Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs Posture Chairs

Ergonomic Equipment & Supplies

Since our Oslo meetings with Hans Christian Mengshoel in the early 2000's, we have loved the kneeling chair concept as have our customers. Over the years, we have imported numerous kneeling chair brands from around the world including balans, Varier, Stokke, Jobri, and HAG. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a kneeling chair is an ergonomic chair that provides a kneeling-like sitting position. It increases the angle between the torso and thighs by tilting the pelvis forward and dropping the thighs below the hips. The shins provide a second point of contact with the chair, via a shin pad, so the body does not slide forward off the chair. This sitting position encourages correct spinal alignment. Despite the name, the knees do not bear any of the body’s weight. Rather, weight is distributed between the back, thighs, and shins, instead of solely in the lower back. As a result, compressive forces in the spine and associated back pain are minimized while sitting. Kneeling chairs are known by many other names including yoga Chair, knee chair, balance chair, balans chair, kneel sit chair, posture chair, and Norwegian chair. more

Kneeling chairs as we know them today originated in Norway in the 1970’s, beginning with Hans Christian Mengshoel. The concept of a kneeling–like sitting position, however, has been around for centuries. Tibetan monks use a seiza bench to maintain a comfortable kneeling–like position during extended periods of meditation. Although hard on the knees, the seiza bench allows the angle between the trunk and thighs to be opened up by a forward–tilting seat. The benefits of this were first reported by Danish surgeon Dr. A.C. Mandal. Mandal found that many people, including school children, would lean forward on the front legs of the chair in order to ease back pain. He concluded that a chair seat should slope forward by 15° in order to effectively tilt the pelvis forward and allow the natural curvature of the spine. This ensures that the hips and trunk are drawn into the best position for correct posture. A number of recent studies have confirmed Mandal’s work, with evidence suggesting that an angle of 110° or greater between the trunk and thighs reduces the pressure on the spine by as much as 35% 1. Based on this information, Mengshoel developed a comfortable, practical chair that supported this posture. Many others have contributed to the concept and development of the kneeling–like sitting position. These individuals include: Peter Gillings Jr., Peter Opsvik, Oddvin Rykken, and Svein Gusrud.

Tibetan Seiza Bench

The kneeling or ‘seiza bench’ has been used for centuries in Tibet.

Buzzi 1970

Furniture for sitting, patented in Rome, Italy, on November 17, 1970.

Vowles 1972

J. Harding Vowles, U.S patent no 3669493, June 13 1972, Canada. This chair was designed to reduce pressure on the posterior during extended periods of sitting by transferring some weight to the knees.

Gilings Jr 1973

Knee–chair by Peter Gillings Jr. April 17. 1973 US patent no 3863978. Originally designed for a snowmobile.

Mengshoel 1979

Hans C Mengshoel, June 15, 1979, U.S. patent no 4377309.

Opsvik 1979

Balans chairs — Peter Opsvik, Varier — 1979, Norway

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  1. Jobri Deluxe Kneeling Chair
    Jobri Deluxe Kneeling Chair
  2. QDOS Kneeling Posture Chair
    QDOS Kneeling Posture Chair
  3. INSITU Kneeling Chair
    INSITU Kneeling Chair
    As low as $179.00
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