The 7 Best Kneeling Chairs
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in May of 2016. If you find yourself routinely spending long hours hunched over a desk and are experiencing body pain as a result, one of these kneeling chairs or stools could be just what the doctor ordered. They are ergonomically designed to promote a natural curvature of the spine and proper posture to relieve lower back and/or neck discomfort, allowing you to work comfortably for extended periods of time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 03, 2020:
Switching from a regular office chair to a kneeling chair can be a great way to relieve lower back pain, but the change requires the usage of different muscles, so the transition should be gradual. Our selection of kneeling chairs includes the best of several different styles and it can be difficult to know which one will suit your taste.
If you haven't tried a kneeling chair before, it's a good idea to get a chair that offers some adjustability like the Dragonn Adjustable. You get six inches of height adjustment with this model plus there's a good amount of padding which is also helpful when you're getting used to the new positioning.
The Stand Steady Pro is another adjustable choice that is ideal for those who don't want any fuss. Adjustments are made simply with a pneumatic lever. Even the assembly process has been redesigned so that it can be done in 5 to 10 minutes.
Styles like the Variable Balans don't come with any options for adjustments, but it's definitely one to consider if you're looking to boost your productivity. In addition to providing the benefits of better posture and less back pain, its slightly flexible, wooden base allows users an active sitting experience which can be a great way for a fidgety person to stay alert and focused.
For this update we removed the Offex Ergonomic as adding a back to a kneeling chair negates the benefits of aligning your spine and encouraging proper posture. It's better for users to take frequent breaks while getting acclimated to using a kneeling chair than to introduce a new way to sit incorrectly.
Health Benefits Of A Kneeling Chair
Traditional chairs create a 90-degree angle, which puts a lot of pressure on the discs in your lower back.
If you've walked through a few offices lately, you may have noticed a rather funny-looking chair at some desks: the kneeling chair. But your friends and colleagues using these chairs are onto something — they offer a number of benefits to your body and are much better for you than traditional chairs. People who work at desks spend a lot of time sitting, and that can put one at a higher risk for lower back pain. The research that shows this, however, emphasizes that it's a combination of sitting for prolonged periods and awkward posture that can cause the issue. Kneeling chairs aim to fix the posture problem.
Kneeling chairs create an ergonomic 110-degree trunk/thigh angle. Traditional chairs create a 90-degree angle, which puts a lot of pressure on the discs in your lower back. This can be very painful for individuals who already have back pain — particularly of the sciatic nerve — and can lead to lower back pain in otherwise healthy individuals. Having the complete opposite effect, kneeling chairs can actually help strengthen your back because they encourage you to engage the full length of it more than you normally would when sitting.
The angle of kneeling chairs also pushes your pelvis slightly forward, which allows your back to arch in a manner that more evenly distributes pressure throughout your spine. This improved posture is important for a lot of reasons. Poor posture plays a large role in determining future disability. As for short-term effects, when you have good posture, you don't compress your organs as much, which helps them work better. That's why those in kneeling chairs may find they have better digestion and sometimes even easier breathing. As an added benefit, you may happen to notice your stomach muscles looking more toned after a while when using a kneeling chair. If so, that could be because kneeling chairs also engage your abdomen. Now that you know all of this, you probably want to ditch your regular old chair immediately.
Kneeling Chairs Vs. Standing Desks
It's no secret that sitting all day is bad for us. Furthermore, getting up and taking a stroll can be good for us, boosting creativity and improving heart health. This aversion to being on one's butt has helped the standing desk and standing desk converters gain some popularity. So you may be asking yourself if you should buy one of those or the kneeling chair. Let's look at which one is best for you, depending on your habits, lifestyle, and particular needs.
That being said, many people report that standing desks can be a source of distraction.
A standing desk can certainly help keep you alert. If you find yourself often hitting an afternoon slump that sends you nearly napping at your desk, a standing desk could be the ticket to keep you up — physically and mentally. If you are trying to supplement other weight loss efforts, a standing desk can help with that, too. A 150-pound individual burns around 114 calories per hour, and over 900 in an eight-hour workday, if he remains standing. So if you're trying to get svelte, this non-traditional desk may be your ticket. That being said, many people report that standing desks can be a source of distraction. It's too easy to step away in an instant if something catches your eye or demands your attention. When you're seated, you feel mentally attached to your workspace and may accomplish more tasks.
Kneeling chairs certainly have tons of benefits, but they are, understandably, not ideal for those who have knee problems as they put pressure on this part of the legs. That, however, can often be fixed with proper cushioning and taking breaks to walk around occasionally (which we now know even those without knee issues should be doing). Kneeling chairs, like standing desks, can also help you remain alert. The way they align your spine allows for better blood flow, which helps oxygen make its way up to your brain and keep you awake. Ultimately, the best choice would be both a kneeling chair and a standing desk, so you can choose between calorie-burning standing or healthy-posture sitting throughout the day.
Other Accessories To Enhance Your Work Day
There are a number of other accessories that you can add to your desk and the area around it to make for an easier, and maybe more enjoyable, work day. If your chair has wheels, then you may want a mat for it. These help you move from one side of your desk to the other more swiftly, or push yourself away to get up without getting stuck and nearly toppling over. There are models for carpet or hard floors, and all are designed to reduce damage to said floors, which you'll appreciate if you have a home office that you worked hard to renovate.
They have long necks that you can bend and curve to just the perfect angle for comfortable reading.
Professionals who rarely find the time to exercise can bring the gym to their computer with a desk elliptical. Designed to fit beneath most desks, they make it a breeze to pedal while you type, blasting calories as you blitz through emails. They'll instantly obliterate the, "I don't have time for a workout" excuse. If you're at your desk for eight hours, then you have plenty of time to break a sweat on one of these. While they won't reduce the chances of experiencing back pain as a kneeling desk might, they may at least help you to shed a few pounds. If you're ready for a break from both your kneeling chair and your desk elliptical, you can add a desk hammock to your workspace. These let you kick up your legs and stretch out in comfort.
Reading documents under short or awkwardly-shaped lamps can put a strain on your body. You may hunch or crane your neck just to illuminate what you are reading. Flexible desk lamps solve this issue. They have long necks that you can bend and curve to just the perfect angle for comfortable reading. Gone will be the days of holding a book up to the bulb to decipher some tiny text. Some even have features like USB ports and clips that let you place them just about anywhere.