If you have ever stepped into an office or place of business that values just where its employees sit, you probably did a few double takes about just what constitutes a chair these days. Ergonomic chair shapes have never been confused for the common and ordinary. Many are designed to look a little weird so that your back doesn’t feel awkward or strange. Here are just a few of the most unusual shapes that you might find in these ergonomically designed forms of seating.
The Ball Chair
When most people think of an ergonomic chair shape, they might picture various backrest heights and wave-like seating. However, there are even more unique-looking options, such as the ball chair, popular in newer workspaces and on the startup scene. The idea behind such a sitting implement is to lend the user better balance and posture, along with improved core strength. As there is no backrest on a ball chair, the user has to stay balanced. The result is decreased back pain compared to other places to sit around the office. The ball chair looks very much like an exercise ball. In fact, some models permit you to remove the ball from the wheelbase and use it for exercises.
The Pseudo Spine Chair
In terms of strange-looking seating, chairs designed with a pseudo spine tend to take the cake. These spine replicas could be mistaken for an insect’s exoskeleton. They are designed to replicate and cradle the spine and the back. The user can customize the pressure and support by adjusting the “ribs” of the chair. The main reason that a company might shell out for such an odd-looking chair is for its proven assistance with chronic back pain. For example, the RFM Verte Executive Ergonomic Chair, designed with a pseudo spine, has been known to help back pain sufferers. This form of seating looks strange with its spine replicator, wide lower portion of the backrest and narrower upper half. However, it gets the job done, even if the user looks like some sort of exoskeleton-possessing insect in it.
The Extra-High Back Chair
Some ergonomically designed chairs look like they could touch the moon with their extra-high backs. The extra-high back chair is one of the more unusual-looking types of ergonomic seating. Generally, the shape features a wing curvature of the back to allow for maximum comfort. That wing is also extremely high. You might not see your employees working at their desks; the back is just that tall. Generally, this type of seating is recommend for taller people or those with neck pain. One example of this odd-looking seat is the Ergocentric Geocentric Extra High-Back Synchro Ergonomic Office Chair.
The Kneeling Chair
When you think of ergonomically designed seating, you probably envision crazy backs and strange seats. However, some chairs don’t even look like chairs at all. Ergonomically designed kneeling chairs help put the back in a more natural position. While you might require a manual on how to actually sit down in these devices, the kneeling option is not supposed to look like a traditional form of sitting. Generally, people use this type of seating for shorter periods of time to lend temporary relief to the back.
Shopping for an ergonomically designed form of seating can take some getting used to for businesses and corporations. If you are obsessed with pretty pieces of furniture, such a look will be a shock to the system. From chairs designed to look like the spine of a human to bouncy balls for sitting, there are a fair number of shapes and forms to this health-conscious mode of design.
Think back to when you got your first desk job. What were you sitting in while you were working? Most likely, your response is an office chair, and this is probably true for about 99% of the United States population. Think of what you are currently sitting in now at your work. My guess is your answer has not changed and you are still sitting in a standard office chair. The same probably holds true for your home office as well. While most of us are still sitting in a traditional office chair, a few have begun to make the switch to kneeling chairs, a revolutionary way of sitting that is making its way into more homes and offices all across the country.
Many are unfamiliar with how to use a kneeling chair and how it can be beneficial to your health. Kneeling chairs were designed upon the ergonomic concept that “a strong back is a healthy back.” While only recently have kneeling chairs become more recognized in the business world, they were actually first designed in Northern Europe during the 1970′s and are recommended by health professionals around the world. By promoting good posture, these chairs strengthen the lower back muscles helping proper spinal alignment while keeping your back positioned correctly. Kneeling chairs are an alternative form of sitting, that can be used interchangeably with your current office chair if you are looking to give your back some relief. When sitting in a kneeling chair, you will find that you are essentially forced to sit with correct posture and will notice when you begin to slump or hunch over, a bad habit that is easy to miss in a typical office chair.
The first time you use a kneeling chair it may feel uncomfortable and awkward which is only natural after years of sitting in a conventional office chair. Your body will need time to adapt to its new seating experience because your muscles and bones will be accustomed to sitting in one particular position. With this being said, it is perfectly normal to feel awkward when first trying out your kneeling chair and you may even experience some stiffness. It is recommended to start off using your new kneeling chair for thirty minutes the first day, then work your way up in increments of 30 minutes each day the first few weeks until you can comfortably sit in it for eight hours a day. Once you get used to the seating position of a kneeling chair and the many benefits it offers to you, it will become effortless and seem completely natural.
There are various kneeling chair models out there, some come with back rests while others allow for a rocking motion, but all encourage sitting with an open posture. In a conventional office chair you are typically sitting at a 90° or less, however an ergonomic kneeling chair encourages you to sit at a 110° angle. The benefit of sitting in an open angled position is this allows your back to readily form to your natural curvature and relieve compression of your spine and its discs as well as tension in your lower back and leg muscles. Another benefit of adopting the kneeling seating position is that it allows your diaphragm to move efficiently and promote better breathing and blood circulation
It is important not to let the name kneeling chair fool you. You do not want to have most of your pressure on your knees and shins as this will only lead to health problems and soreness. Your bottom should be carrying most of the weight, as it would on an office chair; the knee pads are only there for support for your shins. It is best to begin by sitting on your kneeling chair’s seat pad, followed by sliding your knees into the knee pads forming a kneeling position. It is a good idea to keep your original office chair to begin with when first getting a knee chair to alternate between the two as you get used to your new seating experience. Some people like to continue alternating between the two even after awhile, which is completely normal. Ultimately, it is up to the individual whether they believe a kneeling chair would work for them, but it can not hurt to try especially if you are looking for a way to relieve some back pain or you just want to try a different way of sitting.
If you are interested in kneeling chairs, visit SitBetter.com for all the latest and most ergonomic kneeling chair options.