What is a kneeling chair you ask? A kneeling chair is a type of chair that works on the principle of sharing the burden of the body weight between the knees and the buttocks. Kneeling chairs have been proven to relieve the symptoms of back pain and bad posture.
Kneeling stools are becoming more popular by the day as several offices and homes are now buying into the idea of having a few in the premises, especially in environments where people are required to sit for a prolonged period of time.
The thing about kneeling chairs, however, is that some must only be used for a short period of time as it becomes uncomfortable after using for a prolonged time frame.
Our whole life is a collection of routines; even the most spontaneous of us all find themselves repeating the same routines over and over again.
Some of such routines are sitting, standing, and bending; all of which becomes a chore when there is the presence of back pain for instance.
This is why so many people employ the use of kneeling chairs. Standing desks are also beneficial to back pain relief.
A Brief History Of Kneeling Chairs
The first dated history of kneeling chairs was in the 1970s when Hans Christian Mengshoel conceived the idea.
The sitting positions of Tibetan monks inspired him. They would sit on a seiza bench for hours during meditation.
This seiza bench gave the monks a forward-angle sitting position which aligned their spines with their lower back.
Dr. A.C. Mandal would later discover that school children usually lean forward in their chairs to ease their back pain.
This prompted his suggestion that chairs should have a forward angle thereby tilting the pelvis forward and aligning the hips with the spine.
Mengshoel would later use this suggestion by DR. A.C. Mandal to design his own version of kneeling chair.
The initial design of kneeling chairs featured metal or wooden frames that sat on the ground and it became a concern for people as it could allow users lean forward almost to the point of tipping over.
The kneeling chairs have seen several evolution to mold them into what we know them as today.
X-bar frames were introduced at a point and gave users the ability to adjust the chair’s height. 5-starbases were also later introduced to make them resemble other office chairs.
These five wheels at the bottom give kneeling chairs more mobility which is especially good for users in an active environment.
Types Of Kneeling Chairs
There are several types of kneeling chairs and each plays a unique role in getting that pressure off your back.
Whether you are changing things up in your office or in your home, or you are simply looking into means of taking that extra pressure off your back, you should definitely look into getting yourself a kneeling chair.
The following are the types of kneeling chairs that we are aware of
Kneeling Stool: They usually spot a simple and inexpensive design which makes them very affordable.
Some kneeling stools feature a wood frame, wheels in each corner, and two basic pads.
Kneeling stools are best used at home.
Executive Kneeler: With memory pads bound in leather, and a frame made from highly polished wood or steel frame and premium materials, the executive kneelers are perfect for any office setting.
Its best feature is the memory foam pad which offers great support for long hours.
Deluxe Kneeling Chair: If you have the money and you want the best then a deluxe kneeling chair is perfect for you.
The type of kneeling chair features adjustable heights, knee pads, lumbar support, backrest, a five-wheel design, as well as other premium features.
Single Padded Chairs: This is the first type of balans chair and is inexpensive and also comes in a simple design.
The fact that they employ the use of wood instead of metal structure also makes them less expensive than their other counterparts.
They usually feature a seat cushion, a leg cushion, and wheels for improved mobility.
Double-Padded Chairs: The major difference between the single padded chairs and the double padded chairs is that the double-padded chairs have two separate pads for the legs.
The pads are made with special foam that helps relieve pressure points. These separated pads also are also responsible for keeping your legs at an ideal angle.
There are some variations of the double-padded chairs that feature arched bases which give them the ability to rock back and forth.
This movement helps promote muscle tone and relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
Balans Stools: Built with simple but effective metal frame, the Balans stools feature wheels and a simple design.
It also features pneumatic gas lifts that make adjusting the height easy.
Saddle Kneeling Chairs: This type of kneeling chair has an unusual saddle-shaped seat which is different from all the other kinds.
The bicycle seat-like curves actually work better than a standard flat cushion.
Benefits of Kneeling Chairs
There is yet to be a man-made creation without cons, so we expect that even as health beneficial as kneeling chairs are, there can’t all be pros.
The following are some of the pros and cons of using kneeling chairs:
Pros of Using Kneeling Chairs ✅
- It’s the best posture for sitting.
- It is the ideal sitting posture for people with back pain, poor posture, and poor circulation brought about by extended time in the same position.
- Relieves the symptoms of back pain.
