Finding a Standing Desk Stool

Standing desks offer an alternative to sitting at your desk all day. There is a growing consensus that whilst sitting all day isn’t good for you, neither is standing the whole day and so many people are using a standing desk stool so they can rotate between sitting and standing.

Manufacturers claim standing lessens the pressure on your back and hips, but the best standing desks are adjustable, meaning you can move between sitting and standing as needed.

In this guide, we’ll cover important information for choosing an ergonomic stool for a standing desk. We’ll go over the major brands and look at differences between models so you can make an informed decision about the best standing desk stool for your needs.

What is a Standing Desk Stool?

A standing desk stool is a chair designed for taller desks. Their purpose is to take the weight off your feet without compressing your spine like standard height chairs. In short, a high desk stool is claimed to offer the best of both worlds for standing desks.

Depending on the model, a standing desk stool might have a range of features. An industry standard is that the seat is ergonomic, and most high desk stools are height adjustable.

How Does it Differ from an Office Chair?

The main difference between a high desk chair and an office chair is height. A normal office desk is between 70 and 76cm high, so office chairs are designed to match this. A standing desk can be up to 145cm high, meaning the chairs can be set in a higher position.

Office chairs put you in a normal sitting position. This isn’t an issue for brief periods, but extended periods of sitting has been reported by some researchers to put up to 190% more pressure on your back’s intervertebral discs.

Anecdotal evidence from office workers also suggests that for some people prolonged sitting can lead to back and neck pain and can exacerbate existing back, neck, and shoulder injuries.

An ergonomic stool for a standing desk is designed to reduce the pressure on your back by keeping it straighter. As a result, it also is supposed to lessen slouching and help posture.

Some standing desk stools are designed for perching, which is a nice middle ground between sitting and standing. Not only do they allow you to stand up quicker, but they’re useful for people with back pain who struggle with their hips at the standard hip to spine 90 degree position (standard office chair sitting)

Considerations for Choosing a Standing Desk Stool

Although most people are happy to go out and buy an office chair, if you have been injured or have persistent pain, it’s worth putting a bit more thought into it. Some professions (dentistry, office work, etc.) benefit from different features in an standing desk stool.

An ergonomic stool for a standing desk fulfils quite a niche purpose but there are plenty of factors to consider. Later in this article, we’ll cover the main brands of ergonomic desk stools. Before we do, it’s worth looking at some of the main categories within the larger standing desk stool market.

Active vs. Static Seats

A static seat is essentially a normal office chair seat (or stool) with no extra features. It can still be ergonomic, but you sit on it, and that’s that.

An active seat has a tilt function or built-in spring. It’s designed to lean when you move, keeping your core engaged. As such, it’s popular for those who find static sitting uncomfortable ideal.

Active seats help people who might need to lean around their desk (for example, to answer a phone) but don’t need to move their chair.

Saddle vs. Flat Seat

Again, it’s easiest to define the “standard” first. Flat seats on desk stools are normal ergonomic seats. They might be slightly curved due to padding, but still look like any other stool on the market.

A saddle stool (unsurprisingly) looks like a horse saddle. They help to open up the pelvis while keeping your back straight and core engaged.

Saddle stools come in single and divided seats. Although there’s no set rule, divided seats are more suitable for men, for hopefully obvious reasons.

Perch, Semi-Perch, and Sit

An ergonomic stool for a standing desk will be designed for perching, sitting, or somewhere in between. Sitting is obvious and doesn’t need much explanation. You have a desk at standing height but sit on your stool.

A perch stool, also known as a leaning stool for a standing desk, often uses a tilt function. You rest on the edge of the stool while keeping your feet on the ground. It’s designed to take the weight off your feet while retaining all the other features of standing.

A semi-perch stool is somewhere in between, which usually means you can sit on it when needed or perch when needed. They often have less curved seats for convenience.

Wheeled vs. Fixed Stools

An ergonomic desk stool may or may not have casters (wheels). It makes little difference to the stool’s stability.

When looking at standing desk stools, castors are less common. You’ll still find them on sitting stools but not on perching stools. After all, if you lean on a stool with wheels, there’s every chance it’ll slide out from underneath you.

Casters help if you need to move between desks but otherwise don’t help much. It largely depends on whether you want a sitting or leaning stool for your standing desk.

