Kneeling chairs are an odd-looking and unique way of sitting, but many experts claim they can offer a range of benefits for your body.
One of the benefits of a kneeling chair is that it helps balance your body and align your spine in a natural S-curve. This helps prevent compression pain and pinched nerves when sitting at a desk all day.
After your body is used to the different balance of sitting in a kneeling chair, you can safely use a kneeling chair for several hours per day.
However, it is recommended to stand up and move around regularly to keep your blood flowing properly through your lower legs. You should also mix up your seating options with normal office chairs to prevent pressure pain on your shins or knees.
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What Happens if You Use a Kneeling Chair All Day?
You might find some different opinions on how beneficial a kneeling chair can be. But, overall, it is accepted that using a kneeling chair for at least some of your day can improve your posture and help with various aches and pains you may be experiencing.
One of the biggest benefits of using a kneeling chair is that it completely changes how you sit.
When using a traditional office chair, your body is supported by a large and well-padded backrest, which means your core muscles are not being required to support your upper body weight much at all.
- Distributes Your Weight. Since your buttocks will be resting on a seat cushion and your legs will be bent under you for balance, your overall weight is distributed a bit better than it would be in a standard office chair. This prevents pressure pain and improves circulation throughout your body.
- Improves Posture. Poor posture usually happens when your body takes advantage of a backrest. With a kneeling chair, you don’t have a backrest, so your upper body will have to support itself. This natural balancing of the body improves spinal alignment and reduces slouching.
- Increases Metabolism. Sitting for hours and having reduced activity can slow down your body’s metabolism. As a result, your body may have a harder time regulating your blood sugar, balancing your blood pressure, and breaking down nutrients.
- Improves Core Muscle Strength. Since a kneeling chair lacks a back, your core muscles will be required to support your upper body. The natural S-curve of your spin will help balance your body and tone your core muscles. Over time, this can lead to a stronger diaphragm and connective muscles in your chest and spine.
- Improves Seated Comfort. Many people assume a kneeling chair will be painful on your knees. When properly seated in a kneeling chair, most of your body weight will be on your buttocks, with your shins providing balance. Your pelvis, thighs and lower spine will be doing most of the seated balancing act.
In order to get the highest level of health benefits throughout the day, most health experts say you should alternate between using a kneeling chair, a standard office chair, and using a standing desk.
How Long Should You Use a Kneeling Chair?
In general, a kneeling chair is best used for shorter tasks. This can include handwriting a letter, sketching a picture, or doing handicrafts. While you can use a kneeling chair for several hours throughout the day, it is highly recommended that you get up and move around often.
The biggest downside to a kneeling chair is that it restricts leg movement.
Your legs will be gently bent and somewhat confined to this position throughout your seated time. Reduced circulation to your lower legs can be one of the biggest concerns when using a kneeling chair for long days.
Getting up out of your chair at least twice an hour can go a long way in improving your blood flow throughout your lower legs.
Movement is extremely important for many natural actions in your body, and sitting for hours at a time in any style of chair is never recommended.
Is Using a Kneeling Chair All Day Bad?
If you are brand new to using a kneeling chair, you may think it’s going to be easy to use all day long. However, your body will need to go through an adjustment period before you can use your chair comfortably for long periods of time.
When using a kneeling chair properly, your buttocks will be taking most of your body weight.
Contrary to their name, a kneeling chair does not place much pressure at all on your knees. Your shins, or the area of your leg below the knee, will be taking some gentle pressure.
This is normally just to balance you and if you find yourself placing a lot of weight on your shins, you should adjust yourself, so the bulk of your weight is on your butt.
In order to get into your kneeling chair, first sit on the seat itself. If your kneeling chair is the rocking style, be sure you hold onto something nearby to prevent tipping over.
Once you are seated, slowly move one leg into the kneeling position. Make sure most of your body weight is resting on the seat cushion and not on your leg cushion.
After your first leg is into the bent kneeling position, move your other leg into the same position. Again, ensure your weight is almost entirely on your buttocks and the seat cushion, with only a very small amount of pressure on your shins.
Keep in mind, when first using a kneeling chair, your body may be somewhat uncomfortable as it adjusts to this new position of seating.
Just like your muscles would ache after a workout at the gym, certain areas of your lower back and hips may ache after sitting in a kneeling chair for the first time.
Even after the adjustment period, you may still experience some aches and pains if you use a kneeling chair all day.
This is especially common in your lower legs, especially if you are unable or unwilling to get up often to move around and stretch your muscles.
While you can use a kneeling chair all day, it is much better for your overall health if you alternate between a kneeling chair and a standard office chair.
Additionally, ensure you take frequent breaks when using a kneeling chair. Every 30 minutes, try to get up and walk around for a couple of minutes so that blood flow is not restricted to your lower legs.
Once your body is used to sitting in a kneeling chair, you will start to notice improvements in your comfort and health.
However, it is always recommended to move around as often as possible. Sitting in any type of seat for several hours at a time is never good for anyone’s 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.