- Kneeling chairs help improve breathing and digestion because the sitting position reduces compression of the internal organs.
- Helps strengthen the core and back muscles when used consistently.
- It helps reduce stress on the lower back and also reduces spinal compression. This is because the sitting position in a kneeling chair allows the hips to slide forward which causes the body weight to be more evenly distributed.
- Kneeling stools allow blood circulate better and effectively carry nutrients and oxygen to the brain. It also helps maintain an upright spinal column. Both of which makes you feel more energized and refreshed.
- Pressure on the shin can be controlled in kneeling chairs with adjustable seat height and pressure slope.
Cons of Kneeling Chairs ❌
- They are suited best for tasks which require fine hand movements.
- Tall people may find it hard getting a chair that fits.
- Some people can’t use it for prolonged periods because of pressure on the shin for example
- Getting in and out of it can be tricky for first-timers.
- Restricts leg movements.
It is however very important to note that this cons only mean that kneeling chairs shouldn’t be your only sitting position. It is best to interchange with a regular chair.
Health Benefits of Using Kneeling Chairs
The health benefits of using kneeling chairs and the wonders it does for body pain and bad posture can’t be overstated.
Some of the health benefits of using kneeling chairs are stated below.
Back Pain Relief: The kneeling chair helps reduce back pain by distributing the body’s weight evenly between the knees and the buttocks.
Core Muscle Development: One of the major cons of traditional chairs is that it provides your back with complete support, which does exercise the core muscles because they are at rest.
This is a known reason for poor posture as it has been reported that the back starts hunching after the keyboard in cases of prolonged sitting activities in the office.
This is what the kneeling chair corrects as the lack of back support forces your core muscles to work and stay engaged throughout the day.
Improvements in muscle strength and muscle tone are some of the beneficial effects of kneeling chairs.
Comfort: Due to the name of these chairs, the kneeling chairs, so many are of the wrong opinion that these chairs can cause discomfort in the knee especially in the long run.
But despite the name, kneeling chairs are designed to divide the weight between the spine, thighs, and the shins.
Increased Concentration: Poor posture can lead to discomfort and fatigue which in turn can lead to loss of concentration and productivity.
With the aid of kneeling chairs, the spine is properly aligned which can correct the poor posture, thereby improving your comfort and concentration.
Kneeling chairs might look to you like just another piece of furniture but I can’t stress how wrong you’ll be.
The benefit this miracle-working ergonomic chair has makes it a must-have in every home or office.
Best Kneeling Chairs 2019 – Product Reviews
Kneeling chairs can do wonders for the health and making sure you lead a refreshed and productive life.
It should be used interchangeably with the regular chairs for best efficacy and it is a must-have in an office or home environment, especially when you work for prolonged hours a day.
There are different types of ergonomic kneeling chairs though and we have taken it as our responsibility to summarize our review of the best kneeling chairs we know of.
You can’t buy them all, but we guarantee these are the best buys in the market.
The major challenge with most ergonomic kneeling chairs is the ability to balance relieving pressure on the back and not shifting discomfort to the rest of your body.
This is where Sleekform kneeling chairs stand out from the competition. It features a 4 inch thick cushion that can be found on both the sitting and knee rest area.
These cushions employ a combination of memory and regular foam there balancing firmness and long-term comfort.
Another feature is the high level of adjustability of the height. It can rise from an astonishing 21.7” to 28.5”. This is flexible for different people and desk heights.
Another stand out feature is the presence of heavy-duty roller blades which allows it smoothly glide over surfaces like carpet with ease.
- Use of 50% memory foam makes the cushion the thickest in the industry.
- Highly adjustable height.
- Heavy duty roller-blade wheels.
- 90 days money back guarantee.
- Knee cushion can sometimes be too hard.
The unique thing about the Varier Variable Balans by Peter Opsvik is the way it combines style with functionality.
This unique feature makes it perfect for home and a variety of non-office uses. It is also very suitable for office use.
With a design inspired by the original Norwegian designs from 1979, it’s no wonder it has that classic look.
It is made of natural ash and polyester fabric which happens to be made of 100% recycled plastics.
The most prominent feature is the presence of two small knee rests rather than the usual one large knee rest present in its competitors.
The advantage this gives is that it forces your hips to part a little when seated which automatically engages your abdominal and lower back muscles.
