Standing Desk vs Kneeling Chair: Which Is Better?
Are Standing Desks Better For You?
A standing desk is any desk at a height that allows you to stand while working. There are a couple of varieties of a standing desk; fixed, power lift, manual lift, and desk riser.
A fixed-level standing desk is a desk built to be permanently at standing height. There is no option to raise or lower it. Some models may give you a couple of inches of wiggle room to account for your height. These standing desks are best for those who want to always be standing. They are also a good option for a treadmill desk.
Electric standing desks are desks that can lift and lower with the touch of a button. These desks come equipped with a small motor that will move your desk for you, and some even come with memory settings to account for different users. Similar to this is the manual adjustment standing desk. This variety uses a crank to raise or lower a desk to the desired standing height. These desks are best for those who wish to switch between standing and sitting throughout the day.
A desk riser or standing desk converter is a desk accessory that sits on top of your current desk's surface. You can lift the top of a standing desk converter to create an elevated surface on top of your existing desk for you to stand at. This is a great option for those who want more of a budget option, those who simply like their current desk, or those who cannot change out their office furniture (such as in a work setting).
There are a few benefits to a standing desk. One minor improvement is that standing burns slightly more calories than sitting (88 calories per hour standing as opposed to 80 calories an hour for sitting).
When sitting, the muscles in your back can tighten over time. This effect is exacerbated by bad posture as well. Standing desks have also been shown to improve back pain.
Lastly, many standing desk users have reported that standing tends to improve productivity.
Sit to stand desks are not the be-all-end-all of the ergonomic desks, however. If one stands for long periods, they may find they have pain in their legs and feet. Standing for extended periods can also increase the likelihood of varicose veins. Secondly, standing desks are not perfect for every task. There are some tasks, such as drawing, where it may be easier to be seated at a traditional desk or drafting table rather than sitting.
To reap the full benefits of a standing desk, be sure to be standing with a straight back, with your head, neck, and spine in alignment. It is also beneficial to be wearing comfortable shoes and have an anti-fatigue mat underneath you.
Is Kneeling at a Desk Better than Standing?
When it comes to a standing desk vs kneeling chair, both kneeling and standing have their separate benefits that they are best suited for. One is not necessarily better than the other. There are also some ways that the two share similar benefits.
Both the kneeling chair and standing desk help to alleviate back pain or at least lessen the severity of it. Kneeling chairs and traditional chairs may not seem that different at first, but it does make a difference. When it comes to your back, kneeling encourages proper posture better than sitting. While you are using a kneeling chair, your pelvis is pushed forward, creating a more natural curve to your spine in comparison to sitting. Kneeling also distributes your body weight more evenly throughout your hips and legs, rather than all the tension placed on your hips and spine.
Thanks to the angle that your legs make while in a kneeling chair, studies have shown that there is an improvement in blood circulation. When sitting in a regular chair, your legs create a 90-degree angle with your torso, which can cause compression on important veins and arteries. Kneeling chairs allow your legs to be resting at a 110-degree angle, which opens up the hips and allows blood to flow more easily.
A final benefit to kneeling is its ease on your internal organs. When sitting, your body tends to compress, pushing all your organs together. As such, digestion tends to slow down, and your lungs are not able to take in as much oxygen as they might like. As the kneeling chair encourages good posture and opens up your hips, your organs are less compressed. They have more room to operate and keep you healthy. A similar benefit is seen in standing.
Kneeling may be better if you are prone to varicose veins or if you have an injury in your legs or feet. Kneeling chairs allow you to keep a straight posture without the strain of standing all day. Standing for too long can begin to have a detrimental effect.
Kneeling chairs are not perfect, however. For one, you are less mobile in a kneeling chair. Your posture and positioning are pretty much set without much variation available to you. This may make it difficult to use a kneeling chair for long periods, especially when you are just starting. That is why it is generally recommended to start small in a kneeling chair, only using it for a few minutes a day and gradually increasing your time as the days and weeks go by. If you are the type that needs to fidget to think, you might find more benefit in swapping between a regular chair and a kneeling chair.
Due to the layout of a kneeling chair, there is also more pressure placed on your shins. This may cause some pain after long periods.
Lastly, these chairs can be difficult to use, especially if you have trouble with balance or mobility. If you're not sure, it may be a good idea to test out a kneeling chair in a store with the help of a friend before purchasing.
