Chairs and stools for standing desks continue to be a growing category in the office furniture space. One product that caught my attention, when I began my journey into standing chairs, was the LeanRite™ Elite by Ergo Impact. It piqued my interest because it is the only chair that I have seen that supports you while fully standing. The other standing chairs that I have tested help you to perch or lean, but you still need to be resting on top of a seat.
In 2018, Jonathan from Ergo Impact reached out to me to see if I would be interested in testing and reviewing the LeanRite™ Elite. I jumped at the opportunity and he sent one out to us. This review will go over our full experience with the chair, including the things that I liked and some things that I think could be problems for some people. By the end, I want you to be able to decide if the LeanRite™ Elite is the best product for your needs.
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The LeanRite™ Elite is made by Ergo Impact. Ergo Impact is a company out of Chicago, IL. The LeanRite™ Elite is their first product launch. It was in development for several years before making its debut. The LeanRite™ Elite idea came from founder Jonathan Sheinkop. He envisioned a hybrid chair that would allow him to lean against while standing but would still allow for breaks by sitting down. The Ergo Impact team is comprised of ergonomic specialists, orthopedic doctors and product designers. Their focus is on providing ergonomic solutions for the workplace that look to prevent musculoskeletal disorders and workplace injuries.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
– Specs / Features / Pricing
– Return Policy and Warranty
– Shipping and Assembly
– Build Quality
– Sitting Mobility
– Seat Comfort
– Range of Motion
– Making Adjustments
– What I Like
– What I Don’t Like
– Bottom Line
Country of Origin
Seat Size: 14.75”W x 12.25”D
Seat Height Range: 25” – 48.5”
Base Dimensions: 30”D x 19”W
Weight Capacity: 270 lbs.
Chair Weight: 39 lbs.
Shipping Weight: 47 lbs.
Shipping Box Dimensions: 21” x 33” x 12”
Two stages of seat height adjustment controlled with foot pedal and hand lever
High grade aluminum structure
Stainless steel fasteners
Closed membrane integral skin seat foam
Adjustable seat angle
Wheels on back of base for mobility
UL Certified Cal TB 117-2013
UL Tested Compliant with BIFMA Seating Durability
UL Tested Compliant with BIFMA Stability Requirements
2019 Price – $549.00
The LeanRite™ Elite is featured in an all black finish. The base and anti-fatigue mat are black. The height adjustable column and seat are also black. There is an option to change the seat color but that applies to bulk purchases only.
The LeanRite™ Elite ships with a 30 day return policy from the day that you receive the chair. You can return the chair for any reason for a full refund. Ergo Impact will even cover the return shipping charges. The only requirement is that the chair is returned in the original packaging.
Ergo Impact covers the LeanRite™ Elite with a limited lifetime warranty. The seat cushion, wheels and piston are covered for five years. The rest of the chair is covered for a lifetime. It is important to note that the warranty is non-transferable and is only valid if purchased directly from Ergo Impact or through an authorized Ergo Impact reseller. You will want to make sure to purchase from an authorized seller to ensure that you have a warranty on your chair. This warranty coverage period is on par with industry leaders like aeris GmbH and Focal Upright.
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The LeanRite™ Elite ships via FedEx or UPS Ground. It arrives in a medium sized box that weighs about 50 lbs. The size and weight of the box made it tough to carry on my own so I ended up sliding it into my office. You may want to have a second person on hand to help you move the box if you are not able to slide the box on your floor. The LeanRite™ Elite was packaged really well. There was thick foam around the edges of the box to help protect the parts from the box being dropped and dented. Each part was protected inside individual plastic bags. I did not have any damage to our LeanRite™ Elite and I would expect this to be the case for most people.
The LeanRite™ Elite does require a bit more assembly than most of the standing desk chairs I have reviewed but it will still take most people less than 10 minutes to assemble. There are no tools required and all of the hardware needed is included with the chair. The process was easy and straightforward.
The LeanRite™ Elite is made in China but it is still among the higher end standing chairs when it comes to build quality. It has passed testing standards with BIFMA for seating durability and stability. It is also UL Certified to Cal TB 117-2013 standards. The frame, which includes the base and column, is made from aluminum. It feels durable and has a nice finish. The base also features an anti-fatigue mat and wheels. The mat is decent quality with a durable outer skin and good padding. The wheels remind me of soft roller skate wheels. They roll nicely and should be safe to use on almost all types of flooring. The column is a dual stage design with two separate gas cylinders. The cylinders operate smoothly and quietly. The seat pan is made from plastic and the seat is lightly padded and features a closed membrane integral skin. This type of seat is meant to last longer than traditional office chair upholsteries while also being easy to clean.
