Best Active Workstation Types – Ultimate Buyers Guide!


A sedentary lifestyle now the 4th leading cause of mortality worldwide. Therefore, it’s no surprise that people are drastically seeking ways to evade the growing epidemic which is sitting disease. One simple way to introduce movement is by investing in an active workstation. There are many different types of active office equipment. This article discusses the most popular active workstation types. By following this simple guide, you can narrow down your selection to the equipment that is most suited to you.

Read on to discover the extraordinary life-changing health benefits of active workstations, along with the different types of active desk equipment.

This includes an active workstation compatibility table which shows which pieces of equipment are suitable with each other. Along with that, get your hands on tips and tricks that you won’t find anywhere else on the web.

Are you keen to get out of your death chair and longing to increase the amount of movement during your day? It doesn’t matter what type of activity you perform, we have it covered.

Be it for work, study, gaming or whatever sedentary activity that you perform, then an active workstation is really a no-brainer. It’s an essential investment if you’re serious about your health.

Plus, these also double up as excellent gifts for people who spend all day sitting.

People are now spending as much as 13 hours in a sedentary position throughout the day. Over half of the time spent sitting is attributable to sitting at work. Source

Active Workstation Types - Man at standing desk on phone

Types of active workstations

The below list highlights the 8 most popular types of active workstation:

Mattress Types - Explained
  1. Standing desk
  2. Standing desk converter
  3. Treadmill desk
  4. Desk bike
  5. Desk elliptical
  6. Kneeling chair
  7. Standing desk chair
  8. Balance board

Treadmill desks

A treadmill base is positioned under a height adjustable desk and facilitates the user to walk while they work at the standing desk.

This is one of the most active pieces of office exercise equipment available.

They are best suited to people who want to be active at their desk and people who already own a standing desk but want to introduce more movement.

Under desk treadmills are more portable since they are not attached to the standing desk like a treadmill workstation is. My recommendation for a reliable, portable compact and lightweight treadmill is the Sunny Portable Stand Up Treadmill.

This means that if you want to take a break from sitting, you can move the under desk treadmill out of your way and position your chair into place.

Treadmill workstations desk boast huge advantages along with mind-blowing of health benefits by encouraging you to sit less and get up and walking.

If you’re keen to introduce life-changing health benefits into your life, you’ll need to find out if under desk treadmills are suitable for you.

Once you have decided that a treadmill desk is worth the investment, you should know what to look for when choosing a treadmill desk.

Useful resources:

Treadmill Desk FAQs – Ultimate Guide To 17 Common Issues!

How To Organize A Treadmill Desk – 5 Proven Techniques!

Tip: If you already own a treadmill, then a treadmill desk attachment may be an efficient means of converting your treadmill to a treadmill workstation.

Active Workstation Types - Treadmill desk workstation

Standing desk converters

Sit stand desk converters are a piece of equipment that sits on top of your existing desk and allows you to work at the desk while sitting or standing.

This tends to be a more compact and cost-effective means of having a sit-stand workstation without having to invest in a standing desk.

Since the surface area is relatively small compared to a desk surface, these are excellent for people who tend to work off a laptop or monitor and keyboard.

In some cases, the standing desk converter is lightweight and portable, so that it can be moved off the desk and used in other rooms or buildings.

If you need to have a large desk surface area while standing, the standing desk may be more suitable.

Or you could simply just move the standing desk converter out of your way.

Useful resources:

5 types of standing desk converters – ultimate cheat sheet!

How much weight can a standing desk converter hold?

Active Workstation Types - Ergotron WorkFit-TX Standing Desk Converter woman at office

Standing desks

A desk which sits on a motorized frame that allows the height of the desk to be raised and lowered based of the height of the user while sitting and standing. This enables the user to have a break from sitting and stand for a period of time.

Sit-stand desks are probably one of the most popular types of active workstations available.

Since you are mainly standing in a static posture, they don’t offer the user a true active workstation experience.

However, movement can be incorporated if the height adjustable desk is used in conjunction with desk bikes, desk ellipticals and under desk treadmills.

