A kneeling chair is exactly what it sounds like: a chair that is designed to allow the user to kneel while they sit. Designed for working at a desk, kneeling chairs help to promote the correct sitting position and good posture, which can have long-term health benefits for those that spend upwards of several hours per day sitting at a desk. Furniture At Work stocks a large range of kneeling chairs that are ergonomically designed, comfortably padded and fully adjustable.
History of the Kneeling Chair
The Balans chair, the first example of a modern-day kneeling chair, was invented by Hans Christian Mengshoel in 1979, with similar pieces created by several Norwegian designers shortly afterwards. The design, which focused on the long-term comfort of the user, revolutionised office seating and ushered in a new era of ergonomic design.
How It Works
The principle behind the kneeling chair is to prevent the typical hunched over posture that many people adopt when sitting at a computer and to redistribute the weight more evenly, reducing pressure on the bottom, lower back and thighs.
When seated properly in a kneeling chair, approximately 20% of the body weight is taken by the shins and knees. The brunt of the weight is still taken by the bottom, but with less pressure. As the thighs are dropped lower, the angle between them and the lower back opens up, which encourages better posture.
Using a kneeling chair can take some getting used to as the position may feel odd at first and the muscles may not be used to being used in such a way. However, once adjusted to, a kneeling chair promotes a more active sitting position which keeps the core muscles engaged, which is beneficial for physical health.
Use of a kneeling chair for all or part of the working day has the potential to generate several health benefits. People who suffer from back pain may begin to find this dissipates after regular use of a kneeling chair, as the spine is encouraged to remain in a neutral position and the body is encouraged to use the core muscles to keep it that way.
While ergonomic office chairs are designed to support the back, it can be more beneficial to sit in a position where the core muscles provide this support rather than the chair. The hips have more movement and room, with less pressure placed on the joints.
Improved posture is not only good for the muscles of the back; it can also improve organ function. When sitting correctly without slumping, blood can circulate more feely around the body and the lungs can take in more air, which together send more oxygen to the brain and other essential organs. This can result in feeling healthier and even being more productive and less likely to feel fatigued during the working day.