I was first introduced to kneeling chairs when I was auditing a small company here in San Diego, CA towards the beginning of my career in 2005. As part of my job, the first two things I do when I visit a place of business is:
- Conduct a quick survey to determine the ergonomic knowledge level of a company
- Take a walk throughout the office to see if people are:
- Practicing their ergonomics
- Have the proper equipment (desk, keyboard, chair, etc) to work safely
As I took my stroll throughout this small office of roughly 50 employees, I noticed a peculiar chair being used by a gentleman named Jeff. He was sat down with his knees resting on a pad. There was no back on the chair, yet Jeff was sitting in a perfect ergonomic position.
I was immediately interested in this solution so I dug in and started to do the research to see if it works. Most certainly. There are a few key features that enable the kneeling chair to be one of the best sitting solutions out there.
Kneeling Chair Benefits
- The seat angle: As you can notice in the picture above, the seat slopes down. This has a relieving affect on the hip flexor muscles. Typically, over long periods of time, the hip flexors start to tighten. They’re simply not stretched enough when you sit at a desk for 8+ hours per day. Since these muscles are directly attached to the back, pain usually occurs. The increased angle of the seat encourages the hip flexors to stay open and not contract.
- The lack of a back rest: The back rest can be your worst enemy for back pain or your best friend. It becomes a burden when you don’t align it vertically, or you don’t press your back against the entire length of the rest. If you do both of these things, I can assure that you’ll decrease your chances of back pain. The problem is most of the time, we forget. We start to slouch and potentially injure our backs. The brilliance of the kneeling chair is that it removes the back rest out of the equation. You simply have to sit vertically or you’ll fall off the chair.
I decided to give the chair a personal test drive and got one for myself. I found an online review site called kneelingofficechairs.com where I was able to see ranking on these products. After giving it a personal go, I can attest that these are great ergonomic products. I wouldn’t recommend switching 100% over to a kneeling chair, at first they can be uncomfortable, but overtime your back will really appreciate what you’re doing for it.
Watch this video to learn more: