The Kneeling Chair: The Nontraditional Desk Chair

December 20, 2013

The way people work is evolving. With more offices making the switch to innovative adjustable height desks every day, including front-runners like Google and Facebook, it’s no wonder other office equipment would change too.

You know that sitting all day is bad for your health, but it’s not a crime to sit down and give your legs a rest every once in a while (gasp!). So why not change the way you sit, for better posture and better focus? A kneeling chair could be the answer.

The kneeling chair has become a popular alternative to the traditional desk chair. When you’re ready to take a break from your standing desk (and hopefully you’re making small sit to stand adjustments throughout the day, for the best outcome possible), try using a kneeling chair. But what is this new wave office chair and how does it help improve sitting?

If you’re the typical office worker, you most likely use a chair that lacks the proper tools for the best comfort and back support. The basic kneeling chair rips away the back completely, and puts the user in the – as you may have guessed – kneeling position. Now there’s no room for slouching or straining your lower back muscles. Other models have a small backrest for lumbar support (the most important element to sitting)

The kneeling position has been slightly modified in these desk chairs, with your body set at a 110 degree angle. This is slightly larger than a 90 degree or less angle in traditional office chairs. This angle is ideal for sitting in an open, relaxed posture. And it supports the natural curvature of the spine.

In a kneeling chair, the hips slide forward and align with the back, neck and shoulders, to help evenly distribute your weight and reduce spinal compression. This means less stress on the lower back as well as the leg muscles.

As a fair warning, the first time you try a kneeling chair it may not be the most comfortable position, since your body isn’t used kneeling for an extended period of time. Just like sitting to standing with an adjustable height desk, slowly work your way to using this nontraditional desk chair. If you stand behind an adjustable desk most of the time but need a break once in a while, use the kneeling chair in 30 minute increments.

When you’re ready to sit, adjust your Xdesk to a lower position according to your kneeling height and you’re good to go. But don’t get too comfortable!

Like all chairs, there are pitfalls to using it for an extended period of time. It can confine the user to one position, which leads to cramps and unnecessary pressure on the knees and shins. And some users can experience poor circulation in the legs if they sit in the chair too long.

But oddly enough, this reason makes them a great desk chair to have around an adjustable height desk, since it allows you to sit in moderation and encourages you to stand and stretch once those shins start to ache.

What do you think about the kneeling chair? Is this something you would own in your office?

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