One benefit of a kneeling chair over a standing desk is that once you are used to a kneeling chair, it is possible to remain in a kneeling chair for much of the day without much detrimental effect. This is particularly true for rocking kneeling chairs. These chairs have rounded bottoms that allow the user to gently rock while sitting. Thanks to this constant movement, in conjunction with the angles that a kneeling chair holds the body, you won’t encounter the same issues with your legs as you would while standing, or with your back and hips as you would with sitting.
What Does A Kneeling Chair Do?
A kneeling chair is any chair that puts your body in a kneeling-like position while seated. They come in many different designs, from rocking to rolling to stationary.
The main design of a kneeling chair includes an angled cushion that you sit on and a cushioned area in front of you where you rest your knees and shins.
The seated section of the kneeling chair comes in different angles, from nearly horizontal (like traditional office chairs) to a nearly 45-degree angle so that you are not so much sitting on it as you are leaning against it. The cushioned pads for your legs can either be a solid bar or two separate pads, one for each leg. Some chairs also come with a backrest.
Where you see the most variety is in the bottom of the chair. Kneeling chairs with smooth rounded bottoms have become quite popular, as they can gently rock. This is an ideal option for those who need a little movement as they work to stay focused.
Some chairs also have caster wheels, much like your typical office chair. This makes it easy to pull into your desk to work or easy to roll away to switch to standing or your office chair.
Some kneeling chairs can even fold down into a compact format. This condensed chair is easy to stow under a bed, in a closet, or even lean against your desk. On that note, some ingenious chairs come with a desk attached to them.
Can You Use a Kneeling Chair with a Standing Desk?
The short answer is yes. There are a few different ways this can happen, however.
The first way, and perhaps the most obvious, is to use a kneeling chair in tandem with a moveable standing desk. This option gives you plenty of room to switch positions as you work throughout the day and reap the benefits of both methods without succumbing to the downfalls that can come with standing or kneeling for too long.
With this first option, you would simply use your standing desk as long as comfortable. When you are ready for a rest, all you need to do is lower the desk back down to a sitting level and pull up your kneeling chair. Of course, this option only works if you have a moveable standing desk, either the powered option or the manual option. A desk riser would also work in this case. However, if you have a fixed-height standing desk, then this option will not work for you. You would either need a separate desk for your kneeling chair or forgo the kneeling chair altogether.
The second option includes a special type of kneeling chair that we haven't mentioned yet. There are kneeling ergonomic chairs designed with a high adjustable back and a wide standing base. These are meant to be used with a standing desk, and you can either fully lean against them or use them as a tall kneeling chair. In a kneeling stance, you may find that the angles of your body are wider than they would be with a traditional kneeling chair.
On this same note, a third option is a sit-stand chair. These ingenious chairs come with a tall backrest, an adjustable seat, and a kneeling bar so that you can sit, stand, or kneel in any way you see fit. This is a perfect option for those who want to constantly switch up their positions throughout the day while only having one chair. The downside to these sit-stand chairs is their large size, making them less ideal for a small office.
Is it Healthy to Kneel at Your Desk?
Absolutely! Kneeling chairs offer an ergonomic option for sitting at your desk that takes the pressure off of your hips and spine. It also tends to be gentler on your legs from standing alone.
As mentioned above, some of the health benefits of kneeling include tilting your pelvis forward to create a more natural curve in your spine and encourage proper posture.
Sitting in this more elongated shape also helps to lengthen out your torso so that your internal organs have room to work. This means improvements to your breathing, blood flow, and digestion.
If you opt for the rocking variety of a kneeling chair, the rocking motion also creates a form of active sitting. This type of sitting gently engages your core muscles, and the constant movement means that you can use a rocking kneeling chair all day without suffering the same effects as you would with a sitting chair. That being said, it is always beneficial to get up and move around every so often regardless of the type of chair or desk you are using.
While kneeling chairs can be a great ergonomic option for you, they can take some getting used to. Especially if you are using a rocking kneeling chair, sitting in this style of chair may use muscles that you are not used to using. That is why it is always encouraged to start slow when you first get a kneeling chair, so keep those office chairs nearby. You will want to use the kneeling chair for just a few minutes at first and gradually increase your duration over time. Before you know it, a kneeling chair will be your all-day option for a comfortable work environment that is kind to your back and body.
Now that we've discussed kneeling chairs vs. standing desks, have a look at Desky's range of high-quality desks perfect for any home office.