8 Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs to Achieve Your Best Posture
Published: February 12, 2022
Learn about the build and perks of the ergonomic kneeling chair. Consider one to help mitigate your lower back and hip pain!
Finding the best ergonomic chair has become a bit of a treasure hunt in recent years. With more and more people gaining control over their work and study areas due to remote setups, a lot of attention has been given to “ideal working spaces”. Everything from the best productivity-boosting decor to the best chair. A desk, after all, needs something for its user to sit on, right? But what if we told you that one of the best chairs for your back isn’t the one you sit on at all? Let’s take a good look at the build and perks of the ergonomic kneeling chair, as well as a few select pieces that may catch your eye.
What Is a Kneeling Chair?
While these weird chairs are a relatively new invention, it’s still been a good forty-odd years since the first one was designed. Kneeling chairs have a rather funny shape at first glance. There’s a front and a back part that’s usually cushioned, connected by a frame but with a gap between them. To “sit” on one, you need to situate yourself so your seat is on the back part while your shins or knees are supported by the front cushion. This provides the titular “kneeling” position that straightens your posture, providing an ergonomic way to work. Many kneeling chairs can be used for any desk setup since a majority of them can be adjusted, both to suit desk height and to conform to the sitter’s proportions.
The Perks of the Kneeling Chair
With posture becoming a hot topic in today’s mostly-stationary workforce, it’s easy to see the charm in this type of chair. Recent search data reveals that people looking for furniture for their new at-home setups are looking for things that will suit not just their homes, but also their bodies. One key phrase that has shot up is “ergonomic”. No one wants to sit for hours at home on a monobloc chair, only to stand for dinner with a creaky back.
While it doesn’t look comfortable at first glance, the kneeling chair is surprisingly pleasant to use. Remember that for years, humans have utilized the floor in cross-legged and kneeling positions to do their work, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the kneeling chair is simply a modern way to mimic a natural state. It’s even one of the best chairs for lower back and hip pain as its design was made to encourage the natural curve of the spine.
The lack of back support in most kneeling chairs forces the sitter to straighten their posture as they work at their desk. Even those with a backrest have only the slightest support on the lower back, more to assist in keeping straight than to hold your entire spine in place. In addition, quite a number of kneeling chairs double as rocking chairs, encouraging balance and movement as you work. Remaining non-stationary as you go about your daily tasks at your desk can be one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy.
Needless to say, there are many benefits to get by using a kneeling chair with your favorite ergonomic chair, and these are only the beginning.
Types of Kneeling Chairs
Ergonomic kneeling chairs come in many shapes and sizes, with materials ranging from plain wood to birch to steel. Many adopt a simple, seamless curved frame, providing a sleek and minimalist look. Others have a cross-legged form that increases stability while sacrificing the rocking chair aspect of other models. Meanwhile, the kneeling chairs with back supports provide that little bit of extra reinforcement for those who don’t want to jump straight into the backless chair life. It’s important to know what you’re looking for before purchasing, and also to scout out the options.
Picking the Best Kneeling Chair for You
The perfect kneeling chair will differ from person to person, as height and, of course, the style must come into play for the decision-making. We’ve compiled a list of possible contenders to help you pick the best office chair to use for those long hours:
Let’s start this list off right where it all began − with the Variable Balans Original Kneeling Chair from Varier. With the design dating back to 1979, this was the first modern iteration of the kneeling chair to hit the market. More than forty years later, this kneeling chair’s form factor and quality are still top-notch and highly praised.
With an incredibly sturdy wooden base, there’s no need for a brace between the chair’s feet, allowing a range of different positions for the sitter. One foot can be up on the cushion while kneeling, and the chair can even be flipped around and sat on like a regular stool. As it comes in a variety of colors, this classic kneeling chair shows it can still keep up with modern design and preferences.
