A variety of ergonomically designed kneeling chairs have become increasingly popular in the business world. Ergonomic chairs help in maintaining ideal body posture and supporting the natural lumbar curve of the body. Maintaining a proper posture seems difficult for most people. This is not helped by the fact that the modern lifestyle involves sitting at a desk for 8 hours or more, whether it’s in the office or at home. Additionally, extended periods of sitting and forward leaning of the head can lead to the development of chronic lower back pain. Regular chairs are simply not designed to help you maintain proper posture or prevent lower back pain.
Most ergonomists recognize Christian Mengshoel, a Norwegian, as the person responsible for designing the modern-day kneeling chair way back in the 1970’s. However, the original concept of kneeling while sitting on a chair came from ancient Tibetan monks, who used what are known as ‘seiza benches’ to enhance their comfort during their long meditation sessions.
Centuries later, a Danish surgeon, Dr. Mandal, discovered that there were numerous benefits to tilting forward while in a sitting position. He worked on finding the angle tilt of the pelvis that would allow the spine to maintain its natural curvature and thus reduce back pain. It was this concept of tilting forward that the likes of Christian Mengshoel, Gilings Junior and Peter Opsvik used to design variations of the kneeling chair that we see today.
Jobri Better Posture
The Classic Plus Kneeling Chair is a product of Jobri LLC, a company based in Konawa, Oklahoma. It was established almost 38 years ago, and is now specializing in the research and design of hundreds of ergonomic and orthopedic products. The company was co-founded by three men who after working together for 15 years in the medical manufacturing and marketing field, decided to plug the gap that they saw in the ergonomic chair market. These men are Brian Gourley, John Biddle, and Jonathan Hulme.
Jobri has progressed rapidly over the years, and the brand now develops thousands of ergonomic products. This has been made possible by its acquisition of several other companies, including BetterBody, Bay Jacobsen, Mor-locco, Accu-Back, and Feel good Furniture. Jobri is also involved in the design and development of private label products for its numerous clients. Its large distribution network is made up of wholesalers and retailers all over the United states, South America, Asia-Pacific, and in Europe.
Apart from ergonomic chairs, Jobri develops a wide range of other products such as back supports, fitness products, massagers, sleep products, neck supports, and foot rests, among others.
The Jobri Better Posture Classic Plus kneeling chair is a well designed ergonomic chair that is made using an elegant wooden frame. It is a uniquely designed product that incorporates swiveling and tilt capabilities that encourage what is known as ‘active sitting’. The Classic Plus is marketed as a chair that maintains the body’s natural spinal alignment while also keeping the body balanced. When the user sits with their pelvis forward and knees slanting at an angle, the posture is improved and the development of lower back pain is prevented. By encouraging the user to sit with an
aligned posture, the muscles of the core are strengthened and tension is relieved from the neck and shoulders.
The seat and knee supports are both tilted to ensure that the neck, shoulders and back are aligned in a natural way. The open body angle created by the chair’s design promotes better breathing, improved blood circulation, and prevents pain in the lower extremities. The shins of the user help to support the body weight and maintain stability.
The Jobri Classic Plus spans 19 inches in width and 23.5 inches in length. The seat measures 16 inches wide by 12 inches long, which is adequate space for the average user to sit on. The knee pads measure about 18 inches by 9.5 inches. The chair has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds. The weight of the chair itself comes to about 14.5 pounds when delivered. The Classic Plus is much lighter than its steel-framed cousins under the Jobri brand.
The frame of the Classic Plus is made from teak wood, which makes it look a bit up-market and elegant. The frame resembles that of the Classic model, with the main body composed of two wooden sections. The section that supports the seat has a long vertical slot that provides space for the knee support section to go through. The two timber sections are hinged together using a long pivot pin.
The base of the wooden frame has front and rear supports which are designed in a scissor-like manner. There are nylon castors attached to the edges of the base supports, with castor wheels being fitted to provide some mobility. The frame is quite strong and stable, and the thick wood used provides support and stability. The presence of a metal plate in the T-junction also ensures that the frame does not break off as the chair gets older. There is no back rest option for this chair.
The seat, knee supports and castor wheels are black in color. The rest of the wooden frame is teak. These are the only colors that the Jobri Classic Plus is available in.
Manual Height Adjustment
Jobri has designed this particular model to be height adjustable. The height of the seat has to be adjusted manually, which is appropriate considering the conservative look of the chair. The manufacturer has built a small adjusting wheel into the pivot pin support, which can be turned counter clockwise to raise the height of the chair, or clockwise to lower the chair back down. There are many kneeling chairs in the market that do not have this feature, which shows just how much the manufacturer values their customers. With the seating height being adjustable, the maximum height is 29 inches while the lowest height it can go is 25 inches.
