Are Floor Desks Ergonomic?

It can be difficult to decide whether to get a floor desk or a standing office desk. I also experimented with using a floor desk for my home office.

Floor desks are ergonomic because of their numerous advantages. Sitting on the floor can enhance flexibility and mobility by actively stretching your lower body. On the other hand, working on the floor, is thought to have some drawbacks.

Laptop on the floor desk
Working on the floor desk promotes longevity and strengthens core muscles.

It’s nothing new to sit on the floor or, more commonly, on the ground.

Since antiquity, people have sat on the ground, and some have continued the habit in ceremonial contexts or simply as part of daily life.

You can work on the floor in various ways, but are they ergonomic? Or Will you end up causing more harm than good?

Don’t worry. I will be helping you to get in detailed information about the advantages and disadvantages of floor desks.

What is a Floor Desk?

A floor desk is a smaller version of a standard desk that may be used and monitored while seated.

They are commonly used as office tables, study tables, coffee tables, dining tables, and other alternatives.

Most of the floor desk has a height of 15 inches off the ground.

The height of the floor desk depends on the customization and its design. However, floor desks are an easy and cheap alternative to regular office desks.

Floor desks are used for home office work. Due to the current customization feature, one can fit their primary home office set up on a floor desk.

Where Does the Floor Desk Idea Come From?

The idea of floor desks typically started from the Asian Culture.

Asian Countries like India, Japan, Korea, and China used floor desks mostly while eating food and doing other housework.

The famous “floor culture” practiced in countries like Japan and China started the invention of the floor desks. The architectural style of houses also supported the floor desk and sitting on floor.

Laptop on the floor desk
The concept of floor desk came from Asian countries like Japan.

Another reason the floor desk was popular was the history of Asians being obese compared to other continents.

Sitting on the floor was known to burn calories keeping the body in an active rest position. Hence, they started using a floor desk.

Is Working on the Floor Desk Ergonomic?

You might wonder if working on the floor is a good idea when using a floor desk. However, working on the floor has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Here is a handful of them:

Advantages of Working on the Floor Desk

1. It May Improve Core Stability and Activates Muscles

One of the significant merits of sitting on the floor is that it improves your core stability and activates other muscles. Core stability engages your core to maintain its strength.

In the case of other muscles, proper activation allows your muscle from being stiff.

For example, sitting on a chair makes your muscles, like your hip and spine stiff. Hence, sitting on the floor activates all your muscles.

A position like squatting while sitting on the floor activates the leg and core muscles.

2. Maintains Good Posture Than Chairs

Sitting on the floor, rather than on a chair, helps people sit more upright. Sitting upright helps to maintain the natural curve of the spine.

The feature of activation of core muscles and other muscles leads to improved posture.

In addition, different positions on the floor strengthen the lower back and pelvic region, maintaining the posture.

Do you realize why it can be uncomfortable to sit up straight sometimes? To discover more about it, read the article.

3. Promotes Mobility and Flexibility

Sitting on the floor activates your muscles and also stretches them.

For instance, several inactive muscles are adequately stretched while sitting on the floor.

4. Increases Concentration and Relaxation

There are various positions of mediation that can be done while sitting on the floor.

While sitting on the floor, it’s similar to sitting in a yoga position like Padmasana and Sukhasana, which increases your focus and relaxes your mind.

5. Burns Calories

Different positions while sitting on the floor, like squatting and crossing legs, are active rest positions. This activates muscles and also burns some amount of calories.

Disadvantages of Working on the Floor Desk

1. It Can Stress Joints

The primary muscles in your body are engaged when you sit on the floor, but certain positions or a lack of proper knowledge of sitting on the floor might stress your joints.

Because the lower body supports the upper body, this may stress the joints.

2. May be Difficult at the Beginning to Sit on the Floor

It is always difficult to change your position from sitting on a chair to sitting on the floor. Compared to the luxury of a chair, sitting on the floor is uncomfortable.

Moreover, activating muscles, in the beginning, can also cause muscle soreness.

3. It can Affect Blood Circulation

While sitting on the floor, our lower body supports the upper body.

Most positions stress the feet, limbs, and thighs, causing less blood circulation.

