Ask The Back School: Kneeling Chairs

Ergonomics March 26, 2019

Today we’re answering a question from a recent grad about Kneeling Chairs

I attended the CEAS I workshop this past week in San Antonio. Our program recently received a request for a kneeling chair. I was hoping you would be able to share your thoughts on the benefits and disadvantages of this type of chair. Would you recommend a kneeling chair for everyday use within an office setting?

kneeling chair

Below you can find The Back School’s Director, Ron Porter’s, response.

In regard to the kneeling chair, we do not recommend it as a chair for everyday use.
The primary benefit of  the kneeling chair is that it allows the individual to sit with the knees below the hips which places the individual in  a neutral posture of the spine.  This can also be achieved by using a regular office chair where you tilt the seat pan forward/down  and allow the knees to be below the hips.  According to research the most important part of the chair for long periods of sitting time is a back support.   The kneeling chair does not have any back support and for extended periods of time this would be a significant issue.
Additional disadvantages include  a lot of contact stress to the knee area which can be a contributing factor to tendinitis or other issues at that location.  The decreased blood flow from the contact stress points would be a significant issue.  The kneeling chair does not allow the individual to change postures like a typical adjustable chair. In a regular office chair the employee can change postures easily and redistribute stress on their body throughout the workday.
In summary, the kneeling chair could be used for short periods of time maybe 10 to 15 minute increments  to provide an opportunity  for postural modification.  My recommendation is  for a good adjustable office chair that will allow the individual multiple positions during their workday and use the kneeling chair for something at home for  an occasional activity.

Do you have any opinions or experience with kneeling chairs? Let us know in the comments below!

2 thoughts

  • K. N. Krishna Prasad

    I do not find any significant advantage(s) in using the chair. On the contrary, the minus points are more. Mounting and dismounting , lack of support on the sides are all minus points.
    Summing up: It is a wasteful expenditure. I would not, therefore, recommend it to any one.

    K. N. Krishna Prasad; Chartered engineer, EHS Consultant & Trainer

  • Karen DeChello

    I find the kneeling chairs unstable at times depending on the technique for getting on and off the chair. Also too much contact stress on the knees and forces some into too much anterior pelvic tilt that isn’t adjustable. I do not recommend them.

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