How Active Sitting Can Infuse Healthy Practices & Productivity in the Office

As more companies become aware of the benefits of promoting wellness in the workplace, encouraging movement and activity throughout the day has become a top priority. But while standing-height desks have grown in popularity and do have their benefits, it’s important to not give sitting a bad reputation.

Between time spent commuting to and from work, time spent at work, and time spent at home, the amount of time we spend sitting every day can add up very quickly. But sitting in and of itself isn’t the enemy -- being sedentary is -- and sitting at a desk while you work doesn’t necessarily have to mean being sedentary.

Completely eliminating sitting in the workplace isn’t a practical goal, but making sitting healthier is. That’s where active sitting comes in. The term “active sitting” might sound like an oxymoron at first, but it offers a lot of benefits. Active sitting is a style of sitting that promotes movement and changes in posture rather than keeping people in one rigid position. Movement is natural and healthy, helping improve circulation and breathing. Being uncomfortable has never made anybody more productive and active sitting helps make work more comfortable by keeping muscles engaged, reducing the strain on muscles and ligaments that comes from staying in one position for too long.

students sit on stools in active learning classroom while collaborating in small groups

Many popular styles of seating for active sitting are distinctly different from traditional desk chairs, like Turnstone's BuoyFeaturing a curved base, the Buoy’s rocking motion makes it easy to change positions throughout the day, but that isn’t the only benefit it has to offer. Since it takes a little extra effort to stay balanced while using the Buoy, it keeps a user’s core and leg muscles engaged while they use it. The design of the Buoy also helps promote good posture, which helps reduce problems like back and shoulder pain, poor circulation, and headaches.

Modern office chair at a slim, wooden desk in an individual workspace overlooking trees out the window

More traditional styles of desk chairs can also allow for active sitting. The SILQ chair from Steelcase was designed to intuitively respond to natural movement with minimal adjustment from users. Once a user adjusts the height of a SILQ chair, the chair does the rest of the work, fully supporting every movement and change in posture.

As you think about active seating for the workplace, remember that it shouldn’t be limited to desks. Don’t forget about seating for conference rooms, lounges, and collaborative areas. Comfortable residential-style sofas and chairs are popular choices for collaborative spaces and lounges, but the Buoy is also an excellent option to consider. When a person has a more traditional chair at their desk, the change of pace a Buoy offers can help inspire new ideas. In conference rooms, the support SILQ chairs offer can help make even the longest meetings more enjoyable.

To see more active seating options, browse our full selection of seating styles. You can also schedule a call with our design team to get more help creating a space that supports employee wellness. 

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