If you have a bad back, or if you’re concerned about getting a bad back because you sit at a desk all day, you need to do something about it sooner rather than later.
There is a wide range of different chairs on the market all claiming to help with posture and bad backs. But an often forget about style of chair is the kneeling chair, so, are kneeling chairs good for bad backs?
Why Your Chair May Be Causing Back Pain
There are two main issues with sitting in a regular office chair.
Firstly, sitting for long periods is bad for your back.
Secondly, the support in your chair will likely be inadequate and not support good posture.
Sitting in a chair for your job generally means you’re in a static posture, or worse you’re slipping down in your chair or slouching.
This puts pressure on your spine and added stress on the muscles that support your back, shoulders, and neck.
Slouching over stretches the spinal ligaments and puts immense strain on the discs in your spine. Continuing to slouch for a long period can cause some serious long-term back problems.
So, there are two things you need to do to reduce/resolve your back pain:
- Stand up and take regular breaks from sitting
- Use a chair that supports your posture and relieves muscle strain
With all the different types of chairs and ergonomic options on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you.
Kneeling chairs are interesting chairs to consider. They are perfect for some people and can help resolve back pain, while they are not suited to some.
They offer some unique benefits to help distribute your weight, support your posture, and make it difficult to slouch and put a strain on your muscles.
What Is a Kneeling Chair?
Although kneeling chairs saw a rise in popularity in the 90’s and early 00’s when the health risks of sitting down all day were becoming well known, the first kneeling chair was actually designed in 1979.
The purpose of a kneeling chair is to allow the person sitting in it to sit at an angle lower than the 90 degrees you’ll usually sit in a normal chair.
There is also an additional support at the front of the chair that supports some of the person’s body weight by them placing their shins across the support.
By taking some of your weight, it’s believed a kneeling chair will reduce back pain, lower back strain in particular.
Kneeling chairs also position the user with an open hip angle. This encourages a more upright posture, helping to keep your back, shoulders, and neck in alignment.
So, Are Kneeling Chairs Good for Bad Backs?
As far as scientific evidence and studies go, there are mixed results. Some people just can’t get used to the position kneeling chairs encourage, while others have been able to resolve their back issues.
For short-term tasks that require reaching forward, kneeling chairs are generally considered to be a good choice. Jobs like technical drawing, painting, anything with an angled easel is ideal.
When first using a kneeling chair it’s normal for it to feel unnatural, and you may also have an ache or pain the next day. It takes some time for your body to be accustomed to the new position, especially if you’ve been sitting with poor posture for years.
If you’re taller than average you will find it more difficult to find a kneeling chair that supports your posture comfortably, which is a huge drawback.
Pros of a Kneeling Chair
- You are forced to sit in an upright position promoting better back alignment
- The shin support takes some of your body weight
- The angle makes working on tasks in front of you easier
Cons of a Kneeling Chair
- Your legs are stuck in one position
- You cannot use your feet on the ground to move around
- Some people just cannot find them comfortable
The health risks of sitting in an office chair all day, five days a week are not longer in debate. It’s terrible for your health and waiting until your back hurts might be too late to do something about it.
Start standing for at least a few minutes every hour to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, blood clots, and back pain.
Also, try and find a chair that supports your posture and takes some weight and strain off your muscles. Kneeling chairs do offer excellent support for some people and are worth taking a closer look at.