Perfect Posture with a Kneeling Chair

woman on  a kneeling chairIt seems lately that we’ve been stuck on the topic of posture and office ergonomics, but for good reason. Many of our physical training clients have the same concern: how to reverse the damage caused by office life.  Or better yet, how to prevent damage from ever occurring.  Back pain is a serious problem in today’s society and people are looking for solutions. The kneeling chair which can be found at Kneeling Chair HQ is a great way to take control of what’s happening in the office and care for your back in the way that it needs.

A knee stool is an ergonomic furniture piece featuring a unique design that is used to provide long term comfort while cultivating great posture.  There are a few distinguishing features (http://kneelingchairhq.com/benefits/) that make up a kneeling chair.

  1. The Sloped Seat: As you can see the seat slopes forward. This design increases the angle between the upper torso and the thighs. We have a muscle group called the hip flexors. These muscles are responsible for any action that requires the lifting of the leg, for example when you run and your knee comes up.  The main muscle of this group is called the psoas muscle and it is directly attached to the back.  When the psoas has issues, your back has issues.When you’re sat down for a long period of time in a 90 degree traditional chair, the hip flexor muscles shortened and start to tighten.  Over time back pain will result.  With a kneeling chair, they are given room to stay long so tightening doesn’t occur. Longer sitting durations can be tolerated because the psoas is not affected.
  2. The Shin Pad: In order to support a sloped seat, there needs to be something in place to make sure you don’t fall off the chair.  The shin pad is designed to take care of this function. Usually made of a soft foam padding like memory foam, they can be quite comfortable.  The shin pad, and the overall design of the kneeling chair, was taken from meditation. The kneel position is the same that monks use for long hours of praying.With the shin pad the weight of the body is actually distributed between the shins and the gluteus maximus.  This will come as a nice surprise for those of us whose buns start to hurt after sitting for a long time.
  3. Absence of a back rest: Just like with the yoga ball, there is no back rest on this type of chair. The body is forced to sit up right and come into good posture by itself. Its an effective way to train the body to sit up right and maintain ergonomic conformity.  There really is no way to forget your ergonomics with this kind of furniture.  You will simply fall off the chair if you do.

If you’re interested in trying one of these out, check out some ratings of knee stools.  There is a huge variety out there, so reviewing will be the best way to ensure you get what you need.

Fitness Meets Office – The Exercise Ball Chair

exercising at your deskA growing trend in today’s office space is the usage of an exercise or yoga ball as an office chair. Exercise balls are polyurethane inflatable spheres commonly used in the gym.  They’re great for core exercise workouts and stability training. Some exercises that include this equipment would be crunches, squats, push ups, etc.  They add an extra balancing element to your work outs. For example, if using them for crunching, then the body is automatically trying to stay centered (right to left) on the ball so you’re using your oblique muscles as well.  Recently we’ve seen them enter the office.  More and more people are starting to supplement or replace their normal chairs.  Lets find out why.

Exercise Ball Chairs as a Desk Replacement

There are many benefits to using a exercise ball as a replacement for your desk chair.

  1. If you’re short on time, which is understandable given the way most of us work these days, then you might find it hard to allocate time to make it to the gym.  Whether we like it or not, physical exercise is imperative for both our physical health and mental health. A healthy body fosters a happier mind. If you use a exercise ball chair, then you’re burning more calories than if you’re using a traditional one. How does this work? Just like with crunches, your body is going to have to exert a little bit of work to keep you on the ball.  But this happens in a 360 degree rotation. The side, front and rear muscles of the lower back get a gentle workout, which serves to tone the muscles rather than built them.
  2. If you find that sitting with proper posture is difficult to remember, then this is a great solution.  Most of us know the basics of ergonomics, but that doesnt help us from forgetting to follow these basics.  Its really easy to get lost in your work and forget to stand tall and straight.  This is impossible to do with a yoga chair. There is no back so you must sit upright or else you’ll find yourself falling off the chair. Problem solved.
  3. If you’re tight on money but need an ergonomic upgrade… these products are all under $70.  You can get just a ball for less than $20 but we’ve done the research to find that the best value you can get out of them is to get a rolling base. This encourages you to move around and not let the muscles of the back get tight and stiff.  Also it looks a lot more professional then using a piece of gym equipment in the office.

If you’re interested in learning more about yoga ball chairs, check out http://www.YOGABallChairs.com/.  We found that they have a great amount of information about these products with reviews as well.