10 Typical Problems With Kneeling Chairs (Explained)

A kneeling chair can be an attractive choice for those who’re looking for a chair that’s ideal for short-term focused tasks.

They make your lower back arch by shifting your pelvis, and this reduces the pressure on your joints and spine, thus protecting you from excruciating lower back pain. But still, you might face some serious issues with kneeling chairs.

Don’t get me wrong; I am definitely not trying to dissuade you from purchasing a kneeling chair. I think a kneeling chair can be an excellent option for certain tasks like drawing, handwriting, or even office work.

I just want to give you the full story about kneeling chairs. The good, the bad, and the ugly! So, without any further ado, let’s dive right in. 

Top 10 Problems with Kneeling Chairs:

1. Kneeling Chairs Can be Bad for Your Knees  

You would be pardoned for thinking that it’s ironic that kneeling chairs actually cause knee issues for their users.

You should remember the fact that kneeling chairs are ideal for short-term tasks requiring forward reach, such as drawing, writing, or sewing. 

In doing so, kneeling chairs restrict your movements and confine your knees and legs into one single position.

This increases the overall pressure that gets enforced on your knees, and it causes low blood circulation to your knees, causing discomfort. 

We were able to gain further insight into the matter when we performed some tests of our own. Kneeling chairs come with various different knee pad designs. And the problem is that most of those designs are not ideal for long-term use.

In most cases, the kneeling chairs feature thicker padding that surrounds your knees and makes them feel unnaturally warm. 

On the other hand, there are some kneeling chair models that have very thin padding, and some have coarse fabric surfaces. 

The placement of your shins and knees is the key to your comfort on a kneeling chair.

As most of the kneeling chair models do not have flexible knee pads, they make you feel like your knees are falling off to the sides. 

2. Not Ideal for Prolonged Sitting

People are divided on the topic of whether kneeling chairs are actually “good for you”. However, everybody agrees on the fact that kneeling chairs are not ideal for long hours of use. 

They not only restrict your leg movements while being in a seating position. And the pressure that gets exposed to your knees and shins is likely to cause pain in those regions over time. 

Kneeling chairs not only keep your body in a static position, they also put constant pressure on your neck, shoulders, and lower back. This causes your metabolism power to decrease. 

As most kneeling chairs do not come with proper back support, if you sit for about an hour or two you might end up sitting in a bad shape.

So, if you’re using a kneeling chair for long hours, you’re at a high risk of gaining weight and having blood pressure issues. 

3. Kneeling Chairs Don’t Look Professional 

One of the biggest concerns that you should have while designing your office decor is that your office environment looks professional. This is a requirement that you cannot avoid. 

And the best way to make sure your office space looks as professional as possible is by making sure all of your office furniture looks professional.

Unfortunately, that is not the case when it comes to kneeling chairs. 

Although there are a lot of kneeling chair models out there that are super sleek and stylish, they just don’t mesh well with the professional setting. 

4. Not Suitable for Office Use 

This is a continuation of our previous point that kneeling chairs don’t look professional. As we have mentioned before, kneeling chairs are used for focused work.

They promote “active sitting,” and in that way, they encourage more motion. 

But, think of your office setting; people have to work for at least eight hours straight with little to no break in a sedentary position. 

And remember, most kneeling chairs have no back support. Your core muscles are working overtime just to keep you upright in a kneeling chair. 

Also, You certainly can’t use them during formal office meetings for sure. And that’s why the use of a kneeling chair in an office setting is not ideal.

If you still have doubts about why kneeling chairs are not ideal for office use and whether to choose a kneeling chair or office chair, we have an in-depth article that will help you decide which one would be suitable for you.

If you are interested, check our article on Kneeling Chair Vs. Office Chair

5. Sitting Down on a Kneeling Chair and Getting Up from It is Tough for Older People

It’s a well-known fact that as people get older, the strength in their legs and lower back reduces, and carrying themselves becomes harder.

And that is especially true when it comes to sitting down and getting up from different kinds of chairs. 