The Classic Plus Kneeling Chair has a seat angle with an adjustment range of 28 degrees, i.e. the seat can be tilted from a 16 degree angle to a 41 degree angle. One thing to note with this chair is that any adjustment in the position or angle of the seat also causes a change in the slope of the knee pads. This makes it impossible for a user to change the angle or position of only one component of the chair without interfering with the other.
Another aspect of this chair is that even after adjustments have been made, the distance between the seat and knee pads is still too small for tall people to use comfortably. Anyone taller than 5’ 8” might have difficulty getting in and out of the chair comfortably.
The Jobri Classic Plus has an extra feature that the Classic version does not. Apart from the 2 inches of polyurethane padding that covers the seat and knee supports, the manufacturer has added a 1 inch layer of Visco-elastic memory foam. This is to provide extra comfort that most other ergonomic chairs in this range do not offer.
Visco-Elastic Memory Foam
Memory foam is polyurethane foam that was developed in 1966 by NASA. It was initially used on aircraft cushions as a safety measure. It is made by adding chemicals and infusing gas into polyurethane, resulting in an increase in density and viscosity.
What makes Visco-Elastic Memory foam of value to kneeling chairs is that when a user places pressure on it, the body heat softens the foam, causing it to mold to the shape of the body part. This quality creates added comfort while also making the padding better able to absorb pressure from the user. Memory foam also has the tendency to spring back to its original shape very quickly after weight has been removed from it, thus leaving no indentations in the cushion.
Mobility and Maneuverability
In order to enhance the maneuverability of the Classic Plus Kneeling Chair, the manufacturer has fitted four castor wheels to the base of the frame. This makes it easier to move the chair around the workstation, and even roll it out of sight (under the desk) when necessary. In terms of mobility, the only limitation it has is that it cannot swivel like a regular office chair. If the user wants to turn and talk to someone, then they have to move with the whole chair.
Ease of Assembly
The Jobri Classic Kneeling Chair is packaged with the various parts separated from each other, thus requiring assembly. However, the manual contains clear and easy to understand instructions. The details are not really technical and anyone can assemble the parts. The manufacturer has provided drawings and simple step-by-step directions in a one page sheet. The instruction page also contains a list of all the parts that are needed to properly assemble the chair. It is recommended that the buyer checks the package to make sure that all the components listed in the instruction sheet are present.
Though assembling the chair is not complicated, care must be taken when putting together the parts. The Classic Plus, being made of timber, has to be secured properly and all the screws tightened in order to avoid accidents that might result in injury or chair damage. Unlike its steel-framed counterparts, the Classic Plus does not contain the safety provided by welded joints. Poor assembly of the product that results in damage to the chair is not covered by the warranty.
Jobri provides their customers with a hassle-free extended warranty for their kneeling chairs. They offer a 2 year warranty for the fabric of the chair. The castors, moving parts and structural frame come with a separate five year warranty. A warranty card can be found inside the packaging box with the instruction manual. The buyer must fill in their details and return it in order to ensure the chair is covered if any damage or malfunction occurs. As always, it is wise to retain a copy of the receipt so that it can be used as proof of purchase when claiming a warranty. Typical wear and tear is not covered by the warranty, and neither is intentional damage or misuse.
The Jobri Classic Plus is available for $349. This is one of the high-end kneeling chairs that this manufacturer has under its product brand. It is only rivaled in price by the Jobri Jazzy kneeling chair. For such a high price, though, Jobri should have made the Classic Plus available in more than just one color.
- The thick Visco-elastic memory padding provides extra comfort while sitting.
- Height of the seat can be adjusted to suit the user’s preference or height.
- The seat and knee pads are protected from wear and tear by a tough and durable fabric.
- The angle between the seat and the knee pad is also adjustable to suit the task being performed.
- The instructions and drawings for assembling the chair are clear and easy to understand, which reduces the time taken to assemble the chair.
- The construction is sturdy and stable. The thick wood and metal plate provide adequate support.
- The height can only be adjusted manually, which might inconvenience those users who are used to pneumatic adjustments.
- The small distance between the seat and knee pads can cause problems for tall users who are over 5’ 8”.
- It does not have swiveling capabilities. This forces the user to turn the whole chair around when they want to change position.
- It is impossible to adjust the position and angle of the seat without altering the tilt and position of the knee supports.
Questions or Comments?
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