Upper Limb Support

Upper limb support on an ergonomic stool looks like normal armrests, just higher up. It’s suitable for professionals who need arm support but also need a full range of movement in their lower arms.

For example, dentists often find them helpful, as do people with shoulder or neck pain.

If you work at a standing desk you probably won’t need upper limb support. If you do, you’ll find your options for a standing desk stool are slightly more limited.

Putting this Together

Choosing a high desk stool ultimately depends on the type of work you do and your support needs. We’ve written more extensively about different types of pain and stools in our ergonomic stools guide.

Although the information relates to standard-height desk stools, it should still help you narrow down your choices.

Standing Desk Stool Brands

The great thing about standing desks is that they’re height-adjustable, meaning you can move between sitting and standing as needed. In this section, we’ll go over some of the brands of ergonomic stool that we know best for a standing desk so you can hopefully find one to suit your needs.

Perching Position Height

Aeris Muvman Stool

The Aeris Muvman is ideal for perching at sit-stand desks. It adjusts between 51 and 93cm depending on the model and offers active sitting. The seat and stem tilt as you move, helping you keep your back straight.

It’s an ideal leaning stool for a standing desk, whether you’re at home or in the office. You could use it as anything from a desk/till chair to a stool at a breakfast bar. 

Semi-Perch/Semi-Sitting Height

Score Amazone Stool

The Score Amazone is a saddle stool for standing desks. It helps to angle the pelvis forwards to retain better back posture. You can adjust it between 49 and 100cm depending on the model.

Better yet, it has a wide range of customisation options. You can add a backrest and upper limb support, which is why it’s popular with medical professionals. As it’s a single piece saddle, we recommend it for women.

Salli Stools

Salli stools are ergonomic desk stools that provide a semi-perch position. They help keep your back straight and core engaged while not forcing you into a full sitting position.

We recommend Salli stools for men because they’re a split saddle design. The two-piece seat is more comfortable and has less impact on genital health than a single-piece seat.

Backapp

Backapp is a single-piece saddle stool for a standing desk. However, the seat is much softer than the other brands, making it suitable for everyone. It includes active sitting features to help engage your core and improve posture.

Backapp is suitable for men and women who like saddle sitting but want something softer than the other brands. But, due to its lack of arm support, it’s not as suitable for dentists and healthcare workers.

Standard Sitting Height Stools

Aeris Swopper

The Aeris Swopper includes all the same features as the Muvman, except at a standard sitting height. Of course, if you’re using it as a standing desk stool, it does mean you’ll have to stand up.

It offers a lower sitting height and the ability to perch or sit as needed. The seat is flat, and the stool’s stem features a large spring for active movement. You can fit casters, too, making this a good all-round desk stool.

We recommend the Aeris Swopper for anyone who wants to sit as normal but is happy to stand rather than perch at their standing desk.

Core Chair

The Core Chair is essentially a standard office chair. Of course, there’s more to it than that, otherwise it wouldn’t be in our guide. It’s an ergonomic office chair featuring a backrest, gas height adjustment, and casters.

But, much like the Aeris Swopper, it has active sitting features. It leans with you when you move and has adjustable resistance. The backrest is quite small, so it supports your lower back while preventing slumping.

The Core Chair is best for people who want a chair-style seat but with active sitting technology. If you use it at a standing desk, you’ll obviously have to stand up because the chair adjusts to a maximum of 57cm.

Choosing the Right High Desk Stool

The brands above should give you a rough idea of your options. It largely comes down to whether you want full sitting, perching, or somewhere in between. Once you’ve made that decision, it’s just a case of choosing a brand that matches your needs.

You might find active sitting an unusual sensation to begin with, and we find it can take up to 3 months to fully get used to it. Easing the transition into your new standing desk stool should cut down on aches, though.

If you’re using an ergonomic stool for a standing desk for pain reduction or injury prevention, it’s best done alongside other things. For example, you’ll need to also work on your sitting habits, posture, activity levels, and more to get the most from it.

Getting Help with Standing Desk Stools

A standing desk stool is a considerable investment. As such, it’s important to make an informed decision based on your needs, desk setup, and more. Diving into the ergonomic desk stool market can feel overwhelming when you come across so many unfamiliar brands.

Hopefully, the information above will give you some direction in finding the right product. If you have any questions or need more specific information, please reach out to us. We’re always more than happy to advise where we can.