Your body needs time to adapt to the new and peculiar sitting position of a kneeling chair.

Your bones and muscles need at least 2-3 weeks to get used to that particular sitting position. 

This sitting position may feel awkward to older users. It will be quite hard for older people to sit down and stay in a kneeling chair. This seating position could cause serious harm to their knees and lower back. 

And getting out of the kneeling chair will be exponentially more challenging for them. 

6. Bad for Blood Circulation 

A study published in 2012 took six healthy subjects and made them sit in different kinds of chairs in different positions.

They then used an MRI scanner to determine how their sitting position had affected their musculoskeletal system.

This study found that kneeling chairs had negative effects on the subject’s body, such as muscle clenching, nerve irritation, and, last but not least, reduced blood circulation. 

A kneeling chair puts the user in such a position that it compresses their veins and narrows their respiratory organs. 

This could potentially lead to cardiovascular diseases for the people who frequently use kneeling chairs for extended periods of time. 

7. Lower Weight Capacity (Not Ideal for Tall Guys)

If you’re a big and tall guy, then kneeling chairs might be an ideal option for you. First of all, kneeling chairs don’t have a high amount of weight capacity like other types of chairs (e.g., office chairs or gaming chairs). 

You can get a maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs. from most kneeling chairs out there. Furthermore, they have compact designs across the board. So, a tall/big person will have a tough time finding a kneeling chair that fits him/her. 

Although you might find a kneeling chair that is similar to a standard office chair in terms of size, there aren’t any options that come with a wider seat. 

Despite the fact that most of the kneeling chair models feature height adjustment options, you can not adjust the distance between the seat and the knee pads. 

8. Less Adjustable Ergonomic Features

In general, kneeling chairs don’t come with that much adjustability. There are a few models that come with a couple of adjustments, but that’s nothing to write home about. 

The adjustable features of kneeling chairs are a far cry from the excellent ergonomic adjustability of office/executive chairs. In other words, you won’t be able to adjust your kneeling chair to your preference. 

And this chair will adversely affect the sitting experience of a lot of users. If you’re the type of person who loves adjustability when it comes to your chairs, then a kneeling chair is just not the right choice for you. 

9. Don’t Feature Back/Neck Support 

This is one of the biggest gripes that we have with kneeling chairs. Research published in the HFSE journal had found that kneeling chairs had actually worsened the back pain in a lot of patients. 

The primary reason for this is that kneeling chairs do not come with back support or neck support. 

On the other hand, another research has found that a properly designed kneeling chair can improve your back pain issues if used for short periods.

10. Don’t Feature Arm Support 

Kneeling chairs cannot accommodate armrests due to their design and architecture. So, if you prefer to lay back and rest your arms on the chair from time to time, that won’t be possible on a kneeling chair. 

We have to admit; this is not a design flaw. It’s more of a matter of personal preference. Since kneeling chairs are made for focused tasks and not for resting, it’s not expected of them to feature arm support. 


Final Thoughts  

Kneeling chairs are ideal for people who use a chair for a short period of time or want to stay focused while working.

But if you are a big guy like me, I won’t recommend using a kneeling chair, especially if you spend 8-10 hours sitting at your desk.

That’s all for now! In this article, we have gone through the top 10 typical problems with kneeling chairs. 

Kneeling chairs are excellent for certain tasks, and they have multiple benefits. We have a dedicated article that talks about kneeling chair benefits; if you want to learn about the benefits of kneeling chairs, you can read this article.

But, they are not without their flaws, and this article proves that. Hopefully, now you have all the necessary information you need to make the right choice regarding kneeling chairs. 

Thanks for sticking with us to the very end. Till next time! 

Sifatul Shohan

Hi, I'm the co-owner of officechairtrends.com. A blogger and a freelance web developer.  As I work as developer, I have to work for prolonged hours at a desk that's where I developed back pain. I started researching on ergonomic chairs and gained knowledge throughout the process.  This is the site where I share everything I've learned about office chairs.