Sitting at a Desk All Day? Here’s What You Should Do Instead

Healthy Living, Lifestyle

By: // June 2, 2021

Even in a post-pandemic world, remote work is here to stay. In this post, we’ll talk about how to turn your standing desk into a fitness-focused place to be. From a bosu ball standing desk to an indo board, learn more about these ideas you probably haven’t read about.

First, let’s talk about why sitting is so bad for you. The research is true: sitting can kill you. Studies have found that prolonged sitting is linked to a variety of life-threatening issues, including a higher risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

In fact, not even regular exercise can counteract the unhealthy drawbacks to sitting all day. But, before you throw your chair out the window, there is some good news: there are a variety of alternatives to sitting in a desk chair that can help you to avoid these alarming concerns.

So, actually, go ahead, throw that chair away and read on to find out which one of the following six alternatives might be the best for you.

6 Alternatives To Sitting At A Desk

1. Standing Desk

It doesn’t get much more straightforward than avoiding the negative effects of sitting than by simply standing.

A study conducted in 2013 found that people who took advantage of standing desks burned up to 50 more calories an hour than those who stayed sedentary in their chairs.

As for work productivity, a 2014 review noted no difference in people following through with their tasks. It also found noteworthy physiological and psychological benefits to this type of alternative.

It is important to note, however, that prolonged standing can have its downsides, too, given that poor posture results in locked out knees, sore heels, uneven weight distribution, a hunched back and more.

This infographic will ensure you use standing desks the right way. If you’re not ready to commit to a full-on standing desk, try out a variable-height desk, which allows you to transition from seated to standing; it’s the GHU team’s favorite.

2. Bosu Ball Standing Desk Combo

The bosu ball standing desk combination is incredibly beneficial. It’s a way to keep upright while challenging your balance, improving your posture and strengthening your core muscles is to stand on a Bosu ball while also using a standing desk.

You’ll notice a bosu ball or half moon ball is often utilized in exercise classes as a means for targeting the whole body to get into a position.

When you’re simply standing, you might find yourself get a bit too lax, but the bosu ball at a standing desk is a constant reminder that, if you want to keep still, you have to work for it, which means proper posture and lots of muscle engagement.

Bosu Ball from SPRI

Bosu ball with standing desk

3. Stability Ball

While a standard office chair is known for giving you bad posture, thanks to slouching which can decrease core strength, stability balls work to automatically correct your posture due to the constant balancing your body is doing. You’ll tone your core, relieve back pain, increase your circulation and so much more with this method.

According to a study conducted at State University of New York Buffalo, people who sat on stability balls burned 4.1 times more calories an hour than those who remained in an office chair. That’s 160 additional calories burned each week and 640 more each month.

Be mindful that your ball is properly inflated, however, or else you’ll put yourself at risk for poor spinal alignment.

Stability Ball from SPRI

Bosu ball desk chair

Related: Sitting Still So Much Should Scare You

4. Stability-Ball Chair

Sometimes it can take awhile to get the hang of utilizing a stability ball, but before you give up on the idea altogether, try out a stability-ball chair. We have four in our office!

This alternative method allows you to still use a standard stability ball, but, you can buy a base and back separately to lessen your chances of falling off, fully supporting your back, and keeping you in check with your posture. You’ll want to make sure you have the right form, however.

Your hips and knees should be at 90-degree angles, and both your feet should remain flat on the floor. As for your desk, it should be elbow height.

Stability Ball Chair from SPRI

5. Indo Board

Balance boards, which use a standing platform of metal or wood that is balanced over a center fulcrum, work like a Bosu ball, but with a lot more challenge and perhaps a bit more distraction when you’re first getting used to it.

Engaging your core and hips—two areas that can become weakened by sitting in a chair all day—is pertinent in staying upright with optimum stability using this method.

Be mindful that this one takes patience as you get used to it, so don’t give up too quickly. Try starting off with five minutes, and increase your time from there. Also, be sure to spread your feet a few inches wider than hip-width to truly stabilize yourself.

Indo Board Balance Trainer


6. Treadmill Desk

Want to really kill two birds with one stone? Keep your body moving for optimum energy expenditure by trying out a treadmill desk.

A study conducted in 2011 discovered that people who tried this method reduced the size of their hips by 4.8 centimeters and waist by 5.5 centimeters over the course of nine months. Just be careful that you don’t walk on it all day long, which will overexert your body.

Combine this method with sitting, standing or other balancing techniques. Be mindful of proper form as well, ensuring that your keyboard remains at elbow height and your monitor at eye level.

If you find walking treadmills to be too difficult to accomplish intense tasks, use it to make a phone call, read an e-mail or even just take a break.

When using for a prolonged period of time, make sure the speed is minimal, around 1.5 miles per hour, and at all times, remember to keep your knees soft, your hips squared forward and that you land heel first.

Treadmill desk


Let us know what alternatives you’re trying!

Try these easy alternatives to sitting at a desk all day!

Here’s a better use of that office chair than sitting on it:

READ THIS NEXT: 27 No Sweat Ideas To Get You Moving

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1 Comment

on February 29, 2016 at 1:53 AM Reply

In all the pictures the posture is not the best, the computer is far too low and the neck is suffering...

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