The posture we have while standing, walking and sitting is important for a optimally functional body, and most of us know it. Despite this knowledge, it’s still hard for some us to consciously implement techniques that straighten the back and correctly align the spine with rest of our body.
As if being lazy to take up good habits wasn’t enough, we also have to address the bad habits that contribute to bad posture and other adverse health effects, likesay sitting in an ordinary office chair for longer durations. Office chairs are flat out dangerous when used and abused for extended periods of time. Abused in the sense that the majority of one’s day is spent sitting in front of the computer.
“Sitting is the new smoking” is one of the powerful titles given to describe the dangers present in an overly sedentary lifestyle. A modern predicament indeed that can perhaps be partially relieved by alternating with another modern invention, the kneeling chair.
When it comes to the history of the modern kneeling chair, the concept as we know it today was designed and invented by three norwegians in the late 1970s mostly to reduce lower back pain.
The main principles behind the design of kneeling chairs are the following:
- Reduction and relief of lower back strain as weight is distributed between the buttocks and shins.
- The angle of the thighs are lowered to about 60°-70° instead of 90° as when sitting in a ordinary chair. This pushes the pelvis forward and straightens the spine.
- The sitting posture in kneeling chairs mildy engages the core muscles.
1. Less back pain
The number one benefit of kneeling chairs is that the ergonomic design can potentially help individuals with lower back pains, which is coincidentally one of the main reasons why the kneeling chair was invented. The relief of lower back pain is achieved through a more balanced weight distribution, an upright alignment of the spine and by activation of the core muscles. In other words, more parts of the body is engaged instead of only your back and butt.
2. More comfort
The paddings and balanced design of kneeling chairs can prove to be more comfortable than ordinary chairs for certain body types. While the most common types of kneeling chairs don’t include backrest others do indeed have them. Though some would consider a backrest for kneeling chairs to be redundant, others welcome the possibility to occasionally lean back to a solid surface like they are so used to doing.
3. Stronger core muscles
Sitting in conventional chairs do next to nothing when it comes to core activation and our bodies need to be active in some way or another order to be strong. Though a sedentary life can never replace physical activities like say a brisk walk out in nature, you can and should still try to lessen the negative impacts of whatever bad habits you may have. The mild activation of the abdominal muscles can strengthen your overall body.
4. More productivity
One of the big distractions for being effective at work or in your studies is physical discomfort. Our bodies are simply not made to be sitting for hours upon hours in chairs. Squatting and kneeling sitting positions have almost been completely disregarded by the mechanics of modern society. By removing or at least minimizing physical discomfort factors from your everyday life, you can dedicate yourself to your passion, work or study all the better. In other words, kneeling chairs when used wisely can potentially boost your productivity,
5. Improved posture
This last benefit is a no-brainer. Kneeling sitting position can promote a more balanced, upright, correctly aligned and even conscious posture. Too often do we find ourselves slouching when sitting in an traditional chair. There’s far fewer ways to slouch when sitting in a kneeling chair, that’s for sure. Kneeling chairs lowers the angle of which the thighs rest to about 60° to 70° as opposed to 90° when sitting in a ordinary chair. This results in pushing your pelvis forward and thus straightening your spine.
Possible drawbacks of kneeling chairs
Having gone through the various benefits of kneeling chairs, it is worth to point out some of the potential drawbacks which some users have reported:
- Overactive core muscles for extended period of time isn’t necessarily good for you, just enough activation done periodically is most likely healthier.
- Some report pains in the shin bones when used for longer time spans. This is why alternation and variety is key, adjustable desks are also good in this regard.
- Sitting too long isn’t good and buying a kneeling chair is in the end another way of sitting. Instead the more dynamic activities and movement patterns you can employ, the better.
- Taller people may find it difficult to use most kneeling chairs. Most kneeling chairs are designed for people with average height.
- Blood circulation to legs and feet can become restricted with prolonged use.
How to best use kneeling chairs
In case you’re wondering when, what and how kneeling chairs are best used, the answer is just about anything which any ol chair are used for. Whether it’s for gaming, work, study or perhaps for meditation and prayer, kneeling chairs is a great option to use now and then. When it comes to study, work and gaming, we recommend that, if you’ve got the money, you combine and alternate the use of kneeling chairs with ordinary chairs, yoga balls, and adjustable standing desks to name a few for maximum effect.
If you happen to be sold on the benefits of kneeling chairs and wish to get one for yourself, feel free to have a look at our review of the best ergonomic kneeling chairs to buy online in 2020.
Modern ergonomic chairs like kneeling chairs, whether used in offices in front of desks or for short meditation sessions can be a great addition to your arsenal of productivity tools. It’s safe to say that sitting in traditional chairs for prolonged periods of time is not good for you. By alternating your standard chair with a kneeling chair you can at least lessen the negative effects that stack up over the long haul.