If Sitting Is So Bad, Is Lying Down to Work Any Better? A Physiologist Explains

What Is A Reclining Sofa?

A reclining sofa is a furniture piece that permits the back to angle backwards/down/recline, while bringing its footrest upwards. The residual effect is it allows you to interchange between sitting in a stress-free upright position and lying virtually flat on back with the head propped up on headrest.


Tips for Successful Reclined Seating

Ergonomic reclining can be difficult in an office setting, especially if you have limited space. If you have a good chair that adjusts in a reclined position and can lock in place, you’re already most of the way there.

Adjust your lumbar support. Your lower back should feel supported and there should be no gap under the curvature of your spine. If necessary, pick up an ergonomic lumbar pillow for additional support. The ideal form is a chair that has a lumbar pad that adjusts dynamically when you lean backward, so it protrudes just enough in both positions to support your lower back without getting in the way.

Keep your feet flat on the floor. While reclining with a footstool or leg rest may seem compelling and comfortable, it ends up putting a lot of stress on your knees. It can put negative pressure on your knees to bend backward, which can lead to long-term damage. It can also lead to dangerous compression of the backs of your thighs and calves, though this is less often an issue.

Do not cross your legs. Again, keep your feet flat on the floor. Crossing your legs brings up a whole manner of biomechanical stresses on your body, most commonly centered around the pelvis and lower spine. Crossing your legs twists your hips so they’re no longer aligned with your shoulders. This puts twisting pressure on your spine. If you cross your legs with your knees spread, this can put additional stress on your hips. Both kinds of pressure can lead to pain everywhere from hip to back to neck strain if you sustain the posture long enough.

Adjust your headrest to support your head and neck. If you have to lift your head to see your screen or otherwise use your computer, you’re not in an appropriate position for reclining. Your headrest should support both your head and your neck, with more support under your head to avoid putting too much stress on your neck. Make sure to adjust your screen or screens so they’re easier to see when you’re reclined.

Adjust armrests for comfortable access to your int

Adjust armrests for comfortable access to your interface devices. Whether you buy split devices, use a lap-centered table for your keyboard, or figure out another interface, you want to make using them as relaxing as possible. Your goal is to avoid having to stress your shoulders and neck with the position of your headrest. If you find yourself reaching for your keyboard and mouse too often, try to adjust where you keep them so they’re easier to use.

Let your chair lift you up to a sitting position when you need to move. Ideally, your chair should have a strong enough tension on the back that it can lift you up when you need to sit up. This generally means that the act of reclining will require more pressure than normal, and the chair may lock in place. Some chairs with dynamic tension will find an equilibrium at around 135 degrees of reclining, while others can lean back further and should be used carefully.

Letting your chair do most of the work is important because the act of sitting up tends to put a lot of stress on your knees. That’s right; your knees take the brunt of the stress of sitting up. The more you can rely on your chair to lift you up, the less you need to worry about your knees hurting over time.

Routinely perform stretches throughout the day. Periodically standing up and stretching is a good idea no matter what your general position is when you’re sitting. We recommend stretches for your back, shoulders, arms, and legs. There are dozens of different stretches you can do, so feel free to pick the ones that target muscle groups you have the most issues with.

Consider transitioning to standing throughout the

Consider transitioning to standing throughout the day. Just because a reclined position is better than an upright sitting position doesn’t mean it’s the only position you can take throughout the day. Standing is better on the body than sitting, and moving is better than standing. If you can transition between sitting and standing every hour or two throughout the day, you’ll end up better off than you would be if you picked one or the other.

If you’re interested in standing, a standing desk is essential. You will also want to learn a comfortable standing posture, and you’ll probably want to pick up an anti-fatigue mat to stand on. You can also consider other accessories such as an adjustable monitor mount, a walking treadmill or miniature elliptical, a reverse tilt keyboard tray, and even a foam roller for better stretching.

Avoid overly padded chairs. If you think “reclining is good” is an excuse to buy the latest La-Z-Boy recliner to use as a work chair, keep in mind that the excess padding will do you no good. Too much padding hurts your posture, as it puts uneven pressure on different parts of your body. It may feel more comfortable, but when you get up, you’ll notice how much various parts of your body hurt. A chair with a simple but supportive mesh back, lumbar support, and a padded seat is good enough. Plus, a recliner is likely to have a built-in footrest, and that does you no good as a temptation.

Avoid Confrontation At All Costs

This should go without saying, but given how often we hear stories about people being removed from planes, and given the story that recently went viral, I guess it needs to be said. At 35,000 feet and in a post-9/11 world, you should never:

  • Do anything that would provoke another passenger to take physical or verbal action against you
  • Approach another passenger in an angry way in order to “take matters into your own hands”
  • Do something passive aggressive

How does a reclining sofa work?

