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A kneeling chair is one of the top ergonomic chairs for office workers that eliminates lower back pain and corrects poor posture. This makes it a darling for office workers who spend long hours sitting in the standard office chair and avoid back pain.
That said, you may want to use this chair alongside your existing office desk. But you first need to know how high the desk should stand relative to your kneeling chair to ensure you can comfortably use the desktop and do your computer work.
Before using your kneeling chair with the office desk, read our full guide below on how to get the most out of this setup. We have also shared other helpful info you need to know beforehand.
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What makes kneeling chairs good for office work
Kneeling chairs have become quite popular among home office workers. This is because they help you avoid sitting on a traditional office chair for long periods of time. They also provide you with a list of benefits that improve your overall healthy sitting habits and work output.
These benefits include:
Promote good posture
When you sit correctly on your kneeling chair (we’ll show you how to do this later in the post), you’re forced to stay with an open hip angle which encourages a better posture. This is a good thing if you’re trying to work on poor posture.
Engage your core
When sitting with a good posture in kneeling chairs, you’ll need to engage your stomach and back muscles.
As these muscles get worked overtime, they become strengthened and enable you to stay upright posture for hours without a backrest. Strong cores also help in other aspects of your life.
Relieve hip and back pain
The simple act of the kneeling chairs forcing you into a more upright posture ensures your lumbar curve is set in its natural shape.
This helps align your back, shoulders, and neck into a good posture—this will help reduce pain around these parts caused by sitting in a traditional chair.
Promote active sitting
Kneeling chairs also promote active sitting beside an upright posture. This improves your blood flow and oxygen levels. This, in turn, boosts your energy and concentration, enabling you to do more in your home office every day.
They’re height adjustable
Most desks are made to work with standard office desks, typically around 28 to 30 inches high.
Because the kneeling chairs are angle and seat height-adjustable, it becomes easy for you to customize them for the perfect ergonomic fit whether you’re short or a tall person.
This feature enables you to use them with an office desk without any problems. And this brings us to our next topic on how to set them correctly for use with your office desk…
Guide to ergonomic kneeling chair desk height
When it comes to setting the correct kneeling chair desk height, you simply set the chair such that enables you to comfortably reach the worktop and all the items.
Luckily, most of the kneeling chairs available today have a seat height adjustment feature, making it easy for you to adjust them to a comfortable working height.
When using kneeling chairs with your office desk, you need to keep the following things in mind:
Choose the right office desk
A typical office desk is around 28 to 30 inches high. This height is designed to accommodate users with average height ranging from 5’8” to 5’10”.
However, not everyone will be comfortable with this desk.
Some folks are tall, while others are shorter than average and may not feel comfortable using these standard desks.
If you’re one of such users, you need to look for a desk with ergonomic height to ensure an ergonomic workstation setup.
Get an adjustable desk that runs from 22 to 33 inches high. This will offer you flexibility in choosing the height you’re most comfortable with.
Setting the correct kneeling chair height
Ideally, a good desk height for an ergonomic kneeling chair should be such that when you spread your arms over the desktop, they sit slightly higher than the desk surface. Your arms should be able to comfortably relax on the desktop.
For instance, you shouldn’t have to uncomfortably extend your arms or move your wrists when using your keyboard.
If you find yourself straining, then it means you still need to adjust the chair for a more comfortable workspace.
A comfortable kneeling position in your kneeling chair should make it easy to reach all the items you need while working. This can be a pen, paper, mouse, and even that cup of coffee!
Though this setting may feel uncomfortable for the first few times, your arms will eventually get used to it. They will comfortably rest on the desktop and keyboard.
Adjusting the seat angle
You’ll also need to make sure you set the angle of your seat. This helps make it easy to reach the desktop while putting your spine in a healthy (natural curvature) manner.
We suggest setting your seat to around a 25 to 30-degree slope. This is the perfect angle to make you slightly lean forward so that your core sits in front of your hips whenever the desk is set at the correct height.
This seat angle also prevents you from sitting too far back into the seat.
Distance from the desk
A complete ergonomic setup involving a kneeling chair should also be mindful of how far the chair sits from the desk.
Place your chair at a distance that allows your arms to comfortably reach things in the middle of the desk without feeling like you’re overstretching.
Ensure your kneeling chair directly faces the desk. This will prevent you from forcing your body or back into awkward positions when you want to reach for something on the desk.
Above all, set your chair at a distance that doesn’t force you to crunch up your arms for you to reach your keyboard.
Set the correct monitor height
Assuming you have a monitor sitting on your desk, you should also need it at a comfortable height.
The monitor should be positioned at a height where your head remains in a neutral position when looking at it. That is, you shouldn’t bend your head forward or backward when looking at the monitor.
You should be able to view the entire monitor properly comfortably without tilting your head forward. Only your eyes should shift downward and NOT your head!
NOTE: You may feel that using a kneeling chair on your office desk fees different from the traditional office chair. You might even feel tempted to adjust your office desk to a different height. But this is something you’ll get used to with time. Your body will get used to it just as you’re used to a traditional office chair and desk right now.
How to sit on a kneeling chair
Part of the learning curve of setting the ergonomic kneeling chair desk height correctly also involves learning how to correctly sit in this chair.
It’s common for most beginners to sit too far back in the seat of a kneeling chair. However, this isn’t a good thing because it throws you further from your desk—leading to improper kneeling chair or desk height.
But this is easily avoidable if you properly set yourself in the seat.
This is how to correctly sit on a kneeling chair:
- When setting the chair height to make it perfect for use with your office desk, you should first get in the seat cushion.
- Next, lower it all the way down until your knees are now resting on the knee pads. This enables you to put minimal weight on them without putting too much weight on any other part of your body.
