The Takeaway:

1. Our Pick: Uncaged Ergonomics Wobble Stool

2. Runner-Up: Gaiam Balance Ball Chair

3. Value Pick: BetterPosture Saddle Chair

Chairs — everyone uses them, but did you know that some are healthier than others?

If you’re ready to remove the adverse effects of prolonged sitting and find a more health-focused approach, this article teaches you what makes a chair unhealthy and healthy and introduces you to the top 10 most healthy chairs.

What Makes a Chair Unhealthy?

More often than not, it’s not the type of chair itself that’s unhealthy; it’s prolonged sitting that’s the cause of negative health effects. According to the Washington Post article “The Health Hazards of Sitting,” there are many negative health effects of sitting, including:

  • Weak Abdominal Muscles. Your abdominal muscles hold you upright when you stand or sit up straight. But when you sit in a chair, they’re inactive. Over time, this inactivity can cause the abdominal muscles to weaken, which can lead to posture problems down the road.
  • Tight Hip Flexors. Loose and flexible hip muscles help you balance. But prolonged sitting can cause you to stop extending your hip flexor muscles such that they become tight, limiting your range of motion and stride length.
  • Feeble Glutes. When you stand, your glutes are activated. When you sit, they aren’t. Prolonged sitting can cause your glutes to become “soft,” negatively impacting your stability and stride strength.
  • Poor Circulation. Prolonged sitting slows circulation in the legs. The lack of blood flow can cause various negative effects, from swollen feet to blood clots.
  • Slowed Brain Function. Activity pumps oxygen and blood into the brain. Inactivity, such as prolonged sitting, causes your body to slow, including your brain function, making you feel foggy.
  • Strained Neck. If prolonged sitting occurs at a desk, you’re likely straining your neck as you work on the computer or talk on the phone. A consistent neck strain can cause misalignments and soreness in the cervical spine.

To read more about the negative impact of sitting and the full list of health-related problems it causes, read the full article here.

What Makes a Chair Healthy?

Sitting is something every person must do at some time or another, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to improve how you do it to reduce the negative impact. So what exactly makes a chair healthy?

There are three main characteristics:

  • Engages the Muscles. Healthy chairs engage your muscles so they aren’t inactive for long periods.
  • Doesn’t Obstruct Circulation. Healthy chairs do not obstruct or have minimal effect on blood flow in your lower body.
  • Promotes Proper Posture. Healthy chairs provide adequate lumbar and spine support to help you sit up straight and comfortably.

Top 10 Most Healthy Chairs

There are three main types of healthy chairs: active sitting chairs, zero gravity chairs, and massage chairs.

  • ​Active chairs are a relatively new type that keeps your muscles engaged while sitting. They often swivel, tilt, wobble, or require some form of balancing to keep you actively moving in your seat. Active chairs are ideal for office settings to replace the standard desk chair.
  • ​Zero Gravity chairs put you in one of the most therapeutic sitting positions possible — Zero Gravity. NASA originally developed this position to help astronauts’ bodies cope with the gravitational stress of taking off in a rocket. In the Zero Gravity position, the body’s weight is shifted to the backrest while the legs are elevated. With the body’s weight held by the backrest, the spine can completely decompress and relax, and circulation is promoted in the legs. Zero Gravity chairs are ideal for relaxing or for helping relieve occasional back pain.
  • Massage chairs use mechanical components and advanced technology to perform muscular manipulation to increase local circulation, relieve back pain, encourage proper posture, and offer many other therapeutic benefits. Massage chairs range from basic and ultra-affordable to highly advanced medical machines. They’re ideal for stress relief and natural pain management or complement traditional massage or chiropractic therapy. To learn more about the different types of massage chairs, check out our full article.

Now that we’ve covered the types of most healthy chairs let’s get into the model themselves.

