You’ve likely heard the saying before, “Sitting is the new smoking.” The average person spends 12 hours sitting per day. And, approximately 3.2 million people die each year from physical inactivity.

If you’re a person who has an office or desk job, these can be scary statistics. But, you don’t have to surrender to the office chair. Instead, utilize chair alternatives to avoid a sedentary lifestyle in the workplace.

Chair alternatives in the workplace

Kick your office chair to the curb and combat health issues by taking advantage of one of the chair alternatives below.

1. Standing desk

Sitting all day can put a dent in your health and cause issues like weight gain, heart disease, and even diabetes. However, you can take a stand against sitting-related health problems with a standing desk.

A standing desk, or stand-up desk, allows you to adjust your desk so you can stand while working.

Standing versus sitting can help lower your chances of weight gain and obesity. According to one source, you can burn an additional 1,000 calories each week by standing at your desk each afternoon. Although it’s not the same as good old exercise, standing helps burn off more calories than sitting.

Along with fighting off weight gain, standing desks can also help:

  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Reduce back pain
  • Improve mood and energy levels
  • Boost productivity
  • Improve posture

If you don’t want to or can’t stand all day, no worries. Most standing desks are adjustable.

At Patriot Software, every employee has a standing desk. That way, employees can opt to stand or sit whenever they want.

2. Exercise balls

Exercise balls have been around since the 1960s. And now they’re making their way from the gym into the workplace.

Exercise or stability balls force you to balance yourself and sit upright while working. If you’re not paying attention to your posture, you’ll end up on the floor.

Exercise balls are also a good way to build up strength in your core.

If you’re not ready to commit 100% to only using a stability ball for support, you can get a balance ball chair.

Balance ball chairs use a stability ball as a cushion. However, the ball rests on a base that prevents you from rolling around (aka no face plants).

Overall, exercise balls can help you:

3. Bicycle desk

Do you find yourself always fidgeting or tapping your foot at your desk? Ditch restless leg syndrome by investing in a bicycle desk.

A bicycle desk lets you get a mini leg workout while you work. And, it can help get your muscles moving and blood flowing while you focus on your tasks.

Bicycle desks can also:

  • Give you more motivation
  • Help burn fat and calories
  • Restore your energy levels
  • Improve your performance

Although a bicycle desk is a great way to stay healthy at work, it’s not for everyone. Some workers may find it difficult to multitask while cycling and find the motion distracting (e.g., typing and exercising at the same time).

4. Treadmill desk

Many workers find it hard to squeeze in a five-minute break, let alone exercise during the workday. But, what if there was a way you could be productive and active at work? A treadmill desk, or walking desk, can be the best of both worlds.

With a treadmill desk, you get the benefits of standing like you would with a stand-up desk. Plus, it allows for more movement, like a bicycle desk, to help you stay active throughout your workday.

In fact, you can burn as much as 120 calories per hour using a treadmill desk while working.

A treadmill desk can also help you relieve stress, increase creativity, and keep you alert.

Chances are, you won’t be using your treadmill desk 24/7. But, a little exercise can go a long way when it comes to staying active at work.

If you don’t want to spend money on a treadmill desk, consider staying active by trying various desk exercises, such as leg and arm extensions, calf raises, and neck stretches.

5. Saddle seat

If standing doesn’t appeal to you, consider using a saddle seat as a happy medium. Now you’re probably wondering, What the heck is a saddle seat?

A saddle seat or stool is similar to an office chair, except backless. These chairs are shaped like a bicycle seat and help prevent you from slouching by eliminating a back to lean against.

Saddle seats give you the feeling of a regular office chair without adding on additional health issues.

One study found that workers who sit in saddle seats had better posture and less back pain.

Saddle stools can also help with neck pain and lower back and spinal alignment.

If you’re not ready to part ways with a traditional office chair just yet, a saddle seat may be a good option for you.


  • Maria Tanski-Phillips

    Content Writer

    Patriot Software, LLC

    Maria Tanski-Phillips is a content writer at Patriot Software, LLC. Patriot Software offers online accounting software and payroll for business owners and their accountants. At Patriot, Maria writes about accounting, payroll, and other small business topics.