The LeanRite™ Elite has little mobility while you are using the chair. There are wheels underneath the back side of the base. They allow you to move the seat front to back but it is not very easy to make side to side or angle adjustments. This is a problem that I have seen with most standing desk chairs. It can sometimes be difficult to get into your most comfortable typing position because you cannot make the little micro adjustments you can make with a normal office chair that has five caster wheels.
The LeanRite™ Elite is a heavy chair. The attached footrest also makes it a bit awkward to move. The wheels under the back of the base really help to make the LeanRite™ Elite portable. There is a place at the back of the base to place your foot so that you can push down on the base and tip the front of the footrest up. This makes it easy to get into a position to roll the chair and the wheels make moving it smooth without requiring much physical effort. One thing to keep in mind is that the LeanRite™ Elite takes up more space than most standing chairs due to the built-in foot platform. And, unlike the Focal Locus, the seat does not collapse down for easier storage.
The seat on the LeanRite™ Elite shares many of the same characteristics I have seen on other standing chairs. The seat is small, firm and features a downward sloping angle. It also features a closed membrane integral skin with a small amount of padding. It is nothing like the seat on your standard office chair. The seat was designed like this for a few reasons. The firm padding choice was done to help improve comfort while in perched or leaning positions. I was told that during the testing phase, a seat with soft padding took away from the comfort when standing. The material chosen is also more durable than fabric and foam seen on standard office chairs. This should help to improve longevity while also making the seat easy to clean. The shape of the seat is another important factor. The seat has a rounded front edge. This was done so that it can fit comfortably up against your back while you are standing and so that there is not an uncomfortable front edge when perching.
I found the seat to be quite firm when sitting or in shorter perched positions. Moving to taller heights and using the seat as a backrest was more comfortable for me than actually sitting on the seat. I think that sitting for short periods can work but I found myself getting uncomfortable after about 45 minutes. I think most people will want to use the sitting position as a short break from standing.
Range of Motion
I needed to look at the range of motion on the LeanRite™ Elite differently than any of the other standing chairs. The reason is because the chair itself does not actually move or provide any range of motion on its own to the user. But, you are not always meant to be sitting in or on top of the seat, like other standing chairs. While the piston does not move like we have seen on chairs like the Locus Seat or Muvman, the LeanRite™ Elite allows you to lean up against the seat and create your own movement. There is a tradeoff here. When you are sitting fully on the seat, you will not have any movement. But, when in standing and leaning positions, you can move all you want because the seat is simply acting as a back support and doesn’t restrict your range in any way.
Adjusting the LeanRite™ Elite
There are three different adjustments on the LeanRite™ Elite. The first two adjustments are for the seat height and the third adjustment is for the seat angle. There is a foot pedal on the front of the column that controls the first stage of seat height adjustment. Stepping on the pedal will unlock the column and the pneumatic cylinder will move the seat upward. To move the seat down, you need to step on the pedal and then push the seat down. The easiest way to do this is to sit on the seat and use your body weight to push it down.
The second stage of the seat height adjustment is controlled with a handle underneath the right side of the seat, when sitting on the chair. It operates the same way as the foot pedal, except that you control it with your hand instead of your foot. The seat angle adjustment is controlled with a lever under the left side of the seat. You will want to get off the chair to make this adjustment. Holding the handle will unlock the seat and allow it to tilt to three different positions. The first is the standard sitting position, which will have the seat tilted forward slightly. The second position will be close to a 45° angle and the third position will put the seat completely vertical. Once you have your seat at the desired angle, you can release the handle to lock it in place.
The ergonomic principles behind the LeanRite™ Elite are to allow you to move freely without always being tied to a seat. This is another standing chair that does not feature a backrest, armrests or a thick padded seat. The huge seat height adjustment range and the different seat angle options allow you to use the chair in a variety of positions instead of finding one correct position, like a traditional ergonomic office chair. This allows you to change your posture if you start to feel uncomfortable. There are other standing chairs that offer different position options for you to choose from but the LeanRite™ Elite has a few positions that are unique only to the LeanRite™ Elite. I will go over some of the different position options below so that you can get a feel for the versatility of the LeanRite™ Elite.
The first position option is the standard sitting position. This position is used with the seat at a low height, with no seat tilt engaged. This is most commonly referred to as a perching position and is the most common posture we see on a standing chair. This position can be raised or lowered to increase or decrease your leg angle.
The second position is what Ergo Impact calls an “angled perch”. The angled perch has the seat in an angled position and allows you to lean up against the seat at higher heights.
