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Wobble stool or kneeling chair ?

Updated: Mar 26

We offer two main ergonomic office chairs but we often get in the situation where people aren't clear about which suits their needs. This post gives you an overview of when you would benefit from a wobble stool or when a kneeling chair would work better for you.

Wobble stools

Wobble stools wellington allow for a wide range of movement. The general concept is that you are creating an unstable surface so that your muscles are constantly activated by correcting the imbalance. If you go to a gym these days and work with a personal trainer - there is a good chance they will get you to exercise on a balance board or another unstable surface.

Wobble stools
Wobble stools allow a wide range of movement

It activates all your muscles and a wobble stool is designed to achieve exactly the same objective. Small regular movements (micromovements) are key to keeping your hip and back muscles moving and working. Wobble stools help achieve this.

As far as range of movement goes - the wobble stool allows for front and back movement but they also cater for twisting movement. No other chair allows you to twist and turn and this movement is central to good back movement.

The wobble stool is also height adjustable so you can adjust it to fit your height and the height of your desk.

Finally, a big advantage of a wobble stool is that is is easily moved and stored. If you are alternating between sitting and standing during your workday it helps to be able to easily move your chair and store it ( under the desk ??).

Kneeling chairs

A kneeling chair is based on a completely different concept. originally designed in Scandinavia, a kneeling chair was originally an answer to the problem of keeping a straight back while working. The benefits of not slouching were clear but it was clear that forcing yourself into holding your back straight was not the answer. It created more stress than it removed.

Kneeling chairs
Kneeling chairs help you keep a straight back

The original design of the kneeling chair was ingenious in that it removed a proportion of the downward weight from the back and distributed it to the knees. The end result was less weight on the back. But by designing it with a slight forward tilt it also meant that you could keep a straight back without the strain of having to force your back to be straight.

The original kneeling chairs were made of birch ply ( as are ours) and this allowed for a slight bend when rocking backward and forward.

It was one of those beautiful designs that achieved multiple objectives at once.

But let's quickly look at when you shouldn't chose a kneeling chair. Firstly, if you have mobility difficulties that make it hard to get in and out of the chair it may not be for you. It isn't simple initially to get in and out of the chair. You have to be able to bend and you lift your knees onto the forward knee pads. If you are in doubt - we recommend that people try the chair in our Petone warehouse.

Secondly, you cannot adjust the chair for height so if you are using a static desk it may be too low or too high for it. Of course, if you have a height adjustable desk you can just adjust to fit.


We think a kneeling chair is more suitable for people who are experiencing back pain whereas a wobble stool is better suited to people who just want to be active while sitting and perhaps are looking to "prevent" back pain and other ailments by staying active.

Both are fantastic options for people who are using standing desks and are looking for an active sitting option when NOT standing.


What is the advantage of a ply frame for a kneeling chair ?

The main advantage is that it gives slightly and helps you with a gentle rocking motion. Bent ply is one of the strongest wooden frame structures. It is strong but it is also slightly flexible. Steel frames can never provide this.

Are kneeling chairs adjustable ?

What is the fabric on the wobble stool and what colours does it come in ?

Should you use a wobble stool or kneeling chair all day ?

Where are these made and designed ?

Are these chairs difficult to assemble ?


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