A kneeling chair is an innovative ergonomic invention with a lot of benefits. However, because of how a kneeling chair is shaped, it isn’t the easiest chair to sit on.
For some, getting used to sitting in a kneeling chair may take a little patience. Figuring out how to distribute your body while maintaining an aligned spine isn’t as comfortable or intuitive as sitting in a traditional chair.
But just because something takes a little time and work doesn’t mean it’s not worth it! Here’s everything you need to know about sitting in a kneeling chair!
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What Is a Kneeling Chair?
A kneeling chair is made up of two platforms.
The top and largest one is for you to sit on and is slightly tilted forward. The second, smaller platform is for your shins (not your knees!) to rest on. It is also slightly tilted, making it easier for your shins to rest comfortably on them.
When you sit in a traditional chair, your thighs are bent at a 90-degree angle from your torso. With a kneeling chair, the thighs extend to around 110 degrees, which elongates your body and opens up your pelvis.
The benefits of using a kneeling chair include better circulation, less pressure on the lower back, and relieved tension in the neck and shoulders.
You may also experience better digestion when using a kneeling chair regularly because it keeps you from hunching over and squeezing your intestines.
However, it’s important to note that a kneeling chair is not meant to replace an office chair. They should only be used for short periods as a form of physical therapy.
How Long Does It Take to Get Used to a Kneeling Chair?
Generally, it takes about one or two weeks to get used to a kneeling chair.
The posture you have to assume in the chair is completely unique, and while it’s called the kneeling chair, your body is a lot more open and elongated than it would be kneeling on the floor.
When you first sit in a kneeling chair, don’t be surprised if it feels a little awkward. Your bones and muscles have never been in that position before! So it’s bound to not feel quite right.
The good news is that you can start by sitting in it for five minutes at a time, just to get a feeling for it.
You may want to keep your kneeling chair nearby and use it periodically throughout the day. However, keep in mind that you can only perform forward-facing tasks in a kneeling chair, so keep activities simple and stagnant when sitting in it.
With that being said, the kneeling chair was designed to be dynamic. Don’t be afraid to try different positions when you first get the chair to see what feels best for you.
Many people like to rest one foot on the floor and use that to gently rock them back and forward.
This also takes some pressure off your shins, which may be helpful when you first start using the chair. Just make sure to change supporting feet regularly to keep the body balanced.
How to Get Used to a Kneeling Chair Faster?
Let’s imagine that you got your kneeling chair, but it’s taking a little too long to get used to. You could wait it out or implement a few tricks to help your body get used to the unique sitting style.
1. Make Sure It’s the Right Size
People often forget that ergonomic seating equipment like the kneeling chair is size-sensitive. That means that if you aren’t using the right sized chair, you will not be able to reap the benefits of it.
Typically, taller people struggle with sitting in a kneeling chair more. If you are a taller individual, you may benefit from a kneeling chair with an adjustable top cushion.
The taller you make that top platform, the easier it will be to slide your shins over their designated cushion and sit comfortably.
2. Get the Weight Distribution Right
Despite being called a “kneeling chair,” most of your weight should be on your sit bones, not on your shins. The smaller bottom platform is supposed to gently support your shins, not your entire body.
This is a common mistake people make, and it may lead to leg soreness. So be aware of how you’re distributing your weight on the chair!
3. Try a Few Exercises
Kneeling chairs require core and back strength. While some kneeling chairs have backs to support your spine, most rely on you keeping your posture straight and correct independently.
If you have a weaker core, sitting up straight like this might be difficult. After all, a traditional office chair does all the work for you.
Simple ab and back exercises will make you feel stronger and more secure when in the kneeling chair. As a bonus, kneeling chairs also help strengthen those areas, so you will end up feeling stronger and standing up straighter!
4. Check in With Your Body
If you’ve only ever used traditional chairs, it may be easy to forget to check in with your body and see how you feel. Kneeling chairs are not designed to be sat in for long periods, so you need to periodically see how your back and sit bones are feeling.
Luckily, doing this should be relatively easy, since kneeling chairs promote “active sitting.”
Active sitting means that your body is awake and engaged in the seating position. Sitting on an exercise ball also promotes this form of conscious sitting.
5. Sit on Your Shins, Not Your Knees
Trust us, you will not enjoy the kneeling chair very much if you put pressure on your knees.
The bottom platform is exclusively for your shins, since they can take more weight. The last thing you want from your kneeling chair is a new set of knee issues.
A kneeling chair is a great tool to help lower back pain and mix up your sitting style. While it does take a couple of weeks to get used to the new position, the outcome is well worth it.
Make sure you’re using the right sized chair and are distributing your weight properly. These two factors can make the biggest difference in your sitting experience.
Some people like kneeling chairs with a rocking base, since it keeps you moving and gently active while sitting. You may enjoy this addition. There are also kneeling chairs with a swivel base on the market, too.
Have you ever used a kneeling chair? How long did it take you to get used to the position?
Let us know in the comments below!