The History of Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs

Hans Christian Mengshoel is the man credited with inventing the original kneeling chair of modern times. In 1979 Mengshoel introduced The Balans Chair and other designers followed suit based on the same idea. This chair was designed so that the thighs are dropped at an angle closer to a vertical position to the point where most of a person’s body weight is distributed between their knees and shins. It’s a mixture of modern ergonomic design and ancient tradition that can be seen in the kneeling office chair.

Women Sitting Comfortably in Kneeling Chairs
Man Working in an Ergonomic Kneeling Chair

Mengshoel incorporated the sitting position of Tibetan Buddhist Monks into his design for the original ergonomic kneeling chair. These monks are known to sit in a kneeling position and meditate for as much as eight hours in a single session. They prepare the body to sit in one position for a prolonged period and believe that if the body is not comfortable in its position the mind cannot focus fully. Office workers are required to remain seated for several hours a day and they too need to be in a comfortable position– however there are concerns over modern sitting habits at work

Health Concerns for Seated Workers

There are many health problems associated with occupations requiring workers to be seated for the vast majority of their day. Sitting down normally can bring on back aches and spinal injuries. There’s also an issue with low energy expenditure and slower metabolism too. These long periods of sitting down can affect your posture and, frighteningly increase the chances of heart disease. In fact, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic, the risk of getting heart disease for people who spend most of their day sitting is about the same as that of smokers. In a regular office chair, some people alternate between slumping in a relaxed position and sitting in a tense, upright manner, neither of which are much help in avoiding the problems outlined above.

Man Using a Kneeling Chair in Office
Woman Using Ergonomic Kneeling Chair in Office

Kneeling Office Chairs: The Advantages

Some believe the answer to these problems is the kneeling office chair. With an ergonomic kneeling chair, not only is much of the body weight moved from the buttocks to the shins and knees, the upper body is also made support itself. While sitting in one of these kneeling office chairs you will be using your abdominal and back muscles constantly. Engaging these muscles like this means it could be considered a mini core workout.

With the weight shifted forward the chair also becomes very useful for anyone suffering with pain in their coccyx as there is less pressure on the tailbone. Keep in mind that an ergonomic kneeling chair could be a great solution if you’re having problems sitting at your desk all day. Maybe you could use one of the ergonomic kneeling chairs full-time at your desk or maybe you’d prefer to have it on rotation to make sure you get the best of both worlds. If you’re curious about the benefits of a kneeling office chair take a look at our selection we offer on our website. There is a choice between several different models from a cheaper version to the aforementioned, more expensive and original, Balans Chairs.