- Every time you get into your chair, always double-check the height of its seat and that of your desktop.
This is especially helpful if you’re using the chair at different locations and with different users. It needs to be used according to various desktops and users’ heights.
Tips for using kneeling chairs for the first time
Here are more tips to help you use kneeling chairs correctly for the first time and get the most out of them.
Take short breaks
You should ensure you move around, not just sitting in your kneeling chair for long periods. It’s true this chair promotes active sitting. But getting off the chair at intervals throughout the day and doing some stretching exercises or taking walks is a great way to improve your overall health.
It gets better with time
One of the things you need to know is that getting used to your new kneeling chair takes time since you’re accustomed to the traditional chair.
This is mainly because most office workers are used to the traditional office chairs and have become fully accustomed to them. Switching to a different chair feels awkward.
The new position of seating thus chair puts you in may feel uncomfortable for the first few times.
And keeping in mind that you employ your core muscles when you get in a seated position on this new type of chair, you’ll likely get sore muscles and feel some minor pains after using it.
However, this is perfectly normal and about your body getting used to the new chair.
Don’t use your kneeling for long hours
When transitioning to a kneeling chair, you should also use it for short periods as you get used to it.
We suggest using it for about 20 minutes at first. Then as you continue getting accustomed to it, you can double the duration to 40 minutes or longer before taking a break.
This tip will help eliminate the discomforts that come with the first time using the chair.
But keep in mind that this chair isn’t meant for all-day use. So, you shouldn’t sit in it throughout the whole day when you finally get the hang of it.
Vary your positions
Another way to ensure you don’t remain in the same sitting position in a kneeling chair is changing your position. This doesn’t necessarily mean getting out of the chair.
Instead, you just need to switch to different leg positions. For instance, you can sit with both your legs in front of you.
Another position to try involves one leg on the knee cushion and the other one on the floor (you can alternate between your two legs for this position).
These variations help keep you from developing any type of ache and pain.
Alternatively, you can get rocking kneeling chairs to maximize your movements.
Do away with the backrest
Some kneeling chairs come with lumbar spine support. This is a nice feature and improves the overall ergonomics when using it in your home office.
However, we don’t recommend using the backrest because it will undo the primary intention of a kneeling chair.
Unless you have a medical condition and can’t do without back support, get rid of the back if you want to enjoy the kneeling chair benefits.
Or you can only use the back support when taking small breaks from your office work.
Mind the chair padding
This is more of some shopping advice. When looking for a new chair, we advise you to get one with a thicker knee pad.
You want a model with thick cushions for the seat and knee rest to offer you ultimate comfort for hours.
Also, make sure the cushioning isn’t too firm that it ends up hurting your butt and knees with prolonged sitting.
Switch between kneeling and standard office chairs
We mentioned above that you shouldn’t use your kneeling chair throughout the day. So, what alternatives do you have in your home office?
Well, you should pair the chair with a sit-stand desk so that you can switch between sit and stand positions easily. Alternatively, you can alternate it with a regular chair.
If you have all three types of office furniture, it makes the perfect combo of going from sitting to kneeling to standing.
This prevents you from sitting in your normal chair for prolonged periods.
Don’t place any weight on your knees
We also advise you against putting all your weight on the knees when sitting on a kneeling chair.
Doing so will put too much pressure on your knees and shins, and they may end up being hurt and feeling pain. Even if you have a kneeling chair with well-padded shin pads, they will not do much to relieve pressure off your shins.
The best way to sit in a kneeling chair is with your weight mainly focused on your bottom.
Choose a chair that offers you the perfect working height
When choosing the best kneeling chair, your body height is another thing to keep in mind.
Tall people usually have difficulty finding a chair that comfortably accommodates them since most models are made for average height users. The same case goes for short folks.
A tall person’s legs, for instance, can push them far up the seat, and they may be left with no room for their lower legs as well as feet.
Kneeling chairs with an extended height adjustment range will increase the odds of setting its components at the perfect distance to accommodate you comfortably, no matter your size.
Can you use a kneeling chair with a standing desk?
Absolutely! You can use kneeling chairs with a standing desk. As a matter of fact, we highly encourage using this type of chair with standing desks. This is because this adjustable height desk makes it even easier to adjust your work setting for the best ergonomics.
Most sit-to-stand desks come with a height adjustment feature. Although there’s no industry standard for maximum height setting, some models can get as high as 47 inches.
You can, therefore, raise or lower them to a height that lets you use the worktop more comfortably when sitting in the ergonomic kneeling chair.
This type of desk is highly beneficial to short than average or tall users who always find it challenging to work with fixed height desks.
The added benefit of using a sit-stand desk is that it enables you to change your sitting position. That is, you can easily vary between sit and stand postures.
As you already know, standing has benefits like correcting your posture, minimizing back pain, preventing weight gain, increasing your productivity, and more.
But keep in mind that you can only use a kneeling chair with this desk when it is as sitting height, not standing height.
If you wish to sit on this desk, you should look for sit/stand desk chairs like drafting chairs and leaning chairs/stools.
Now that you know how to set the perfect kneeling chair desk height, you should have an easy time using a kneeling chair with your office desk.
You should adjust your kneeling chair so that your arms are slightly raised than the desk surface when you spread them. Your arms should comfortably rest on the desktop when sitting on this chair.
For the most ergonomic kneeling chair desk setup, ensure you’ve got the right desk. An adjustable sit-stand desk is always a good option.
You should also ensure you have a well-made kneeling chair that comfortably accommodates your specific body height, whether you’re tall or short.
With all tips we’ve offered you in this guide, we have no doubt you’ll have the most comfortable kneeling chair-office desk workspace.