You’ve probably heard that sitting is the new smoking; employees who sit at their desks all day long are more prone to heart disease and other serious health concerns. But what about employees in professions like retail and banking who face the opposite problem? In 2016, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the court would define labor law in a way that makes it difficult for companies to deny workers a chair. Although California was the first to put this law into effect, the practice has spread.

Standing all day is just as bad as sitting all day; some say it’s even worse.  Standing for long periods can lead to back and joint problems—not to mention the pain it can cause the feet after 8 hours of work. The key to healthy ergonomic working conditions is providing employees with furniture that allows them to alternate between sitting and standing. For desk jobs, that means the addition of a standing desk. For others, it’s a good quality seat. So what can your business do to provide employees with opportunities to sit on the job without radically changing the job functions or your existing furniture? These are three excellent options.


24-Hour Chairs

Employees who work as receptionists, customer service representatives, and other positions that involve standing behind a desk or counter may benefit from a 24-hour or 24/7 chair when they are not serving customers. Why a 24/7 chair? Unlike most office chairs, these chairs are designed to be used for long durations. 

These 24-hour chairs are an ideal option for employees in retail positions. They’re ergonomically designed to withstand continuous use by many different people over multiple shifts. A 24/7 chair can be used all day by an ever-changing schedule of employees 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if necessary. Plus, this chair style is typically rated at a higher weight capacity to accommodate a broader range of users, so all your retail workers should feel comfortable using the same chair. In comparison, a standard computer chair is only designed to be used 8 hours per day, 5 days per week by a single individual weighing 250 pounds or less. A 24/7 chair such as the NBF Signature Series Overtime chair will support a range of users and last much longer, ensuring all your employees will stay comfortable at work for years to come. 

Drafting Stools

The problem with chairs is that employees who work at standing or counter-height service desks can only use them when they are not helping a customer or working at their computer. An ergonomic drafting stool may be a better option if you’re looking for an option that allows your employees to sit at any time during their shift. 

The seat of a stool can adjust high enough to reach the work surface of a standing-height desk or table, so employees will be able to sit or stand at the same work surface. Most stools come with an adjustable foot ring for support, and there are even 24/7 ergonomic stools, like the Officient Omega Drafting Stool, for longevity and extra comfort.

Active Seating

Take comfort to the next level by providing employees with active seating options. These seats and stools offer an affordable way to stay active while employees sit or stand. Safco and Focal Upright have come together to produce a line of perching stools that provide the comfort of a stool while encouraging the user to fidget and move while they sit.

In addition to health benefits for the employee, these leaning stools benefit employers and customers as employees do not sink into them, which means they can hop up to help a customer quickly. Some stools take excellent ergonomics a step further by providing easy mobility. Lightweight leaning stools can be easily transported from one place to the next so that a retail employee can use them behind the checkout counter or while stocking shelves, for example. 

Giving your employees the option to sit or stand when and where they want is what will make them happier people and more productive workers in the long run.




Have your own ideas for making employees who stand all day more comfortable? Share them in the comments! Then shop our full selection of ergonomic office chairs here.


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