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Thread: Kneeling Desk page

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    Drakelet's Avatar
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    Kneeling Desk

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    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?

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    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.

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    Is your form as good as the cat in your avatar?

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    Nady's Avatar
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    You could get a kneel(ing) chair~
    Amazon.com: knee chair

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    Quote 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.

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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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    Lynna's Avatar
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    Quote 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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    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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    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.

  10. #10
    Lewis's Avatar
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    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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