- The original kneeling chair
- Norwegian-designed & produced in Europe
- Separated knee rests for added balance
- Built with high-quality wood
- Overall size is 28.8 inches deep, 21.3 inches wide, and 4.1 inches high
- Rocking feature allows for fidgeting
- Separate knee rests allow different sitting positions
- Comes in multiple color options
- Non-adjustable and may not suit larger builds
If you’re looking for a more customizable version of the kneeling chair, check out this Adjustable Iron-Frame Kneeling Chair from VIVOHOME. Both the height and the angle can be adjusted to suit different builds. The thick foam cushions are encased in classy PU leather that comes in four colors. The clean-cut white variant, in particular, is a good mix of dark and light tones, perfectly suited to a bright and modern office.
- Heavy-duty iron frame
- 4 removable rolling wheels
- Adjustable height & angle
- 4-inch thick foam upholstered by PU leather
- 26 inches in depth & 18 inches in width
- Height is adjustable, from 21 inches to 28 inches
- Durable materials
- Can be adjusted to suit multiple desk heights
- Easy to assemble
- Thicker cushioning than other products
- Caster wheels do not rotate correctly
Fidgeting while you work is perfectly normal, but so is tumbling over when leaning back on the rear legs of a normal chair. Enter the Adjustable Rocking Kneeling Chair from NYPOT. Designed to allow the sitter to rock back and forth as they go about their workday, this little kneeling chair encourages active sitting without the fear of falling. The tilt and height can be adjusted accordingly, and if rocking isn’t your thing or if you need to force yourself to sit still, there’s a lock feature integrated into the design as well. This particular chair boasts cool and breathable linen upholstery in a classic gray tone and would go great with any fidgeter’s setup.
- Sturdy wooden frame
- Designed for rocking
- Adjustable cushions for differing heights & angles
- Made from wood and linen-covered cushions
- 33 inches deep, 22 inches wide, and 21 inches high
- Comfortable cushion and design
- Lock feature prevents unwanted rocking
- Excellent customer service
- Build quality tends to wobble
Worried about losing your balance in these weird but wonderful chairs? Hold on to your seat with this Adjustable Metal Kneeling Chair with Handles by soges. The sturdy steel frame features padded handles that allow you to adjust yourself comfortably as you sit down. They also offer some stability in case you need to roll to another corner of your space on the included wheels.
- Steel frame that can support up to 100 kilograms
- 5 different adjustable angles
- Customizable height
- Faux leather cushions
- 27.6-inch length, 18.9-inch width, and 27.6-inch height
- Height can be adjusted by about 4 inches
- Helps alleviate back pain
- Added stability with side handles
- Easy to clean
- Doesn’t roll smoothly
Interior design has always been multi-faceted, with many styles to choose from. The sophisticated and classy mid-century modern look is back in style these days. The Adjustable Wooden Kneeling chair offered by Flash Furniture certainly suits this look to a tee. With the edges on its legs and supporting stem blunted into sleek cylinders, this piece mimics many of the chairs of that era, making it a delight to your eyes, your home, and your posture.
- Made with a natural wood frame finish
- 2 inches of CAL 117 fire-retardant foam
- Breathable fabric upholstery
- Measures 26.5 inches in depth, 17.5 inches in width, and 24 inches in height
- Adjustable and excellent even for 6-foot-tall sitters
- Comfortable cushions
- Modern and elegant design
- Fiberboard seat isn’t the most durable
While most typical kneeling chairs forgo the use of a backrest, that isn’t to say they’re entirely gone in this series of ergonomic seats. Take for instance the Ergonomic Kneeling Chair with Back Support from DRAGONN (by VIVO). The backrest offered on this kneeling chair is there mostly to correct your posture as you sit on it. It, therefore, doesn’t detract from your attempts at straightening your spine. Rather, it’s there to give you a little nudge, a good reminder of how you should sit as you acclimate yourself to this new manner of working. Offered in white on black and full black, this model offers a welcome new feature to the typical kneeling chair.
