivity through less downtime and less distraction.

If you don’t have the right chair that will help support your back, contact us for free advise on the best chair or back support for you at [email protected].

We can also advise on the best sit/stand options for you as well as how to optimally set up your whole workstation.