The first time I set my eyes on a kneeling chair was when I went to my little brother’s college dorm at Rutgers. At first glance, my reaction was to say “what the heck is that?” but I was intrigued. It was weird and of course I loved it.
I asked him what it was all about. Well you see, my brother, he’s sort of what we like to call a insane, crazy, addicted, hardcore GAMER. He’s played World of Warcraft since he was 15 and he’s spent countless hours regaling me with the epic adventures hes had fighting dragons with his ‘guild’. Its quite cute and in another life time when my nerdiness is reincarnated at a higher level, I might give it a shot. However, I’m digressing. The significance of him being a gamer is: he sits down a lot.
My broseph has the back problems of an 80 year old. It sucks and it makes me sad, but it is what it is. He claims that this kneeling chair helps him with his back pain and its actually getting a lot better. I was so happy to hear this and of course my curiosity perked up since this is exactly in my line of work. If the yoga ball chair thing isn’t a hit with my coworkers, I’ll have this as a backup plan.
Kneeling Chair Research Reveals….
So in my custom form I started my research. I began on the web (well who goes to the library these days anyways) and started looking up the benefits of these knee stools. They are adapted from old meditation practices from Buddhist monks. They sit in the same position with the knees forward and the upper body completely upright. Apparently they’re able to sit in this position for hours at a time in meditation without taking breaks. This sounded amazing. I can’t sit for 1 hour in my fancy shmancy ergonomic chair without taking a break.
The reason that they work is because of the angle of the seat. There’s these muscles at the front of the hips called the hip flexors. They are attached to the lower back, so when they have issues, the back has issues. In a kneeling chair, the angle between the upper and lower body is expanded, so these muscles actually get to stretch out rather than contract. In my yoga classes, I’ve noticed this as well. We do a variation of postures called hip openers, usually involving lunges and poses like that. Whenever we do this, for some reason my back starts to feel better. It was all starting to click.
Also, like the ball chair, there is no back. So the body is forced to sit upright in good posture. This develops the core muscles and trains the body to use good ergonomics. I’m beginning to like this new paradigm for ergonomics. It’s clear that education isn’t helping us mind our ergonomic P’s and Q’s, so lets boot camp ourselves and force it to happen. Hey, it works.
Some users of kneeling chairs complain that it hurts their shins. Especially at first. I can believe this. It looks awkward. What most authority ergonomic review sites have said is to get one with adjustable features, such as the seat height, angle, etc, which will help with the pressure places on the shins.
So whats the verdict? I’m putting in an expense request with my boss to test this out for myself. My boss is awesome so I’ll probably get it. And I’ll let you know my person experience with kneeling posture chairs.
Thanks for reading as always. -Kaitlyn
Listen to British Accent Explain this Chair: