Let me guess – you are wondering whether kneeling chair has any benefits, when compared with regular house or office chair, because you are already struggling with some sort of lower back pain or you are looking for effective ways of preventing it happen.
If your story fits into that description, then you are in the right place. This time we will look at kneeling chair vs regular chair contest and find out whether it is forth it.
But before, let’s start with the basics…
It is the type of chair that distributes your body weight in a different manner, when compared to the standard chair.
It has no back (some models do), nor does it have lumbar spine support, armrests and headrest.
So, how do you seat on a kneeling chair? Should you balance on it or something?
The good news is that the working principle is kind of fool-proof. You simply sit on it and your spine’s natural (and healthy) lordotic curve comes out as a result of that slight incline forward. You will notice that your knees will bear the majority of your weight, taking the pressure off the spine.
The working principle is based on the theory that lower back pain is the consequence of poor posture in the lumbar area and that’s what this type of chairs is trying to resolve.
However, if you read this article about whether ergonomic back chairs help reduce back pain, you would know that very often it is not the back that’s the problem – it’s the hips!
Just like any other piece of ergonomic furniture, kneeling chairs need to be adjusted (even though there is little to adjust).
You will be able to perform necessary changes in order to adjust the chair for your specific height by lifting the lever and then, either, bringing it further up or lowering it down instead.
Once you find the position you are comfortable in, you will notice that the chair will help to open up the angle of your hips automatically.
You will find your self sitting a bit more naturally – it will feel good!
Your knees, which will be lower than your waist, help to create a much better posture through the spine. The strain that, I bet, you often feel in your lumbar spine, when sitting on a regular chair, will be gone.
When it comes to reducing pain syndromes and helping you stay more productive while working you better know how to use ergonomic kneeling chair!
The idea behind sitting correctly on it is straight-forward – sit nicely on the sit with your weight pointing straight through your sitting bones and use the kneeling pad as a means for extra support.
However there is one essential bit you need to bear in mind if you are looking to sit on it for prolonged periods of time. That is – do NOT place too much weight on your knees while sitting. There is no need to put your whole body weight on top of the knee pads, because, once you do that, you will soon notice how your shins start getting sore.
You will also feel your back being under more tension than it should be…so, once again, no excessive forward leaning! I guess too much of a good thing is not that good after all. 😉
The answer is – the one that fits you!
Unfortunately these stools would naturally have some limitations.
Kneeling chairs weight limit would generally lie around 200lb and height limit would be around 5’10”. So if you are any taller than that, you will find your shins getting sore much quicker – you won’t really resolve your back pain issues that way.
1. Lordotic curve. As already mentioned, kneeling chair helps your spine to naturally maintain its healthy shape, while relieving lumbar spine from too much tension and sprain.
2. Pain relief. Incorrect posture, which is promoted so well by regular chairs, will cause your back to ache sooner or later. Kneeling chair will help to reduce and even stop that pain completely.
3. Productivity. Guess what happens when you are not in pain anymore? Exactly! You become happier and, as a logical consequence, work better and become more productive. 😉
4. Better breathing. The forward pelvis rotation, which is promoted by this ergonomic chair type, will inevitably improve the breathing pattern. You will notice the reduced tension in your shoulders and improve your internal organs function.
5. Muscle corset. Unlike regular chairs, kneeling chairs will help you strengthen up your core. Your back will once again feel better as a result of that new muscle corset. Adios to sprains and muscle weakness!
6. Minimalism. It is tiny and won’t take up much space. Hide it whenever you are done with it or keep it right under your working desk – fits there perfectly!
7. Active movement. Kneeling chairs encourage you to switch, turn and take breaks. This is perfect, since even ergonomic furniture will not counteract the cons of all day sitting!
Even though our kneeling chair vs regular chair fight is over, it is important to cover one final thing…
Without taking too long to answer – YES & NO.
Sorry for this confusion, but let me explain.
Lordotic curve and active core muscles are essential for a healthy back. This is why kneeling chairs help back pain pretty well.
They help to develop better posture by reducing the tendency to slouch, thus improving the overall spine health. And that’s good!
Back pain is often just a symptom of a different issue your body might have. Very often this issue is tight hips, which cause lumbar spine lose its stability and develop awful pain syndrome.
Kneeling chair doesn’t not target that issue, so the main problem – tight hips – is not resolved. Back pain won’t leave you then and that’s not good.
Besides that, there is a handful of views which refer to the necessity of developing several correct postures, which our spines would be accustomed to, as there is no one single universal solution.
Melanie's passion lies in human biomechanics, movement and well-being. She strives to help people sit better and that is why she is the main editor at MyErgonomicChair.com.