Author Topic: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs  (Read 21959 times)

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Offline LuX

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Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« on: Sat, 27 February 2016, 17:47:51 »
Could't find a good discussion here about this topic, so here goes:
I have recently started to become more aware about my ergonomics and have slowly but surely started to invest time and money into better ergonomic equipment. Reason being that I'm studying to become an IT engineer so I do already and probably will in the future spend a lot of time in front of a monitor.

I've had a bad posture and stiff shoulder for years now, and while I don't have any particular back pain, it doesn't look too healthy, and I'd rather have a working back for years to come. So I've decided it might be a good idea to invest in a proper ergonomic chair. The chair I use now is reeeeally comfortable, but it forces my head and butt forward, while my back curves to the back, my spine making a C shape. Looking around on the internet my eyes got caught on kneeling chairs that supposedly "force" a natural posture. There are other ergonomic chairs as well, but being lazy I think I really need a chair that forces me to sit up straight or else I'm just going to let comfort win over and lean back. I think a kneeling chair might just about do the trick. The good ones are rather expensive (looking at a Varier chair), but if they actually work, I don't mind paying the premium for a niche product. I found them at much more affordable prices on auction sites as well.

After some research on the matter I found a lot of contradicting information. "Experts" and a small group of enthusiasts say it's good, and there's scientific research to back it up (though, questionable methods were used), but at the same time many people say it's bad for their knees and back in the long run. I was wondering if anyone here has tried - or better yet - uses a kneeling chair or similar right now, and could share a bit about your experiences. Has it helped your posture? Back pain? How's it feel sitting on it for long periods of time? Do you use it out of free will, or was it recommended by a doctor? Other benefits or thoughts?
I'm also all ears for alternate solutions or chairs. All inputs are welcome.

Offline davkol

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 28 February 2016, 16:08:52 »
It's not for prolonged sitting (or kneeling or whatever).

Offline Melvang

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 28 February 2016, 16:58:05 »
Could also take a look into exercise ball style chairs.  Can't slouch in those.  It will kick you off right to the floor.  I have not personally tried one, but am open to the idea.  I slouch very bad when I am at my desktop.
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Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 28 February 2016, 17:19:19 »
@davkl: Hmm... Are you talking from experience or just repeating what's online? I've done my research online. My grandma used to have the original Stokke balans, and I remember sitting on it for quite long as a kid. But that was a long time ago and I was young, so it's no real indicator of anything. Due to the contradicting information going around I was hoping for first-hand-long-term experience. I know they look ridiculous and maybe "too different", but so does the ErgoDox (for example), so I don't want to put it off just based on the unconventional appearance.

The term 'kneeling' chair is somewhat misleading as your knees aren't supposed to take any weight, instead your shins take just enough that you don't slide off the chair. You're still sitting on your ass. The main point is to keep the angle between the stomach and thies wide which supports a healthy upright posture. Supposedly if your knees feel much pressure you're either sitting wrong or the chair is set crap. The Varier models also promote alternation in how you sit and allow a subtle calming rocking motion which I found particularly cool. Some people claim to sit for over 8 hours on these chairs easily. I wouldn't consider other models due to their static nature. I also saw and thought about trying a saddle chair, but those things seem a bit too rigid for my taste and don't seem to allow moving around much on the seat.
Then of course there are always more traditional "ergonomic" chairs, however just looking at the starting price I can tell they are out of my budget, and not to mention the 90° angle not being posture-friendly since it forces a weird bend in your waist.

Tough choice. But I'm afraid I need a new chair.

Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 28 February 2016, 17:22:09 »
Could also take a look into exercise ball style chairs.  Can't slouch in those.
I like the idea, but I somehow think sitting on a ball is a ticking hazard just waiting. Especially around expensive fragile equipment.

Offline rowdy

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 28 February 2016, 19:55:32 »
I had a kneeling chair at one point, many years ago.

I used it properly for a while, but found that it was easier for me to put my feet on the knee part and lean forwards with my elbows on my knees.

I gave up after that.
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Offline belac

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 28 February 2016, 20:35:44 »
My old boss used a kneeling chair at the recommendation of his chiropractor. He swore by it saying it helped his back immensely, but he certainly wasn't spending 8 hours a day in it. Maybe 3 - 4 on average. He was such a believer that he bought them for anyone in the office that wanted them. I don't remember the brand, but they were expensive. One of my coworkers took him up on the offer. He loved it and he still uses it. I tried it for a few days and it was VERY uncomfortable for me. I was significantly heavier than my boss and coworker and I think weight was the main factor in it being uncomfortable for me.

One other point to consider based upon my personal observations and experience fwiw... ergonomic things (chairs, desks, keyboards, etc) can only slightly encourage you to have proper form (whatever that means). If someone slouchs in a regular office chair, they'll probably slouch in a kneeling chair too. In which case, it might be a good idea to try the $10 exercise ball route before you drop a a few hundred dollars on a fancy ergonomic miracle.

Offline rowdy

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 29 February 2016, 03:15:05 »
Nice boss, buying you a chair :)

I have thought a few times about getting a more ergonomic chair for work, but (a) I'd end up sitting on it as described above, and (b) I'd have to pay for it myself.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But that’s incorrect. It’s in HHKB’s slogan, but when America’s cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

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Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 29 February 2016, 03:34:48 »
Thanks for the input guys, really appreciate it. It seems like you don't know if the chair is good or bad until you have tried the chair yourself. I agree it's going to take personal effort to keep an upright posture, the problem with my current chair is that the seat forms a "cup" in the center, and the backrest has cushions on the top and bottom. This makes it really comfortable to sit in, but impossible to sit ergonomically even if I wanted to. The solution would be a chair that at the least would allow me to sit properly, better yet if it encourages it.

I don't remember the brand, but they were expensive. -- I tried it for a few days and it was VERY uncomfortable for me. I was significantly heavier than my boss and coworker and I think weight was the main factor in it being uncomfortable for me.
Just based on price I would say it was either a Varier or Jobri as they sell around 800-1300$. Varier being the one with a rocking bottom and Jobri the one with a 5-star wheel bottom.
Mass (along with height) could indeed explain why some people simply find the chair uncomfortable. I can see how having extra mass around the bones could add pressure to already stressed legs in a bad way and cut blood circulation in the main arteries. Being borderline underweight myself, I cannot see that being a direct problem for me.

