The choice of an office chair is the prickliest question among pregnant women. The market is flooded with office chairs targeting the health issues of pregnant women. From ergonomic mesh chairs to bean bag chairs and from task chairs to kneeling chairs, you will never fall short of options.
However, in this article, we are only sticking to kneeling chairs and understanding “Are kneeling chairs good for pregnancy or not”. Broadly speaking, there are many advantages of kneeling chairs for all office workers, especially pregnant women, as they provide a comfortable and supportive sitting experience.
The use of a kneeling chair during pregnancy reduces severe back pain and aches in the body and helps in boosting productivity levels. In this article, we will shed light on the benefits of using kneeling chairs during pregnancy.
We will discuss some of the limitations and drawbacks associated with their use in some cases. Lastly, we will help you figure out the correct sitting posture during your pregnancy, so stick around!
Are Kneeling Chairs Good for Pregnancy?
Aches, pain, and sickness are common in pregnancy due to the changes in hormones and a growing womb. Kneeling chairs are a great option to reduce the chances of cramps and discomfort during pregnancy. Some of the key benefits of using kneeling chairs while pregnant include:
Balanced Weight Distribution
As you already know, what differentiates a kneeling chair from a traditional office chair is its tilted seat angle. The seat angle of a kneeling chair is bent at 120 degrees rather than the conventional 90-degree angle. The tilted seat angle helps in widening the area in front of our body by opening the hips up. An open hip angle shifts the pressure from the lower spine and actively engages the abdominal and back muscles of the human body.
A major discomfort associated with pregnancy is the constricting feeling due to a lack of space in front of the hips. In addition, the strain in the lower back due to increased body weight creates discomfort. The use of a kneeling chair effectively addresses both of these problems by widening the space in front of the hips and evenly distributing body weight without pressurizing a specific spot.
Reduced Back Pain and Aches
The most common type of pain an expectant woman can experience is back pain. The growth of a baby invariably adds 25 to 30 pounds of weight to an expecting mother. The pressure exerted by a growing baby and the uterus on the spine significantly contributes to different types of pain such as back pain.
Therefore, you need extensive back support during pregnancy to maintain the natural curvature of your spine. While kneeling chairs don’t have a backrest but they effectively reduce back pain and related aches by promoting an active sitting posture and keeping your spine in a neutral position.
Increased Core and Muscle Strength
A kneeling chair requires continuous movement of core muscles which eliminates the tendency to slouch. They generally lack backrests, thick padding, and armrests, therefore, the user has to engage abdominal and back muscles to keep the spine in an upright position.
In this way, proper spinal alignment helps in alleviating lower back strain and it also diminishes the risk of developing poor postural habits with the progression of pregnancy. In addition, increased core strength also helps in maintaining stability and promoting the overall well-being of both mother and baby.
A medical study conducted in 2015 revealed that an estimated 60-70% of women experience breathing problems during their pregnancy. In medical terminology, this condition is called dyspnea. Dyspnea is a normal condition and is not something to be worried about. It is considered a symptom of pregnancy itself.
However, a general precaution that women can undertake to minimize the discomfort associated with dyspnea is to practice a good sitting and standing posture. When it comes to sitting, we all know that no office chair can provide a better posture than a kneeling chair. A standard 90-degree angle office chair hunches you forward which compresses your diagram and lungs making it difficult to breathe. However, the open sitting posture provided by a kneeling chair improves the breathing ability of pregnant women and other users at large.
Promotes Activity and Concentration
Feelings of tiredness and exhaustion are normal in pregnancy, especially during the first and third trimesters. The best solution is rest but working women cant take enough rest during their office hours. In this case, what they need is an office chair that keeps them active and alert.
A kneeling chair proves to be helpful in this case as well. It increases the blood circulation in the legs which helps improve energy levels in pregnant women and keeps them more productive and focused on work without causing any physical pain or discomfort.
Provides Support and Comfort
A major discomfort associated with pregnancy is the inability to find a comfortable sitting position. You want to change your posture now and then and a traditional office chair sucks you. Here again, a kneeling chair comes to save pregnant women from this awful experience by providing a range of sitting positions.
With a kneeling chair, you don’t necessarily have to keep your legs straight all the time. You can either place them on knee pads or keep them extended in front of you. Additionally, you can also place one leg on the knee pad and stretch the other on the floor and alternate this position to avoid any stiffness.
