You have probably come across kneeling chairs because they have been growing in popularity over the last couple of years. But do you know how they work or what benefits they have to offer? This article will clear up those questions and more so that you can decide if they are right for you. But first, what is a kneeling chair?
What is a Kneeling Chair?
Most of us have heard how bad sitting can be for your body which contributes to the rise in popularity for standing desks. However, it has also contributed to the rise in popularity for kneeling chairs. It is good to alternate between sitting and standing because standing for a prolonged period can cause some health risks, but that does not mean that you have to sit in an uncomfortable and unhealthy traditional chair. Instead, you may benefit from using a kneeling chair.
Kneeling chairs may look kind of funny and they are fairly new and were first developed and produced in the United States in the late 1970s. They were designed to provide a 110 degree angle from the buttocks and back to the thighs and a 60 to 70 degree angle from the thighs and the shins. This is much different than the 90 degree angles that coincide with sitting in a traditional chair.
The shins and knees are positioned onto the padded component of the kneeling chair which takes pressure and tension off of the back. This helps to provide good posture and evenly distributes the weight around the body. More on the benefits of this later. However, it is important to also know the different types of kneeling chairs so you can choose one that suits you.
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But first, check out this video to learn how to properly use a kneeling chair!
Types of Kneeling Chairs
There are a few different types of kneeling chairs. You are probably wondering why you should know about the different types. Well, if you truly want to obtain the health benefits associated with a kneeling chair, then you want to purchase a chair that is functional, easy-to-use, and designed for your body and desires.
These kneeling chairs are usually very affordable, but they still position the body the same way as more expensive options. They are usually not as adjustable and may be made of cheaper materials, but if you just want to try out a kneeling chair then they may be a great choice. Some also have caster wheels that make them mobile.
Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
This is the adjustable type of kneeling chair which can make them even more beneficial. This is also the type you should get if you are shorter or taller than average. Many also have backrests or other adjustable features like lumbar support or seat angle.
Rocking Kneeling Chair
These rock back and forth which is great for active sitting. Moving around can help you burn more calories (which may mean shedding a couple of pounds in the next year!) and strengthen muscles in your back, abs, and more. Many also have saddle seats which can be even better for your back.
Benefits of Kneeling Chairs
There are a number of fantastic benefits that you can get out of a kneeling chair. They can help with back pain, breathing, digestion, blood circulation, and even productivity.
Reduce or Prevent Back Pain
This is the most talked about benefit of kneeling chairs. When you sit in a kneeling chair, as long as you use it correctly, then your pelvis is tilted slightly forward and the spine will be able to remain according to its natural curvature. This provides better posture and reduces back pain, especially when the back pain is a result of poor sitting position in a traditional office chair.
The use of a kneeling chair evenly distributes your weight. This helps to relieve tension around the body including the back. Also, there is no way to easily slouch in a kneeling chair like there is with a traditional chair. This is another reason that they can help to reduce pain in the back.
You may have noticed that some kneeling chairs have back support. This can be good for some who want to use it occasionally during breaks, but overall the backrest can be useless. If you do want to purchase a model that has a backrest, make sure that you have good posture while using the chair.
If you already suffer from back pain, you may want to consider an option that has lumbar support. This can help to support your lower back and keep you in a good, healthy position. In addition, a rocking kneeling chair can help you strengthen the muscles around your core and back which may help to prevent further pain.
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Reduce or Prevent Hip Pain
A kneeling chair can also be good for hip pain. This is because it allows your hips to open up and reduces compression around the hips and other joints. Instead, the weight is balanced and distributed between the hips, back, core, and shoulders. The best type of kneeling chair for the hip is one that has a saddle seat. A saddle seat can help you achieve an improved range of motion in the hip area.
The posture that a kneeling chair promotes may also be good for preventing or reducing hip pain. It may even help with that pesky osteoarthritis that has been bugging you lately.
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A lot of people are afraid, with good reason, that their productivity will suffer when they make the switch to a kneeling chair. I mean, nobody wants their work volume to decrease. However, even if it takes a couple days to get used to, it is unlikely that it will have a negative impact on your productivity. In fact, it may improve productivity indirectly once you get used to the new chair.
Pain can be a major thorn in the side of productivity. When we are hurting, we get distracted and may not be fully focused on the task at hand. If this sounds familiar, then you may be able to improve the quality and quantity of the work that you complete when you choose to purchase a kneeling chair to use instead of an uncomfortable, regular, boring office chair.
A kneeling chair also helps blood circulation because of the good posture that it encourages. This may provide your brain and body with more nutrients and energy. In turn, your mood may improve which can increase your productivity.
Better Breathing and Digestion
When we sit in an uncomfortable and traditional office chair, then our body is compressed and crunched up into a position that may prevent proper breathing and digestion. The internal organs will be unable to do what they are supposed to.
A kneeling chair will provide a natural position for the body that allows the organs to function the way they should. In addition, a kneeling chair can help to strengthen the muscles around the core. All of this means that you can breathe easily and that your food can become digested quickly and adequately.
How to Use a Kneeling Chair
It is important to use a kneeling chair correctly if you want to benefit from it. Using one incorrectly can even cause some issues including increased pain instead of helping the pain like it should. This is another reason why you should always try to move around and combine a kneeling chair with a standing desk. Also, it may be best to use an adjustable, ergonomic kneeling chair to ensure that it fits your body type.
Some people find that when they first use a kneeling chair that they feel new aches and pains. This is because their body is so used to sitting in a traditional chair and the new position utilizes muscles that have weakened over time. When you first get your new kneeling chair, try to refrain from sitting in it for prolonged periods. This can help your body adjust and prevent shin, back, and shoulder pain. In fact, you may even want to keep your traditional office chair so that you can switch your sitting between the two in combination with a healthy amount of standing.
Try to find a kneeling chair seat that has an incline of around 20 to 30 degrees. This will prevent your body from slouching and help to improve your posture. Then, make sure that your seat height is correct to provide the correct angles of around 60 to 70 degrees underneath the knees and 110 degrees from back to thighs.
Final Thoughts on Kneeling Chair Benefits
There are a lot of benefits to using a kneeling chair. However, make sure that you do not go from sitting all day in a traditional chair to sitting all day in a kneeling chair. Instead, move and switch positions often and try to combine standing with sitting. This will allow you to get the most benefits including reduced back, hip, and leg pain, improved productivity, better circulation, and improved digestion and breathing.