Active Sitting Chairs

Our Pick: Uncaged Ergonomics Wobble Stool

The  Uncaged Ergonomic Wobble Stool has a rubberized curved base that allows you to wobble, swivel, and rock. The stool’s height is up to 33 inches, making it a great option for sitting or standing desks. It can be used as a standard stool, doesn’t require constant balancing, and stands upright when not in use. The seat is 13 inches in diameter and has plush padding for sitting comfort.

The idea behind the wobble stool is that it allows you to stay active while sitting or standing at your desk. You can wobble back and forth, swivel 360 degrees, perch, or sit, giving your body and mind the stimulation they need to perform their best.

An Image of Uncaged Ergonomics WOBBLE STOOL for Healthy Chairs
Uncaged Ergonomics Wobble Stool

Feature Highlights

  • ​13-inch padded seat
  • ​Wobble, swivels, and rocks
  • ​Rests upright when not in use
  • ​Rubberized non-slip grip base
  • ​Adjustable height up to 33 inches

Runner-Up: Gaiam Balance Ball Chair

The Gaiam Balance Ball Chair takes the simplicity of an inflatable exercise ball and combines it with the functionality and stability of a standard chair. The Gaiam balance ball chair includes a 52-centimeter exercise ball and a stand that holds the ball in place. The stand has a backrest and caster wheels like a standard rolling desk chair. The chair is designed for users from 5’ to 5’11” in height and has a weight capacity of 300 pounds.

The main benefit of the Gaiam ball chair is that it allows you to actively move and engage your muscles through bouncing and balancing. And with the added chair base, you don’t have to worry about the ball rolling from under you or losing your balance. Additionally, the chair is said to help relieve back pain by promoting proper posture and spinal alignment.

Gaiam Balance Ball Chair

Feature Highlights

  • ​It fits users up to 5’11” and 300 pounds
  • ​Designed with the help of a chiropractor
  • ​The chair stand holds the ball in place for extra stability
  • ​Allows users to bounce and balance to engage their core muscles

Value Pick: BetterPosture Saddle Chair

The BetterPosture Saddle Chair has a saddle-shaped seat that allows the legs to hang naturally over the sides of the chair. This position reduces the pressure on the back of the thighs, which is the culprit for poor leg circulation in standard chairs. The seat’s shape also promotes proper posture, which can help strengthen the core muscles.

The angle of tilt on the saddle is adjustable, which allows the seat to be moved into the most comfortable position for the user and helps to keep the pelvis in a natural position with thighs and hips pivoted forward. The chair is designed to fit users up to 250 pounds and has five caster wheels for easy movement.

An Image of Better Posture Saddle Chair for Healthy Chairs
BetterPosture Saddle Chair

Feature Highlights

  • ​Five caster wheels
  • ​It fits users up to 250 pounds
  • ​Durable polyurethane seat cover
  • ​Promotes proper posture and pelvic position
  • ​Adjustable height between 21 and 28 inches
  • ​Saddle-shaped seat for comfort and unobstructed leg circulation

Turnstone Buoy Stool

The Turnstone Buoy Stool has a wide cylindrical body and curved base. Like the Uncaged Ergonomic Wobble Stool, the Buoy Stool swivels and rocks, allowing you to actively move in your seat. Resting, the stool sits at a 5-degree angle but can lean up to 12 degrees in any direction when in use.

The stool height is adjustable up to 5 and a half inches and comes in a variety of colors to match your desk or office. The wide base makes the stool feel stable even when moving. And there are built-in handles that make the stool ultra portable and easy to carry.

The main benefits of the buoy stool are that it allows you to move — tilt, rock, etc. — while you sit. Its angled position makes it easy to find a comfortable position and promotes proper posture. And many users have reported that it’s helped alleviate their back pain.