4. Sitting in the Wrong Position can Even Affect Postures

Although, sitting on the floor maintains the curve of the spine. Sitting incorrectly on the floor can result in improper posture, which directly impacts the body.

The study suggests that sitting on the floor increases longevity and repeatedly standing up from a seated posture on the floor strengthens your core muscles and develops your sense of balance

How to Comfortably Sit on the Floor?

To use a floor desk, one must sit on the floor properly.

There are different positions applicable to sitting on the floor supported by ergonomics. Some of the positions ideal while using floor desks are:

1. Squatting

Squatting is one of the great positions which activates your core and uses your quads and hips muscles. To remain in this pose, do the following:

  • Place your legs on the shoulders width apart.
  • Lower your buttocks by keeping your spine straight until it’s lower than your knee joints or simply until your buttocks are just above the floor.
  • Keep your upper body upright.

2. Kneeling

Kneeling is a common position for sitting on the floor. For this position following steps should be followed:

  • Stand at first.
  • Try to touch the ground with both your knees keeping your back straight
  • Place your buttocks on heels by keeping your upper body upright.

3. Cross-Legged

This position is common during meditation. To remain in this pose, do the following:

  • At first, sit on the floor.
  • Bend your knees facing them outward
  • Place right foot under left knee and vice-versa
  • Put pressure on your hips.

Related Article: 9 Best Office Chairs for Sitting Cross-Legged

4. Long Sit Position

This position avoids extra pressure on your limbs and leg muscles. To remain in this pose, do the following:

  • This position starts by sitting.
  • Extend your legs towards the floor desk. You can place it right below the floor desk.
  • Point your toes upward.
  • Keep your spine straight.

Other positions like bent-sit, and side-sit are also popular and useful for your body structure.

Should I Buy a Floor Desk for My Home Office?

A floor desk is far more advantageous to sit on the floor rather than on a chair.

However, switching from a luxurious chair to a floor desk is a huge gamble, but it pays off over time. Here are some reasons to switch from a chair to a floor desk:

1. Tons of Benefits of Sitting on the Floor

As mentioned earlier, the benefits of sitting on the floor are by far the most important reason to switch from a luxury chair to a floor desk.

The biggest reason to go from a chair to a floor desk is for improved posture, muscular and core activation, flexibility, mobility, and mental relaxation.

It promotes the range of motion of most muscles of your body, improving its posture, flexibility, and position.

2. Low Setup Cost

Unlike office desks and office chairs, floor desks are very cheap. Therefore, all that is needed for a floor desk setup in a home office is a random floor desk and a cushion to sit on.

Purchasing a cheap office setup with a floor desk is always a better option if you are in low budget.

Floor desk setup
Floor desk is easy to setup and customize.

3. Consumes Less Workspace

A floor desk consumes less space than an office chair and desk. So, it is easy to set up in any room and even in a room with fewer spaces.

Moreover, it consumes less workspace giving room to fit other important home office accessories.

4. Simple to Move from One Location to Another

The floor desk fits in any room and can easily be transferred while you shift from one place to another. Portability is one of the most significant features of floor desks.

Floor desks are generally not heavy and can even be carried outdoors.

5. Easy to Customize

One can easily customize the floor desk and even use small coffee tables with low-height tables as a floor desk setup.

The main reason for its easy customization is one can easily access the floor desk while sitting on the floor.

So, using different tables or customizing it as per your height and body structure is extremely easy due to the low setup cost and easy setup of floor desks.

6. Long-Lasting and Promotes Longevity

Compared to their counterparts, floor desks are one of the most long-lasting workplace settings.

However, standard workstations and office tables make people healthy and comfortable in the long run.

The floor desk is an office layout that can be challenging at first but will help you maintain good posture in the long run.

As a result, it encourages longevity in terms of office setup and health considerations.

7. Floor Desk is Multi-Functional

There are different luxurious home office desks and chairs available. But most are not versatile due to their limited uses; they are ideal only for home office.

However, thanks to their built-in function, they can be used in the home office and for other uses.

For example, you could use them as a dining table, coffee table or reading table for your children. Hence, they are not only limited to in-home office work.

What to Look for While Buying a Floor Desk?

After reading about the benefits of floor desks, you may consider purchasing one or customizing one.

