Are Kneeling Chairs Good For You?

Fiona Seath
Business Developer, Assessor and Trainer | Back In Action, The Back Shop
22nd April 2024

Over the last 35 years, we've tried hundreds of kneeling chairs, from the cheapest to the most expensive, from the sleek and beautiful to the frankly weird. We have then collectively spent about 1.9 Million (yes really) hours sitting in them as a company. The end result? We really know our stuff. 

Our Verdict? 

If you choose the right one (and be sure to choose carefully) then kneeling chairs can be absolutely brilliant. We use them in almost every area of our offices and homes and sit in them for up to 12 hours a day. They can bring balance to your spine, help you naturally sit better, increase movement, calorie burn, core muscle strength and help keep your energy levels higher. 
Chosen badly (and any kneeler without movement hits this category) they can restrict movement, throw your weight onto your knees rather than sending it through your bottom, and don't give you enough balance. 

So how do you know which to choose?
We are here to help you answer that all important question. 


1. Match your TOTAL daily sitting time to the chair you will be sitting on:

  • 1-2 hours total, or max 30 mins per occasion: A budget Kneeling Chair with no movement can work.  You might find a good add-on gadget for an existing chair a good choice.
  • 2-3 hours total, or max 1 hour per occasion: Your body will love a Kneeling Chair with movement. Movement in any chair, including Kneeling Chairs, is essential for any sitting period beyond 2 hours, especially if you want to maintain a healthy body, and spine and keep alert
  • 3-6 hours total or max 4 hours per occasion: Your body will need a Kneeling Chair that allows plenty of movement. Chosen correctly, moving Kneeling Chairs are stars for high intensity sitting.
  • 6-8 hours total: You will need all the movement you can get to nourish your body for these long periods of sitting. Look for Kneeling Chairs with rocking runners or a free-flowing tilt mechanism under the seat. You will also definitely need a Kneeling Chair that allows more than one leg position. Choose a split knee pad. We also suggest a backrest but it's not essential: we've thousands of users of high quality Kneeling Chairs that sit unsupported for a full working day.
  • 8-10 hours total: You will want all of the above and more. At this length of sitting, you are going to need a backrest, and a really comfortable one too! You will also need lots of movement, and lots of ability to change your sitting position to avoid pressure spots (and give your joints some variety). If you can get it, you will also want elbow rests.


2. Movement is more important than perfect posture.

This one surprises people - as we have all grown up being taught that body position or "posture" is the most important thing. It isn't. Movement and variety are everything. You can have the most perfect posture in the world, but if you do not move enough, your spinal health will deteriorate and you will end up in pain. So choose movement over perfect posture. In theory, we can have awful posture with a strong fit and pain-free spine, provided we give it enough movement throughout the day. 

The key to all good chairs is therefore movement, forwards-and-backward, side-to-side, up-and-down, the more movement the better. We call this active sitting. Once you achieve active sitting your core muscles will become stronger and you will find your posture will improve overnight, joints will be less stiff, and you will become more focused and have higher concentration levels.

3. Choose a chair that balances your spine right 

When you sit on a well-balanced kneeling chair you balance the spine properly over the pelvis - achieving great posture. 

4. Combine perfect Movement & Balance with Perfect posture for the ultimate kneeling-sitting experience

In the right kneeling chair it's possible to incorporate the deeply important movement with perfect posture. There really are chairs that can encourage and allow both to happen at the same time: this is the absolute optimum. If you have both of these we dont think things can get much (a few extra walking breaks might do it, but in the world of sitting, this movement, balance and posture combined is absolutely optimum).

5. Sit on one: Or even better, sit on several. 

Nothing beats the real thing, and feeling what works for you and your body. Once you find the right one, nothing will come close to sitting in and enjoying that actual feeling of a great kneeling chair. 



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