Active sitting chairs can take some getting used to when compared to typical ergonomic chairs. This is because you will be using muscles that normal chairs do not require you to use in order to keep yourself stable.
If this is your first time sitting in an active sitting chair, the type of chair that a kneeling chair is, then the core muscles required to support you may initially be weak. This is why, for some people, these chairs can be uncomfortable and why it is recommended that you swap between an active sitting chair and an ergonomic chair while you become more and more comfortable.
Kneeling chairs may be slightly easier to get used to compared to other active sitting chairs due to your knees providing additional support, but some may struggle initially working out how to correctly sit in one of these chairs.
Continue reading for our guide on how to sit in kneeling rocking chairs and other backless chairs for active sitting.
Do active sitting chairs work?
Yes, active sitting chairs work to reduce lower back pain, improve circulation, and help correct your posture – provided that you are sitting in them properly.
They promote core muscle strength by reducing your reliance on a small number of muscles and tendons in your core, instead extending the burden across many auxiliary muscles and tendons. This also prevents muscle atrophy which can otherwise cause some muscles in your core to weaken over time and lead to back pain.
Strong core muscles can lead to a healthier posture and a stronger spine, which is further developed by the lack of backrest on these types of chairs. When you can rely on a backrest for support, it’s easy to carelessly slouch your back and sink into your chair. This remains the case with ergonomic chair backrests to a degree, although the effects are lessened.
Active sitting chairs also encourage better blood circulation than normal chairs through adjustments to your posture, which is good for a whole host of reasons. Remaining sedentary can cause your metabolism and circulation to slow, which can lead to problems such as weight gain, pain, and more complex issues such as deep vein thrombosis.
And finally, active sitting chairs help boost concentration and focus. Keeping your posture in check is a good background task to occupy your brain while you perform other tasks, keeping you from becoming distracted and straying off track.
How to set up a kneeling chair
Sitting in a kneeling chair may look complicated, but it is far from it. Simply sit on the seat first and then slide your legs behind the rest until your upper shins are pressed against the support just under your knees.
Looking uncomfortable and complicated is one of the biggest barriers to entry for kneeling chairs with no backrest, but provided you follow those steps then you will be sitting correctly.
It is important, though, that your chair is suited to your height. For example, if you are too tall for your kneeling chair then your legs will not be placed correctly on the rest and this can cause discomfort.
Can you use a kneeling chair all day?
It is not advised that you sit in a kneeling chair all day. Most people who use kneeling chairs swap between them and more typical ergonomic chairs multiple times a day.
Varying your posture throughout the day is key to the upkeep of your health. If possible, you should divide your working day between sitting at a desk on an ergonomic chair and an active sitting chair/kneeling chair, as well as at a standing desk.
If you have never used an active sitting chair before, then your first time should be for just a few minutes for a few times in a single day. As time goes on, work up to spending more and more time in them until you can comfortably sit on an active chair for around an hour (including a standing break).
You should still take care to follow seating best practices to ensure you keep your body healthy. This includes periodic knee lifts and leg movements, as well as stretches and standing breaks every half hour.
Active sitting chairs at PAM Health
If you are ready to make the investment in your physical health and acquire an active sitting chair then take a look at our range of kneeling and active sitting chairs. Or, if you need more convincing, see our other article on kneeling chair benefits.