Drawbacks of Kneeling Chairs for Pregnancy
While kneeling chairs have a lot of benefits for pregnant women, it has also certain downsides in some pregnancy cases:
- Unless used carefully and correctly, kneeling chairs can worsen the posture leading to even more pain and discomfort in the back and other organs.
- Switching to a kneeling chair initially takes some time as it offers a completely different kind of sitting experience. As pregnant women are already experiencing changes in their bodies, they find it challenging to adapt to a new type of sitting position.
- The use of kneeling chairs shifts the pressure from upper body parts to knees and shins. While it helps in alleviating lower back pain but it puts additional pressure on the knees and feet which may cause cramps and aches in pregnancy.
- Kneeling chairs generally lack supportive features such as backrests, armrests, lumbar support, and thick padding which makes them quite uncomfortable for pregnant women
So, in such cases, it’s better to stick to traditional ergonomic chairs. If you are considering buying an office chair that’s suitable for pregnant bodies, you can check out our guide on the 12 best office chairs during pregnancy.
Correct Way of Sitting in a Kneeling Chair During Pregnancy
As discussed earlier that kneeling chairs are beneficial during pregnancy but they must be used correctly. In this regard, the following points should be kept under consideration:
- Adjust the kneeling chair according to you your body contours so that your body remains comfortable and properly supported.
- Keep your shoulders in a relaxed position and avoid slouching or leaning forward.
- Distribute your body weight evenly between the buttocks and shins. Avoid overburdening your shins, knees, or other body parts, and maintain a balanced position.
- Instead of sitting in the same position for long hours, take regular breaks from work and move around to avoid muscle stiffness.
- Lastly, every pregnancy is unique, therefore, adjust your sitting positions according to the specific signals of your body.
Which Sitting Positions to Avoid During Pregnancy?
Certain sitting postures must be avoided during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters. These sitting positions should be avoided to ensure the well-being and safety of both the expecting mother and her baby. Some of these postures include:
- Pregnant women should not sit in a cross-legged position. This posture restricts the flow of blood in the body which leads to swelling and blood clots. Whether you are sitting on a chair, stool, or floor, the cross-legged posture needs to be avoided to prevent any complications.
- Pregnant women should also avoid slouched or hunched body postures. Slouching not only leads to muscle strain but also causes pain in the lower back. Additionally, it causes the body’s organs to be compressed which reduces blood circulation across the body leading to varicose veins, edema, and blood clots.
- Another posture that expecting women should avoid is the legs dangling off the corners of the chair. Unsupported or dangling legs put additional strain on the veins and nerves of your knees which contributes to discomfort and fatigue. Therefore, pregnant women should keep their feet firmly placed on the floor. If the chair’s height cant be adjusted, footrests should be used to compensate for the difference.
In essence, kneeling chairs are beneficial for pregnant women as they help in promoting a good sitting posture. It helps in retaining the natural curvature of the spine which reduces pressure on the lower back and minimizes pain. Constant engagement of core muscles helps in promoting activity and concentration in pregnant ladies and helps them to complete the deadlines on time. However each pregnancy is unique, therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor for better suggestions. In addition, certain sitting postures such as slouching, dangling legs, and cross-legged positions should be avoided during pregnancy to prevent any mishap or complication.
Is it good for a pregnant woman to kneel?
It is safe for pregnant women to kneel but they must use stable support while doing so. However, in case of any discomfort or difficulty in maintaining balance, it’s better to avoid kneeling.
Which type of chairs are considered best for pregnant ladies?
Pregnant ladies can opt for a kneeling chair as it promises different health and productivity benefits. However, there is no one size fits all solution for every pregnant woman as individual needs and preferences vary from case to case.
What sitting position to avoid during pregnancy?
Sitting postures such as slouching, cross legs, and dangling legs should be avoided during pregnancy. An upright and properly aligned sitting posture is ideal for pregnant ladies.
Is it okay to sit cross-legged while pregnant?
It is advisable to avoid cross-legged sitting during pregnancy as it can hamper blood circulation in the body.
Can we sit and bend during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, excessive bending, slouching, and squatting should be avoided. Pregnant women should avoid lifting heavy objects from the ground or any other spot that needs them to bend or slouch.