standing desk vs ergo chair

Anyone who spends a lot of time typing understands the physical strain it involves. We imagine that desk work or remote work is easy on our bodies, but the opposite is often true.

Using a computer requires that you repeat fine motions over and over, leading to issues like carpal tunnel syndrome. The impact extends to the rest of your body as well. Back pain, shoulder pain, weight gain, and other health problems are inevitable when you spend 8 hours a day typing away in a chair with improper posture.

Sedentary workplaces aren’t great for your well-being, but you have to make a living, right? What can you do to avoid chronic pain while keeping your job?

Height adjustable standing desks and ergonomic chairs are possible solutions. These are two ways to optimize your workday for better physical and mental health. What are the differences between the standing desk vs ergonomic chair, though?

We’re going to take a look at these two options today, giving you some insight into the benefits they provide and whether one of them might be a good fit for you.

What Is a Standing Desk?

standing desk, also called a sit-stand desk, is essentially a raised desk. It’s a working platform that doesn’t require a chair because its surface is functional while the user stands.

ergonomic office desk and chair

Sounds pretty simple, right? Standing desks are simple, but they’re optimized for your health. They’re adjustable and can accommodate people of any size. There are also a number of options when it comes to design, additional platforms, and aesthetics. For example; you can get a manual standing desk or electric standing desks.

Take our electric standing desk, the Desky Dual Melamine Sit Stand Desk, for example. The Desky Dual's desk tops come in a variety of shapes such as the Ergo Edge in order to accommodate posture health. It’s also possible to adjust the desk from the sitting to the standing position with the touch of a button. So, if you’re getting a little tired from standing for a few hours, you can instantly sit down and give your legs a rest.

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This is the case with most standing desks. You don’t have to stand, but it’s always an option and standing for periods of time throughout the day is the healthiest option as we’ll discuss in another section. Height-adjustable desks are great for those who sit and stand throughout their work day - we share more benefits of standing vs. sitting in our post on why standing desks are better than sitting all day.

You can also find standing desk converters that turn your desk into a standing desk. This is a great option when your office has established furniture and it would be impractical to add a new good quality standing desk. Converters are also exceptional for those who work remotely and engage with a number of different workspaces.

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Someone who works primarily at coffee shops, for example, has little-to-no control over their workspace. They’re sitting most of the time, often at cramped tables that jam your wrists inward and provide no ergonomic relief.

Bring a standing table converter along and you have the option to sit or stand wherever you are. So, a standing desk might be an established piece of furniture or it could be an addition that allows you to manipulate existing workspaces.

How To Know If Your Desk Is Ergonomic

Recognising if your setup is an ergonomic home office requires understanding certain key factors. Firstly, the desk height should fit comfortably with your body proportion, allowing for a neutral posture when working. Workspace arrangement is another factor.

An ergonomic desk should offer enough space for all your office essentials without causing strain or extending your reach to access them. Monitor placement is also crucial, with the screen at eye level and approximately an arm's distance away.

Ergonomic Standards For Desks

Your workspace should follow ergonomic standards to lessen muscle fatigue and increase productivity. The conditions for an ergonomic desk include:

  1. An adjustable desk height to align with the user's elbow height while sitting or standing.
  2. A spacious work surface to accommodate all necessary tools and equipment.
  3. Edge design to prevent pressure points on the user's wrist.
  4. Easy access to work materials.

These principles make it easy to maintain a natural body posture with less discomfort and strain. To find out more about how to make standing desks more comfortable, check out our guide here.

What is an Ergonomic Chair?

An ergonomic chair is one that’s created with your health in mind. In comparison with the standard office chair, the ergonomic chair provides support to your back and spine, holds your wrists in the proper position, and provides a general improvement in wellness.

rubberwood stand desk

Traditional office chairs (and office furniture in general) weren’t created with ergonomics in mind. Old office furniture might have even been created before computers were ubiquitous in the workplace.

You sit with feet planted, elbows at your side, wrists extended, and your head pointed at a screen. Your neck adjusts to the level of the screen in relation to your line of sight. When your head points up or down at the screen, your neck arches and holds the weight of your head.

Good posture requires that your spine is in alignment and your head is facing straightforward. When you’re arching your neck for prolonged periods, you start to feel the effects in the rest of your upper body. Back pain, particularly shoulder pain, starts to emerge after a day or two.

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To make things worse, you’re sitting in a chair without lumbar support or back support in general. Your shoulders hunch forward, your head angles downward, and your wrists struggle to keep up. All of these instances of bad posture feed into one another, creating a tight back.

