Should you get a kneeling chair? We tested the Sleekform Austin to find out.

If you haven’t seen them earlier than, kneeling chairs are all the rage proper now — particularly on social media. Designed to assist optimum curvature of the backbone, preliminary studies(Opens in a new tab) on kneeling chairs exhibit that they present promise…however are they really snug? Do they promote good posture? Are they price the swap from conventional workplace chairs? 

As somebody who has perpetually horrible posture — and loves fidgeting —I  first heard about kneeling chairs from TikTok, after I noticed a creator speaking about how these chairs have been extremely ADHD-friendly. Not solely do they declare to assist implausible posture, however many are additionally constructed with fidgeting in thoughts, which followers of kneeling chairs declare helps them keep extra productive all through the workday. Clearly, this meant it was time to put kneeling chairs to the take a look at, so I made a decision to begin with one I’ve seen throughout social media: Sleekform’s The Austin(Opens in a new tab). 

What’s a kneeling chair? 

Once I first began speaking to individuals about kneeling chairs, I used to be stunned to uncover that most individuals had very sturdy opinions about them — one individual on Twitter informed me they’d been utilizing a kneeling chair for years and swore by them, whereas others mentioned they’d by no means make the swap. And at first look, it is smart. Kneeling chairs are a lot completely different than “conventional” workplace chairs — with a uniquely tilted seat and knee relaxation — so it’s arduous to see how that form of place could be snug. 

Nonetheless, kneeling chairs are constructed with posture in thoughts, and Sleekform’s The Austin makes this clear. As an alternative of a flat seat, The Austin’s tilted seat reaches a 120-degree angle, pushing your hips ahead and holding your posture upright. In accordance to Sleekform’s web site, this helps you have interaction your core and removes stress out of your decrease again, so you can sit straight with none ache or discomfort. 


The second key function of kneeling chairs is in the title: the knee relaxation. Whereas some provide a single knee relaxation, The Austin makes use of separate knee cushions — and presents the potential to rock — so you can change your place all through the day with out sacrificing optimum posture. 

The rocking kneeling chair permits for motion all through the day.
Credit score: RJ Andersen / ClassyBuzz

Are kneeling chairs good for you? 

In accordance to Dr. Rosmy Barrios, who’s an MD and medical advisor for the Health Reporter(Opens in a new tab), the reply is a resounding sure. 

“Kneeling chairs are a good various to common workplace chairs,” Barrios explains. “When you sit on a kneeling chair, your pelvis tilts ahead and aligns with the backbone, which reduces stress in your decrease again. Plus, this sitting posture creates an open angle between your stomach and thigh, which improves circulation in the space.”

Not solely does this assist you preserve optimum posture, however rocking kneeling chairs — Barrios’ favourite — additionally assist hold you shifting all through your workday. 

First impressions of Sleekform’s The Austin

I made a decision to take a look at Sleekform’s The Austin(Opens in a new tab) over completely different kneeling chairs for a few causes. Clearly, I first found it on social media — with a number of glowing suggestions — however I preferred The Austin’s minimalist, wood body in addition to the curved base that enables for rocking. This provides the chair a distinctive, futuristic look with out being too bizarre, and I used to be glad to uncover the wooden matched effectively with my adjustable bamboo standing desk.

Instantly after receiving The Austin, I used to be impressed by the high quality of the supplies. The wood body was extremely sturdy and well-built, the cushions have been agency, and the materials protecting the cushions was delicate and sturdy. Sadly, my optimistic first impression shortly went downhill as meeting started. 

