Can My Office Chair Cause Knee Pain?

Not too long ago, I was experiencing knee pain, and I was really worried about it. As I sit in my office chair a lot due to my desk job, and sometimes I sit for prolonged hours and constantly change posture as I feel discomfort. I was worried that my office chair might cause knee pain. So, I did some research, and here is what I found!

Can My Office Chair Cause Knee Pain? Office chairs can cause knee pain if it’s not ergonomic such as the height of the chair is too high or too low. Sitting for prolonged hours and sitting in a poor posture are also the main reasons for causing knee pain.

In this article, I will tell you why sitting in your office chair hurts your knee and how you can fix knee pain that is caused by your office chair and prolonged sitting. I will provide some valuable tips to prevent knee pain while sitting. 

So keep reading, as you definitely won’t want to miss this!

Does Sitting in an Office Chair Cause Knee Pain?

The definite answer is Yes! Sitting in an office chair for a prolonged period can stiffen muscles and patella tendons which can cause discomfort and knee pain.

Sitting in a traditional office chair with little to no ergonomic adjustment can make you sit in an awkward position that puts pressure on your knees, and your condition can worsen.

According to the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, sustained knee flexion for prolonged hours is the reason behind developing knee pain. Even sitting at a 90-degree knee angle can be dangerous while sitting for extended hours.

Mainly, the low standard stool has greater knee flexion, which may put pressure on the knee. A kneeling chair also puts a knee in a difficult position when you sit. 

Although sitting at a 90-degree knee angle is the optimal position, research findings say otherwise.

I use my office chair every single day; I think so do you. It has become our habit to sit for prolonged hours and move less, which is making our health condition worse.

Some office chair has uncomfortable seats that result in knee aches. 

Mostly, office chairs that are not comfortable and do not offer adequate ergonomic adjustments to correct your sitting posture are one of the reasons behind causing knee pain.

As now you know, your office chair can cause knee pain. To solve your knee problem completely, first, you need to know why your office chair is hurting your knees! So, let’s start with that, Shall we?

Why Does My Office Chair Hurt My Knees?

Due to the lack of ergonomic adjustments on your office chair, you might sit in an awkward position for prolonged periods that can put pressure on your knees, causing knee pain.

Many office chairs don’t offer proper ergonomic features such as an ergonomic “S-shape” backrest that will properly align your back spine, adjustable armrests, flexible seat front edge /waterfall seat design, adequate seat height adjustment, and so on.

All of these ergonomic features are essential to offer you the best sitting experience. 

For example, if your chair has a flexible seat edge that moves with your thighs as you change your sitting position, this seat edge is constantly supporting your thighs and offer better blood circulation.

The flexible seat front edge also allows you to sit properly, putting less pressure on your knees.

Some office chairs don’t come with adequate seat height adjustment. If your chair seat height is too tall or too short, you might be sitting in the wrong position, depending on your height.

Sitting in a tall chair will keep your legs dangling, and a short chair will make you sit in a different position, putting pressure on your kneecaps.

Overall, ergonomic office chairs are essential to avoid issues such as knee pain, leg pain, or hip pain.

Can Bad Posture Cause Knee Pain, and what about prolonged sitting?

Sitting in a bad posture such as crossing your legs, sitting in front of the seat, sitting on one side of the chair, bending your knees while you sit can put pressure on your kneecaps, causing knee pain.

As I sit for prolonged hours, I experience knee pain sometimes due to cross-legged sitting, which felt good at first, but it really puts your knees in difficult positions and can cause knee pain if you do it a lot.

I would really encourage you to avoid sitting in any wrong position that can cause many physical issues.

The potential reason behind knee pain is the combination of sitting for more than 6 to 8 hours a day and bad posture that can put pressure on kneecaps.

Why Does My Knee Hurt When I Get Up From Sitting?

When you sit for prolonged hours in one position, your muscle and tendons get stiffen, and getting up from that sitting position can hurt your knee joints, causing knee pain.

If you are practicing the wrong sitting posture, sitting in an awkward position can also hurt your knees. 

Personal Experience: I developed a sort of knee pain from an injury, and when I tried sitting in a cross-legged position, I felt pain in my knees. So, I avoided sitting cross-legged and used to extend my knees while sitting. I also avoided knee flexion for the time being.

As I did a lot of exercises and started to sit in a proper posture which helped me relieve this pain. I would really encourage you to extend your knees in a comfortable position.

How Do You Fix Knee Pain While Sitting?

As I mentioned above, when I felt knee pain while sitting cross-legged, I extended my knees. So, you can avoid knee flexion if it hurts your knee and try to sit in a correct posture in your office chair.

I did not take any medicine during knee pain. Even I currently have a bit of knee pain as I am writing this post; if you have severe pain, make sure to contact your physician and follow their instructions.

Some Tips to Prevent Knee Pain

According to The American Journal of Sports Medicine, knee flexion at a 90-degree angle can decrease blood flow in the patella, developing knee pain.

Also, recent studies found that prolonged and static sitting in a bad posture can lead to knee pain.

You can try the following things to reduce your knee pain while sitting in your office chair.

  • Avoid sitting for prolonged hours; try to take a break within 30 to 60 minutes of sitting.
  • Avoid sitting in an awkward posture such as cross-legged and sitting on one side of your chair.
  • Choose an ergonomic office chair that fits you properly with a suitable tilting mechanism to recline back.
  • Prolonged sitting in a 90-degree knee flexion can lead to knee pain. So, you can use a footrest to elevate your legs for better blood circulation to your legs. To learn more about better blood circulation, you can check our article “Can chairs cut off circulation?
  • Make sure you are sitting in the correct posture. You can check this article for better sitting posture.

What is the best sitting position for knee pain?

The best sitting position for knee pain is to sit against the chair backrest and your legs at a 45 to 50-degree angle. You can use a footrest to elevate your legs to achieve a 45 to 50-degree knee angle.

Studies suggest that a 90-degree knee angle can put pressure on the kneecaps so, avoid sitting in that position.

An ergonomic office chair can allow you to correct your posture, ensuring comfort and productivity. Let’s learn more about how you can adjust your office chair for knee pain.

How do I adjust my office chair for knee pain?

An ergonomic office chair offers many adjustments to make you comfortable. Here’s how you can adjust your office chair.

  • Adjust the seat height so that your feet are resting flat on the floor.
  • Choose an ergonomic chair that has a proper “S-shape” backrest which properly support your back.
  • Adjust the height of the armrest so that it’s parallel to your working surface.
  • You can consider a footrest to elevated your knees if you have knee pain.

Related Questions

How do I know if my office chair is bad? 

You will know that your office chair is bad when you feel discomfort and long sitting will hurt your back. Also, If your chair does not have proper seat height adjustment, armrests, or lumbar support is a sign that your office chair is bad.

Knee pain when sitting on heels

If you wear heels when sitting in a chair can cause knee pain because the lack of proper seat height adjustment on your chair and wearing heels will make you bend your knees, which may put pressure on the kneecaps, causing knee pain.

Best Ergonomic Office Chair for Knee Pain

Knee pain can be a serious issue in the long run, and it can get worse day by day. As I have mentioned above that properly adjusting your chair can minimize your knee pain.

So, we have a dedicated article about ergonomic chairs that would be best for knee pain, feel free to check it out, Best Office Chairs for Knee Pain: A Complete Guide with Pricing

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 reseaching on ergonomic chair and gained knowledge throughout the process.  This is the site where I share everything I've learned about office chairs.