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The case for perching

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Each week we welcome clients into our showroom to test drive our saddle seats, kneeling chairs, and more traditional seating options. And each week we find people recognizing that one of the most effective changes you can make to encourage active sitting is to avoid sitting, and stand for part or all of your work day.

Over the past 12 months we’ve watched thousands of people make the switch to sit-to-stand desks. The abundance of information has helped make the case that moving throughout the work day is good for employees and employers alike. Whether alleviating back and neck strain, looking to shed some extra calories, or simply wanting to feel better at the end of the day, adding the ability to stand to your active sitting regimen is a realistic and substantial change you can make.

Again, there is plenty of information available about the health benefits around the web and on our site, but as a part of our active sitting series, we thought we’d take a quick look at what it’s actually like to use a sit-stand desk in an office.

Personally, I’m more of a sitter than a stander. I’ve set a goal for myself of standing up 15 minutes of every hour, and for the past year that’s worked well for me. Over the course of a typical day I’ll switch between sitting to standing several times. I often find myself standing for well past my planned 15 minutes, resuming sitting again after an hour or two. A coworker I’ll refer to as W, on the other hand, will stand well into the afternoon before sitting for the rest of the day. He’s sort of a showoff that way, but we appreciate his dedication to active sitting working all the same.

One of the most under-rated and reported on features of an electric height-adjustable desk is the ability to vary its height throughout the day—without the limits of simply sitting or standing. While the chair you are currently sitting in will absolutely work with this type of desk, the desire to sit at a traditional height of 28 or 30 inches suddenly becomes much less attractive when you can move your chair and your desk up and work at 34 or even 38 inches. We call this position semi-standing, or perching. At these heights you are able to open your hip angle which emulates the natural posture your spine takes while standing.

Put plainly: it just feels better to sit higher.

There are literally dozens of ways to use an electric height-adjustable desk. If you’ve recently made the switch or were an early adopter, we’d love to hear how you use your desk throughout your work day and how it might have evolved. As always, questions, opinions, and suggestions are welcome in the comment section.