Everybody knows that sitting in a chair the whole day is harmful and that one should get moving and take breaks more often. Yet, it’s not always possible to walk away from the task at hand. That’s why many people are turning to use standing desks and kneeling chairs.
You might find the idea of kneeling at a desk weird, but kneeling, especially half-kneeling, is a natural human movement ingrained in our brain’s central nervous system since the beginning of the time.
When you were ten months old, kneeling was your way to learn how to walk, squat, and stand.
So, what are the benefits of kneeling chairs? Is it for everybody? What are the considerations you should take into account first?
Let’s dive in.
Sitting Is Not The Real Problem
It goes without saying that sitting for hours a day can cause you some serious health risks, including cardiovascular diseases, likely because it involves low muscle activity and low muscle metabolism. But is sitting really the problem? Is the sedentary behavior causing health issues?
The answer is NO. Researchers have found that inactivity doesn’t hurt us, that sitting isn’t the problem, but the way we choose to sit is.
Hadza people of Tanzania, an indigenous group known to practice one of the last surviving hunter-gatherer lifestyles on Earth, proved that.
The study required that Hadza participants wore devices that measured physical activity and periods of rest.
The results were shocking: They found that the Hadza spend a large portion of their day in relaxed, non-upright poses (almost 10 hours a day), but they don’t suffer from any chronic diseases associated with long periods of sitting.
How is that possible? The answer lies in the way they rest. Because their sitting postures are either kneeling or squatting, their muscles maintain light levels of activity when they rest.
Unlike individuals in developed countries, who spend their rest time on their chairs and sofas, sometimes without even adopting the correct sitting posture.
Kneeling Chair Benefits
How does kneeling at your desk impact your productivity?
Kneeling chairs will open your eyes and make you aware of how good or bad is your posture. It may be seen as an unconventional way of sitting at work, but using a kneeling chair provides the user with many health benefits.
First and foremost, it lowers your standing and sitting time, which prevents you from staying in just a single position for several hours, and keeps you active during the day.
A kneeling chair helps you maintain a good posture by maintaining the natural curve in your lower back. When you sit in a regular chair, you tend to hunch which tips the bucket backward. Unlike when you sit on a kneeling chair: the bucket is tipped forward, the back, shoulder, and neck muscles are aligned.
It improves your breathing and saves you from digestive problems like constipation. As your hip angle increases from a typical 90 degrees to about 110 degrees, your lungs have more room to grow larger as they fill up with air. This means your body will benefit from better blood circulation, and more oxygen is going to be carried to your brain and body.
All of this will ensure a high level of comfort and reduce fatigue. Therefore, you will feel more focused on your tasks, more energetic, and more productive.
Is Kneeling For Everybody ?
Short answer: No, kneeling is definitely not for everybody.
To begin with, if you suffer from knee pain, or you had a knee or leg surgery, or lower leg circulatory problems, kneeling chairs are not for you.
Kneeling chairs available on the market don’t allow motion flexibility. The majority of the advertised designs lock you into one position. This can be a problem if you are using the kneeling chair for a long period of time and your job requires constant activity.
Also, kneeling chairs aren’t for people who don’t sit properly in it. Adopting a wrong sitting posture in a kneeling chair can lead to a decrease in blood circulation, which can cause lightheadedness, fainting, and loss of sensation throughout the legs. That’s why it’s important to know how to sit in it.
To sum up, kneeling chairs are a good choice to improve the posture and alleviate the lower back pain, but if you are not a patient person, you may not like it.
Do Kneeling Chairs Really Work?
The short answer is “Yes, they do”.
The longer answer is “Yes they do, but not for everyone. You have to invest some time to get accustomed to the chair”.
Kneeling chairs are great for your posture, but having doubts before the purchase is a natural thing. Therefore, the best scenario would be to try it before buying, to really feel it by yourself. If you can find one to borrow for a day or two from your friends, that would be great. You can compare the posture by sitting on a normal chair with the sitting posture on a kneeling chair.
Try not to save on the quality of the chair itself. Good kneeling chairs are quite costly, so don’t fall for the cheaper price as the quality of the material isn’t pleasant.
Some people encourage buying them and some others think that it’s better to only sit properly on a regular chair.
After doing a bit of research, we’ve gathered the arguments of each group:
Against Kneeling Chairs
. Your legs are confined to one position
. You cannot move around easily
. It can be awkward to get in and out of it
. It’s better to properly sit on a regular chair
. It’s not as fun as wheeled chairs
For Kneeling Chairs
. It corrects the sitting posture and makes you aware of it
. Your body benefits from a better blood circulation
. It improves your breathing
. It saves you from digestive problems
. It ensures a level of comfort and reduces fatigue
. You burn some fat while using it
. You feel productive
What about you? What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
How To Sit In A Kneeling Chair?
Misuse of a kneeling chair can cause unwanted problems and discomfort. That’s why it’s necessary to know the correct sitting posture to adopt.
After sitting on the chair, the angle of your hips will be automatically opened, and you will be naturally sitting on your sitting bones. This helps to maintain the curve of your lower back.
If your kneeling chair doesn’t include proper cushioning or pad, make sure to add one. Otherwise, you’ll feel soreness into your shins and you might also start leaning forward, which might lead to more pressure on your back and your knees.
The purpose of the chair design is to put less pressure on the spine and the knees, by switching it to the thighs and distributing your weight across the chair.
Too much pressure on your knees will cause discomfort, reduce blood circulation, and potentially make you lose sensation throughout your lower legs.
Sitting in a kneeling chair with little effort won’t change your posture. So, follow these tips:
- Place it facing your work in order not to strain or twist your spine and hips
- Keep your knee and shin angle open
- Force your torso over your hips
- Create enough space between the seat pad and the knee pad
- Adjust the height of the chair according to your preferences
Is Kneeling Better Than Sitting ?
Absolutely! Kneeling is way better than sitting.
We all know how unhealthy it is to sit all day in one position. Kneeling at your desk is a great alternative to sitting without having to leave the task at hand. Your focus and productivity will increase.
If you are prone to prolonged standing or sitting at work then you may want to try kneeling from time to time for a change. Doing so can let you enjoy several amazing rewards and benefits. The only thing that you need to begin the habit of kneeling is a pair of healthy and strong knees.