The third position is standing at full height. The seat height range is large enough to adjust the seat to be at your lower back. If you put the seat at the flat option, the front curve will fit in your lower back and provide good lumbar support while you are standing. This position is the only real standing option I have seen on a chair.
There are also a number of different random positions you can use and probably a few that I haven’t even thought of. The large amount of adjustability also comes in handy with the electric massager because you can position it from your thighs all the way up to your back.
I found the LeanRite™ Elite to be stable at all the different heights that I used the chair. The chair design uses your own weight as a tool to make the chair stable. By adding a built-in footrest, the seat remains stable, as long as you keep your feet on the footrest. If you step off the footrest or stand to the side, the chair can move, but I do not see a reason to use the chair in that way. Overall, I was very comfortable with the stability on the LeanRite™ Elite and never felt like I was in danger of tipping or falling over.
What Do I Like?
Seat tilt function
The tilting seat is the feature that I think really separates the LeanRite™ Elite from the rest of the standing chairs. The tilting seat, along with the huge seat height range, allow you to use the LeanRite™ Elite in positions no other chair can currently offer.
Huge seat height range
The two-stage column design gives the LeanRite™ Elite the largest seat height range I have ever seen on a chair. The range should be large enough to allow for almost anyone to use this chair.
Good build quality
The LeanRite™ Elite is priced on the higher end for standing chairs and that is because it is made of good quality parts and has more functionality than most standing chairs. The chair feels solid and has a sleek design.
Good range of movement
Aside from the lowest sitting positions, the LeanRite™ Elite offers good range of motion because it is up to you how much you want to move. Your only limitation is that you need to remain on the standing mat in order to keep the chair stable. This really helped to increase my movement and keep me active. I also found myself walking around my office and to co-workers offices more while using the LeanRite™ Elite than my normal office chair.
The warranty provided by Ergo Impact helps to secure your investment in a higher end standing chair. You know that you will have a minimum of five years of use out of your LeanRite™ Elite.
May be an option for 5+ hours per day
With so many different positions available, the LeanRite™ is the only standing chair I have tested that I can see as a possible replacement for a normal ergonomic office chair that is used for five or more hours per day.
Anti-Fatigue mat and electric massager included
The massager and standing mat are small additions, but they help to make the chair more comfortable for longer hours.
What Don’t I Like?
Takes up a lot of space
The foot platform makes the LeanRite™ Elite quite a bit larger than most standing chairs. This may pose a problem for people looking to use this as a secondary chair or for people with limited space.
Seat may be uncomfortable
The LeanRite™ Elite’s seat is small and firm. This is not a seat that is designed to be comfortable for long periods at a time but more as a compliment to the various standing positions. People looking for a large, thickly padded seat will want to look for alternative options.
Poor sitting mobility
The LeanRite™ Elite has two wheels at the back of the base which help with making the chair easier to move from room to room or around your office. But, the wheels do not help to make the chair more mobile while you are using it. Making small adjustments to get into the most comfortable position with your desk and keyboard set-up takes more time than with an office chair that has a five star base with casters.
Takes time to get used to
Using the LeanRite™ Elite created a much different experience than a standard ergonomic office chair. It will take time to get used to not having arms and a backrest. You may experience muscle fatigue, soreness and maybe even some pain while your body acclimates to the new way of working.
I must say that I am impressed with the LeanRite™ Elite and I think it helps to fill a much needed niche in our industry. It does have some downsides though. The adjustment period can be a big deterrent for a lot of people because it is quite a big change from a standard chair. Not only will muscles be sore and tired but you may see a dip in work efficiency until you get used to the chair. The small, firm seat is another factor that I think will be a problem for some people. The built-in footrest has some benefits but it also limits the number of people that will be able to use the LeanRite™ Elite because it is not as portable or mobile as other standing chairs.
While the LeanRite™ Elite is not perfect, it does things that I have not seen on any other office chair. The combination of the huge seat height range and the three different tilt positions for the seat allow you to do so many things with this chair. The one position that I think will make the LeanRite™ Elite an attractive product for a lot of people is the full standing position. This is not a position we have seen before. Along with the unique features, you are also getting a product with good quality parts and a strong warranty.
The biggest thing with the LeanRite™ Elite, in my eyes, is your commitment to the new style of sitting. If you are looking for a product to use minimally or don’t want to commit to a new sitting posture, then the LeanRite™ Elite is probably not the right product for you. If you are looking to make a lifestyle change and want a high quality product, then the LeanRite™ Elite is a chair that you should consider.