What are the Benefits of Kneeling Chairs?

kneeling chairs

End your back pain with a kneeling chair!

With increasing numbers of the population working in office-based jobs, back pain caused by bad posture and unsuitable office chairs has become a serious occupational hazard leading to many days of lost productivity and pain.

Kneeling Chairs are fast gaining acceptance amongst ergonomists and extended seating suffers alike. Kneeling chairs are a type of chair in which a majority of your body weight is supported by your shins and knees.

Most kneeling chair designs allow your body to sit in a 60 degrees vertical angle as opposed to the traditional 90 degrees vertical angle common to traditional office chairs.

There is a common misconception though that a kneeling chair causes damage to the knees by putting them under strain, along with the supporting thigh muscles.

Don’t let the term “kneeling” fool you. Kneeling chairs are not chairs in which you are kneeling on the ground. Instead, by using a kneeling chair, your body becomes balanced as a majority of your weight is now shifted towards your knees to prevent you from tipping backwards in a chair without a traditional backing.

Kneeling chairs supply ergonomic benefits and this stems from the way they promote an upright posture. A kneeling chair’s ergonomic design in fact does not put your thighs and knees under pressure, they instead offer exceptional benefits and provides the best of ergonomic seating to their users.

However keep in mind that sitting on a kneeling ergonomic chair takes a bit of getting used to, so it may take a little while for you realize the benefits (and you will occasionally fall off).

With traditional chairs, a majority of your weight is borne by both your buttocks and your upper thighs while your body is in “sit” position. As with kneeling chairs, its main function is direct the focus of your weight to your shins, however, though this may sound dangerous, the accompanied shin rests, or knee rests, only bare a portion of your weight, with the rest being distributed to your buttocks.

How to Keep Yourself From Falling Off a Knee Chair

Kneeling chairs will take some time for you to get the hang of. In order to prevent falling off of a kneeling chair, is important that you practice positions that will provide the best comfort and stability. This could include straddling your kneeling chair or rotating positions between legs and your buttocks.

Are Kneeling Chairs a Long-Term Solution to back pain?

The answer to be honest is no, they help to alleviate the pain and reduce the strain on your body but they are not a cure.

Knee chairs are great a providing a solution to improper posture. However, it should be noted that using a knee chair for a prolonged period of time is not advised.

At heart and body we are still hunter/gathers, its just the tools that have changed and the knife has become excel and the shield is Powerpoint, our bodies were not designed to sit still for long periods of time, but instead are designed to be continually on the move.

With that in mind, when using a knee chair, ensure that you are periodically extending and flexing your legs throughout the duration of your chair usage.

If your work environment consists of one in which you are sitting for a prolonged period of time, your muscles are not being put to use, and consequently, your joints become stiff or constricted.

Fortunately for us, kneeling chairs have been designed to help you overcome this, stiffness by utilizing what is known as “new” movements.

When you first bring home your knee chair, it is to be expected that there will be a breaking in period. In fact, it is recommended that you give your knee chair at least 1 to 2 weeks so that your muscles can adapt to the chair.

Kneeling Chair Misconceptions

Don’t make the mistake of putting too much pressure on your kneeling chair’s knee cushion. What oftentimes happens with new users of knee chairs is that they take the term “knee chair” literally and put immense pressure on their knees when it should in fact be placed on your bottom.

As a rule of thumb, remember to always sit on your bottom first and then proceed to place one or both of your knees in a comfortable position on the cushion.

Your Body position in relation to Kneeling Chairs

When using a kneeling ergonomic chair, it is important to understand that your body weight should remain supported by the seating portion of your chair. Despite shirting your weight between your legs and knee cushion for relief, the bulk of your body weight should be focused on the seating surface.

For example, by sitting on your knee chair with your legs in a position that allows you to straddle your knee rest, also known as the “perch position”, your body weight will in turn be born by both your feet bones as well as your sit bones.

How Long Should You Use a Kneeling Chair for?

As with all other forms of seating, kneeling chairs provide the most benefit and maximum comfort when they are used in short sessions.

It is important that you allow yourself breaks and periods of rest at least 2-3 times per hour when using a kneeling chair.

Though designed to help improve your posture, using a kneeling chair for long periods of time is not recommended. In fact, you can even switch between using both a traditional chair and kneeling chair throughout your work day.

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Written by Simon
I am a published writer, journalist and photo-journalist. I have an MA in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales and my journalism has been published in a number of UK national newspapers including 'the Observer'. I have life long interest in creative design, art and function and this website is an exploration of that in all its forms and guises.