Whereas Sleekform included easy, easy-to-follow meeting directions, they didn’t embrace instructions for the place the curved horizontal assist bar must be dealing with. It was a sufficiently subtle distinction that I didn’t discover till the finish of meeting, which meant I had to fully disassemble — and reassemble — the whole piece. 

close up of wooden chair frame with Sleekform logo

The chair’s body is sturdy, nevertheless it was complicated to assemble.
Credit score: RJ Andersen / ClassyBuzz

Switching to a kneeling chair is sophisticated

Immediately, I liked how The Austin felt. My again was straighter, I liked having the ability to rock barely, and the chair regarded completely wonderful in my workplace. As a taller individual, I used to be apprehensive that the knee cushions could be awkward for my 5-foot-9 body, however I used to be stunned to uncover that Sleekform’s peak vary of 5-foot-2 to 6-foot-2 appeared fairly correct. My 6-foot-2 accomplice tried it out too, and it simply barely match his body. 

The primary few days of utilizing The Austin have been each fantastic and horrible. Sleekform warns customers to hold their outdated workplace chair close by and to make the swap progressively, and that’s recommendation you ought to completely comply with. Each morning I sat down at the chair with pleasure, however though I may really feel the fast distinction in my posture, the adjustment interval was actual. The corporate recommends an adjustment interval of 14 to 30 days, and the course of isn’t enjoyable. 


“With kneeling chairs, you prepare your physique to sit straight with out taking any assist. With time, your core and again energy enhance, which advantages your posture,” says Barrios. “Nonetheless, take into account that you ought to nonetheless take breaks in between, ideally each two hours.” 

As Barrios explains, this transition takes time, and whereas I actually observed I used to be sitting straighter on The Austin than my conventional workplace chair, I skilled soreness if I used it for greater than a few hours. Even after a few weeks of making an attempt it, my shins nonetheless felt delicate to the padded knee cushions, and my higher again would inevitably begin to ache by noon.

It undoubtedly helped my posture, however my productiveness tanked

The extra I used The Austin, the extra I observed a distinction in my posture once I used the kneeling chair versus my regular chair. Nonetheless, my struggles with soreness saved me from actually loving the chair. 

I wished to use it commonly, however I struggled to get snug. I discovered it useful to continuously regulate how I used to be sitting, nevertheless it was irritating to have to transfer always. I did be taught that taking breaks to shift my legs off the cushions helped, as did staying larger on the seat cushion. Nonetheless, even with much less weight positioned on my shins, I slid down simply. Whereas the seat and knee cushions are good and thick — one thing many on-line reviewers raved about — my shins have been a little delicate to the stress over time. 

This type of fixed maintenance was annoying. I knew it was good for me to keep shifting and alter place always, nevertheless it actually tanked my productiveness. Over time, I discovered myself switching again to my conventional workplace chair increasingly — particularly when my workload was larger — so I wouldn’t have to “combat” with it. 

However, even with my frustration, I nonetheless appreciated having The Austin. Sure, it’s irritating to have to transfer extra typically to keep snug, however that’s not the worst factor. We all know that sitting for too lengthy in a single place isn’t good for you, and The Austin virtually pressured me out of that dangerous behavior. 

Is it price the swap?

It actually relies upon. For people who find themselves making an attempt to enhance their posture — or take preventative measures to preserve good posture — then it may be price switching to a kneeling chair like The Austin(Opens in a new tab). Nonetheless, if you’re on the lookout for a fast repair or have knee ache, this won’t be the chair for you. The transition takes time (and persistence), which may make it tough for people who find themselves used to “locking in” to work for lengthy intervals of time.

For me? I like beginning my day with The Austin, however I’m nonetheless on the fence. The postural advantages are apparent, sure, however I don’t like that it’s taking me so lengthy to really regulate. Nonetheless, my expertise does appear to be irregular in contrast to different opinions on-line. Sleekform additionally presents a 90-day trial interval, so I’ve dedicated to hold making an attempt. 

The Austin is a little pricier in contrast to different kneeling chairs out there, nevertheless it’s a surprisingly stunning piece of furnishings. I won’t get pleasure from the technique of getting used to it, however — identical to going to the gymnasium — it’s going to take some work. When you think about the fast posture advantages, nonetheless, the result’s clear: My again will certainly thank me for sticking with it.

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