Kneeling Chair vs Standing Desk: Which Is Better?
If you sit in an office chair eight hours a day, five days a week, you've probably had enough of the back pain, stiff necks, and achy wrists. At this point, you may be thinking "What can I do to make working more comfortable?"
Well, if you're aware of the ergonomic trends that have been sweeping the Singaporean workforce, then you'll see a barrage of office workers switching to kneeling chairs and standing desks. But what exactly do these pieces of alternative office furniture do? And which one will reap the most benefits for your health, both physical and mental?
In this article, we will dive into the kneeling chair vs standing desk debate. We'll go over the differences between a kneeling chair and a standing desk, as well as the unique pros and cons of each one. By the end of this short guide, you will know which one you need to make your workplace a more comfortable place.
What Is A Kneeling Chair?
Kneeling chairs have earned some hype in recent years. Many people are swapping their traditional office chairs with these unconventional seats that force users into a 'kneeling' position. At first glance, they look uncomfortable (and that might be true, to some extent. But, they can offer a number of health benefits.
The purpose of a kneeling chair is to ease your hips forward and encourage the spine to drop into the correct alignment, therefore taking the pressure off your back and bottom while sitting. A standard kneeling chair will have pads where you place your shins and an angled seat to ease your body forward. Some kneeling chairs have backrests to support the back, but you won't find yourself leaning back as heavily as you would on a regular office chair.
This kind of design provides multiple ergonomic benefits, as well as some disadvantages:
Advantages Of Kneeling Chairs
Sitting on a kneeling chair opens up your hips and pelvis, which leads to better alignment of your spine, back, shoulders, and neck. That said, kneeling chairs can help improve your posture, resulting in less pain caused by sitting for long periods of time.
In addition, the 'kneeling' position also reduces the pressure that your pelvis puts on your internal organs. As a result, your digestion improves, and you may notice that you don't feel as bloated after getting back from your lunch break.
When sitting on a regular office chair, there is a natural tendency to slouch or lean forward on your seat. Over time, this can cause pressure to build in your spine and back, which leads to a slew of problems from lower back pain to circulation issues. Kneeling chairs prevent this problem by encouraging you to sit in an upright position, therefore taking the pressure off your spine and back.
A kneeling chair also helps you actively engage your back and core muscles. This is because you are not resting the majority of your upper body weight against the backrest. With enough time, your back and core will become stronger, which, in turn, can help you maintain better posture.
Disadvantages Of Kneeling Chairs
Just by looking at one, you will see that a kneeling chair won't give you much freedom to move your legs. Prolonged 'kneeling' can lead to circulation problems in your lower legs. At the very least, you may encounter nasty bouts of pins and needles.
When you sit on a kneeling chair, most of your lower body weight rests on your shins. Combined with limited movement, this can cause pain in your shins and knees over time, too.
Plus, getting up and sitting down on a kneeling chair can be difficult. More than that, you won't be able to reach for objects easily like you would on a standard swivel chair. And if your work requires you to constantly interact with multiple objects around the vicinity (e.g. getting documents from the printer, rifling through your file cabinet), a kneeling chair can reduce your efficiency.
What Is A Standing Desk?
Simply put, a standing desk is a desk that can be adjusted to allow you to work while standing. However, it doesn't force you to stand all day. Instead, it allows you to alternate between sitting and standing as you see fit. You may also see these referred to as "sit-stand" desks.
You've probably already seen these types of desks in action, especially in modern offices. Perhaps some of your coworkers have traded in their regular desks for standing desks, too. So, are standing desks good for you? And are there any drawbacks you should expect?
Advantages Of Standing Desks
Sitting all day is one of the most common causes of unhealthy weight gain. And if you are like most people, your nine-hour workday plus commute can leave you with little to no time to exercise. But what if you could burn calories while working? No, we are not talking about popping into the gym during your lunch break. A standing desk is where it's at!
There is no doubt that standing burns more calories than sitting. This is because you activate your muscle mass while you are on your feet. In addition, you tend to move your body more while you stand because you have more freedom of movement, as opposed to sitting. Over time, those stretches and small steps back and forth can add up.
A standing desk will also help you maintain good posture compared to sitting. If your standing desk is at the right height, it takes less physical and mental energy to keep your spine in the correct alignment.
However, in order to reap the full benefits for your posture, your computer screen must be level with your eyes, and your keyboard and mouse must be close enough to your body to avoid leaning forward or slouching. Keep your back straight, shoulders back, and distribute your weight evenly on both feet. Learn more about the best way to stand at a standing desk in our blog.
Several studies show that a sit-stand desk can help boost productivity by increasing focus and decreasing mental fatigue. In one study done on the Stand More AT (SMART) Work intervention, participants with more standing time experienced positive changes in their work performance, work engagement, and quality of life.
Disadvantages Of Standing Desks
Anyone who is used to sitting all day will have a hard time adjusting to a standing desk. Discomfort is normal at first. But as your body grows stronger and you get used to standing while working, you will eventually feel no major difference between sitting and standing.
No one is meant to use a standing desk for the entire day. And this is why standing desks are height-adjustable; you can alternate between standing and sitting down according to your body's signals. If your legs get tired, simply lower your desk and sit back down again. So, this is not really a drawback, but rather a precaution that all standing desk users have to take.
Breaking Down The Kneeling Chair vs Standing Desk Debate
Okay, now we know the pros and cons of both kneeling chairs and standing desks. The question is: which one is better?
If we're talking about potential benefits, both of these options can help improve your posture. In turn, each of these can reduce pain and boost your productivity. But in the long run, it is easier to reap these benefits with a standing desk than a kneeling chair. Why? Because a kneeling chair limits your movement. A standing desk does not. And when your movement is limited, it is much more difficult to keep your body in the correct alignment.
Another thing to consider is practicality. A standing desk can be lowered when you have to rest your legs. A kneeling chair gives you no other option than to pull out a regular chair if your legs get achy. Plus, it is difficult to use a kneeling chair unless you are staying still the entire time. If you need to reach for something on the other side of your desk, you will have to maneuver yourself in and out of your kneeling chair with increased effort.
All this considered, the winner in the kneeling chair vs standing desk debate is clear: standing desks are our pick!
Can I Use Both A Kneeling Chair & Standing Desk Together?
We see a lot of people asking if they can use both a kneeling chair and a standing desk in tandem. We advise against this for a few reasons.
First and foremost, both of these pieces of office furniture can get expensive. Most people will only have room in their budget for one of the other, and an electric standing desk is a clear winner in our book.
Plus, you can only stand at a standing desk for so long. At a certain point, your body will tire - and you'll need to sit down. Sitting in a relaxing, ergonomic office chair is the best way to ensure the posture you've maintained while standing transfers while sitting.
Wrapping Up The Kneeling Chair vs Standing Desk Debate
When it comes to practicality, freedom of movement, and postural benefits, standing desks triumph over kneeling chairs any day. With a standing desk, you can develop better posture and distribute your weight evenly throughout your body without much effort. A kneeling chair can do the same, but it can also put unnecessary pressure on your knees and shins, which defeats the purpose of ergonomics in the first place.
So, join the hype and get a standing desk for your workspace. With enough time, you will be able to split your workday between sitting and standing with no problem!
Here at EverDesk+, you'll find the most sought-after ergonomic standing desks in Singapore. With our adjustable work desks, you can stay comfortable and healthy while you do your thing, even if your workday goes beyond the standard 8 hours.
But don't just take our word for it. Buy your own standing desk today and see how big of a difference it can make on your life, productivity, and overall well-being!