However, there are a few things to consider while purchasing an ideal floor desk.

AttributesIdeal Floor Desk
HeightFloor Desk of height 15-16 inches is ideal.
LengthUsing a floor desk with a length shorter than 35 inches are not ideal.
Materials Materials made up of wood, oak, rubber, metals and plastics are found.
Work-friendlyWork-friendly such as spacious, portable and easy to carry
Weight CapacityIdeal weight capacity ranges from 35 to 50 kg.
Style and DesignCurrently foldable floor desks are more ideal. Different other types of floor desks are also available.

1. Height of Floor Desk

Floor desks with a height of at least 15 or 16 inches are ideal since they are comfortable and fit each individual.

Higher than this are difficult to operate from the floor, whereas lower than 15 inches floor desks may be difficult to adjust taller people.

The appropriate height for a floor desk is determined by your body size and any cushions you choose.

Floor desk height and length
Floor desk ideal height and length should be 15 inches and 35 inches, respectively.

2. Length of Floor Desk

A floor desk is still a desk. However, it implies it must have enough room for your work tools, such as laptops, pens, and notebooks.

Generally, choosing a floor desk over 35 inches longer is always useful.

Since a desk that is too tiny won’t be able to hold all of these items, and if the desk is too close to your feet, getting up from a sitting posture will be challenging.

3. Material of the Desk

Most floor tables are made up of oak, wood, and rubber. However, some are made up of plastics and metals.

  • Oak and woods are nature-friendly and look great aesthetically.
  • Rubber floor desks are scratch-friendly and strong.
  • Plastic floor desks are generally lighter compared to others.
  • Metals floor desks are strong but generally heavy.
Wooden floor desk
Wood is the best desk material.

Out of these, all oak, wood, and rubber floor desks are ideal.

Read more to learn about best office desk materials.

4. Weight Capacity

Most small foldable floor desks can hold up to 35 kg of weight, whereas traditional wooden and even metal floor desks can hold 50 kg and even more.

Ideal weight capacity for a home office setup ranges from 35 to 50 kg depending upon its use and the items one needs to keep on the desk.

6. Style and Design

The style and design of the desk depend upon your personal preference.

There are various floor desks available in different designs and styles. Let’s explore some of them.

Traditional wooden Floor Desk

Wooden floor desk was popular in Asian countries and used while eating, working, and doing other activities. This type of floor desk is eco-friendly but is heavier than normal ones.

Non-Foldable Modern Floor Desk

Modern floor desks use materials like metal, rubbers and plastic: all of these are lighter than traditional wooden ones. The limiting factor is the built-in quality of such floor desks.

Foldable Modern Floor Desk

A modern foldable desk is the most popular and ideal style of floor desk. A significant population commonly utilizes these desks due to detachable pieces and excellent built-in quality.

If you’re considering buying a regular office desk instead of a floor desk, read more to find out what desk size is best for your home office.

Best Floor Desks in 2022

Here is the list of some of the best floor desks of every type and different materials:

Floor DeskFeaturesImage
Laptop Desk, Astoryou Portable Foldable floor desk
Weight: 5.3 lbs
Foldable wood and metal floor desk
Japanese Accent Floor DeskTraditional/Non-foldable floor desk
One to four person use
Japanese Accent Floor Desk
NEARPOW Leather floor deskFoldable floor desk
Weight: ‎9.53 pounds
NEARPOW Leather floor desk
WoodShine Mid Century Modern Mini-SwingTraditional/ Non-foldable floor desk
Weight: 14.42 lbs
WoodShine Mid Century Modern Mini-Swing
NNEWVANTE BambooFoldable floor desk
Weight: 6.95 lbs
 NNEWVANTE Bamboo
Cooper Mega TableFoldable floor desk
Weight: 6.8 lbs
Cooper Mega Table

Conclusion

To sum up, floor desks are ergonomic due to their benefit and proper performance to promote health and effectiveness in work.

In addition, floor desks are always considered at the top compared to standard office chairs due to their scientifically proven health benefits.

Transitioning from traditional home office arrangements like chairs and desks to floor desks is always challenging, but it significantly influences physical and mental productivity and health.

Most importantly, it’s a terrific way to complement your home office setup for the long term.

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