You may have heard how bad sitting is for your health and may be considering a standing desk. You may also want to know about kneeling chairs and the benefits they offer when compared with sitting or with standing. Well this article will clear all of that up. But first, what are standing desks and kneeling chairs?
What are Standing Desks and Kneeling Chairs?
Standing desks offer the ability to stand while you work. Usually they are adjustable so you can also sit (or use a kneeling chair) in combination with sitting. This is a healthy option when used right because it is best to alternate and move often throughout the day.
A kneeling chair is much different than a traditional office chair. A kneeling chair offers the ability to sit with your back straight in its natural position. The shins and knees will rest on a padded portion of the kneeling chair. This position distributes your weight evenly around the body and reduces tension in the joins, back, and neck.
To see which one is better for you, let’s check out all of the benefits and downsides to each one on relatable issues.
What are the Pros of Standing Desks?
When it comes to some things, a standing desk may be superior to a kneeling chair. Let’s look at the benefits of standing desks.
Sure, a kneeling chair can be adjustable in some ways, but will not offer the adjustability and flexibility that a standing desk does. A standing desk can be used with a kneeling chair, with under desk elliptical and other exercise machines, with a traditional office chair, or standing at different heights. There are also tons of style options as well as ones that use electronic motors, pneumatics, and other features. This makes it a great health option for virtually anybody. Finally, more than one person can easily use the same standing desk without too much work.
Standing burns more calories than sitting. This makes standing a healthy option for people who want to maintain a healthy body weight. Standing can burn .15 more calories per minute than sitting or even more in some cases. While that may not seem like much, over an entire year it can really add up. Some estimates find that just standing for 3 hours each day instead of sitting could burn up to 30,000 more calories in a year. That is 8 pounds of fat gone just by standing!
Energy and Productivity
A standing desk can increase activity and encourage movement. It can also increase your level of energy. A standing desk offers the ability to work while you stand as well and may improve your focus and productivity. A kneeling chair does not offer the same benefit to productivity and energy that standing desks do.
A kneeling chair is hardly natural even though it keeps the spine in a natural position. Standing, however, is just about as natural as it gets. This means that it can help you stay healthy and improve your posture, muscle mass, core strength, and more. Just be sure not to stand for too long at once without switching positions.
What are the Cons of Standing Desks?
While there are some great things about standing desks, there are also some downsides that it is a good idea to be aware of. While these downsides are often avoidable, it is good to take them into account.
Standing can be less comfortable than sitting or even less comfortable than using a kneeling chair. This is especially true if you have been sitting most of the day, everyday, for years. While standing offers some good health benefits, the comfort level can harm your ability to stand enough to get the results you want. If you are too uncomfortable it can also make it hard to focus and complete your work.
Standing for too long can cause pain. You may find that your feet hurt when using a standing desk too much. You may also find that if you stand for a prolonged period of time, your back and core muscles get tired. This can lead to poor posture which can cause other negative effects down the line.
Too Much Standing can be Unhealthy
Standing too much can cause some additional health risks. In fact, some of the risks associated with prolonged periods of standing are serious and it may even increase your risk of developing heart disease. However, if you alternate between standing and sitting often, you are less likely to develop these types of serious issues. Still, this is definitely something to consider when choosing a desk and when deciding how much you want to use the desk in a standing position.
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What are the Pros of a Kneeling Chair?
There are some great benefits that you can achieve when you use a kneeling chair. Let’s look at some of the main things that a kneeling chair can do for you and your body.
Reduce or Prevent Back Pain
This is one of the main reasons that people decide to buy kneeling chairs. Sitting in a kneeling chair pushes the pelvis forward and puts the spine into its natural curvature. This improves posture and reduces back pain. This is especially true if the back pain is associated with sitting in a traditional office chair. A kneeling chair also reduces tension around the back by distributing your body weight evenly around all areas. It is also good to note that a kneeling chair may help hip pain by opening up the hip area and reducing compression.
Helps with Blood Circulation
A kneeling chair can help blood circulation because it encourages good posture. When compared with a traditional office chair, there are less compressed areas that have the ability to inhibit your blood flow. A kneeling chair provides a 110 degree angle from the buttocks to the back of the thighs where the hamstrings are located. It also creates a 60 to 70 degree angle from the thighs to the signs. This can be more beneficial than the 90 degree angles that a traditional chair promotes.
Breathing and Digestion Improvements
When we sit in an uncomfortable office chair, our body scrunches up. This includes our internal organs that are important for digestion, breathing, and other crucial and necessary bodily functions. This makes it hard for these organs to do what they are supposed to. A kneeling chair allows us to keep the lungs and other organs in a position that allows them to do what they are supposed to. This increases their function which can help us breathe easily and readily digest food.
Read More >> Is it Better to Work Standing or Sitting?
What are the Cons of a Kneeling Chair?
There are also some downsides of a kneeling chair that you should definitely consider. Check out these downsides that are fairly common among users of kneeling chairs.
Unlike standing or even sitting in a traditional style of chair, a kneeling chair makes it difficult to move your legs and other parts of the body. This can be aggravating mentally and physically. While some with two separated knee pads can offer a little more flexibility than others, it still does not offer the ability to tap your feet, move your legs, or swivel your hips and shoulders in the same way that you would be able to in another type of chair. The restricted movement can also cause pains around the body. It is recommended that you gradually increase the time you use a kneeling chair and then get up often to stretch your legs as well.
Pressure on Shins
While the weight is evenly distributed around your body, your knees and shins are probably not used to the pressure on them. This can lead to pain in the shin region of the body after prolonged use. Some kneeling chairs have more comfortable padding than others so it is a good idea to check out ones that will work for you.
Difficult to Use
It is not as easy to get up and sit into a kneeling chair as it is to sit on a regular type of chair or to stand. It may take some time to get used to and you should not use a kneeling chair too much at first. This is because of the awkward position and can cause additional aches and pains when you jump from sitting too much to sitting in a kneeling chair too much.
Final Thoughts on Standing Desk vs Kneeling Chair
While a standing desk and kneeling chair each have their own benefits and downsides, it is important to choose one that will work for you. However, many people have found that they benefit the most from the combination of a kneeling chair, a standing desk, and a traditional office chair.
If you suffer from back pain, especially if it is associated with sitting too much, you may benefit greatly from the use of a kneeling chair. It can also promote good posture. However, you will still want to stand up often and regardless of which you choose it is highly beneficial to move around and take stretching and walking breaks throughout the day.