One other point to consider based upon my personal observations and experience fwiw... ergonomic things (chairs, desks, keyboards, etc) can only slightly encourage you to have proper form (whatever that means). If someone slouchs in a regular office chair, they'll probably slouch in a kneeling chair too. In which case, it might be a good idea to try the $10 exercise ball route before you drop a a few hundred dollars on a fancy ergonomic miracle.
You may be right there. But I still can't see myself using a ball as a long-term solution. Especially if I'm concentrated on something else, I fear I might tip over and cause serous back problems. Purely on the safety factor I don't see it as a good solution, but it might be worth to try out anyway.

It almost sounds like I've made up my mind  :-X
Still not sure if it's the right choice, but I suppose there's only one way to find out.
The thing is, at this moment I could get the chair at a relatively "cheap" price locally. If I end up disliking it, I can easily sell it on ebay for twice the purchase cost, and buy a better chair with the profit. Sounds risk-free to me.

@rowdy: Agreed. Especially if it's the aforementioned models that really generous. Sounds like a boss who really cares about his employees.

Offline davkol

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 29 February 2016, 04:22:03 »
@davkol: Hmm... Are you talking from experience or just repeating what's online?
We've had one for ~20 years at home. I use it from time to time, but it's not for prolonged sessions. Nothing is, though. Even the worst chair might work, if it's right height and you get up every now and then (stress on the now).

Offline belac

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 29 February 2016, 08:31:04 »
Nice boss, buying you a chair :)
@rowdy: Agreed. Especially if it's the aforementioned models that really generous. Sounds like a boss who really cares about his employees.
He was a great boss indeed.

It almost sounds like I've made up my mind  :-X

I think you have ;-) It sounds like you have a solid contingency plan if you don't like it.

Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 29 February 2016, 08:35:15 »
@davkol: Hmm... Are you talking from experience or just repeating what's online?
We've had one for ~20 years at home. I use it from time to time, but it's not for prolonged sessions. Nothing is, though. Even the worst chair might work, if it's right height and you get up every now and then (stress on the now).

It's a shame to hear that, but thanks. This again proves how personal these chairs are, or maybe they are just bad by design, either way I'm intrigued to try out. Maybe it'll force me to take a break more often than I do now. I believe resting every 30 min is what they recommend. I also agree that there are diminishing returns here (if any). It's the same as with keyboards, where even the cheapest will work and sometimes the expensive ones suck, but those who appreciate keyboards will always seek for the best experience.

If nothing else, the chair is gonna serve as a reminder of poor purchase decisions. As if I didn't already have a history of those :))
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I think you have ;-) It sounds like you have a solid contingency plan if you don't like it.
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Offline breitling

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 29 February 2016, 11:34:39 »
I've been using a Global kneeling chair from staples (which is very inexpensive) for about 4-5 years and it definitely makes a big difference for me. I used to get much more lower back pain and sciatica before I used it and it has improved immensely. I sit in it for roughly between 3-8 hours a day depending on the day.

But as Rowdy mentioned earlier, its easy to put your feet up on the shin rests and just put your elbows on your knees. I found that I did that less and less over time so it was improved. I also found that having the monitor at the right height helped a lot. To reduce the amount I slouch. I have found that I slouch a bit in all chairs.

Offline Input Nirvana

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 29 February 2016, 12:13:00 »
Personal Experience:
I've found using a couple different seating solutions works best. ANY position (other than a sexual one) never seems to work for too long. We just weren't meant to be so static. Also, I've found that trying chairs at a store is not a good indication of how it will work for me long term, but it's a great way to compare side-by-side.

I've got an Aeron, Hag Capisco and a Steelcase "something" in my office at work. I alternate daily-weekly. I've used a kneeling chair and loved it, I plan on getting another. I've tried ball chairs and enjoyed the experience. I'm big on headrests, love 'em.

One very strong suggestion:
Working on your core...your stomach/gut muscles has A LOT to do with your back, hips, neck, posture and comfort. I've found the better condition I'm in, the less the chairs I use affect me. It's very noticeable.

All else being equal, I would default with 2 fairly different chairs and alternate as required.
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Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 01 March 2016, 05:59:41 »
But as Rowdy mentioned earlier, its easy to put your feet up on the shin rests and just put your elbows on your knees. -- I also found that having the monitor at the right height helped a lot. To reduce the amount I slouch. I have found that I slouch a bit in all chairs.

Hmm, I'll pay attention to avoid that then. I've been wondering how the lack of armrests will affect my arms/shoulder. Maybe I'll have to get some attachable armrests to the table if this becomes a problem.

Interesting that you said that. Just a couple days ago I stacked some books under my monitor to lift the screen. Immediately noticed that instead of leaning forward and down I leaned more towards the back. I recommend this mod to anyone using the monitor at a low height. Feels more comfortable too.


@Nirvana: Thanks for the tips. At this point I'm mainly looking to improve my 'forward head'/kyphosis, so as to avoid major back issues in the future. I'll try out some exercises as well to improve overall condition. One of my main problems currently being my chair, which makes me sit improperly, causing unbalanced stress on the discs.

Offline PieterGen

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 01 March 2016, 06:46:56 »
I have used them for over 20 years. Best chairs aroud. I have one at home and one in the office. The simple one I have at home:




The luxury one is my office desk:

In the luxury one you can also sit "normal style", that is, not-kneeling. It has a very nice back support. The simpler one requieres more training but it nice too (like I said, I have used them for a very long time). I do not like any other office chair as much as these ones. The luxury one is the best.

The Brand is Stokke (or Varier, they changed names0. I believe they are from Norway or Denmark. I have a weak lower back. These are the only chairs I can sit in when my back is really hurting. Normal office chairs suck, as far as Iḿ concerned, I never have used one that I liked.

Can you sit all day long on them? Yes
Will your knees or legs hurt after a while? No
Is it good for your back? Yes.


Two remarks:
- they dont have wheels, so you wont be rolling around in your office. This may take getting used to.
- the best thing is to buy one with a "rough" textile on it. So not a "smooth, silk like" fabric. A more textured fabric will help you stay more "planted", especially your behind.
« Last Edit: Tue, 01 March 2016, 06:55:42 by PieterGen »

Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 01 March 2016, 10:16:09 »
@PieterGen: Thanks for sharing your experiences with the chair.
The model you call "luxury" ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) is the one I'm trying to get. I think it has the rough wool upholstery. Good to hear you like it.
Have you found the lack of armrests to be a problem in day-to-day office use, or have you solved it some other way. I would imagine without armrests you are more likely to slouch, but then again armrest set up at the wrong height could make you slouch slightly to begin with.