Turnstone Buoy Stool

Feature Highlights

  • ​18-inch seat diameter
  • ​Wobbles, tilts, and swivels
  • ​Easy-to-clean plastic body
  • ​Built-in handles for easy moving
  • ​Usable for a wide range of age groups
  • ​Adjustable height up to 5 and a half inches

Core-Flex Active Sitting Ergonomic Executive Chair​

​The Core-Flex Active Sitting Executive Chairs looks like a standard office chair but packs some interesting active technology called Core-Flex. Rather than having a one-piece seat, it has a two-piece seat. The two pieces — one under each thigh — allow you to move each leg in an alternating pattern. So you can press one side of the seat down and while the other side of the seat raises.

The main health benefits of the Core-Flex Active Sitting Chair are that it allows you to replicate the movements (and benefits) of walking without leaving your seat. The alternating leg motion also helps alleviate the pressure on the thighs that can limit circulation or create sore glutes.

Core-Flex Active Sitting Ergonomic Executive Chair​

Feature Highlights

  • ​Two-piece alternating seat
  • ​Memory foam padded seat
  • ​Looks like an executive desk chair
  • ​Core-Flex replicates the movement of walking

Zenergy Ball Chair

The ​Zenergy Ball Chair incorporates the benefits of an exercise ball with the compact comfort of a stool. Inside the chair is a 17-inch anti-burst exercise ball that’s covered in durable fabric. The chair’s base has four legs with a powered-coated finish for durability and style and stationary glides for extra stability. Fully inflated, the chair is 23 inches tall.

The main health benefits of the Zenergy Ball chair are that it allows you to bounce and move in your seat, promoting better posture and engaging your muscles and mind. This particular style of active chair is a popular choice for children as it’s more stable than an exercise ball and comes in a variety of colors. For a more kid-friendly, smaller version of the Zenergy Ball chair, check out the ​Runtz Chair.

An Image of Safco Products 4750BL Zenergy Ball Chair for Healthy Chairs
An Image of Safco Products 4755BL Runtz Ball Chair for Healthy Chairs

Feature Highlights

  • ​Bounces and balances
  • ​Durable polyester mesh fabric coating
  • ​23-inches tall when fully inflated
  • ​17-inch anti-burst inflatable exercise ball
  • ​Powered-coated legs with stationary glides

SleekForm Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

Kneeling chairs were one of the first healthy chairs to be introduced. Rather than having a seat where your legs hang over the front, kneeling chairs have an additional padded shelf that cradles your legs, shifting your body’s weight from your lower back, hips, and buttock to your knees and shins. The ergonomic angled design of the kneeling chair helps to relieve spinal compression and encourages proper posture. It also promotes better breathing by allowing your diagram to move more efficiently.

The Sleekform Ergonomic Kneeling Chair has double foam padding in the seat and under the knees for added comfort. The chair’s height can be adjusted between 21 and 28 inches and has a weight capacity of 250 pounds. The seat sits at a 90-degree angle to distribute the weight of your body to naturally help it come into alignment. There are four caster wheels on the base of the chair, making maneuvering it around the office easy.

An Image of Sleekform Ergonomic Kneeling Chair for Healthy Chairs
SleekForm Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

Feature Highlights

  • ​Four caster wheels
  • ​90-degree angled seat
  • ​Adjustable height up to 28 inches
  • ​Double thick padding made of 100 percent recycled foam

​Zero Gravity: Cozzia Dual Power ZG Recliner

The Cozzia Dual Power ZG Recliner holds your body in the neutral Zero Gravity position. It has dual reclining motors — one for the backrest and one for the leg rest — that allow you to independently adjust the upper and lower portions of the chair, giving you greater control over your position. A one-touch Zero Gravity button makes getting into the position quick and easy. The base is made of wood for a luxurious look. And the ZG recliner includes additional therapeutic features, including heat therapy and vibration massage.

The main health benefits of the ZG Recliner are that it positions your body such that your vertebrae can decompress, which can help relieve pressure and back pain. It increases blood flow in the legs by elevating them above the heart. And helps to position the torso to expand lung capacity for deeper breathing. Plus, heat therapy in the lumbar region helps to relieve pain and increase circulation, while vibration massage helps to soothe sore muscles.