Muscular issues are the first effect of poor posture when you’re sitting for upwards of six hours at a time. Risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic issues, decreased productivity, and heart disease all join in the long list of risks that come from sitting for forty hours every week.

You can think of extended sitting as the “new smoking.”

Ergonomic chairs provide a significant amount of release to your body, supporting you so you don’t have to suffer the physical pain of bad posture in the office.

Do ergonomic chairs make a difference?

The value of ergonomic chairs is immeasurable, especially in an era where a sedentary lifestyle is predominating. With hours on end spent in the seated position, an ergonomic chair tailored to your physique and occupational responsibilities can make a world of difference. They play a pivotal role in mitigating repetitive stress injuries and can drastically improve well-being and productivity.

Who needs ergonomic chairs

While we all can benefit from ergonomic chairs, certain occupations demand them more than others. Employees in tasks requiring extended sitting periods, such as data entry operators, assembly-line workers, and office clerks, benefit greatly from ergonomic chairs. 

Life expectancy of office chairs

Office chairs' lifespan typically ranges from seven to eight years. High-quality ergonomic chairs, including certain mesh models, possess the potential to serve well for up to a decade if properly used and maintained. Furthermore, our range of ergonomic office chairs can offer superior comfort and durability over an extended period of time. Nevertheless, several factors can impact this, including usage, maintenance, and the initial quality of the chair.

What Are the Pros of Standing Desks?

There are myriad benefits to using a standing desk while you work.

To start with, standing desks improve the posture issues we described above. You can manipulate the standing desk so that the computer screen sits at eye level. This way, you don’t strain your neck and hunch forward to account for the weight of your head. Furthermore, we tend to stand with better posture than we sit with, especially after a while.

Sitting requires us to adjust our lower back and hips in the right position so the rest of the spine can sit in alignment. If the chair doesn’t have proper lumbar support, it's unlikely that you’ll sit in a healthy way.

Beyond spine health, though, there’s a lot of evidence to support standing instead of sitting. For one, standing burns calories and sitting doesn’t. Studies suggest that standing through your workday can actually burn more than 170 calories that you’d keep if you were sitting.

Sitting directly after you eat contributes to a higher blood sugar spike than you would otherwise experience. You generally want to keep blood sugar spikes low after meals, and standing is a great way to curb those levels. Individuals who are at high risk for diabetes or already have diabetes might benefit a lot from standing for a half-hour or so after their lunch break.

Mood and Productivity

You can also expect a boost in your mood when you switch to a standing desk. Another study showed that individuals who stood at their desks had better moods and outlooks than their peers who remained seated.

Energy levels drop when you’re sitting in the same position for long periods of time, and health experts predict health benefits for their patients who have more energy and keep a positive outlook.

In the case of work, that means you’ll have a happier mentality throughout the day. That contributes to higher productivity.

There are plenty of reasons to explore standing desk options and a lot of good reasons to ditch your old office chair. Sitting is an effective way to work, though, and it’s unreasonable to expect that everyone can stand through their workday.

If you reduce your time standing and replace your old desk chair with an ergonomic chair, though, you’ll make a massive improvement.

What Are the Pros of Ergonomic Chairs?

Ergonomic chairs boast a lot of the same benefits that standing desks do. The first and most important benefit is the relief that these chairs provide to your spine and back.

desky pro+ ergonomic chair

You swap the hunched, curled, and painful way of sitting for a more relaxed and supportive one. It’s really important to take a step back and think about the importance of your spine. Your spine is literally your support beam. It impacts everything you do.

If you have a serious issue with the spine, you risk damaging your nerves, mobility, and freedom to participate in everything that you enjoy. Think of that importance in relation to the way that we sit at work.

If you’re hunched and straining your upper back, you’re putting yourself at serious risk for long-term health issues. Sure, a day or two of strained seating is fine, but magnify that eight-hour session over the course of the whole year. That’s a couple of thousand hours spent in a strained position.

If you do your job for, say, ten years, that’s almost a third of your life spent warping your muscles into unhealthy positions. If you replace those 20,000-odd hours with a healthy posture, your risk of serious health issues decreases across the board. The average office worker spends about 1,800 hours at work each year - think about what that means for the pressure on your spine.

It’s also worth remembering that tired muscles aren’t productive muscles. Have you ever taken an extra break or two throughout the day to relax your wrist muscles? Worried that carpal tunnel syndrome is coming your way in the next few years?