Offline Melvang

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 01 March 2016, 20:46:50 »
@PieterGen: Thanks for sharing your experiences with the chair.
The model you call "luxury" ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) is the one I'm trying to get. I think it has the rough wool upholstery. Good to hear you like it.
Have you found the lack of armrests to be a problem in day-to-day office use, or have you solved it some other way. I would imagine without armrests you are more likely to slouch, but then again armrest set up at the wrong height could make you slouch slightly to begin with.

Personally, I have found I have much better posture  using chairs with no arm rests.  While I don't have an office job, or even touch a keyboard (only ever used a laptop twice at work since 07) I is d to game a lot with MMOs.  Sometimes as much as 6+ hours at a shot before my kids were born.  After switching to a chair with no arm rests, I won't go back.
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Offline xtrafrood

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 01 March 2016, 22:37:33 »
I've been using a stool rather than a chair for the past three weeks. I can't speak for the kneeling chair, it looks like it would be bad for the knee joints. Regardless of the chair I noticed that I had to switch back to a chair with back support a few times during the first week. Sitting upright without back support became much easier after that first week.

Just sitting around has strengthened my core better than the measly amount of crunches I would do before the stool.

Offline rowdy

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 02 March 2016, 03:40:31 »
@PieterGen: Thanks for sharing your experiences with the chair.
The model you call "luxury" ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) is the one I'm trying to get. I think it has the rough wool upholstery. Good to hear you like it.
Have you found the lack of armrests to be a problem in day-to-day office use, or have you solved it some other way. I would imagine without armrests you are more likely to slouch, but then again armrest set up at the wrong height could make you slouch slightly to begin with.

Personally, I have found I have much better posture  using chairs with no arm rests.  While I don't have an office job, or even touch a keyboard (only ever used a laptop twice at work since 07) I is d to game a lot with MMOs.  Sometimes as much as 6+ hours at a shot before my kids were born.  After switching to a chair with no arm rests, I won't go back.

I dislike arm rests too.

Although my home chair, that I'm sitting in right now, is an exception as it seems to be about 50% wider than most other swivel chairs I have seen, and I can sit cross-legged quite comfortably in it.
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But that’s incorrect. It’s in HHKB’s slogan, but when America’s cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

Ị̸͚̯̲́ͤ̃͑̇̑ͯ̊̂͟ͅs̞͚̩͉̝̪̲͗͊ͪ̽̚̚ ̭̦͖͕̑́͌ͬͩ͟t̷̻͔̙̑͟h̹̠̼͋ͤ͋i̤̜̣̦̱̫͈͔̞ͭ͑ͥ̌̔s̬͔͎̍̈ͥͫ̐̾ͣ̔̇͘ͅ ̩̘̼͆̐̕e̞̰͓̲̺̎͐̏ͬ̓̅̾͠͝ͅv̶̰͕̱̞̥̍ͣ̄̕e͕͙͖̬̜͓͎̤̊ͭ͐͝ṇ̰͎̱̤̟̭ͫ͌̌͢͠ͅ ̳̥̦ͮ̐ͤ̎̊ͣ͡͡n̤̜̙̺̪̒͜e̶̻̦̿ͮ̂̀c̝̘̝͖̠̖͐ͨͪ̈̐͌ͩ̀e̷̥͇̋ͦs̢̡̤ͤͤͯ͜s͈̠̉̑͘a̱͕̗͖̳̥̺ͬͦͧ͆̌̑͡r̶̟̖̈͘ỷ̮̦̩͙͔ͫ̾ͬ̔ͬͮ̌?̵̘͇͔͙ͥͪ͞ͅ

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 02 March 2016, 03:56:00 »
I really like the HÅG Capisco chair. Works great as either a tall saddle seat or low regular office chair, and also supports several other sitting postures, e.g. leaning backwards, sitting on it reversed with arms on the backrest, etc. Works for both me (6'2") and my wife (5'3"), in combination with an adjustable-height desk.

A kneeling chair works pretty well for me for about 30–60 minutes, after which it starts to get uncomfortable.

I highly recommend finding a store near you which sells alternative chairs, and asking if you can go work there for a day, sitting in various chairs for at least an hour at a time. IMO that will help you more than reading anything on the internet. If that’s not possible, see if you can find a vendor with some kind of short term rental, or some kind of trial period on the purchase.

it forces my head and butt forward, while my back curves to the back, my spine making a C shape.

This is not a good posture to adopt, even in a rotation among several positions. You shouldn’t have to wreck your spine to be “comfortable”.

* * *

If you have a budget in the $150–200 range, the HumanTool Balance Seat is a kind of fun thing.

« Last Edit: Wed, 02 March 2016, 04:10:02 by jacobolus »

Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #21 on: Wed, 02 March 2016, 05:40:34 »
I suppose it doesn't hurt to try living without armrests before shelling out more money. I've personally found that without armrests my arms/shoulders begin to hurt (could be due to lack of muscle), and if I do detailed work with the mouse it causes RSI symptoms unless I can rest my arm. Something like this is what I'd think about:
More


I've been using a stool rather than a chair for the past three weeks. I can't speak for the kneeling chair, it looks like it would be bad for the knee joints. Regardless of the chair I noticed that I had to switch back to a chair with back support a few times during the first week. Sitting upright without back support became much easier after that first week.

Just sitting around has strengthened my core better than the measly amount of crunches I would do before the stool.

Normal chairs where you sit at a 90° angle upright can cause lumbar lordosis, since your waist and lower back are at an unnatural angle. This causes stress in the lower back and requires more work to keep an upright posture. Humans are meant to stand or squat. The effects on knees remain to be seen, but supposedly it's no issue when the chair is set up properly and the person sitting is about "average" in height and weight. Kneeling and saddle chairs put your legs, waist and back in a similar posture as when you're standing. That's their main benefit.

I really like the HÅG Capisco chair. Works great as either a tall saddle seat or low regular office chair, and also supports several other sitting postures, e.g. leaning backwards, sitting on it reversed with arms on the backrest, etc. Works for both me (6'2") and my wife (5'3"), in combination with an adjustable-height desk.

A kneeling chair works pretty well for me for about 30–60 minutes, after which it starts to get uncomfortable.

