The Active Office
Get moving at work with standing desks, active chairs,
standing mats, and other active-office gear.
Best Standing Desks
A free-standing, electrically height adjustable desk is arguably the best solution to your sitting problem. We're currently reviewing eight promising desks in this category, which we'll publish in September. Sign up for our Active Office Newsletter to get a note when we publish the review.
About Our Reviews
This is not an ordinary product-review publication. No rah-rah product recommendations, just unbiased evaluations of carefully selected active-office gear. We express our opinions and rank products based on objective criteria. But ergonomics research has repeatedly shown that individual preference is a sensible and sound way to decide between multiple good solutions. Our style is to always give you the information you need to decide on the right solution for you. Our goal is to simply get you moving more at work.
We set out our review criteria in buying guides for each category of gear that we cover. These guides show you what to look for as you go shopping for your standing desk, standing mat, "active seating" chair, and other active-office products. Start with our standing desk buying guide.
From the Well9to5 Blog
Did Da Vinci Really Use a Standing Desk? Probably Not. But Plenty of Other Famous People Did and Do. You know that thing where a plausible-sounding but demonstrably false idea takes on a life of its own and becomes conventional wisdom? It would appear that this phenomenon is afflicting the lore around famous standing-desk users. […]
A free-standing, electrically height adjustable desk is arguably the best solution to your sitting problem. These kinds of desks both work well and look good. As recently as just a couple of years ago, you had to pay at least $1,000 for a high-quality electric standing desk. Now there are many affordable standing desks available for […]
In “Five Ways to Improve your Work Space this Year,” the website Longevity shares some good ideas on how you can make your office space more conducive to wellness and fitness this year. Houseplants clean the air, reduce noise, and make you calmer and more productive. Personalizing your space reminds you of why you work, […]
ErgoExpo was hopping this year. Here’s my report. Conference Organizers I had a press pass to cover ErgoExpo, so I was able to use the conference speakers’ lounge as my base of operations. At lunch in the lounge on the first day of the conference, I butted into an interesting conversation in the serving line […]
It has been surprising to discovery that a seemingly benign activity like sitting can lead to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other serious diseases. But the evidence is in, and it's clear that we all need to be moving more throughout the day. Just as you can't undo the harm of a pack of cigarettes by running a marathon, you can't reverse sitting disease by exercising after work. Hence our focus here on the "active office."
Other Hazards of Sitting
In addition to the long-term risk of diseases caused by sedentary office work, you face more immediate health hazards when you sit all day. Annyoing conditions like headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain, as well as serious conditions like deep-vein thrombosis, neuropathy, and infertility, have all been linked to prolonged sitting. The more you get up and move, the more you reduce your risk of these conditions.
The Active Office
Our goal at Well9to5 is to help you create opportunities to become more active at your desk job. We human beings are designed to move regularly and to do a variety of activities throughout the day. A conventional office coddles you in an overly comfortable chair doing the same thing all day. The active office frees you to honor your human heritage so you can stand, walk, fidget, stretch, and otherwise move throughout the day.
Just as athletes optimize their performance by choosing the right gear and using it correctly, good office ergonomics practices help you stay productive and comfortable at your desk. Conventional ergonomics interventions are often one-off events that leave you with a new workstation or a fancy keyboard. We focus on ergonomics self-empowerment, helping you educate yourself and monitor your ergonomics set-up day-to-day.
Office fitness routines are different from gym routines. In the gym, your goals are to build strength, stamina, and flexibility. In the office, your goals are to break up the sedentary patterns of conventional desk work, to regain awareness of your posture, and to do exercises that can help support better posture and reverse painful desk-work patterns. You need to do both: gym routines help you get fit FOR work; office routines help you get fit AT work.
Office wellness is about more than controlling health-care costs. It's about you thriving. It's about creating your own path to physical, mental, and spiritual health. It's about integrating all aspects of yourself so that you thrive at work and in life.
Office design matters. After all, that's where you spend the majority of your waking hours. Good office design balances esthetics and functionality. It encompasses both style and usability. It supports your need to be comfortable, productive, and happy at work.
Office technology helps us work smarter and faster and connect us instantly with colleagues around the world. But those productivity gains can come with side effects like information overwhelm, endless distraction, and repetitive strain injuries.
Every office has its own culture. From formal and bureaucratic to laid-back and laissez-faire, from cooperative and collaborative to competitive and individualistic, each office has its own set of written and unwritten rules of behavior.
For most of our existence, human beings were outdoorsy hunter-gatherers. After brief dalliances with agriculture and industry, we now find ourselves indoors in front of computers all day. It can be hard to to honor our humanity in these conditions.