Kneeling chairs have been around in offices longer than you may think, with the first designs being made around the late 1970’s – but this unique chair design has  become more and more popular in the workplace in recent years with businesses always looking for more inventive ways to reduce posture and muscle related issues in their workers which makes up for over half of all long term absences across the workforce in the UK.

Are kneeling chairs the resolution to the aches and pains that are commonplace in the office?

What is a kneeling chair?

The design of a kneeling chair is definitely one of the most diverse from the standard chair design you would expect to see in an office. With two cushioned areas, a larger one at the top and a smaller padded cushion underneath used to protect your shins whilst kneeling, whilst your feet generally do not touch the ground.

There is no back rest on the chair, which encourages users to push their body weight forward onto their knees and shins, which consequently allows them to spread their body weight more evenly, meaning there is less pressure on their back whilst sitting for longer periods of time.

The kneeling hair is proven and renowned for reducing lower back pain both short and long term, helps with keeping your core muscles engaged and improves posture.

How do you sit on a kneeling chair?

To benefit from the positive advantages of using kneeling chairs, you will need to make sure you are sitting correctly in the first place.

  • Sit as you would normally on the larger top cushion
  • Get comfortable, and adjust yourself to suit your needs and comfort.
  • Then lifting your legs, put you knees onto the smaller cushion pads.

This position may feel strange to begin with as your muscles won’t be used to the positioning, using the kneeling chair little and often should build your comfort and get your muscles used to the position over the time.

Your knees should not be taking the full force of your weight, your bottom should still be doing this. If you do find that your knees are hurting, you will need to adjust yourself until your weight is evenly distributed in a comfortable position to suit your body.

The pros and cons of kneeling chairs

The benefits to your body and posture include…

  • Better pelvic and hip positioning – the kneeling chair can help with realigning your pelvic and hip structure, which will better your overall posture.
  • Core and back muscle development – you won’t have a back rest on your kneeling chair, so this positioning will encourage engagement of your back and core muscles and over time be stronger for it.
  • Reduces pressure on spine – as the kneeling chair evenly spreads your weight, unlike normal design office chairs, the pressure on your spine is rapidly reduced with the help of kneeling chairs.

The negatives of kneeling chairs…

  • Restriction of leg movement – Kneeling chairs leave little room for leg flexibility, which is why it is as important as ever with any seated environment, to have short bursts of standing and walking around the office when you can.
  • They can be impractical if you are busy around the office – Swivel chairs are the office chair of choice if you’re a busy member of the office, who is moving around, reaching for things left, right and centre. Kneeling chairs are less ideal for those who are constantly on the move around the office or in need of reaching around constantly. The kneeling chair is designed for people who are more stationary and only really using the computer.