Those breaks and anxieties all impact the quality of the work you do. You don’t do as much work, you’re distracted by the bodily pain you’re in. An ergonomic chair can provide relief for these issues.

Correcting posture

Posture correction is an integral feature of ergonomic chairs. Their scientific design focuses on comfort, support, and health, thereby making good posture achievable and effortless. They are essential tools for office workers spending prolonged time at their desks, providing support in all the right places, promoting proper alignment, and reducing strain on the spine.


Despite the numerous benefits, ergonomic chairs come with minor drawbacks. Size and weight limits are leading concerns. Ergonomic chairs may not offer optimal comfort to users who are much taller, shorter, or heavier than average. Finding the right fit is crucial for realizing the total benefits of these chairs. Thus, selecting chairs aligned with the variations in individual body metrics will significantly improve comfort and utility.

Another important aspect to consider when choosing an ergonomic chair is the material. Different materials, such as mesh and leather, offer distinct advantages and disadvantages that can impact the chair's overall comfort and durability. 

Mesh Chairs

Mesh chairs have become increasingly popular due to their breathability and modern design. The mesh material allows for excellent airflow, which helps to keep the user cool and comfortable during long hours of sitting. This can be particularly beneficial in warmer climates or for individuals who tend to overheat easily. Additionally, mesh chairs are often lighter and more flexible, conforming better to the user's body and providing support where it's needed most.

Are mesh chairs better?

Mesh chairs, in comparison to their traditional counterparts, offer several distinct advantages. For starters, the fabric woven into the seat and backrest encourages airflow. This feature promotes a cooling effect, helping to bring down body temperature and making for more comfortable sitting experiences in warmer settings. The flexible contours of the chair are designed to offer enhanced lumbar support, furthering the benefits.

Mesh chairs for back pain

If you deal with back pain, mesh office chairs are worth considering. Unlike traditional upholstered chairs, modern mesh chairs adapt to the shape of your back. This adaptive 'molding' feature leads to better support and comfort. Furthermore, they can help enhance your posture and mitigate the discomfort associated with musculoskeletal conditions.

Mesh chairs: good for sitting all day?

If longevity is your concern, the answer is affirmative. Mesh chairs, characteristic of their breathability, maintain a cooler seating environment, thereby enhancing comfort during prolonged use. Moreover, their production costs are usually lower than those of leather chairs, making mesh chairs a more economical and sustainable choice for businesses and home offices.

Mesh vs Foam Chairs

Preference between mesh or padded office chairs can significantly vary from person to person. Mesh chairs are known for their breathability, allowing for a cooler seating experience, especially over extended periods. On the other hand, padded (or foam) chairs provide a plush, cushioned comfort that many users desire for a long day at work. The best type of office chair ultimately depends on your individual comfort and workspace needs.

Mesh vs Fabric Chair

Mesh chairs allow your body heat to dissipate, leaving you cool, particularly if you're prone to feeling warm. This study shows that ambient temperature can significantly impact productivity and comfort. Mesh chairs' breathability makes them ideal for heated conditions. However, suppose you often feel cold, even in an ideally temperature-controlled office. In that case, a warmer fabric chair could suit you better.

How long can a mesh chair last?

Mesh office chairs often boast durability and comfort. Particularly, chairs made from robust mesh tend to last upwards of five years. However, it's important to remember that the durability of the mesh can impact comfort levels. A sturdier mesh might mean a less forgiving sitting experience, but it could extend the lifespan of your chair beyond the five-year mark. For example, chairs like the Desky Adjustable High Back Mesh Chair provide a fine balance of durability and comfort.

Mesh chairs wearing out

Over time, seating surfaces, including mesh, could likely deform due to sustained weight exposure. This deformation could lead to a decline in comfort and durability, particularly noticeable in mesh office chairs because of their specific construction. Additionally, with budget-friendly options, you're possibly looking at a lifespan of around two years before the chair might begin to show signs of wear.

Disadvantages of mesh chair

While mesh chairs are typically wallet-friendly, one may be compromising on durability. Weaker meshes can lose shape over time, causing an uneven seating surface, while stronger meshes may compromise on comfort. Do weigh in these factors when considering the cost-to-benefit ratio in your purchase decision.

Leather Chairs

When seeking longevity in an office chair investment, consider maintenance and durability. Leather chairs offer easy upkeep; any potential stains are quickly wiped away thanks to their non-porous surface. 