- 3-inch thick cushion
- Adjustable height
- Front locking wheels
- Heavy-duty metal base
- Modern black and white design
- Height is adjustable from 21 inches to 31 inches
- Seat pad width is 15.5 inches and the frame width is 18 inches
- Easy to assemble
- Encourages active sitting
- Mesh backrest aids in correcting posture
- Rather cheap construction
It’s important to keep in mind that kneeling chairs aren’t meant to be used exclusively throughout the long workday. This Angle-Adjustable Kneeling Chair with Backrest from YOOMEMM allows you to switch between kneeling and sitting. If you’re tight on space and don’t want to have a second chair in your desk area, this multifunctioning marvel will do the job just fine.
In addition to doubling as a normal office chair, this model comes with a bentwood backrest with a sleek, dark finish. We say it’d fit right in at any formal workplace.
- 5-wheel swivel base
- Bentwood backrest
- Adjustable seat height and angle
- 15-inch depth x 17.72-inch width x 35-inch height
- Backrest is optional
- Stylish design
- Can be used as a regular office chair
- Very comfortable build
- Knee pads do not lock in place
We end this list near where we started, with a ThatSit Balans Kneeling Chair with Backrest by Varier. The company that pioneered the modern kneeling chair never stopped innovating, adding their own backrest design to their classic Balans. The spine of this piece offers a new way to sit on this chair – backward, with your arms around the middle bit that supports your chest. The unique silhouette of the chair is certainly an eye-catcher, a statement piece in any setup.
This model shows how far kneeling chairs have come since 1979, and with innovators all over the world, they’ll surely continue to evolve.
- Ergonomic backrest
- Polyester Revive upholstery
- Uniquely designed wooden frame
- Multiple sitting positions
- Adjustable seat and kneepads
- 28.34-inch depth, 20.47-inch width, and 20.07-inch height
- Allows a lot of natural movement
- Excellent for back support
- Firm but comfortable padding
- Post-consumer recycled polyester upholstery is eco-friendly
- Difficult to assemble
Frequently Asked Questions about Kneeling Chair
Why Use a Kneeling Chair?
Kneeling chairs have been lauded by health experts as an excellent way to improve posture and keep the body healthy. By maintaining the natural curve of your spine without holding it in place for you, kneeling chairs help exercise the muscles in your back in a way that’s efficient and comfortable.
What Is the Benefit of a Kneeling Chair?
Kneeling chairs offer a range of benefits, most notably a straighter posture and all the perks that come with it. Things like breathing, digestion, and even self-confidence are affected by how you stand, and sitting properly is one of the best ways to improve them.
How Long Can You Sit on a Kneeling Chair?
Kneeling chairs aren’t meant to be used for a full day. They’re much better when paired with another regular chair. The ideal ergonomic setup will always include an ergonomic desk chair in addition to your kneeling chair, with frequent standing breaks between the two. Try your best not to remain in one position for too long, and alternate between sitting, standing, and kneeling throughout your work day.
Are Kneeling Chairs Good for Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain can often be triggered by sitting stationary and slouched in a non-ergonomic chair for long periods of time. Ergonomic kneeling chairs offer training for the lower back, allowing your spine to follow its natural curve while still in a comfortable position. It may not work for everyone, but kneeling chairs have been lauded by experts and many reviews to be an effective aid against lower back pain. Just be sure to always alter your positions throughout the day, including standing and walking around from time to time. Staying stationary in any chair for hours on end will only lead to more backaches.
Is a Rocking Kneeling Chair Better?
Many rocking kneeling chairs encourage a form of active sitting. Active sitting encourages the use of muscles and joints that might otherwise have gone stationary while in a normal chair. These types of chairs are also perfect for those who enjoy fidgeting while they work, providing a safe seat for rocking back and forth. While these are certainly perks of a rocking kneeling chair, the rocking may become distracting to certain individuals, and so ultimately, it’s still up to preference.
Kneeling chairs can be classified as some of the weirdest chairs in existence today, but they’re also some of the best ergonomic chairs on the market. Picking one up to use in tandem with your favorite desk chair will provide you with a good variety of sitting positions. And, after some extended use, you may just find that “sitting” properly has helped you stand a little taller.