Can This Chair Make You a Little Smarter?

Posted by Adele Peters

You've probably heard by now that sitting too much can be pretty bad for your health, and even kill you—one major study found that people are an astonishing 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack if they sit most of the day. Even standing in one place for 8 hours, sadly, isn't that great for you. But let's say you're stuck with a desk job for now, and you're going to sit at least some of the time. What should you sit on? 

Pricey ergonomic chairs are better than a sofa; not only are you less likely to hurt your neck or shoulders, you'll actually think a little more clearly. When your spine stays upright, it's easier for blood to flow to your brain. Perhaps even better than an Aeron, though, might be a little more motion. The Tip Ton chair pictured above, which won full marks in this year's UK Design Guild Marks competition, helps keep you moving while you sit. Leaning forward, you get closer to a desk, but your spine stays upright. As you move, the designers say, you engage muscles in the abdomen and back (similar to 'balance ball' chairs), and also increase oxygen flow—also an aid to thinking clearly. 

The chair was well-designed in other ways, too: it's made from 100 percent recycled material, and because it's one solid piece, it's also easy to recycle, unlike most office chairs. It's also designed to be lightweight and stackable, so it's easy to ship, and incredibly durable and long-lasting.

A better chair alone obviously isn't enough to avoid the perils of sitting. Experts recommend taking breaks to move as much as you can, or least for a couple of minutes every 20 minutes or so. And if you're really motivated, perhaps you can try out this design for a desk and chair that convert into a mini-gym

Image courtesy of Vitra.