The Best Kneeling Chairs:
The Ultimate 2021 Guide to Buying Kneeling Chairs.
If you have never tried a kneeling chair before odds are, you might be feeling a little hesitant about pulling the trigger and pressing "buy." It makes sense- if you've never sat on one, how do you know if you'll like it? How will you know if it's right for you? Do you have the right body type? Who is the kneeling chair meant for anyway?
We get it - introducing something as important as a new chair into your life is a big decision, and it's good to have a lot of questions. There are so many models and brands of kneeling chairs available as there are currently, so how do you know which one to trust?
We've got your back on this-- we've created an in-depth guide to buying a kneeling chair in 2021, discussing what makes them great (or not so great), as well as all of the scientific and medical research that's gone into creating them to back us up.
How Does a Kneeling Chair Work?
A Kneeling Chair is an excellent alternative if you're uncomfortable in the chair you spend most of your day in. It's a versatile piece of furniture that is great for almost all body types. Kneeling chairs are especially useful if you're looking to improve your posture, or ridding yourself of unwanted tension in order to have a healthy, happy spine.
Kneeling chairs challenge everything we ever thought we knew about healthy sitting and good posture.
This style of an ergonomic chair is meant to place you in a position with your thighs dropped to an angle of about 60° to 70° from vertical (as opposed to 90° when sitting in a standard chair). This takes a lot of pressure off of your lower back by distributing more of your weight forward and allowing you to be supported by your shins and abdomen. When our core is weak, our back has to do a lot of overcompensating and it will tire or get injured easily, so by allowing you to keep your abdomen engaged in this position you are eliminating that risk.
By placing your knees and hips into an S shape that feels natural and relieves hip pain instantly. Kneeling chairs put you in this position by tilting the seat forward and shifting your weight forward and moving your weight into your legs and buttocks as opposed to solely your buttocks and helps to avoid that concave C shape in your back (also known as slouching).
The National Institute of Biotechnology (NCIB) confirms our first theory- that sitting in a regular computer chair is not ideal for our long-term posture health and that poor seated posture may predispose us to develop low back pain. In a 2008 study, they confirmed that ergonomically designed kneeling chairs set at +20 degrees inclination do maintain standing lumbar curvature to a greater extent than sitting on a standard computer chair. The benefit of this position is that if you lean inward, the body angle remains 90° or wider instead of collapsing inwards and curving the spine in an unnatural C-shape..
Another research study that was done over many years from the 1960s to 1990s by Dr. A. C. Mandal concluded that a forward sloping seat did effectively tip the pelvis forward, opening up the angle between torso and thigh, and thereby correctly aligns the spine, indicating a more suitable position for long periods of sitting.
Most recent medical research studies from 2008 “Ergonomically designed kneeling chairs are they worth it?” conducted by concludes that kneeling chairs set at +20° inclination do maintain standing lumbar curvature to a greater extent than sitting on a standard computer chair.
A huge misconception about the kneeling chair is that the body's weight bears on the knees, and so users with weak knees cannot use the chair. In a proper kneeling chair, most of the pressure remains on the butt, and some of the weight bears on the shins, not the knees- making sure that your knees do not experience any pain or injury. The primary function of the leg rests (knee rests) is to keep one from falling forward out of the chair.
It's been proven by medical studies many times over now that kneeling chairs will help alleviate back and lower back pain, sciatica pain, help heal certain spinal cord injuries strengthen your core, and enhance the overall ergonomics of your sitting. When you couple it with a standard office chair and actively alternate your sitting routine between the two, you can almost guarantee an improvement in your posture and, as a result, a reduction in body pains associated with sitting in the same position for too long.
Remember: The next posture is the best posture.
Different Styles of Kneeling Chairs.
There are two main styles of kneeling chairs:
There are pros and cons to both styles and we’ve taken the liberty to breaking them down for you.
- Rocking motion and Active Sitting- The chair’s rocking capability allows you to move and change positions with your legs so you can remain active, even while you’re sitting. The back and forth motion keeps your core and mind engaged while you work.
- Double Knee Pads: The double kneepad makes it easier to switch up the position of your legs which helps prevent fatigue on your shins and knees and allows you to sit comfortably for longer periods (although we still recommend getting up every 30 minutes or so).
- Lightweight: The chair is very lightweight which makes it easy to move from room to room. It can easily be tucked under your desk or table to make room when it's not in use.
- Stylish: The angular shape of the balance chairs are inherently chic. You will be adding a talking piece to whatever space you bring the chair into.
- Non-adjustable: If you are slightly taller or shorter than average (shorter than 5'2" or taller than 6"2") you may find a balance chair may not be right for you. It's inability to adjust to all sizes makes it less accessible.
- Non-rolling: Although it's lightweight build makes it easy to move from room to room, it's lack of wheels makes it impossible to move while you're sitting it. If you need to move from one side of the room to the other frequently, this won't be the chair for you.
At Sleekform we offer three different versions of the balance kneeling chair. The Austin in both natural wood and black wood and The Amsterdam.
- Adjustable: All of our X frame chairs (The Atlanta, The Alpharetta and The Tokyo) have the ability to adjust their height which makes it accessible to be people of most heights. The Alpharetta has the added ability to adjust the seat angle which gives the sitter a lot of additional freedom.
- Wheels: The wheels make it easy to move around your workspace. There are locks on the front wheels to help keep you feeling secure while getting in and out of the chair.
- Space-saving: Unlike other ergonomic chairs kneeling chairs are a great space saver (you can tuck it directly under your desk while it’s not in use) which makes it the perfect work from home buddy.
- Ability to add a backrest: Unlike most kneeling chairs The Tokyo offers a flexible, mesh backrest that gives you more support than ever as your body adjusts to using a kneeling chair and your core begins to strengthen. The handlebars help give you keep your balance as you climb in and out of your chair.
- Single Knee Pad: Having one knee pad can limit the leg positions you can take and sometimes cause you to feel the fatigue of sitting faster than you would with a double knee pad.
- Fabric: The faux leather fabric can sometime be warm and cause you to sweat especially if you live in a humid climate.
Things to keep in mind after purchasing a kneeling chair:
Whichever brand or model you end up with, there are few key things to keep in mind once you get your new chair set up- how you use a kneeling chair is just as important as what kneeling chair you choose to use.
The most crucial factor is that you shouldn’t expect to be able to sit on it all day at first. Keep your main chair and just use the kneeling chair for 20 minutes or so at a time. It will take time for your body to adjust to this new way of sitting, and it’s very typical and should be expected to experience stiffness in the back, neck, and shoulder as well as tenderness in the shins for the first couple of days or even weeks. You may also find that switching between a regular chair and kneeling chair throughout the day is the best way to use your chair in the long term. We are always going back and forth between chairs during our workday.
When you get down to it, the only way to know if a chair is going to be right for you is to try it out. We understand that can be a bit scary in the land of online shopping, but the good news is we know that you need a bit of one on one time with the product and most brands offer a trial period. At Sleekform, we offer 30 days to try it out, and if you don’t like it we offer a full money-back guarantee.
We hope you found this ultimate kneeling chair guide helpful and insightful and that you are one step closer to finding the perfect ergonomic chair for you. If you have any remaining questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com. You can also read our most common FAQ's here.
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