Choosing a standing desk is not as straight-forward to as you may think!

If you are in the process of purchasing standing desk, knowing the best type of height adjustable desk for you is the first step.

Follow that up with the key criteria to look for when choosing the perfect desk and it will set you on the path to comfort, happiness and also help you dodge common massive mistakes that people make when choosing a sit-stand desk.

Useful resources:

How much do standing desks cost? Plus, 40 price comparisons included!

How long do standing desks last? Insider tips & facts!

Tip: One of the greatest opportunities to pair pieces of office exercise equipment together is with a standing desk. Refer to the active workstation compatibility table for the various options.

Active Workstation Types - Woman and man at standing desk

Desk bike

Desk bikes allow the user to peddle at their desk while they sit. They can come with a workstation attached to the under desk bike or be sold as a separate piece of equipment that can fit under your existing desk.

Under desk bikes can be situated at your desk, kitchen table, counter, gaming area or even at a chair or couch to enable peddling while you perform work.

This makes them one of the most versatile pieces exercise equipment since they are capable of being used in a multitude of locations including the office.

Useful resources:

How to Choose a Desk Bike? Complete Buyers Guide!

Are Desk Bikes Expensive? – 20 Price Comparisons Included

What Desk Bike Suits My Height? – 20 Examples & FAQs!

Active Workstation Types - DeskCycle

Desk elliptical

An under desk elliptical is a machine that can be used to pedal at your desk or while sitting on a chair. Some seated desk ellipticals can also be used in a standing position for exercising.

Unlike desk bikes, under desk elliptical allow the user to adopt both a seated and standing position.

Also, since the range of leg motion is lower, you are less likely to bang your knees off the desk.

This may make it a more suitable choice for people who are taller and those who have a limited clearance area between their knees and their desk.

If an under desk peddler seems like the solutions to your problems and you’re looking for a way to help eliminate sitting disease, then your next step is to find out how to choose a desk elliptical – ultimate buying tips!

Under desk ellipticals are a great accompaniment to sit-stand desks. You can simply raise the desk height by a few inches if your knees are hitting off the desk

However, if you can’t afford the luxury of buying both, then you may need to check out this article to help you decide which is the winner between the under desk treadmill vs desk elliptical + which is better!

Useful resources:

Are Desk Ellipticals Expensive? + Price Comparison Tables

27 Desk Elliptical FAQs – Must Know Expert Tips & Tricks!

Tip: Opting for equipment that contains caster wheels makes for easy moving.

Active Workstation Types - Sunny Portable Stand-up Elliptical woman standing v sitting

Kneeling chairs

The kneeling chair enables the user to drop their thighs to a 60 – 70 degree position while resting their knees and shins on pads. By sitting in this position, the user sits in a more upright position on the chair.

Kneeling chairs come in a variety of styles including:

  1. X-frame kneeling chair
  2. Rocker kneeling chair
  3. Backrest kneeling chair
  4. Saddle kneeling chair

Find out more here types of kneeling chairs – plus pros & cons.

Some kneeling chairs, known as rocker chairs, have a curved base to facilitate a rocking movement while you sit.

People who are concerned about slouching or experience back pain may find that kneeling chairs are a solution to ease the suffering and discomfort.

Kneeling chairs have been claimed by thousands to help relieve back pain. By distributing the weight of your body to your knees, shins and buttocks instead of placing it on your back, this reduces the pressure, pain and suffering on your back.

However, it’s important to consult your physician first to obtain their professional judgement.

Useful resources:

How to choose a kneeling chair? 21 watch outs

How much do kneeling chairs cost? (with 20 examples)

9 Kneeling Chair FAQs – Need To Know Expert Tips!

Active Workstation Types - Woman on Fully Balans Kneeling Chair

Standing desk chairs

A standing desk chair is a type of stool that you can rest against while you stand. It is typically used at a standing desk, but it can also be used in the absence of a sit-stand desk.

Standing desk stools allow a variety of positions including leaning, perching or sitting fully on the standing desk stool while you use a height adjustable desk.

It is designed to grant the user extra postures to adopt along with giving the body a break from standing.