I've looked at saddle chairs, and they would be optimal in terms of relative angle of legs. However that would require a complete makeover with a new taller table. The Capisco looks neat. Maybe one day when I have the budget...
For reference, what model keeling chair did you try and was it adjusted properly? Kneeling chair design changes drastically between makers and models. Only a handful of companies seem to get it right.

I highly recommend finding a store near you which sells alternative chairs, and asking if you can go work there for a day, sitting in various chairs for at least an hour at a time. IMO that will help you more than reading anything on the internet. If that’s not possible, see if you can find a vendor with some kind of short term rental, or some kind of trial period on the purchase.

There are a couple of businesses, however they are barely stocked. It seems that speciality shops are doing bad in the current market. Also as mentioned by others even trying out a chair for a couple hours in a store hardly tells much. There should be an option to try out a chair for a week or two with money-back guarantee. Most ergonomic chairs require you to train unused muscles before you can comfortably use it, and sometimes the least comfortable chair might end up being the best choice in terms of ergonomics. That's the reason why I asked for other peoples experiences to get a better picture of what is just marketing hype and what is actually true, and what and why makes the kneeling chairs good or bad. I think based on the answers and googling so far I've got a pretty clear picture of what I'm getting and deduced that it might be good for my case, worth a try anyway. As long as the chair is widely adjustable, buying without trying is less of a risk.

If you have a budget in the $150–200 range, the HumanTool Balance Seat is a kind of fun thing.

With that budget I can already buy an actual chair. The seat looks kinda neat for portability tho, however as mention above, saddle chairs only work if there is enough vertical room to make use of the increased leg angle. Otherwise the only benefit is a more evenly spread out weight of the body, which can be really helpful in other cases. Overall it's not quite what I'm looking for. But thanks for your post, appreciate it.


Speaking of alternate chairs, I found something hilarious:
More
More

I wanna see a picture of an entire office sitting in those chairs. I feel bad for the chair, it looks so ridiculous, and yet comfortable in it's own way. Maybe it's the future of sitting.

Offline xtrafrood

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 02 March 2016, 10:38:11 »
I suppose it doesn't hurt to try living without armrests before shelling out more money. I've personally found that without armrests my arms/shoulders begin to hurt (could be due to lack of muscle), and if I do detailed work with the mouse it causes RSI symptoms unless I can rest my arm. Something like this is what I'd think about:
More
Show Image


I've been using a stool rather than a chair for the past three weeks. I can't speak for the kneeling chair, it looks like it would be bad for the knee joints. Regardless of the chair I noticed that I had to switch back to a chair with back support a few times during the first week. Sitting upright without back support became much easier after that first week.

Just sitting around has strengthened my core better than the measly amount of crunches I would do before the stool.

Normal chairs where you sit at a 90° angle upright can cause lumbar lordosis, since your waist and lower back are at an unnatural angle. This causes stress in the lower back and requires more work to keep an upright posture. Humans are meant to stand or squat. The effects on knees remain to be seen, but supposedly it's no issue when the chair is set up properly and the person sitting is about "average" in height and weight. Kneeling and saddle chairs put your legs, waist and back in a similar posture as when you're standing. That's their main benefit.

I really like the HÅG Capisco chair. Works great as either a tall saddle seat or low regular office chair, and also supports several other sitting postures, e.g. leaning backwards, sitting on it reversed with arms on the backrest, etc. Works for both me (6'2") and my wife (5'3"), in combination with an adjustable-height desk.

A kneeling chair works pretty well for me for about 30–60 minutes, after which it starts to get uncomfortable.

I've looked at saddle chairs, and they would be optimal in terms of relative angle of legs. However that would require a complete makeover with a new taller table. The Capisco looks neat. Maybe one day when I have the budget...
For reference, what model keeling chair did you try and was it adjusted properly? Kneeling chair design changes drastically between makers and models. Only a handful of companies seem to get it right.

I highly recommend finding a store near you which sells alternative chairs, and asking if you can go work there for a day, sitting in various chairs for at least an hour at a time. IMO that will help you more than reading anything on the internet. If that’s not possible, see if you can find a vendor with some kind of short term rental, or some kind of trial period on the purchase.

There are a couple of businesses, however they are barely stocked. It seems that speciality shops are doing bad in the current market. Also as mentioned by others even trying out a chair for a couple hours in a store hardly tells much. There should be an option to try out a chair for a week or two with money-back guarantee. Most ergonomic chairs require you to train unused muscles before you can comfortably use it, and sometimes the least comfortable chair might end up being the best choice in terms of ergonomics. That's the reason why I asked for other peoples experiences to get a better picture of what is just marketing hype and what is actually true, and what and why makes the kneeling chairs good or bad. I think based on the answers and googling so far I've got a pretty clear picture of what I'm getting and deduced that it might be good for my case, worth a try anyway. As long as the chair is widely adjustable, buying without trying is less of a risk.

If you have a budget in the $150–200 range, the HumanTool Balance Seat is a kind of fun thing.

With that budget I can already buy an actual chair. The seat looks kinda neat for portability tho, however as mention above, saddle chairs only work if there is enough vertical room to make use of the increased leg angle. Otherwise the only benefit is a more evenly spread out weight of the body, which can be really helpful in other cases. Overall it's not quite what I'm looking for. But thanks for your post, appreciate it.


Speaking of alternate chairs, I found something hilarious:
More
Show Image
More
Show Image

I wanna see a picture of an entire office sitting in those chairs. I feel bad for the chair, it looks so ridiculous, and yet comfortable in it's own way. Maybe it's the future of sitting.
Thank you for that factoid :) I've remained fit through out the years an maintain a somewhat proper diet so I haven't noticed a curve in my spine similar to lumbar lordosis. I've noticed some abs though--I haven't seen those in a few years :cool:

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 02 March 2016, 15:04:27 »
Normal chairs where you sit at a 90° angle upright can cause lumbar lordosis, since your waist and lower back are at an unnatural angle. This causes stress in the lower back and requires more work to keep an upright posture. Humans are meant to stand or squat.
Eh. It’s possible to sit okay on a regular chair, you just need to get your butt properly out behind your body, with your torso upright, and not be using the backrest most of the time. And then not stay sitting continuously for hours on end. Among “regular” chairs, I like the simple wooden kind. They’re much better than those super cushioned office chairs.

