The average American sits 13 hours a day, 86% of Americans sit all day at work, and 68% of Americans hate it, according to the book Get Up! Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It. Research on the dangers of prolonged sitting are continuing to pile up: Being sedentary for too many hours a day has been linked to poor mental health, higher risk of being disabled, higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, bad cholesterol, and excess belly fat.
What’s more, you can’t exercise away the harmful effects of all those hours of sitting. A recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that even people who achieved the daily-recommended levels of physical activity were still at the same health risk as those who sat all day.
So, sitting at your desk all day is more or less killing you—great. Not only are you putting yourself at greater risk for disease, that horrible back pain that results from sitting on a traditional office chair isn’t pretty either. While you might not be able to spend half of your day walking around (though you should get up periodically throughout the day), there are other options for saving your back—and your life. Enter: ergonomic chairs. After testing several options, here are our picks for best alternative desk chairs. Try one on for size—you won’t regret it.