They may be celebrated and hard to ignore, but are kneeling chairs good for you? I know you want to know the answer straight away, but let’s slow down things a little bit.
It would be great if you first understand what these chairs are and the features that make them special. They have been around since the 1970s, but a lot has changed over the years. Now we have more improved versions and they have never stopped evolving.
I will also let you in on their benefits and downsides and then show you how to properly use one.
Let’s get started!
What Are Kneeling Chairs?
Kneeling chairs have an odd shape but one that’s well thought out. Even the cushions are positioned at unusual angles. There’s one for your bottom, which is angled at around 60 degrees, and another soft pad for your knees and shins.
Speaking of knees, they will be bent at an angle and won’t be touching the ground as is the case with your average ergonomic office chair.
Some models have a backrest while others take the shape of a stool. Since the bottom inclines you forward, most of your weight will be transferred to your shins and knees. This relieves pressure on your thighs and lower back.
So, Are Kneeling Chairs Good For You?
The simple answer is yes! The major difference between this chair and your typical office chair is that it creates a wider angle between your abdomen and thighs. You won’t be sitting upright where the back of your thighs and lower back absorb most of your weight.
Thanks to this open hip angle, your neck, back, shoulders, and spine will move into a natural position while the spine will maintain its natural curvature. As a result, there will be no pressure on your spine or fatigue due to poor posture.
What Are The Benefits Of A Kneeling Chair?
Whether you work from home or the office, I’m sure you’ve gotten to a point at times when you felt your body could use a different chair for a change. Even chiropractors and other health experts agree that static postures can be a threat to your health and productivity, especially if you spend long hours at a computer or perform tasks that require you to lean forward a lot.
A kneeling chair might be just what you need to restore your lower back health and reignite your productivity. It introduces your body to positions that help you achieve proper spinal alignment and healthier posture.
However, healthcare professionals insist that you only use this type of chair for longer working sessions if it rocks or swivels. Chairs without such features limit you to only a few angles, so using them for a long period lands you back to static postures.
Also, make sure any kneeling desk chairs you purchase can be adjusted to work in harmony with other furniture in the room. Seat height and angle adjustability will also come in handy when you want to control the pressure on your shins.
Other benefits you’ll experience while using an ergonomic kneeling chair include:
- Improved digestion, breathing, and blood circulation due to an open hip angle
- Strengthening of your core and back muscles
- Relief from pressure on your spine as you work
- Improved focus since there’s no stress on your lower back and hips
- Better blood circulation, which also contributes to improved productivity since more oxygen and nutrients can be transferred to the brain and the rest of the body
To experience greater results, don’t just change your chair and desk. Consider replacing your office keyboard, mouse, and other equipment in your workstation with ergonomic options. There are actually many ergonomic tools you can use today to make your work environment more comfortable and productive.
The Downsides Of A Kneeling Chair
Unfortunately, these chairs aren’t faultless. But the good thing is that the benefits of a kneeling chair far outweigh the downsides. It’s important that you familiarize yourself with these negative aspects as well, which include:
- Restricted leg movements
- Potential pain in the shins due to the pressure generated by the kneeling position
- Poor blood circulation in the legs due to their static position
- Inconvenient if you get up and sit down often while working
- Some lack the height range normal chairs have, which could make them incompatible with some work desks
How To Sit In A Kneeling Chair Properly
It wouldn’t be fair to wind up this article without showing you how to make the most of kneeling chairs. Let’s begin with how one should sit.
Start by putting your bottom on the seat and then rest your knees or shins gently on the lower pad as you slowly move into a kneeling position. Let your bottom absorb most of the weight and only use the lower pad to prevent your body from sliding forward.
Next, find a good balance between support and comfort. If the chair is adjustable, find a position where you feel most relaxed. More importantly, keep your spine upright. Also make sure your back, neck, and shoulders are aligned.
At first, you may find it hard to adapt your body to the kneeling position, especially if you were used to a totally different position. I would suggest you keep your former chair close at hand (assuming it was a proper chair for working) as you make the transition.
Remember to also take breaks regularly to avoid soreness and fatigue. You can use this time to stretch or flex your body.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Should You Use A Kneeling Chair?
When starting out, most experts recommend that you take regular breaks, say every 20-30 minutes. This allows your body to conform to the new posture and minimizes the risk of soreness.
Increase your time on this chair gradually, depending on how comfortable you feel while working from it. Since your leg movement will be restricted, it’s best to find a model that allows you to adjust the seat height and angle. This will help to reduce pressure and strain on your knees and shins.
Nonetheless, listen to your body and take breaks when necessary.
Is Kneeling Better Than Sitting For Lower Back Pain?
Sitting upright has more negative effects on the lower pack. In this position, the bulk of the weight in your upper body is absorbed by the lower part of your back. This can result in spinal compression and other complications. Also, unless the chair has lumbar support, your spine will be incorrectly aligned, which only makes the situation worse.
The kneeling position, on the other hand, distributes weight and pressure evenly across the body while putting the spine in its neutral position, leading to a healthier back.
Do Physiotherapists Recommend Kneeling Chairs?
Studies by researchers, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other health professionals corroborate the already existing findings that kneeling chairs provide so many health benefits.
Some professionals will recommend it to you as a solution to lower back pain. Others advocate for it as a short-term solution for improving posture as one works. In recent years, this chair has been a significant part of workplace ergonomics.
If you aren’t sure if such a chair would be great for you, speak to such a professional for more help.
Our Final Thoughts On Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs
Kneeling chairs have been a welcome relief to those wishing to transform their workplace ergonomics. They have also been a much-needed solution to those battling conditions caused by poor posture, the major ones being:
- Hip and lower back pain
- Spinal dysfunction
However great your traditional office chair is, it won’t provide the benefits this particular chair offers. That’s why many people use it as an alternative seat in order to diversify their movements while working.
My guess is that you’re now more interested than ever to have this chair in your office or home. If that’s the case, make sure you understand the different types available before placing your order.
Some take the shape of a stool while others mimic a normal chair, complete with a backrest. There are also those that rock and swivel. Each suits different circumstances. Remember to also narrow your search down to models that allow you to adjust the seat height and angle.
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