Office chairs are bad, airplane seats are terrible, and car seats are the worst. Basically what you get when you design a one-size-fits-all chair which must accommodate someone who weighs 350 pounds.

Quote
I've looked at saddle chairs, and they would be optimal in terms of relative angle of legs. However that would require a complete makeover with a new taller table.
Can you take some pictures of your current setup, with you sitting in it? Or maybe some measurements? How tall are you?

Most people’s desks are designed to be at the right height for writing (when using a “standard” chair designed for a person of average height to sit with knees at 90° and feet flat on the ground), which makes them a bit taller than ideal for keyboard or mouse.

A saddle-type chair is actually pretty good with most desks I see when I walk around offices, for someone of roughly average height. If you’re taller than maybe 6'3" (190 cm), or if you currently have a lower-than-average desk, then you would probably need a taller desk to go with a saddle seat.

I have an adjustable-height desk, which helps a lot in accommodating various sitting and standing positions, and different people.

Quote
For reference, what model keeling chair did you try and was it adjusted properly? Kneeling chair design changes drastically between makers and models. Only a handful of companies seem to get it right.
I tried about 4 different models, including both of the ones pictured upthread. Again, I like kneeling chairs okay. They’re pretty comfortable for about 30–60 minutes, but after that my legs start feeling stiff. Maybe I’d get used to them if I used one all the time, but for full-time use I prefer other types of seating. YMMV, etc.

Quote
There are a couple of businesses, however they are barely stocked. It seems that speciality shops are doing bad in the current market. Also as mentioned by others even trying out a chair for a couple hours in a store hardly tells much. There should be an option to try out a chair for a week or two with money-back guarantee.
Even a couple hours of use is going to tell you more than any amount of reading, is all I’m saying. I agree that trying something for a week is better still, if possible.

If you do want to read something though, I recommend Peter Opsvik’s book Rethinking Sitting.
« Last Edit: Wed, 02 March 2016, 15:12:28 by jacobolus »

Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #24 on: Wed, 02 March 2016, 16:20:09 »
@jacobolus: I don't want to sound like I'm trying to be the correct-sitting-authority here, I just get carried away by shiz. It's true that traditional chairs aren't inherently bad, but they definitely aren't optimal.
By "setup" I mainly mean the desk. It's standard height 70 cm IKEA table with the chairs armrests just below the table level. I'm about 5'10" if I did the conversion right, exactly average if I were in the US.

For a saddle chair to be optimal, it should be so that your legs reach the ground without stretching or bending much, in my case around 70 cm. Of course it doesn't have to, but you lose it's major advantage if you don't. But as I said earlier I find saddle chairs for my use a little too rigid. Sometimes I may just want to kick back and enjoy a movie or sit with my legs up and crossed, etc. It's not strictly office use all day long. Sure, I could change between chairs, but seems like a bit of a hassle, especially in a tiny room. Your Capisco would in this sense be almost like the best of all worlds, along with adjustable table, but again that's far off my budget right now.

I tried about 4 different models, including both of the ones pictured upthread. Again, I like kneeling chairs okay. They’re pretty comfortable for about 30–60 minutes, but after that my legs start feeling stiff. Maybe I’d get used to them if I used one all the time, but for full-time use I prefer other types of seating. YMMV, etc.

I don't want to or try to say kneeling chairs are the silver bullet to all problems. But given my personal situation and from what I've gathered so far, plus the available options in my region (which is fairly limited) and relatively small budget in the world of expensive chairs, I've concluded this could be a chair worth my money. I'm known to like things most people don't, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is yet another such situation. I'm sure there are far better chairs out there, this just might be a gateway leading to other findings.

Even a couple hours of use is going to tell you more than any amount of reading, is all I’m saying. I agree that trying something for a week is better still, if possible.

If you do want to read something though, I recommend Peter Opsvik’s book Rethinking Sitting.

My point was maybe a little unclear... Mainly I wanted to express that trying a chair might tell you if it is downright bad, or good. But given only a limited time your experience with something could be misleading. This applies to many other things as well. Sometimes it takes the wisdom of other people to realize what you must look for to begin with to appreciate something and form an educated opinion. This sounds a little deep for chairs, I admit. It reminded of when Conan ridiculed the Salli saddle chair commercial. It might look and sound hilarious, but without the infomercial you wouldn't know to even consider the problem. I won't comment on whether it's good or bad design, but here it is:

I'll look into that book, thanks. Appears it's available online.

Thank you for that factoid :) I've remained fit through out the years an maintain a somewhat proper diet so I haven't noticed a curve in my spine similar to lumbar lordosis. I've noticed some abs though--I haven't seen those in a few years :cool:

Cool, certainly wouldn't mind getting abs myself.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #25 on: Wed, 02 March 2016, 17:30:47 »
It's standard height 70 cm IKEA table [...] I'm about 5'10" if I did the conversion right [178 cm] [...]

For a saddle chair to be optimal, it should be so that your legs reach the ground without stretching or bending much, in my case around 70 cm. Of course it doesn't have to, but you lose it's major advantage if you don't.

Okay, I just set my desk to be 70cm tall, with a standard 1990s keyboard on top of it. I took a regular wooden chair, ~43 cm tall, and put the HumanTool Balance Seat on top, including its stiff foam pad, combined height from the floor to the middle of the seat is about 56 cm (the back end of the Balance Seat is slightly higher). This is exactly the right height for a chair to be to use with this desk.

It’s slightly lower than I would prefer in a saddle chair, but I’m 6'2" (188 cm) tall. For me, the ideal saddle chair height is more like 66 cm, and the ideal desk to go with that height chair is about 80 cm.

I think for someone about 5'7" (170 cm), the 70 cm desk plus 56 cm seat would be just about perfect, but it still works reasonably well for me. Saddle seats have a broader range of acceptable seat heights than standard office chairs.

A 70 cm tall desk is in my opinion somewhat higher than ideal for use with a standard ~40–48 cm chair (or for those kneeling chairs), unless you have some kind of under-desk keyboard tray. If you’re stuck with that desk height, and you get a kneeling chair, I recommend either getting an under-desk tray, or, if that is impossible, aggressively tilting your keyboard using feet at the back or possibly an extra book or two piled under the far end.

