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Is a Kneeling Chair Good for Your Back?

Is a Kneeling Chair Good for Your Back?

Back pain can be crippling. It’s easy to forget about how important our spine and back health is until it’s too late.

Ultimately, the best remedy for back pain is prevention, which can be done several ways.

A kneeling chair is an interesting contraption. Like many ergonomic inventions, it looks a little odd at first glance but is surprisingly helpful.

If you suffer from chronic back pain or are looking for a way to avoid it, a kneeling chair might be what you need to stay seated comfortably throughout the day. Here’s everything you need to know about the joys of kneeling chairs!

What Is a Kneeling Chair?

DRAGONN by VIVO Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

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A kneeling chair looks more like a stool than a traditional chair, mainly because it doesn’t have a back. This might throw people off at first. How is your spine supposed to be supported without any sort of backing?

When you sit in a normal chair, your thighs are 90 degrees from your torso. This means that most of your weight is supported by your sit bones and lower back, which may cause discomfort.

A kneeling chair has you sit with your thighs 110 degrees from your torso. It also features a small supportive bench for you to gently rest your shins on. Sitting this way takes a lot of weight off your back and pelvis, which may be more comfortable.

The shin support and thigh angle both make up for not having a chair back. Kneeling chairs offer a comfortable and alternative way of sitting that many people enjoy.

There are a variety of kneeling chairs on the market. Some even have rocker bases so that you can incorporate some movement into your seating posture.

Is a Kneeling Chair Good for Your Back?

Sleekform Atlanta Ergonomic Kneeling Chair - Home Office Desk Stool for Back Posture Support, Comfortable Cushions, Angled Seat, Wheels, Rolling, Black

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Yes! Kneeling chairs are great for your back!

Think about how you might feel after sitting in a standard office chair all day long. Your lower back has been under pressure for eight hours, taking the weight of your torso and legs. To say the feeling is unpleasant would be an understatement.

By moving your lower body forward and taking your lower legs off the floor, you relieve your lower back of some tension.

Kneeling chairs also encourage “active sitting.” We all know that staying still for long periods of time isn’t good for you. When you sit actively, you avoid staying completely stagnant. Instead, you periodically check in with your body, otherwise you risk sliding off the chair.

Essentially, active sitting makes it difficult to go completely limp and forget about your posture. It’s similar to sitting on an exercise ball. A certain level of awareness is required at all times, which is what you want from an ergonomic chair.

Not only is a kneeling chair good for your back, it can also help your neck and shoulders. Because you are required to sit up straight on a kneeling chair, you’re less likely to hunch your neck and shoulders. This can minimize chronic pain and improve your posture.

Better posture makes you look taller, more confident, and healthier overall.

Why Should You Get a Kneeling Chair for Your Back?

There are several reasons investing in a kneeling chair might be a good choice for you.

1. Stay Focused

Pain is distracting! Even if all the stars are aligned perfectly, it’s going to be very difficult to stay proactive if your back is hurting.

Ergonomic inventions understand that productivity is easily compromised by comfortability. A kneeling chair does a great job taking weight off your lower back, so it may be a good tool for getting through a work day pain-free.

HALEDAZE Adjustable Wooden Ergonomic Kneeling Chair Home Office Computer Chair for Relieve Pain with Beige Fabric

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2. Better Circulation

Allowing blood to flow freely throughout your body is essential, and some seating positions facilitate that more than others. Sitting cross-legged, for example, is not good for your blood circulation since your legs are bent, meaning that your arteries are bent, too.

A kneeling chair extends your legs out in front of you, which means you’re less likely to bend your arteries.

Because kneeling chairs encourage active sitting, you’re more likely to move around during the day. This will also encourage healthy blood circulation. If you’re super concerned about blood circulation, we recommend taking a walk around your home or office every hour.

3. Stronger Core and Back

Himimi Ergonomic Kneeling Chair, Posture Corrective Chair

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How much work do your core and back have to do when sitting in a traditional chair? Chances are, not much. The back of the chair means that you simply have to lean back, and the armrests keep your body centered.

A kneeling chair requires a little more work, which is actually a good thing!

Engaging your abs and back muscles will gently strengthen them. Not only will this improve your posture, but it will also make sitting on kneeling chairs easier over time.

A strong core makes doing other day-to-day tasks easier. Your abs will be able to support your back better, and standing up straight will feel more natural.

How to Properly Use a Kneeling Chair?

Kneeling chairs aren’t exactly intuitive. If you’ve never seen someone sitting in one before, it’s easy to be confused how it’s supposed to be used.

Kneeling chairs have two components, the seat for your pelvis and a smaller bench for your shins. Both surfaces are slightly turned inward, allowing you to assume a comfortable seating position.

The first thing to pay attention to when sitting in a kneeling chair is your thigh to torso angle. Your spine should be aligned and your shoulders standing tall.

As you rest your shins gently on the designated platform, there should be about a 110-degree angle between your thighs and torso.

You should not put all of your weight onto your shins. Instead, the weight should be distributed evenly between the two platforms.

Ergonomic Kneeling Chair Adjustable Stool with Thick Foam Cushions

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Whether you want to get a kneeling chair for your back or just to switch things up a bit, it’s important to note that you should not exclusively use a kneeling chair for all your sitting activities.

Kneeling chairs are best used for short term activities. Forward-reaching projects and hobbies are also best, since the seat is angled down, bringing your gaze and focus in front of you.

It would be very difficult to focus on something to your side when sitting in a kneeling chair. Unfortunately, kneeling chairs do not offer a lot of mobility.

You should only be sitting in a kneeling chair for 20 minutes every half hour. The other 10 minutes should be used for being active, like stretching or walking around.

Why can’t kneeling chairs be used for longer? While they take weight off your lower back, they increase the pressure put on your shins. It’s also more difficult to move your feet, which is not ideal.

If you don’t like the sensation of having both feet off the ground, you can bring one to the floor and assume a half-standing, half-sitting position. If you do so, be sure to keep an eye on the time and switch supporting feet regularly, otherwise you risk developing soreness in one side of your body.

You can also sit with both legs on the floor in front of you. This is great for people with sensitive shins, and it prevents you from putting too much weight on them.

We recommend trying both alternate positions to see how they feel and work for you.

Are Kneeling Chairs Good for Degenerative Disc Disease?

One study looked at the effects of a kneeling chair on patients with low back pain and degenerative disc disease. The study acknowledges that degenerative disc disease is connected to “decreased lumbar lordosis,” so maintaining lordosis is essentially to having a healthy spine and back.

Decreased lumbar lordosis

The study concluded that “lordosis is better maintained, relative to the standing posture, when sitting on a kneeling chair than on a usual flat chair.”

This means that kneeling chairs offer your back the support it needs, which reduces pain and strain.

It’s worth noting that despite kneeling chairs being shown to help degenerative disc disease, they should still only be used periodically. Using a kneeling chair all the time will not speed up your healing, it will just put unnecessary strain on your body.

Wrapping Things Up

Kneeling chairs are a great way to switch up how you sit, although they should be used mindfully.

While we love to talk about how to improve your working environment, you should not be using a kneeling chair for your office space. Instead, only use it periodically for short time activities.

If you don’t like the idea of a chair without a back, there are kneeling chairs with small supportive backs on the market. You may want to try out both to see how they feel.

The chair without a back might be just as comfortable, plus it will promote active sitting!

Have you ever sat in a kneeling chair? Was it difficult to distribute your weight onto the two platforms?

Tell us all about it in the comments below!

Good luck!