Leather vs Fabric Chairs

Not all chairs are created equal, and your selection of either leather or fabric materials should be tailored to your specific workspace conditions. Leather offers a classy, warm exterior but may not be the best choice for warm and tight spaces due to its heat retention. Comparatively, fabric presents a more breathable solution and suits hot and humid climates. Concerning cost, fabric generally leads due to its affordability over leather.

What Are the Biggest Difference Between Standing Desks and Ergonomic Chairs?

The biggest difference between a standing desk and an ergonomic chair is the fact that standing tends to be better for your health than sitting. So, spending all of your time at a standing desk might be a better option if your health allows you to.

That said, there are always going to be times when you’re required or expected to sit at a desk. If you’re in the workplace, it’s hard to get around that fact. Whether you need to go to regular meetings or your workplace requires uniformity and doesn’t allow standing, you might need to utilize an ergonomic chair.

In most scenarios, though, people enjoy a combination of sitting and standing while they work. It gets tiring to be on your feet for eight hours a day, week after week. So, our recommendation is to invest in a comfortable ergonomic chair with adjustable lumbar support as well as a standing desk.

hardwood stand desk

The benefits that individuals experience from this shift will depend on a few things. First, consider how long you’ve been sitting in a desk chair with improper posture. Next, think about how long you’ve experienced the pain in your back and neck.

Depending on how serious the pain is, you might need to couple ergonomic solutions with professional help. If you’ve only been seated eight hours per day for a couple of years, you might notice that your pains go away quickly when you use a standing desk.

In any case, though, you’ll experience reduced risk for cardiovascular issues, an improved mood, and a general uptick in productivity when you make the switch from a standard office chair to a stand-up desk.

The same is true for ergonomic chairs. The relief that an ergonomic chair provides can lift the fog of the workday make you realize just how sore and tight your back was before.

Most Comfortable Chair for PC

A chair that advocates good posture while supporting your spine's natural curvature, notably at the sacrum, is essential. Good lumbar support is critical; consider a chair offering a robust range of adjustability to cater to different body needs.

After all, sustained comfort goes beyond mere padding; it's the fine balance between support, posture, and adaptability. You might find our article on which type of office chair is best highly informative in your search.

Best office chair for sitting long hours

The best office chair for sitting long hours depends on your personal preferences, budget, and ergonomic needs.

However, one possible option is the Desky Pro + ergonomic chair, which is designed to provide comfort, support, and adjustability for various sitting positions. Here are some of the features and benefits of the Desky Pro + ergonomic chair:

  • Synchro-tilt mechanism that allows the seat and backrest angle to change together automatically, offering optimal support to your body as you go from upright to reclining positions
  • Breathable mesh back that permits air movement
  • Waterfall edge seat that reduces pressure behind the legs and
  • Height-adjustable arms, back, and headrest that allow you to customize the chair to your own fit and posture

Comfiest desk chair

Ergonomic office chairs not only deliver sustained comfort during long hours of desk work but minimize the risk of work-related strains and posture issues. Our comfiest desk chair is the Desky Elite Ergonomic Chair, a budget-friendly chair with advanced adjustable features that can suit a wide variety of workers.

The Desky Elite Ergonomic Chair has a breathable mesh back, a padded seat cushion, a synchro-tilt mechanism, an auto-weight sensing tilt tension, and an optional headrest.

You can customize the seat height and depth, the headrest, the back, the lumbar, and the three-way arm adjustment to find your ideal position and lock it in place. The Desky Elite Ergonomic Chair is designed to support your back and neck, keep you cool and comfortable, and enhance your focus and productivity.

Most comfortable gaming chair for long hours

The gaming community, known for marathon sessions, demands chairs that can cope with such intense use. Beyond a cool aesthetic, an epitome gaming chair offers superior ergonomic features, including excellent back support, adjustable armrests, and the flexibility to recline or swivel.

Our best choice is the Desky Pro Ergonomic Chair, a stylish and comfortable chair that delivers the support you need for optimum gaming performance. It has a synchro-tilt mechanism that allows you to adjust the seat and back angles effortlessly, a breathable mesh back that keeps you cool, and a waterfall edge seat that reduces pressure on your legs.

Whether you are playing for hours or taking a break, the Desky Pro Ergonomic Chair will provide you with the best gaming experience possible.

Interested In More Ergonomic Solutions?

Hopefully, our look at the differences between the standing desk vs ergonomic chair was helpful to you. Making small changes like these can have powerful impacts on our health, well-being, and increase productivity.

We’re here to help with more ideas. See our article on the best desk setup for productivity for further insight into methods for improving your health and work efficiency.

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