To elaborate: Try to type with your back straight and upright, your shoulders relaxed, and your upper arms hanging loosely at your sides, and bring the keyboard in close enough to your torso so that you don’t have your elbows held far forward or sticking out to the sides. With your hands in a relaxed position, your wrists in as straight and neutral a position as you can manage, and your fingers lightly resting on the middle row of the keyboard, make a note of the direction of your forearms. Tilt the keyboard so that it is approximately parallel with your forearms. With the 70cm desk and relatively low chair, this will probably be tilted upward somewhat, with your elbows bent at a 75–80° angle. You shouldn’t need any armrest, wristrest, or palmrest, at least not while actively typing. If you get an under-desk tray or a taller chair, you can bend your elbows at more like a 90° angle, and lay the keyboard flat.

To reduce strain further, a split, aggressively tented keyboard is a big help. Much easier to adjust to a comfortable position.

* * *

FWIW, I really like certain models of those Salli chairs. If I were the only person using the chair, I think one of those could be a good option for me. We found that none of them was easily adjustable to comfortable positions for both me and my wife (I am about 11 inches taller than she is), compared to the Capisco chair, which is very fast and easy to adjust to a wide range of positions.
« Last Edit: Wed, 02 March 2016, 17:58:49 by jacobolus »

Offline PieterGen

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 03 March 2016, 03:13:51 »
@PieterGen: Thanks for sharing your experiences with the chair.
The model you call "luxury" ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) is the one I'm trying to get. I think it has the rough wool upholstery. Good to hear you like it.
Have you found the lack of armrests to be a problem in day-to-day office use, or have you solved it some other way. I would imagine without armrests you are more likely to slouch, but then again armrest set up at the wrong height could make you slouch slightly to begin with.

No problem with the missing armrests at all. BTW, the 'luxury" (for lack of a better term) chair has small armrests that you can use when you lean back (you put your elbows on). Very comfortable. When typing you don have them, but I do not miss it at all. 

Offline PieterGen

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 03 March 2016, 03:16:57 »
I really like the HÅG Capisco chair. Works great as either a tall saddle seat or low regular office chair, and also supports several other sitting postures, e.g. leaning backwards, sitting on it reversed with arms on the backrest, etc. Works for both me (6'2") and my wife (5'3"), in combination with an adjustable-height desk.

A kneeling chair works pretty well for me for about 30–60 minutes, after which it starts to get uncomfortable.

I highly recommend finding a store near you which sells alternative chairs, and asking if you can go work there for a day, sitting in various chairs for at least an hour at a time. IMO that will help you more than reading anything on the internet. If that’s not possible, see if you can find a vendor with some kind of short term rental, or some kind of trial period on the purchase.

it forces my head and butt forward, while my back curves to the back, my spine making a C shape.

This is not a good posture to adopt, even in a rotation among several positions. You shouldn’t have to wreck your spine to be “comfortable”.

* * *

If you have a budget in the $150–200 range, the HumanTool Balance Seat is a kind of fun thing.


Yes, we also have some sort of this saddle chair at home. To me it isless comfortable because you have to open your legs too much - like riding a horse so to speak. In that sort of "chairs" I would prefer a simple skippy ball to sit on. Yes you can do that, a very active sort of sitting.


Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 03 March 2016, 04:37:48 »
@jacobolus: Thanks a bunch for taking your time to investigate that. I think you are right about the desk height. I compared holding my hands on KB/mouse and then holding my hands under the table, and indeed my shoulders are really tense above the table compared to relatively relaxed below. This could explain why my shoulders are so stiff all the time.
The Varier webpage suggests the Balans (Thatsit about same height) is designed for 72-77 cm tables, no mention for what kind of work tho, but in the images the guy sits in front of a computer. I might have to DIY a platform below the table, once the infinity ErgoDox arrives (ETA end of April, can't wait), depending on how high the chair rides. I'll build a tenting system for it then as well. Plywood is cheap and there's a laser cutter at school.

I also read that book (if it even can be called a book). Pretty interesting stuff. Not much new in therms of information, but it did explain and put the puzzle pieces together nicely. I think I'm now more aware of seating design choices and will much more actively pursue them.

@PieterGen: Thanks for the confirmation. Not needing any armrests, at least immediately, will save some money. FYI the luxury chair is called 'Thatsit Balans', while the simple one is just 'Balans'. There also used to be the 'Oposit Balans' that was sort of an in-between those two chairs. The puns are amazing. I think the 'Gravity Balans' is truly THE luxury chair, but that's more for relaxing than working it seems, it looks so comfty.

Offline PieterGen

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 03 March 2016, 10:07:38 »
Yes,  that Gravity chair es more for relaxing,  plus,  awkwardly big in an office.  Amazing chair for taking a nap,  though

Offline zombiegristle

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 03 March 2016, 10:14:29 »
I find that my sitting posture matters far less than healthy "get up and walk about" habits throughout the day. I have a basic (but comfy) office chair and I lean back in it while working, but I make sure to get up and walk, exercise, get a cup of tea, check the (physical) mail, etc at least once an hour.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 03 March 2016, 22:36:01 »
The Varier webpage suggests the Balans (Thatsit about same height) is designed for 72-77 cm tables,
Nice chairs, but the Varier website is terrible. Bleh. They should have a lot more pictures and less autoplaying video. Their CSS/design is also very broken in my browser, the site navigation is confusing, etc.

Anyway though, this guy would definitely benefit from a lower table, or else some feet/prop under the far side of his laptop (or, more properly, from a separated keyboard and display):

From the video, he also doesn’t seem to know how to touch type.
« Last Edit: Thu, 03 March 2016, 22:39:14 by jacobolus »

Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #32 on: Fri, 04 March 2016, 03:13:38 »
@zombiegristle: That is probably true. However being someone who finds it hard to get up often - not to mention that taking a break every 30 mins or so has a terrible way of cutting the flow, just as it began - I would like to experiment with other ways to make my sitting more healthy.

@jacobolus: Yeah their webpage is horrible. The only way I found something there is through google search, and for me their page displays correctly.

It looks like the guy is not even 'kneeling' properly on the chair. Of course not that you are supposed to kneel all the time, but it seems interesting to not display that one thing that makes the chairs unique. It also looks like he's rather large for the chair as well. Better should have used the Thatsit...

I've thought about making small wooden platforms, which are suspended by rigid cables to the bottom of the table. That way I can fine tune the angle of the keyboard halves, and if I accidentally kick the platform it won't snap off immediately. Probably also have to get a trackball or similar for regular use of the mouse.

Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 11 March 2016, 13:03:57 »
Welp I bought the chair today. In case anyone is interested, here's my first impressions of the chair:

When I first got it, it looked a lot smaller than what I had expected. It's not small though, in fact I had to set the shin pads at about half way, so this will definitely fit a large range of people.
The chair feels just a little bit flimsy when you move sideways, but you get used to it pretty quick and TBH it doesn't feel like it will fall apart any time soon.

The first couple minutes on the chair felt a little awkward, but after you set everything up and give a moment to adjust to the chair, it begins to feel quite good. I had to adjust the pieces a couple of times before I was happy. I like it the best when the back rest pushes gently into my back when I sit. This forces my shoulders back. Breathing feels much more "fresh" now.
There also seems to be an interesting anti-slouch mechanism, at least for me; if I slouch even a little bit, the chair leans too much forward, putting me at an uncomfortable position with my head on my monitor, if I lean back, the chair takes me too far away from the keyboard, and as soon as I reach forward it takes me back to the original position. If I lean back and then slouch it almost throws me out of the chair when it returns forward.
Having your legs and butt locked in one place also prevents from moving forward and sitting in a bad way. Over all I can imagine this chair just about working for me. I personally don't feel any pressure in my legs or uncomfortable at all. Sitting on it for an hour feels like a mini workout for my back and shoulders, in a good way. I also like how you can gently rock around with it while typing. Feels very relaxing. My feet also just hang around, no discomfort there. Every now and then I do have to stretch out my legs and move them a little, this happens easily, and you can continue sitting on the chair with your legs on the sides or middle for a while if needed.

About chair height: I actually sit much higher now then with my previous chair. I even ran out of books to put under my monitor, damn digital-book age. Currently it's 24 cm higher than without any books, but it could be even higher. My arms are also at a ~110°, so I'm not sure if that under table mod will be necessary. The table in the picture posted by jacobolus earlier has to be much higher than 70cm, probably closer to 85-90cm. That, or the regular Balans is just much smaller. It took me some time to adjust to the table being lower than what I'm used to. Armrests are definitely not needed, or even usable at this height. The back/armrest combo however works really well when you relax a little.

Getting out of the chair is easy, getting in takes a little more effort, but it's about as fast as a regular chair for me. It's mainly about avoiding that you don't kick the chair to the side.
Other than the sideways shakiness, I can't come up with anything particularly negative about the chair. If you need to roll around or get up and down a lot you might not be happy. As a regular computer chair it works really well.

Would I recommend this chair? Yes and no. For me so far it feels perfect, my opinion might still change after using it for a little longer. However this chair will definitely require some agility and patience and an open mind. My girlfriend laughed at first, but now she wants one too. Also if you aren't in the near-average category in terms for body-build, it might not fit you that well. It's kind of a "either it fits or it doesn't" situation, there is no middle ground here, so be cautious.
Then there is obviously price. I wouldn't buy this chair for the MSRP. The one I got looks unused, but I doubt a heavily used one will be that bad either. Ebay et al have the chair at much lower price so look there first.

With my limited experience I would suggest to avoid any non-adjustable kneeling chair. Adjusting the pads even slightly change the feel of the chair drastically. I ended up setting them higher than what I originally had expected. Having a backrest is in my opinion is also important. It's the main thing that keeps my back straight, without it I could easily slouch a bit without noticing. The rocking feature is also nice to have. I don't think I would have liked any other model as much as this one.

I might do an update review at some point, if anyone is interested. So far so good.
Thanks for reading.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 11 March 2016, 14:13:54 »
I even ran out of books to put under my monitor, damn digital-book age. Currently it's 24 cm higher than without any books, but it could be even higher.
Note, the standard advice about putting the monitor directly in front of your face is questionable, and some ergonomics studies found people had better overall posture with a lower monitor.

It works just fine to have the monitor lower than that, optionally tilted backward. It’s probably better, actually, from an eyestrain perspective. Just keep your head straight, and turn your eyeballs to look at the lower monitor. Turns out that human eyes have an easier time focusing and converging on near objects which are in the lower part of the field of view. The evolutionary reason for this is that looking straight ahead typically involves looking at distant objects, whereas you need to look downward to do close work with your hands.

Offline xtrafrood

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #35 on: Fri, 11 March 2016, 16:09:26 »
Oh you got the chair nice. I'm still on my stool haha, but I have made some corrections in the way I was sitting on the stool.  :thumb:

Less eye strain when looking down huh? I'll have to try that today and see how I feel about it.

Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #36 on: Sat, 12 March 2016, 03:34:31 »
The problem about having the monitor too low and head straight is that when I look down, my glasses cause an eye-wetting reflex sometimes. The bottom of the glasses tend to be smudgier as well, so I naturally just bend my head down.
I suppose it's now at a good height. Maybe could be a couple books lower if that does really help. I found myself that it's much more relaxing to have it close to eye height. The monitor itself is no more closer than before. It's just that when the chair swings it actually moves quite a bit.

@csmertx: If the stool works for you, I suppose there's nothing wrong with it. I myself need that constant reminder to sit straight, or I wouldn't. So far this chair has proven to do just that.

Offline xtrafrood

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #37 on: Sun, 13 March 2016, 12:11:16 »
I even ran out of books to put under my monitor, damn digital-book age. Currently it's 24 cm higher than without any books, but it could be even higher.
Note, the standard advice about putting the monitor directly in front of your face is questionable, and some ergonomics studies found people had better overall posture with a lower monitor.

It works just fine to have the monitor lower than that, optionally tilted backward. It’s probably better, actually, from an eyestrain perspective. Just keep your head straight, and turn your eyeballs to look at the lower monitor. Turns out that human eyes have an easier time focusing and converging on near objects which are in the lower part of the field of view. The evolutionary reason for this is that looking straight ahead typically involves looking at distant objects, whereas you need to look downward to do close work with your hands.
This helps my eye strain! Thank you :thumb:

Offline PieterGen

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 14 March 2016, 08:51:30 »
The chair feels just a little bit flimsy when you move sideways, but you get used to it pretty quick and TBH it doesn't feel like it will fall apart any time soon.

Yes, it is flexible, can also make some squeeking noise. But be assured, I have used these chairs for over 20 years and they do hold up perfectly. They will not break down. The only thing that I do is fasten the hex (a.k.a. inbus) bolts now and then, they tend to work themselves loose.


Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #39 on: Tue, 15 March 2016, 15:17:13 »
Thanks for the assurance. I tried tightening the bolts at first, but quickly found that it was just the wooden "legs" flexing.

Anyway, some progress has been made so far. Even after using the chair for just a little while, my posture has gotten much better, as has my back strength. I noticed today when we were sitting for a long time around a table listening to a presentation. Pretty much everyone leaned on their hands or slouched in their chair, but I found no issue sitting straight the entire time, even though the presentation wasn't particularly interesting. Usually I would either lean on both hands or slide down on the chair after a while, but now my back didn't even feel tired. I'd buy this chair any time again if it broke down.

I think I may be doing that under-table mod after all. Even though my hands are at a much better position, I still find that my shoulders get pushed up. The easiest thing to do would be to just cut off a piece of the table, then screw back a piece of plywood with a couple spacers. Maybe even one of those sliding platforms.

Offline DvorakDachshund

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #40 on: Mon, 21 March 2016, 19:43:37 »
I picked up a kneeling chair at the thrift store the other day (great shape, only $8!) and I use it exclusively for gaming. I find that I need extra shin pads (beanbag pillow does the trick), since the shins aren't designed to take your body weight. Humans evolved to squat, not kneel.

I definitely still slouch after a while, so I wouldn't call it a great solution. Unlike the others in this thread, I've never been tempted to sit with my elbows on my knees.

Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 22 March 2016, 04:23:40 »
@ DvorakDachshund
Hi, my observations were based purely on the Varier kind of chair. I've seen some of the cheaper ones and can tell just from the look of it that most of them suck. It's like whiskey, you can't just buy cheap whiskey and then say all whiskey is bad. Of course I do understand the chair is simply not for everyone, nor is whiskey.

First of all does your chair have a backrest? I find the backrest to be the most important part to achieve a good posture as it essentially forces you to keep your back straight. It should be a contoured one to support a straight back the most optimally. The rocking feature is of course only on the Varier, but together with the backrest it awesome. I can keep my upper torso in place and rock the lower body, effectively massaging and stretching the back. This was especially important in the beginning.
Second, your knees aren't supposed to carry your body weight, instead they are meant to keep you from sliding forward on the chair. As such, they do take some of the weight, but it's different kind of weight. Instead of pushing down on the shins it should be more the kind of weight where you need to use the bending muscles to avoid sliding forward.
Third, the chair isn't a magical devise that straps you to a good posture (but it enables it more easily), it will take personal effort at first, but the more you use it properly and condition yourself and the stronger your back becomes, it starts to become natural to sit properly. I haven't found the need to sit with my feet on the pad either, seems kinda uncomfortable.

A suggestion: try changing the settings of the chair, if possible. Set the shin pads a little higher and try again. You don't necessarily have to start with the most extreme position at first, but instead gradually change the settings as you develop muscle and stretch your back. If you don't have a backrest try to come up with a way to remind you to constantly keep a straight back. You might try one of those posture corrector straps. I almost bought one, but after the chair I didn't need one after all. The PostureNow and Bax-U looked like to most effective and simple, but I haven't used any of them.

I agree that a kneeling chair isn't necessary to achieve a good posture, but I find it much more easy to condition myself to sitting up properly than on a regular chair.
If you don't want to shell out for a Varier Thatsit, I'd suggest to try out a saddle chair. They are more conventional and cheap, but equally good for your posture. Often much cheaper as well.

Offline xtrafrood

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 22 March 2016, 16:24:47 »
I noticed that I make micro adjustments to my posture throughout the day as I sit on my stool.

The major benefit I've seen so far is how easy it is for me to stand up and stretch.

Also, with a stool you get all the core benefits you get with a yoga ball chair without all the unstable jerky movements.

If you want to use a stool the key is to get one WITHOUT wheels. Every time I sit down I feel like I'm mounting a horse  :))

Offline kasakka

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #43 on: Fri, 25 March 2016, 12:58:39 »
One very strong suggestion:
Working on your core...your stomach/gut muscles has A LOT to do with your back, hips, neck, posture and comfort. I've found the better condition I'm in, the less the chairs I use affect me. It's very noticeable.

I agree with this but would add that don't take this to just mean do lots of situps. It's equally important to strengthen your back muscles.

That said, I do like having a comfortable chair but what is comfortable for you is often personal. Right now I'm considering buying a Steelcase Gesture as it felt pretty comfortable especially when leaning towards the monitor.

Offline NewbieOneKenobi

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #44 on: Thu, 12 May 2016, 21:14:10 »
I'm looking forward to one day just getting myself a pulpit to type while standing. Or something like a tall pub stool.

Offline eohmiller

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #45 on: Fri, 13 May 2016, 16:32:37 »
Personally I love kneeling chairs. They kind of force good posture.

Offline menuhin

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #46 on: Sun, 15 May 2016, 15:44:36 »
These chairs look great. How much are those on average?
I think they're definitely more expensive than most of beds in the IKEA.

I have used them for over 20 years. Best chairs aroud. I have one at home and one in the office. The simple one I have at

In the luxury one you can also sit "normal style", that is, not-kneeling. It has a very nice back support. The simpler one requieres more training but it nice too (like I said, I have used them for a very long time). I do not like any other office chair as much as these ones. The luxury one is the best.

The Brand is Stokke (or Varier, they changed names0. I believe they are from Norway or Denmark. I have a weak lower back. These are the only chairs I can sit in when my back is really hurting. Normal office chairs suck, as far as Iḿ concerned, I never have used one that I liked.

Can you sit all day long on them? Yes
Will your knees or legs hurt after a while? No
Is it good for your back? Yes.


Two remarks:
- they dont have wheels, so you wont be rolling around in your office. This may take getting used to.
- the best thing is to buy one with a "rough" textile on it. So not a "smooth, silk like" fabric. A more textured fabric will help you stay more "planted", especially your behind.
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Offline LuX

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Re: Kneeling chairs and other alternate chairs
« Reply #47 on: Sun, 15 May 2016, 17:18:24 »
These chairs look great. How much are those on average?
I think they're definitely more expensive than most of beds in the IKEA.

The Stokke/Varier Thatsit doesn't come cheap. On ebay they seem to run around 450-600€ used, 1000€ new, 1400€ from a retailer. You'll probably have better luck at a local auction/"WTS" site.
There are cheaper kneeling chairs, sure, but as I said before, I don't think I would like them as much as the Varier kind.