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Sitting for long periods of time, whether crammed into a home office, or back in-person around your workplace peers, is a necessary evil of office work. Everyone has their own opinions on ways to beat neck strain and the chronic lower back pain that comes with spending the majority of your day in front of a computer screen, but not everything will work for you. Unless you want to shell out hundreds of dollars for a ergonomic desk chair tailored to your spine (though we have our favorites), you may want to consider a kneeling chair.
While it may look like an unconventional, counterintuitive solution (how comfortable can kneeling for hours really be?), the best kneeling chairs actually encourage proper posture and subtle align your spine in a way that reduces neck train. Trust us, you don’t need a piece of furniture crafted by NASA to get the same ergonomic benefits.
Sure, there are already a multitude of desk accessories to take your mind off the daily aches and keep your focus on your work, from laptop risers, to seat cushions, and even ergonomic mice. But your tush will be in contact with some chair for most of the day, so we’ve found the best kneeling chairs that put your physical health first and foremost during the work day.
What Are the Best Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs?
Kneeling chairs work because they are specially- designed to maintain the natural curve of your lower back, putting you in a more upright position and removing pressure from your entire back. Even though you’re bending at the knee, the chair can also take some of the pressure of your glutes and hamstrings, as well as length your hip flexors (which tend to get tight while sitting for long periods of time). Some kneeling chairs even rock back and forth to help you engage your core.
No ergonomic solution is perfect, though, and you should still try to get in some movement during your day so you don’t get too tense. Try alternating between a kneeling chair and a regular desk chair, or a kneeling chair and a convertible standing desk throughout your workday. At the very least, make sure the base of the kneeling chair is also adjustable to your height.
Here are the best ergonomic kneeling chairs that will let you keep a comfortable, stable posture for hours.
1. DRAGONN Kneeling Chair
DRAGONN’S ergonomic kneeling chair has truly got your back (and your knees, shins, and your behind) in terms of long-term comfort and mobility.
Kneeling chairs tend to prioritize a design that’ll help you maintain good curvature of the spine above thinking about how long you’ll actually be resting weight on your knees. DRAGONN’s mesh, three-inch-thick cushion helps to ensure excellent support for hours.
Depending on your height, you can adjust the kneeling chair with a base that raises up from 21 to 31 inches, so you can get the best angle to keep your core engaged (although we won’t promise those expense reports you’re looking at will keep you engaged). The base is sturdy, and built to support up to 250 pounds.
One thing we love is that unlike other kneeling chairs, it comes with four wheels like a traditional desk chair that can lock in place. It’s comfortable, adjustable — what’s not to love?
2. Varier Variable Balans Kneeling Chair
Based on a Norwegian design from the 1970s, the Varier is considered the “original kneeling chair” and its simple, yet effective structure makes it a worthwhile pick to this very day.
What sets the Varier apart from other ergonomic kneeling chairs is both the configuration of the knee rest (with two knee pads instead of one smaller one), and a rocking chair-like motion that lets you engage your core while you sit. Having a two-piece knee rest can actually help you keep your hips open while sitting, without any adjustments to the chair itself.
That being said, the lack of adjustability might be a dealbreaker for some people — you can’t raise, lower, or push back the seat, but that doesn’t mean that the chair isn’t for a range of bodies. It still supports up to 240 pounds, and there’s an optional backrest you can buy separately. But the streamlined, IKEA-esque design and natural-looking fabric does make this a favorite of ours.
3. Flash Furniture Mobile Ergonomic Kneeling Chair
Besides being super compact, this wooden desk chair from Flash Furniture has a lot up its sleeve in terms of functionality, all for a reasonable price.
The wooden finish on the frame just looks so good, lending itself well to dorm rooms, TV lounges, or professional offices, since it can work with a lot of decor. If you’re low on space, the chair can also be folded up easily and stored away when you’re off the clock.
Despite its natural-looking design, it can still be manually adjusted for height using a ring in the center post, and has two fabric-covered cushions for extra comfort. While the 2.5 inch padding isn’t as thick as some of the other options our list, it’ll do the trick when it comes to waking up those core muscles for a couple hours a day.
4. BetterPosture Jazzy Kneeling Chair
Listen, for as much as a knee pad will support your lower back, we get it if you’re skeptical, or if you want something even more supportive. Enter: the BetterPosture Jazzy Kneeling Chair, which comes with a built-in backrest for added lumbar support.
The backrest lets you will only compliment the purpose of the kneeling chair, which still lets you shift your body weight onto your leg muscles and off your lower back (the backrest can always be removed). The memory foam pads are definitely some of the most plush we’ve seen, for a thick and comfortable seat. A durable, stretchy knit fabric covers the foam, and makes it easy to clean.
The long-lasting, metal frame can support up to 275 pounds, and the seat can be adjusted between 21 and 28 inches. Overall, while the backrest won’t provide that much more support, it’s a nice added perk to an already stellar kneeling chair.
From Rolling Stone US