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  • Kneeling Desk

    There's a lot of talk now about standing desks. Great, but not always practical.

    I've just had an idea. As usual, born out of necessity. Technically lazyness. My chair was the other end of my room so I decided to kneel for the couple minutes I was on my comp. And I'm still kneeling now.

    How does kneeling compare to standing and sitting, health-wise? There's nothing to lean back or relax against; your back is straight, your hamstrings and glutes are engaged. And you can't kneel for too long because you knees start to ache. Doesn't even need a different desk.

    Anyone else doing this?

  • #2
    Well as a general rule I don't like postures that make my joints hurt after only about 5 minutes.

    But then Japanese people seem to be able to handle it OK.
    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

    My Primal Journal

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    • #3
      Is your form as good as the cat in your avatar?

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      • #4
        You could get a kneel(ing) chair~
        Amazon.com: knee chair

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nady View Post
          You could get a kneel(ing) chair~
          Amazon.com: knee chair
          My dad has one. He doesn't like it, he says it's still uncomfortable on his knees.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Drakelet View Post
            How does kneeling compare to standing and sitting, health-wise?
            Great question. I don't know it would be easy to answer.

            There's nothing to lean back or relax against;
            Yes, this seems to be one of the problems with chairs -- that the chair-back provides the wrong kind of stimulus. However, I think "relax" is the wrong word here: "collapse" might be better. People tend to use the back to lean against, shuffle forwards, and end up sitting on the end of the coccyx instead of on the ischial tuberosities (the sitting-bones).

            your back is straight
            Yes, and without losing the slight natural curve in the spine in the lower back -- which you do with the posture discussed above.

            And you can't kneel for too long because you knees start to ache.
            This is what rings a warning bell.

            But maybe there's nothing wrong with the posture in itself. Maybe it's just you can't take a body that's used to chairs (over several decades) and then throw another posture at it ... ? Perhaps the knee joints aren't as "open" as they should be. I don't know: I'm pondering aloud rather than trying to give answers.

            Certainly, if you've been used to sitting on chairs for years and then try to sit cross-legged on the floor you can get knee pain. Yet people who've always used that posture seemed not to.

            I guess enlightened parents would make sure their children never lost the capacity to use a range of natural postures simply by providing opportunities for them to continue squatting, kneeling, and sitting cross-legged -- as they do naturally for their first few years. Part of the current problems, it seems to me, is that we socialize children out of natural postures.

            I'd suggest you get hold of a meditation stool/prayer stool. That should be a slightly more comfy way to do it -- since the seat takes some of the weight. UK sources:

            Meditation stool

            Prayer stool

            The other thing I would do is buy -- or have made -- a very large, thin, loosely-stuffed cushion about 26 to 30 inches square. Drop that on the floor and put the meditation stool on it. Your knees have that slight extra padding, and your bottom takes some of the weight of your body, through the sitting-bones, on the seat of the stool.

            I think it would be a very good option. I think one needs to rotate between different postures during a long working day, and here is another anyone could usefully throw in the mix.

            Thanks for the post -- it's an interesting one to think about.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lewis View Post
              Great question. I don't know it would be easy to answer.



              Yes, this seems to be one of the problems with chairs -- that the chair-back provides the wrong kind of stimulus. However, I think "relax" is the wrong word here: "collapse" might be better. People tend to use the back to lean against, shuffle forwards, and end up sitting on the end of the coccyx instead of on the ischial tuberosities (the sitting-bones).



              Yes, and without losing the slight natural curve in the spine in the lower back -- which you do with the posture discussed above.



              This is what rings a warning bell.

              But maybe there's nothing wrong with the posture in itself. Maybe it's just you can't take a body that's used to chairs (over several decades) and then throw another posture at it ... ? Perhaps the knee joints aren't as "open" as they should be. I don't know: I'm pondering aloud rather than trying to give answers.

              Certainly, if you've been used to sitting on chairs for years and then try to sit cross-legged on the floor you can get knee pain. Yet people who've always used that posture seemed not to.

              I guess enlightened parents would make sure their children never lost the capacity to use a range of natural postures simply by providing opportunities for them to continue squatting, kneeling, and sitting cross-legged -- as they do naturally for their first few years. Part of the current problems, it seems to me, is that we socialize children out of natural postures.

              I'd suggest you get hold of a meditation stool/prayer stool. That should be a slightly more comfy way to do it -- since the seat takes some of the weight. UK sources:

              Meditation stool

              Prayer stool

              The other thing I would do is buy -- or have made -- a very large, thin, loosely-stuffed cushion about 26 to 30 inches square. Drop that on the floor and put the meditation stool on it. Your knees have that slight extra padding, and your bottom takes some of the weight of your body, through the sitting-bones, on the seat of the stool.

              I think it would be a very good option. I think one needs to rotate between different postures during a long working day, and here is another anyone could usefully throw in the mix.

              Thanks for the post -- it's an interesting one to think about.
              except for this

              Study: Slouching Better for Back Than Sitting Up Straight | Fox News

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              • #8
                I remember the Muslims in Bosnia have low tables where you sit on the floor and eat. I forgot the name.

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                • #9
                  I wish I was tall enough to kneel at my desk! When I kneel, my chin is only about 6" above the desk surface! I may make one of those meditation/prayer stools for myself, though. I tried to convince my employer that I need a standing desk, but only got blank stares when I mentioned it.

                  I do sit cross-legged all the time, and have since I can remember (I'm 55). I even sit cross-legged in my office chair.

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                  • #10
                    Except that that doesn't really prove what it claims.



                    The remit there is very narrow and can't distinguish between different ways of sitting that it would bracket together.

                    The headline also shows a lack of understanding of the material that's quoted in the actual article In the headline "slouching" is lauded. However, in the text "slouched" is defined as, and I quote,

                    the body hunched forward
                    However, the (so-called) "relaxed position" is defined as -- and, again I quote -- one in which the

                    patient reclined at 135 degrees but kept their feet on the floor
                    The study claims to have found that the "reclining" position not the "slouched" position was superior to "sitting up straight" (as the study's authors understood that).

                    I'm sorry if this sounds a little dismissive of you but it's hardly adequate to respond to a carefully thought, yet cautious, response of mine by citing a news source that apparently doesn't understand the (strictly limited) study they're commenting on.

                    And, please note, the study did not look at kneeling postures at all.

                    The only further point I'll make is that I think that reclining postures can be good and that an angle of 90 degrees can be problematic. However "sitting up straight" covers a multitude of sins. There's a lot hidden -- and missed -- in a casual form of words like that. One can adopt such a posture with a lot of body-tension, and one can also, if one knows what one is doing, release muscle tension, which actually results in an upright posture. Note that the latter is what tends to happen when people sit on a horse -- because you have to balance, which is a great releaser of tension, you tend to "uncurl" naturally. And this is why "riding for the disabled" is such a useful and far-sighted charity:


                    Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)


                    So, no, the study is strictly limited -- although, as I say, it's OK as far as it goes, and a reclining posture is another useful card in the pack -- and the news agency report was obviously put together by people who didn't properly read or understand that which they were reporting on. The study, quite rightly, never said slouching was good.

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                    • #11
                      I don't know whether it's useful to say any more on this ...

                      I tried to find a picture, because I think that news outlet, if that piece was widely read, could have spread a lot of confusion.

                      There's a difference between "reclining" and collapsing into a chair in a basically unorganised manner, the back-rest having provided an unfortunate stimulus to prop the upper-back on it, while sliding the hips forward, allowing the spine to curve into a C-shape, losing the slight natural lumbar curve.

                      In the latter posture the person is sitting on the end of his coccyx, which isn't built for that. That collapsing is also bad for the spine. (In passing it's interesting to note that small children -- preschoolers -- usually sit up "nice and straight'" -- but without tension. Thats' what's natural when your use hasn't been disrupted).

                      So here's quite a good picture I found at a Yoga site:



                      The Yoga site also points out that in the posture on the right:

                      visceral organs, blood flow, breath, and nervous system are all compromised by the head forward slump shown above which is also known to cause headaches


                      With "reclining" you have to think of the person's butt at the back of the chair. He's still sitting on his ischial tuberosities. The difference is that the back of the chair he's using tilts back. His back is straight, the lumbar curve is preserved. The difference is that he's lying back at 120 degrees. The advantage is that this opens his hip joint up. (The 90 degrees at the hip joint is also discussed in the article at the Yoga site.)

                      This is good.

                      The disadvantage ... and this is where the study is a little beside the point if you take it to be a "guide to what do at work" ... is that you don't go to work just to sit.

                      Typically you sit at something -- usually a computer.

                      That changes the problem. Not so easy to type when lying back at 120 degrees.

                      So, yeah, if you could spend parts of the working day when you didn't need to be sitting up working at something in front of you reclining back in a reclining chair, that would be good.

                      Incidentally, if kneeling on the floor, sitting in a meditation-stool, the angle at your hip would be more than 90 degrees.



                      Her thigh is dropping down ...

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                      • #12
                        I thought I'd subscribed to my thread. Obviously now.

                        I haven't done it much since (although I am now, strangely) - it seems to be when I'm just at the computer for a few minutes.

                        My idea of kneeling is with the entire body straight except for the knees, which are at a 90 angle. My hips are 180, i.e. completely open. Not kneeling and sitting on my feet, as with the above picture.

                        The knee pain is not actually in the knee joint, but from the force of the body on the knee from above. Obviously it's lessened by putting more weight on the feet or arms (if they're on a desk). I think that's just because they're not used to it though.

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                        • #13
                          get an exercise crunch ball and sit on that at your desk. You'll be forced to balance and sit up straight. You can adjust the pressure and it's about the same height as a regular chair

                          http://www.iposture.com/images/pho_e...tt-oblique.jpg
                          Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Drakelet View Post
                            The knee pain is not actually in the knee joint, but from the force of the body on the knee from above.
                            Like enough. I'd have thought the advantage of the meditation stool was that it allowed some of the weight to go down through the sitting bones.

                            With either posture I'd have thought some padding under the knees in the form of a large, thin cushion might be helpful.

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