An Image of Cozzia Dual Power ZG Recliner for Healthy Chairs
Cozzia Dual Power ZG Recliner

Feature Highlights

  • ​Wood base
  • ​Vibration massage
  • ​Bonded leather upholstery
  • ​Heat therapy for lower back
  • ​One-Touch Zero Gravity button
  • ​Neutral Zero Gravity recline position
  • ​Dual motors for independent position adjustments

Massage Chair: Kahuna LM6800

Massage Chair
Kahuna LM6800

Recommended For: Anyone looking for a massage chair with L-Track, heat therapy, foot rollers, and more, at an affordable price.

Check Latest Price Read Detailed Review

The Kahuna LM6800 is an affordable massage chair that offers all of the most popular and therapeutic features users expect. It’s a full-body massage chair, which means it treats from the neck to the feet. It features an extended massage track called an L-Track that allows the rollers to move from the neck to the thighs. The extended track is great for users who suffer from sore glutes or sciatic nerve pain as it effectively massages the area.

The Kahuna LM6800 is equipped with airbags that massage the outer shoulders, hips, thighs, forearms, hands, calves, and feet. The airbags inflate and deflate to compress each area to increase circulation and stimulate the muscles. There are five massage techniques and five automatic massage programs that use a combination of roller and air massage to provide a comprehensive full-body treatment. Perhaps the most popular program is called Yoga and it performs a full-body stretch by gripping the shoulders and feet with airbags while the chair reclines and inclines to pull the muscles.

The Kahuna LM6800 massage chair also features three Zero Gravity positions and heat therapy for the lower back and legs.

The main health benefits of the Kahuna LM6800 massage chair is that it performs muscular manipulation, which is the basis of the positive benefits of traditional massage therapy. As the muscles are manipulated, circulation increases, allowing new oxygen and nutrients to enter the area, and the muscles are “warmed” and loosened, which helps the body return to its natural alignment. Massage has also been shown to be an effective method for natural pain management and helps with stress and anxiety.

To learn more about the benefits of massage therapy, check out our full article. Or, to learn more about the Kahuna LM6800, you can read our full review here.

Healthy Chairs Kahuna LM6800 - Consumer Files
Kahuna LM6800

Feature Highlights

  • ​Body scan technology
  • ​Mechanical foot rollers
  • ​Five massage techniques
  • ​Three Zero Gravity positions
  • ​Five automatic massage programs
  • ​Heat therapy for lower back and legs
  • ​Space-saving technology, only 3 inches to fully recline
  • ​L-Track extended massage track treats glutes and hamstrings
  • ​Air massage treats shoulders, hips, thighs, arms, hands, calves, and feet

​Honorable Mention: Giantex Recliner Power Lift Chair

Lift chairs have a mechanical base that extends up and out to help users easily transition from sitting to standing without much effort. While lift chairs don’t actually promote any specific health benefits, they’re beneficial for those with limited mobility or who struggle with getting in and out of chairs such as the elderly or those with injuries.

Giantex Recliner Power Lift Chair

The Giantex Recliner Power Lift Chair is padded for comfort and includes a remote control with easy-to-use up and down buttons. The chair reclines like a standard recliner and takes about 35 seconds to go from reclined to fully lifted. The movement from reclined to lift is slow, smooth, and quiet — ideal for older individuals.

Feature Highlights

  • ​Padded upholstery​
  • ​Easy-to-use remote control
  • ​Slow and smooth lifting function
  • Reclines like a standard recliner
  • Reclines like a standard recliner

Most Healthy Chairs Final Thoughts

With more and more people seeking healthier solutions to everyday problems — including prolonged sitting — there’s no end in sight to the introduction of new and more health-focused options. So if you thought you were stuck dealing with the negative effects of prolonged sitting, you’re in luck. With the 10 most healthy chairs we’ve shown you today, you’re now equipped with the information you need to trade up to a healthier (and perhaps more fun) way to sit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *