Wednesday, March 07, 2007

No more kneeling in front of the holy screen

After reading an article in the Wall Street Journal on how big gym balls are all the rage in some companies as a replacement for the traditional office chair, I decided to improve my posture in front of the computer screen. A gym ball did look a bit too extreme. I remember having tried a kneeling chair once. The first few days were comfortable: no more slumping in my chair. You only need to adjust one setting. Wikipedia has some background on how it works:
Kneeling chairs sought to open up the angle between the thigh and the spine, making it easier to retain the natural curvature of the lower back (the lumbar).

Despite the name, the posture of a person in a kneeling chair is not the same as kneeling on the ground. It is sometimes assumed that the knees bear most of the body's weight when sitting in a kneeling chair, but this is incorrect--the shins bear some weight for stability, but you are still sitting (not kneeling).

This posture changes the stress distribution of the human body in comparison with the sitting position of an ordinary chair and is recommended for certain diseases or injuries of the backbone. Because the angle of the hip joint is between that of sitting and standing, it allows the spine, particularly the lumbar (lower region), to be in a more "neutral," or middle-of-range, position.
After a couple of days, the lack of padding starts to hurt. It is also not flexible when swiveling between two computer screens. You back might be up right, though you tend to twist it to read the screen to the right. As a result I switched back my regular office chair. Or I might try a gym ball after all (just kidding).

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