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Wobble Stools - The Good and the Bad

08 April 2022

Active seating is becoming all the rage. We now know that traditional chairs are absolutely terrible for the human body and any alternative that provides us with those much-needed stretches while also sitting down is always gratefully welcomed.

In the last decade or so, there have been numerous options for active seating that have appeared on the market - some have been huge successes and some most certainly have not.

Wobble stools have only really emerged in the last few years, but have already become hugely popular for those looking for an alternative to traditional chair seating. If you’re thinking about investing in a wobble stool, you might be a little apprehensive and no doubt have plenty of questions.

Here is a quick rundown on everything you need to know about wobble stools, the good, the bad, and everything in between.

What are wobble stools?   

Flexispot offers a number of wobble stool options that essentially do exactly what they sound like. They come with a nicely padded seated area, but instead of four legs like those boring old chairs we’ve had for so long, wobble stools come with a stable base that can tilt - and wobble - in all directions.

This provides you with a base that stays put but can rock back and forth to your heart’s content. Usually, people will perch themselves towards the edge of the stool and then lean slightly forward, which provides the body with a much better posture than in a traditional chair.

The Good

There are plenty of positives about wobble stools. They may not be conventional, but their effect on the human body can be dramatic - especially when compared to stationary four-legged chairs.

Instead of slouching into a chair, using a wobble stool means that you will normally perch towards the edge of the stool, which in turn helps with your posture - something that many of us suffer badly from. The fact that it can swivel in all directions reduces the strain on the neck and back, while the position you are in, tends to give your core muscles a good workout too.

The real beauty of the wobble stool is that it allows you to be constantly swivelling or rocking ever so slightly which means your muscles are always receiving a slight stretch. This means that when the end of the day comes, and you turn off that computer to go home, your body doesn't have that same deep achiness that comes from sitting in a bad chair with bad posture for 8 hours a day.  

Most people report a greater feeling of energy while using a wobble stool, which is, again, no doubt down to the fact that your muscles are constantly being used rather than coiled up into a chair and more energy often leads to better productivity.

Lastly, using a wobble stool is often seen as a better option for your eyes because you are not constantly leaning and squinting to focus on different things.  

The Bad

While it might be difficult to highlight some real negatives about wobble stools, that’s not to say that there aren’t some points to consider before making a purchase.

Firstly, wobble stools often take some time to get used to, especially if you’ve been sitting in a traditional chair for years. Their constant movement might not be to everybody’s taste and it does time for the body to adjust to a different posture.

It may not be ideal for those suffering from pre-existing back issues and might actually make the situation worse before it gets better. Wobble stools are generally considered a great option to prevent back problems, rather than the remedy after they have arrived.

The lack of back support and armrests can also take some time to get used to, but this is often simply down to a habit that has become deeply ingrained. You’d be surprised how quickly you can pick up new (better) habits.

Another point that people often query about wobble stools is whether the base is going to slide away from under you, leaving you sprawled out on the floor. Looking at a picture of a person sitting on a wobble stool, it might appear like they are on the verge of falling off, but the stool is much more stable than you’d think.

Our wobble stool bases come with a 5kg weight with them, which is more than enough to retain stability while you tilt in any direction you like.     

Conclusion

We understand that it might take some convincing for many to come around to the idea of wobble stools. At first sight, they don’t exactly look either comfortable or productive, but never judge a book by its cover.

Like other forms of active seating, wobble stools are almost certainly going to be a big part of our future as we continue to search for the best ways of working ergonomically.

If you're experimenting with standing at work, but feel you need something to perch on from time to time, then a wobbly stool might be exactly what you’re looking for.