Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lisa Simpson’s Kneeling Chair

Avid fans of America’s favorite cartoon family, the Simpsons, may have noticed that Lisa has a Variable Balans kneeling chair (click to see the original) in her room.
Kneeling chairs, while odd looking, are some of the most ergonomically sound chairs to be had. They open up your hip angle from the standard 90 degrees of a regular chair to the preferred 130 degrees that is natural to your body. Opening your hip angle naturally restores the curve in your lower back without the need for lumbar support. In fact, kneeling chairs make sitting upright so easy you barely notice the absence of a chair back.

Many kneeling chairs have been made over the years, but the Variable Balans is the original kneeling chair design by Peter Opsvik. It is a fantastic chair. In fact, I use one in my home office. The actual Variable Balans chair is slightly different from the pictured reproduction–it has two separate knee pads. The only caveat to this particular chair is that people with shorter legs may tend to find themselves slipping too low on the seat for comfort.
Even more so for kneeling chairs, it’s important that the rest of your desk space is set up properly for good ergonomics. Low monitors and keyboards/mice at the wrong height cause you to slump in the chair which can be particularly hard on your neck and shoulders. Get your monitor, keyboard, and mouse at the right height and a kneeling chair may be the best chair that you ever own.

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