Pregnant women may still be required to work throughout most of their pregnancy, and for those that work in an office setting this can lead to uncomfortable back pain and other issues associated with long-term sitting.
Pregnancy in and of itself brings along a number of additional issues including weight gain, hormonal changes and muscle strain.
Adding to those issues by prolonged sitting, poor sitting posture, or an uncomfortable seating position can lead to an increase in stress and a decrease in work productivity.
In order to remain comfortable while sitting, and also ensure no added strain is placed on the muscles or the abdomen, many women have opted to use kneeling chairs throughout their pregnancy.
These unique looking seating options can offer a range of positive benefits to the mother-to-be, including a posture that is better for circulation, less muscle strain, lower stress levels, and better concentration overall.
Table of Contents
- Are Kneeling Chairs Good for Pregnancy?
- What Sitting Position Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?
- Which Chair Is Best for Pregnant Ladies?
Are Kneeling Chairs Good for Pregnancy?
Kneeling chairs can be a great option for pregnant women.
These chairs are designed to reduce pressure on your back by transferring the weight from your back to your upper legs.
While the chair is called a “kneeling chair” the majority of your weight will be on your buttocks and not your knees. Instead, your shins will help provide balance and a more ergonomic position for your pelvis and abdominal muscles.
For pregnant women as well as individuals not going through pregnancy, kneeling chairs can offer a wide range of benefits, including the following.
Relief From Back Pain
Since your overall body weight is more properly distributed in a kneeling chair, you will notice less back pain and back muscle strain than if you were sitting in a standard office chair.
Proper alignment of your entire musculoskeletal system is great for reducing muscle strain and tearing as your pregnant body changes and grows.
When you are using a kneeling chair, the reduction of force on your spine can help eliminate the chance of a pinched nerve as well as disc prolapse.
As your belly grows throughout pregnancy, this same position can help alleviate pressure placed on your abdomen and womb, leading to less muscle strain around the sides of your stomach and near your pelvis.
If you are pregnant, standard ergonomic office chairs may not contour to your body enough to maintain a neutral position for your spine.
Over time, this improper spinal alignment can lead to poor posture, such as slouching and hunched shoulders, as well as severe muscle strain as you continuously try to hold yourself in a comfortable position.
A kneeling chair, on the other hand, can help improve your posture almost instantly.
The seat is sloped forward in such a way that it helps align and hold a proper spine position. This can also open up the spaces between your spinal discs and help reduce pressure on each one.
You’ll notice an almost instant reduction in back pain, as well as much better posture for your entire spine — from neck to pelvis.
Core Muscle Development
If you are using a normal office chair, you may notice the backrest takes a majority of the strain off of your muscles.
While this may seem like a positive feature, it can lead to a weakening of your muscles along your spine, pelvis, abdomen and shoulders.
This reduction of core muscle strength leads to slouching over the desk, compressed lung capacity, and poor circulation.
By switching to a kneeling chair you won’t have the support of a back rest, but due to the position your body is moved into, you won’t need it.
Instead, your core muscles will be supporting your body in the upright position. Over time, this will increase your strength as well as muscle tone along your abdomen, hips and spine.
Increase of Comfort
While the overall look of a kneeling chair may not look comfortable, the alignment of your spine can lead to increased comfort on the first day.
One of the biggest misunderstandings is that a kneeling chair does not cause painful pressure on your knees. Most of your body weight will be on your buttocks, with your knees and shins only providing balance and helping to position your hips correctly.
While it may take you a few days to a few weeks to get used to sitting in a kneeling chair, depending on how weak your core muscles are, the long term results will be increased comfort overall.
You’ll notice a marked improvement in back pain, muscle pain, abdominal cramping, circulation and more.
With better posture and comfort comes better concentration.
The increased blood flow and circulation throughout your body also plays a huge role in this as well, since oxygen can now move with more efficiency from your lungs to your brain.
Better concentration also means an increased workflow, and for pregnant women that will soon be taking maternity leave from work, this increased workflow in advance may help with a paycheck to fill in the missed time from work after the baby arrives.
Additionally, to add to an increased concentration level, a kneeling chair can make reaching the keyboard and other things on your desk much easier. As you are now in a well-balanced position to make a long reach for items you normally would have to stand up for.
Not to mention, your focus will be streamlined thanks in part to being angled towards your workstation and computer monitor, instead of hunched away from it.
What Sitting Position Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, especially the second and third trimesters, avoiding certain sitting positions is highly recommended.
Improper sitting posture can not only lead to poor circulation throughout your body, but can also cause swelling in your lower legs and ankles as fluid builds up in those extremities.
One of the sitting positions pregnant women should avoid is cross-legged.
This position is terrible for circulation and can increase your risk of spider veins, varicose veins, blood clots, and edema.
Whether you are sitting on the floor or in a chair, crossing your legs “Indian style”, as it was once called, should not be done during pregnancy.
Another seating position to avoid is letting your legs dangle off the edge of a chair.
This can place unnecessary stress on the veins and nerves at the back of your knees. This can lead to nerve pain as well as poor circulation, which causes swelling in your ankles and lower legs.
Always try to find a chair that is at the right height so that your feet can rest flat on the floor.
This will eliminate the stress placed on the back of your knees and will instead allow proper blood flow and oxygen circulation throughout your body.
Which Chair Is Best for Pregnant Ladies?
There are a range of chairs that can be both comfortable and safe for pregnant ladies to use.
If you simply want to enjoy sitting in a more normal chair, try searching for a high back executive chair with extra padding. This padding will help reduce pressure points and nerve damage when sitting for extended periods of time.
Ergonomic office chairs with lumbar support may also be another great option, however you might need to adjust the chair to suit your changing body shape.
Luckily, high-end ergonomic chairs can be adjusted in a wide range of areas including the lumbar support, headrest height, arm rest height and angle, as well as seat depth and height.
Gliding rocker and ottoman sets are also extremely comfortable for pregnant women to relax in. Having a chair with some form of ottoman or other leg support is a great way to increase blood flow, oxygen and fluid circulation, and take some strain off of your heart.
If you have to sit for extended periods of time, having your legs reclined can reduce blood and fluid collecting in this area, causing your legs and ankles to swell.
Why should you not use a massage chair when pregnant?
While many pregnant women can use massage chairs safely, it is generally recommended that they should be avoided throughout pregnancy, especially during the first trimester or if you have a history of miscarriage.
The vibrations of the massage chair have been linked to some claims of miscarriages and early onset labor, though actual studies on this are outdated and limited.
Is sitting on the floor good for pregnancy?
Sitting on the floor in a specific yoga position can be beneficial to pregnant women.
Sit with your back straight, bend your knees and bring your feet together to touch at the soles. This position is known as the Cobblers Pose and is a great way to open up the pelvis and stretch the muscles that will be needed for labor.
It is normally recommended that pregnant women sit in this position for a short time every day throughout their second and third trimesters.
Kneeling chairs are a wonderful seating option for pregnant women.
They may look somewhat uncomfortable to some individuals, but once you give them a try, you may soon fall in love with the benefits they offer.
If you suffer from back pain or muscle strain along your abdomen, using a kneeling chair throughout your pregnancy can help alleviate these pains and discomforts.
Additionally, using a kneeling chair can increase your overall productivity and lead to better circulation throughout your entire body.
My name is Vance, and I am the owner of To Ergonomics. Our mission is to improve your workflow by helping you create a supportive and welcoming environment. We hope that you’ll find what you’re looking for while you’re here.