On most days, you’re not sitting ergonomically. You’re leaning too close to your computer screen and straining your neck, slouching your spine and putting pressure on your lumbar, and compromising knee joints with improper leg positioning.
We now know that sitting can be one of the most dangerous things that you can do to your body, since humans are designed to be active. But with the demands of desk jobs across industries: there’s not much we can do about it but improve our current seating situation. And get up for frequent bathroom breaks, of course.
You might have come across kneeling chairs as an alternative to traditional straight backed chairs. They’re still relatively unknown compared to the more popular office chairs, gaming chairs and stools. In fact, most people don’t recognize a kneeling chair when they see one! If you’re planning to get one, be prepared for plenty of “What is that?!” remarks.
But before we dissuade you, you must know that the benefits of making the switch to a kneeling chair are nearly endless. In fact, it’ll make you wonder why they aren’t more mainstream in the first place! If you start a petition to replace all chairs with kneeling chairs worldwide: we won’t blame you. (We might even sign it)
What are Kneeling Chairs?
Kneeling chairs are an ergonomically designed type of chair that lets one sit in a position with their thighs dropped to an angle of 60-70° — as opposed to 90° (which is a vertical position when using a traditional chair). It allows the body weight to be supported by the shins, and not just the glutes.
Kneeling chairs are ideal for people who fidget, twitch and fiddle around in traditional chairs as one has nothing else to do when one is seated. With your body weight leaning downwards, your upper body is free to be engaged and keep itself busy.
Most modern kneeling chairs are ergonomically designed to ensure and support correct posture of your neck, back, lower back and legs.
Where Did the Kneeling Chair Originate From?
The first ever kneeling chair was originally constructed by Norweigans in the late 70s, and based on the craft and work of Dr. A. C. Manal during the 60s and 70s, this method of sitting became renowned all through the world, beginning with the Balans brand, particularly the Balans Variable, and in the long run made by many different organizations.
The Many Benefits of a Kneeling Chair
Here are the many benefits of getting a kneeling chair, according to ergonomic work set-ups and human anatomy.
Hip Angles Open Up
Consider your hips a bucket brimming with water. At the point when you sit in a traditional chair, you will in general hunch which tips the bucket in reverse. In a kneeling chair, the bucket is tipped forward.
We usually worry about our back when we think of posture. But the angle of your hips is equally important, and can be the cause for many complications later on. Since the kneeling chair drops the thighs and knees from the usual 90 degrees to a 60-70 degrees, it allows the hips to open up more. This decreases compression of abdominal organs, helps your breathe easier due to correct posture and digestion happens much smoother as the pelvis opens up.
As the compression on abdominal organs reduces overtime, your stomach aches and problems will start reducing as well, allowing you to concentrate on the task at hand with more comfort and ease!
Back Returns To Its Natural Shape
Kneeling chairs have been proven to allow the spine to resume its natural S-shaped posture. Your posture may have been distorted by hours of slouching over computer and phone screens.
In a kneeling chair, the weight of the torso is lifted off of the ankles and the forward tilting seating opens up the angles between your trunks and thighs allowing the back to slowly resume to its natural S-shaped alignment. Time to say goodbye to slouching for hours on end!
Strengthening of Muscles
While you are using a kneeling chair, you are constantly strengthening your back, lower back and abdominal muscles as they are forced to engage towards staying upright in the right posture due to the absence of back support.
This is a gradual process that takes place with frequent and prolonged use of kneeling chairs, and you are bound to reap the benefits of strong back and abdominal muscles for a life long period.
Decrease in Spinal Compression
Did you know most people do not pay much attention to strengthening and taking care of their lower back muscles even though those are the muscles which are impacted the most whilst sitting in the incorrect posture?
Whilst using a kneeling chair, your hips are bound to slide forward. This is crucial as your weight is being evenly distributed and our beck, shoulder and back can be correctly aligned. Hence, the stress on your lower back reduces along with decrease in compression.
Reduces Tension, Lesser Headaches
Kneeling chairs have been proven to increase kinetic activity in the upper muscles of the neck which leads to reduction in neck strain caused by constantly bending and forcing the neck to stay in the same bended position for hours.
This reduces and prevents muscle tension headaches and allows you to maximise your productivity without having to constantly massage your neck and head.
Increase in Focus
After hours of working, researching and thinking, one tends to feel exhausted and absent-minded. The words are not correctly comprehended and focus is thrown right out of the window. We might think exhaustion is the only reason, but a lack of appropriate oxygen supply is also a huge factor in impeded focus.
Studies have proved that increased oxygen, due to combination of reduced compression of the lungs and correct posture of the neck and back, allows you the freedom to move subconsciously which results in improved focus and attention span.
A healthy body is a healthy mind, after all.
Improved Circulation in Legs
It has been proven that a sedentary life impacts the health and mind in ways more than one can imagine and see, combining this with the incorrect posture and reduced oxygen supply, it can prove to be a disastrous concoction.
The kneeling chair permits the movement of legs which increases the blood circulation in legs and heaviness and swelling from the static sitting decreased.
Improved blood circulation in legs reduces as well as prevents the chances of developing various health problems such as varicose veins, edemas, ulcers and joint pains.
Freedom to Move Arms
Thanks to modern technology, you can purchase kneeling chairs which provide armrests for those who need arm support whilst typing and working.
But even the most basic kneeling chairs without armrests have been proven to support and facilitate the freedom of movement for upper and lower arms which increases circulation and prevents a number of illnesses tendonitis, Tunnel Syndrome and brachialgia.
Restricted movement of arms leads to joint stiffness as well as swelling, which makes you constantly have to take breaks to concentrate on massaging and soothing your arms rather than focusing on work.
Burn Calories While Doing Nothing
It is a known fact that our daily internal function and upkeep of organs requires a certain amount of energy which leads to burning of calories. But sitting in a kneeling chair can help you burn extra calories while putting in minimal effort. This happens because sitting in a kneeling chair causes a lot of your core muscle groups to be engaged and activated throughout the working day.
Engaged muscle activity while sitting translates to muscle building and recovery which burns a lot of calories, all the while strengthening your muscles and making them much more toned.
If you aren’t convinced that buying a kneeling chair is the best possible way to sit by now, then you might be in denial! Or, you love your La-Z-boy too much!
We wholly recommend taking the plunge and buying a kneeling chair, especially if you spend more than 6 hours sitting at your desk every day.
Keep in mind, though, that while it may take a few days of discomfort as your body adjusts to the chair, you’ll reap incredible benefits later on!