"Variable" Knee Chair by Peter Opsvik for Stokke, Norway

Stephen Coles

Adding another item to the virtual gallery of mid-century modern pieces that were part of my childhood. My mother used a knee chair at her desk in our home. I don’t know if it was an original “Variable Balans” by Peter Opsvik, but it looked very much like this one currently for sale at simplymod’s eBay shop. Sitting in a kneeling position is supposed to be good for your back. Its ergonomic value could be debated, but this chair is undeniably good for your eyes.

Update: Luanne of Backcare Basics, an ergonomic seating source in Massachusetts, has created a Flickr group dedicated to Varier (formerly Stokke). Here’s an example of a newer Variable Balans from the group:

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  1. 06.07.08 jannej

    Hi again! I’ve been wanting one of these for years. I think they’re great to sit on. And I’m not just being biased… :-) It’s a solid piece of Norwegian furniture design.

  2. 07.30.08 ed

    I am pleased to tell you that after a brief absence in the US the entire Stokke collection, including the Variable Balans shown here is again available for purchase in the US.
    You may view the entire collection at http://www.varierfurniture.com

  3. 07.30.08 Stephen Coles

    Thank you, Ed! I’ve added a direct link to the Balans in the article.

  4. 09.14.08 — petra

    My flatmaid had this chair once, it was getting incredible uncomfortable after sitting on it for a while-very bad for your knees.

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