Another cool feature of the Varier Variable is that it behaves like a rocking chair.
This rocking motion is especially important because sitting still for too long can cause back pain so this dynamic sitting alleviates that problem.
- Modern Scandinavian style
- Available in a variety of colours
- Fabric is eco-friendly
- The backrest can be purchased separately.
- Natural ash base
- Quite expensive
- Knee rest is not versatile
Dragonn kneeling chairs boast of being the best in ergonomics and design. It is the go-to chair for people who want a comfortable and adjustable kneeling chair.
This ergonomic chair features generous 3 inch cushions which are more than what its competitions are offering.
It also addresses the usual complaints by users about being unable to use kneeling chairs for prolonged periods of time by employing the use of ultra-thick mesh cushions.
These mesh fabrics also ensure that the contact areas of your body are being kept cool. This is most important for people who sweat a lot.
The other notable features are the sturdy steel frame which was built to handle an upper weight limit of 250 pounds and 4 well-built casters that allow easy movement in the chair.
It also features adjustable heights.
- Sturdy steel build
- The angled seat is a true ergonomic design
- Adjustable height can increase from up 21 inches to 28 inches to accommodate people of different heights.
- Thick 3 inch mesh cushion that aids cooling and comfort
- The 4 wheel casters are lockable to prevent unwanted movement.
- Casters aren’t the most reliable as they sometimes become stiff and lock up.
This is a little below in ranking than its new counterparts and its successor, the Sleekform M2 Kneeling Chair.
The Sleekform Ergonomic Kneeling Chair features a steel frame and black faux leather upholstery. It takes a liking in design to the standard ergonomic furniture that people have become accustomed to therefore making it a stylistic fit even in any modern office.
This chair offers thick padding and although the cushion may feel dense and hard at first, it takes no time in getting used to. It spots a sturdy steel frame that can handle up to 220 pounds of weight and also comes with adjustable heights. Another feature is the double thick mesh fabric which makes it feel comfortable and cool for prolonged use.
The two major differences between the Sleekform Kneeling Chair and the newer Sleekform Kneeling Chair M2 are the cushions and casters with its successor offering better premium materials choice.
- They offer great customer service support.
- Rolling wheels.
- Adjustable height
- Sturdy metal build
- Double thick cushions
- Generously sized knee rest
- Easily assembled
- Main seat angled awkwardly
- Not so great for short people
The MallBoo is the affordable version of the Varier and we know how the original Norwegian design of the Varier makes us feel.
It was love at first sight with the way they combined style and functionality, now add affordable to that class and you have the MallBoo.
Affordable also means fewer premium materials.
It’s then no surprise that the wooden frame is made of birch veneer plywood which is less expensive than ash.
They also employed the use of polyester fabrics rather than premium fabrics.
There have also been complains about the seat and knee rests being too thing and the dowels that attach the knee rest and seat are also considered the wrong length for some.
The overall build quality is good though and the sturdy frame can support up to an astonishing 265 pounds.
The Variable by Varier is a much better choice but if you’re looking for a more affordable version, then the MallBoo is an excellent choice.
- The aesthetic is really pleasing
- Available in several colors
- Rocking movement ability
- More affordable than the Variable by Varier
- No casters available
- Height not adjustable
- Thin padding
This is one of the cheapest ergonomic kneeling chairs on the market but it also comes with a lot of features. So it’s no surprise it’s one of the most in-demand ergonomic chairs out there.
It features 2 ½ inches thick padding which allows you to use it for extended periods and also comes with dual casters for improved mobility.
The natural wood frame used in this model makes it a perfect blend for your home décor.
The Flash Furniture WL-SB-210-GG is suitable for tall and short people. It also has a height adjustable ring that can be turned on the central support post.
There are however some things that don’t fall in the chair’s favour.
Some buyers have complained about it not being easy to assemble and the instruction manual is also very confusing and hard to follow.
There have also been reports about the wooden frame cracking not long after use and also, the fabric and stitching are not of the highest quality.
For the price paid, it is little surprise that all these reports exist but it’s a small risk you’re taking given the price you paid for it.
- Presence of dual casters
- Adjustable height
- Use of thick padding
- The wooden frame is a fit for both office or non-office setting
- Very affordable
- Fragile fabric and stitching
- Wood cracking easily
- Unhelpful instruction manual