Kneeling chair or Ball chair – what can I use it for the Entire Day?

If you’re going for a more unconventional seating solution for your office, a kneeling chair or a ball chair might intrigue you. We’ve been seeing increased attention with kneeling chairs. A lot of people are venturing into active sitting nowadays. 

kneeling chair or ball chair

But how about ball chairs? These chairs can also make your midsection work while you’re sitting. So let’s compare these unconventional choices and we’ll reveal what stood out to us the most.

Both can help you achieve an S-shaped curve like the Aeron

Check price of Aeron

Herman Miller Aeron is a classy and expensive office chair. If you have one already, there might be less need to purchase a kneeling chair or a ball chair unless you want to have more fun during office hours, pun intended 

One of the gripes of the Aeron is that it pushes your body to tilt way too forward, thus forcing your body to assume an upright position. So your back will have more of a pronounced S-shaped curve. At one point, it’s like training your back for active sitting.

In a sense, a kneeling chair and ball chair pretty much have that concept, only that it is more pronounced.  

Both will tilt your pelvis forward so that you’ll be able to assume a more S-shaped curve. So while it’s not for all, there is an increasing percentage of the population that is venturing into active sitting. 

So if your office chair lacks the Aeron pushing forward effect,  you can supplement your cheaper office chair with either kneeling or a ball chair.

How does a ball chair work?

Now that we know how a kneeling chair works, let’s elaborate a bit on what would make you want to sit on a ball chair instead of a kneeling chair. So then we can make a fair comparison.

ball chairs

The first kneeling chair was created before an ergonomic ball chair. But the concept of using an exercise ball as a chair was already existing since the 1960s. 

An ergonomic ball chair took its inspiration from a Swiss chair or an exercise ball. Do you remember the time when task chairs were king in the office? There aren’t a lot of ergonomic office chairs yet. And we all know how task chairs can be bad and tiring for your back, especially if you sit for long hours.  

So a lot of people will instead use a Swiss ball on their desk. And did work to offer a breather from the hard task chairs. People even see themselves being more mobile with a ball.

While sitting on an exercise ball has its benefits, it also is very unstable. It’s literally not made for sitting with a desk, so you’ll really feel your abs working.  

That’s why only physically active people will be able to sit comfortably and not risk themselves toppling to the sides. 

Your weight should be evenly distributed. And the knees have to be spread to a certain distance. This will offer a better foundation. You should also be sitting on the apex of the ball. And since exercise balls all come in different sizes, you have to be able to use one that matches the height of your desk. 

So if you will not be able to do that, you’ll find yourself sliding and falling to the floor. It can also give you back pain.

So the creation of an ergonomic ball chair is such a treat. It allows you to enjoy that liberty of movement and bounce while being assured somehow that your butt will stay on the ball since it has a base almost similar to office chairs.

They may have the same concept but a ball chair is more liberating

When you’re sitting on a kneeling chair, your legs will be in a fixed position. Your knees

are locked and your pelvis is pushed forward. 

So even if you get that benefit for your back you will only be enjoying that for so long because you’ll not be able to move your legs.

The thing with a ball chair is that it offers you more freedom, specifically for the legs. Your knees are not tucked behind, so you can still move them as you would if you’re sitting in an office chair. But it does have the same concept of pushing you forward so that your body will have an S shape. 

A kneeling chair may be harder to configure

An adjustable kneeling chair will have more options for you to choose the perfect setting.  Especially if you can change the incline or the height of the knees independently from the seat, it can be more ergonomic.

kneeling chair setup

But what makes an adjustable kneeling chair better for some people, that can also make it not suitable for some people, even if the chair can go high enough or low enough for them.   

So if you’re new to using these types of chairs,  you might find it hard to fiddle through all the settings to see which works for you best. It can be a trial and error sort of thing.  

A ball chair, on the other hand, does not have many configurations. So it can be easier for someone to find the right setting. 

Most ergonomic ball chairs will only have an adjustable seat height. And most brands will have a fixed set height. So it’ll be easier to tell if it fits you or not right there and then. You might have the liberty to feel all the options should you buy one at a physical store. 

A ball chair requires more muscles but it has more fun factor

Both chairs can be bought with a backrest.  You don’t really need one when you’re using a kneeling chair, it will just mess up with the alignment if you rest your back too much.  But for a ball chair, it might help beginners find stability.

a ball chair

Though the chair already has a backrest, then it’s okay. But if you need to add money to get one, then the additional cost is not worth

Going back, the ball chair will require more stability. Though it has a more solid base compared to an exercise ball, the top will still be round or semi-round in shape. So you have to position your butt at the center and engage your core more. 

So ball chairs require more ab muscles, so to speak. It’s not for those who can’t engage their abs yet. Because even if you’re just going to use the chair for a couple of hours, you will still feel that you need to tighten up your midsection more compared to when you’re sitting on a kneeling chair.  Kneeling chairs have shin pads that can prevent you from sliding off the seat.

Ball chair bounce vs kneeling chair rocking motion

Though it comes with more core engagement, we do find the ball chair quite fun. You still get that bouncing motion as in an exercise ball. And this can be a treat for a tired back. It can also make you more alert since you’re going to pump more blood into your brain.

The most fun you can do with a kneeling chair will be a rocking motion. But not all are equipped with such features. And you have to be careful when choosing brands that offer a rocking motion, you have to ensure that the chair will be able to hold you.

 Ball chairs, on the other hand, most if not all will have that bouncing feature. And it felt supportive too, so could work for those on the heavier side.

We love the challenge and versatility of a ball chair

Though you still need an ergonomic office chair on hand, we find the ball chair more versatile than the kneeling chair.  

Ball chair or kneeling chair better

You will be able to sit longer in a ball chair since your legs are free. And for those who really want to get into active sitting, they use a ball chair for more than a couple of hours. It can be possible but this is more for those active individuals who can engage their core all the time and not mind it at all.

The bouncing feature of a ball chair also feels more liberating, it also feels more stable. Not all rocking kneeling chairs feel stable such as the Balans. So even if there are a handful of options for kneeling chairs of this kind, it will be hard to find one that is heavy-duty.

But keep in mind that like kneeling chairs, ball chairs should also be used in conjunction with an ergonomic office chair. Because these two unconventional chairs are more on the challenge the back, rather than support it. So it’s not a good idea to use any for the entire day. You might end up compressing your spine.