These are excellent for people who already own a standing desk or work in a standing posture and want some relief from pressure being placed on their feet and body.

Useful resources:

How to choose a standing desk chair? In 12 steps!

Pros and cons of a standing desk chair

Active Workstation Types - Adjustable Standing Desk Stool in office

Balance boards

A balance board or wobble board usually features a curved under surface or a cylinder that the user tries to keep their balance on as they stand on it.

They come in a variety of difficulty levels depending on how good your stability is and how much attention you want to pay to stabilizing yourself.

With the higher stability difficulty levels, it will make it more difficult to concentrate if you are at a standing desk.

However, if you wish to use the wobble board as a training device, higher levels of stability difficulty may be more suitable to challenge you.

Useful resources:

How to choose a balance board? 13 key factors

Balance board FAQs – Must know facts

Active Workstation Types - Floatdeck Balance Board

What active workstations are compatible with each other?

Pairing office exercise equipment with other items is an excellent way to introduce a wide range of postures and increase the level of activity that you can complete at your workstation.

The below active workstation compatibility table highlights which pieces of equipment can be used in conjunction with each other so that you can create the ultimate healthy haven for working in.

Active workstation compatibility table

Under desk treadmill

Under desk elliptical

Desk bike

Standing desk

Standing desk converter

Standing desk stool

Balance board

Kneeling chair

Office desk

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Under desk treadmill

N/A

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Under desk elliptical

Yes

N/A

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Desk bike

Yes

No

N/A

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Standing desk

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Standing desk converter

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

Yes

Yes

Yes

Standing desk stool

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

N/A

No

No

Balance board

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

N/A

No

Kneeling chair

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

N/A

Regardless of what type of active workstation that you opt for, there will be periods where you’ll need to sit and rest. For this, you’ll need to choose an adjustable, good quality chair.

Now it doesn’t need to cost a fortune either, one of my recommended products is this affordable multi-functional office chair which also has a lifetime warranty.

Remember standing all day isn’t much better than sitting all day – the key is to incorporate movement and change your posture.

Conclusion

With so many different active workstations to choose from, there should be one suitable for everybody. There’s one thing that nobody would deny – if you’re truly committed to improving your health, then you’ll have no hesitation in investing in an active workstation!

Using the above descriptions and buying guides for active workstations, along with the pros and cons of office exercise equipment, you should be able to narrow down the selection based on your needs, area and budget requirements.

Plus, with so many working from home and spending more and more time at their desk, an active exercise office equipment could make for the perfect gift to your friend or workforce!

Irrespective of which workstation you go for, you’re certain to increase energy expenditure and movement which will make meaningful steps towards to reducing the adverse health effects of sitting disease while also enhancing your general health and well-being.

If you’re new to the world of active workstations, fear not because I have been looking into the many other ways which can be employed to introduce movement into your workstation.

Here’s an introductory guide with some tips and tricks included: What Is An Active Workstation? – Plus The Amazing Benefits!

If the proven health benefits of getting moving at your workstation sounds important or even attractive to you, then check out my personal favorite products listed below for the products that I would recommend.

The below items are what I’ve looked into so far in order of preference:

  1. Treadmill desks
  2. Standing desk converters
  3. Ergonomic chairs
  4. Standing desks
  5. Desk bike
  6. Desk elliptical
  7. Kneeling chairs
  8. Standing desk chairs
  9. Anti-fatigue mats
  10. Balance boards

My personal favorite products so far are the:

  1. Sunny Treadpad Slim Under Desk Treadmill 20740
  2. Sunny Portable Stand Up Elliptical
  3. Ergotron WorkFit-LX
  4. Bush Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk
  5. CoolMesh Pro Multi-Function Chair


My aim with this website is to help you on all matters related to your home office and your work area. With that in mind, if you have any questions or comments on the above, please drop them in the box below. I’d love to hear them!

Sharon

With years of both professional and first-hand experience in office equipment and work settings, I now want to help you avoid making mistakes that countless others do. Whether you're studying or working from home, this site will help you create the ultimate haven for working safely, comfortably and productively in!

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