If you have been shopping for a standing desk chair to use while you are sitting at the desk, then you have probably come across kneeling chairs. Are these chairs beneficial? If so, are there any downsides to consider? Well, this article will explain all that and more!
What is an Ergonomic Kneeling Chair?
Since sitting is so bad for you, it makes sense to reduce the amount of time that we do so. However, standing too much can come with its own risks. The solution to this problem is to alternate between standing and sitting. However, some experts say that the time sitting should be done using an ergonomic kneeling chair.
Kneeling chairs are a relatively new concept and have only recently been gaining in popularity. They were initially developed in the United States during the 1970s. However, with the rise in the popularity of standing desks more and more people have been looking for healthy alternatives to sitting in a traditional office chair.
Kneeling chairs are designed so that your upper legs are at a 60 to 70 degree angle instead of a 90 degree angle that is the normal sitting position when the feet are flat against the ground. This means that the shins are on the padded portion of the chair and take pressure off of the back. In addition, when you use a kneeling chair the back remains straight.
There are a lot of different options. Some only adjust for the height of the chair while others have adjustable lumbar support, shin padding, and more. There are also a few different styles that utilize the same kneeling chair concept.
Also, you should check out this video about how to use an ergonomic kneeling chair!
Is Kneeling at a Desk Better than Sitting?
So this is the primary question because you want to have the most ergonomic, comfortable, and healthy sitting position possible. When we use a kneeling chair, our pelvis is tilted forward. This allows the spine to remain in its naturally curved state. This can help with posture and the alignment of the spine which, in turn, can reduce back pain and other ailments associated with poor sitting position.
Using a kneeling chair may also help breathing and digestion because the internal organs will be in a natural position instead of becoming compressed by the traditional sitting pose. The use of a kneeling chair can also strengthen your core muscles including the muscles in the back. This can help to prevent injury and reduce pain as well. The reason it does this is because you will not rely on the backrest and your body will be held high.
When you correctly use a kneeling chair, your hips will slide forward which evenly distributes your weight. By doing this, there will be less stress throughout the body. Furthermore, you may see a reduction in leg pain because you will not be tempted to cross your legs or put them at different angles throughout the day like you may do with a traditional office chair.
Also, pain can be distracting while you are trying to complete work. This can decrease your productivity and output at work. A kneeling chair will reduce this pain and therefore increase your productivity.
A kneeling chair can also help your blood circulation because it promotes good posture. This can also provide more nutrients and energy which can influence your mood as well as your productivity.
One final benefit is that you can move around more by switching between standing, sitting in a kneeling chair, and sitting in a traditional office chair. This frequent moving and switching can be healthier than just doing any one or two of the positions.
So it seems that kneeling chairs are better for some things than traditional sitting. However, there are some disadvantages to consider as well. First, a kneeling chair does restrict leg movement which may be uncomfortable for some people especially when they first begin to use a kneeling chair.
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Some people also report pain when using a kneeling chair. This is because the weight is distributed differently than they have been used to for their entire lives. The pain usually subsides after the body gets used to using a kneeling chair.
Some people find that getting in and out of a kneeling chair takes more effort than sitting and standing when using a traditional office or ergonomic chair. This can be frustrating and make it less likely that you will switch between sitting and standing often throughout the day.
Types of Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs
There are a few different types of kneeling chairs that you should be aware of. They all follow the same premise, but there are some differences in regards to ergonomics and ease of functionality.
These are the most affordable types of kneeling chairs. They still position your body in the same way as other types, but are generally not very adjustable and are often made of very inexpensive materials. They sometimes have caster wheels on one side to make it easier to move the chair around.
Kneeling Office Chair
This type of kneeling chair is great for casual use at work because they are lightweight and have caster wheels. They are also height adjustable, but lack some of the adjustability features of more expensive kneeling chair options. The height adjustment almost always uses a pneumatic lift system.
Adjustable Kneeling Chair
This is more of a subtype than a whole type because any of the other types can technically be adjustable. However, this is the most beneficial type of kneeling chair because it can be changed to match your body and your needs. Not only will the height be adjusted, but so will the shin pads, lumbar support, and more.
Kneeling Saddle Chair
This is a kneeling chair that has a saddle shaped chair. These are more comfortable for some people and there is evidence to suggest that they may also be good for the back.
Are Kneeling Chairs Good for Hips?
A kneeling chair may be good for hip pain as well. This is because it can reduce the compression and balance the weight between the shins, hips, back, abdomen, and shoulders. The best type of kneeling chair for the hip area is one that utilizes a saddle chair. A saddle chair promotes a better range of motion for the hips.
A kneeling chair also allows good posture which can help you reduce your hip pain. Not only that, but the use of a kneeling chair can strengthen the muscles around the hip and other areas. This may help to reduce pain caused by things like osteoarthritis.
Are Kneeling Chairs Healthy?
Overall, it seems that kneeling chairs are healthy. This is especially true if you are looking for a chair that will reduce lower back pain, neck pain, or shoulder pain. They also reduce the compression around the internal organs which may alleviate other issues and improve upon the health benefits associated with less sitting time.
However, it is important to use a kneeling chair in the right way to get these benefits. First, you need to combine the use of a kneeling chair with standing throughout the day. In addition, it may be best to switch your sitting positions between a kneeling chair and a traditional chair. This combination of different positions seems to be the healthiest and most beneficial.
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Also, many kneeling chairs come with backrests, but those may be useless or even lead to an attempt to lean back in the kneeling chair which could cause pain. If you choose a kneeling chair that has a backrest, remember that you are supposed to sit tall while using the chair.
Some kneeling chairs also have a rocker base which can provide the ability to move slightly forward and backwards while working. These may be beneficial, but there's not much research done on them yet. However, we do know that moving is healthy and this does encourage movement.
When you get a kneeling chair, you want an incline of 20 to 30 degrees so that it becomes difficult, uncomfortable, or impossible to slouch and lean back. Adjust the height of the seating pad to suit you and create this optimal position.
Find one that adjusts so that you can work comfortably and productively. This is the reason that the most adjustable options are the best. Finally, one with an adjustable lumbar support may be the best option for those who already suffer from back pain.
Final Thoughts on Kneeling Chairs
Kneeling chairs can be beneficial when used properly. This means that they should not be used for prolonged periods of the time. Instead, you should try your best to frequently change between sitting and standing and may even want to incorporate both a kneeling chair and a traditional office chair into your daily routine.
Furthermore, there are plenty of adjustable and ergonomic kneeling chairs to suit your needs, desire, and budget. There are some affordable options that may be beneficial, especially for temporary or infrequent use. There are also heavy duty options and mobile options depending on how you plan on using the chair.
Last update on 2021-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API