May 09

Ergonomic Knee Stools Explained

knee stoolIn this article, I will answer any questions about the benefits and inter-workings of the ergonomic kneeling chair (or knee stool). But first of all, I just wanted to say thank you for those of you who have emailed me to say thank you for my first article on ergonomic yoga chairs.  Based on your feedback, it seems like ergonomics is a hot topic, and it makes sense. We’re spending a lot more time these days in front of the computer at our jobs and at home.  In the spirit of talking about posture, I decided to discuss another popular furniture product, the ergonomic knee stool.

These incredible items have been around for a while.  I was first introduced to them in college when I went to a friends dorm room and saw one in her room.  It looked so odd to me, I thought it was for prayer.  She explained to me that she has back problems and the knee stool does wonders for her pain.  It allows her to sit up straight, without any pain in her spine.

The way a this type of chair works is unique in comparison to any other chair.  When sitting on one, you assume a kneeling position. Your knees are supported by a soft padded cushion that comes in contact with the shins. Upon first trying this out, it feels extremely awkward, but you quickly get used to it.  But its always recommended to go with a high quality chair with ample padding for the shins. Depending on your sensitivity, it can get uncomfortable over time.

Distinguishing Features of the Kneeling Chair

  • With the shins being supported, the body’s weight is more distributed. Instead of 100% of your weight burdening your back and butt, its spread out more. This takes the stress off the spine.
  • If looked at from the side, this chair has an incline. The seat itself veers downwards toward the ground. This has the effect of increasing the distance between the knees and the upper body. What happens when this is achieved is that the core muscles are given more room to expand.  This helps the lower back stay loose and relaxed.
  • Just like with the yoga ball, a back rest is absent in the knee stool. The benefit is the same, the body naturally sits up right so it doesn’t fall.  You don’t have to worry about bad posture habits such as leaning back, or even worse, slouching.

 

Jan 11

New Office Fad: Yoga Ball Chairs

woman on spherical chairIf you work in an office, chances are that you’ve seen a yoga ball chair used as a seat.  This new phenomena is becoming extremely popular in the modern office. The US is a very work-driven society.  We work long hours, hard hours, and stress levels can skyrocket under the gun. Only in the last decade or two, awareness has started to shift.  We’ve begun to take a look at the choices we make and how they affect us on a holistic level, not just a professional level. Health has become a priority, and its for the betterment of our society.

People are starting to bring fitness into the workplace and one of the easiest ways this has been made possible is through the use of an exercise ball chair.  These chairs have been adapted from polyurethane yoga balls, commonly used for core strength workouts. Besides being a great piece of workout equipment, the advantages of using this product as a seat are numerous.

Benefits of Using a Ball Chair

Posture – One of the main benefits of using this type of seat is the posture enhancement effect. As you can see in the photo above, there is no back to the seat. The design forces the sitter to sit upright with a straight back. This is a much better position to remain in for the length of your working day as opposed to slouching forward or leaning back, which will definitely take its toll on your spine.

Core Development – Because you’re forced to sit up, the muscles that keep you upright are known as the core muscles. They include the abs, the obliques, and the lumbar muscles of the back. These muscles must engage in order to keep you upright.  So it’s like you’re getting a workout while you’re working.  Why not develop a 6 pack when you’re developing your career?