There are two main types of reclining sofas: manuaA reclining sofa is a sofa that allows the back to angle backwards and down, or recline, while bringing the footrest up. The net effect is that a reclining sofa allows you to alternate between sitting in a relaxed upright position and lying nearly flat on your back with your head propped up on the headrest.

There are two main types of reclining sofas: manual and powered. The vast majority of reclining sofas are manual, which work by reclining when you push a button or pull on a tab – typically located on either end of the sofa. Manual recliners usually only have one stop, nearly flat, so there is no way to fine-tune the recline to your favorite position. Powered recliners, on the other hand, use a motor to slowly recline or lift you back up and are controlled by a remote control or a set of controls built into the sofa itself. Powered recliners allow you to stop the recliner anywhere between upright and fully reclined, which means you can fine-tune your recliner angle for ultimate comfort.

How To Go About Reclining Your Airplane Seat

If you are going to recline your seat, I think there are a couple of things that you should do:

  • You should make eye contact with the person behind you, or somehow make them aware that you are reclining
  • You should slowly recline your seat, so that they have time to shift a laptop or whatever else they might have on their tray

Is a recliner good after back surgery?

Recliners can help ease pressure on your lower back, and sitting on something cushioned, such as an inflatable donut pillow or hemorrhoid pillow, can make sitting more tolerable. If you’re having extensive surgery, you may want to consider renting an adjustable bed for the postoperative recovery period.

Who the Reclining Chair is For?

One advantage of a reclining chair is that it is so flexible that it is a big help to a lot of potential users. Among those that can use this product are gamers, particularly those who spend over eight hours sitting in front of their PCs.

The reclining feature is a big help in making them feel comfortable during their gaming sessions and prevent issues linked to neck and back pain. One that comes with a footrest is also a perfect fit for short gamers, particularly those who may find it difficult to reach the floor when sitting.

This type of ergonomic and comfortable sitting solution is also perfect for office workers. It ensures that prolonged sitting will not cause any discomfort to them. It also assures them that their body will have enough mobility through its adjustable features.

Check out our article on how you can make your chair more comfortable.

Side-effects Of Recliners

Recliners offer tons of benefits, but they are not a good choice for those who tend to sit too much. People with a sedentary lifestyle spend hours sitting in recliners and watching television or relaxing. That’s not the recliner’s fault, though! Recliners, as such, do not have any side effects; the only thing is they are not the correct choice for people with little or no physical activity.

Let’s now look at the types of recliners. 

Ideal Reclining Angle While Sitting

Although research has shown that reclining a chair back to 135 degrees proves beneficial, the angle is not a “one size fits all” solution.

In regards to Dr. Bashir’s comments, a smaller angle may be better for some users who are unsure or who are at risk of sliding off of their chairs.  People who slide off often lack appropriate muscle strength in their legs to keep themselves up.

Choosing the right hip angle for reclined sitting all depends on the user’s needs, their history with lower back pain (if any), and the type of chair that they are using.

Why Would You Want a Reclining Office Chair with Footrest?

choose a reclining office chairThere are several reasons that a person might choose a reclining office chair over the traditional style.  Perhaps, its purpose is to also offer the choice of relaxing or taking a break after you’ve worked so hard or maybe you like to lean back and take a look at your completed job.

Reclining chairs multi-task, they provide you more options for adjustments, and the reclining features help to stretch out your back muscles and promote better circulation, which in turn assists in keeping you more focused on your work.

However, besides relaxing at your desk, these are good because of the ergonomic features.  They will support the lumbar region of the back, allowing for better posture and additional movement.  Plus, if you add a footrest to the equation, you’re then reaping the full benefits of the reclining chair.

There are plenty of other things in your office environment that will help you become more efficient. Check out our reviews on other pieces of office furniture and see if you need anything else for your home office.

Benefits of Recliner Office Chairs

We can testify that there are plenty of advantages to reclining office chairs.

  • Rejuvenated mind and body after intermittent relaxation tends to create better productivity.
  • Keeps the body from becoming stagnant in a constant sitting position.
  • Allows for easy 360° swivel action
  • More adjustments are available.

In addition to all the features and benefits of these recliner chairs, people typically consider them an executive item. And because of that, the material is generally of a higher quality.  Without a doubt, this is the more attractive type of office chair.

However, if employers start to realize the importance of comfort and ergonomics in the office place, they will soon realize that it, in fact, helps them by keeping their employees comfortable and productive while taking care of their backs, legs, necks, and arms. Protect your investment.  Furthermore, fewer back injuries mean less work comp claims as well.

Take the Pressure off Your Spine with a Recliner Office Chair at Work

It’s not a physical job so your body is not gettinIf you’re familiar with the office environment, you also know that office and computer jobs can be tedious with long hours spent sitting in one place.

It’s not a physical job so your body is not getting the exercise and the natural movement it requires to function normally.

It’s important that if you do find yourself in this type of predicament, you need to take time away and move your body at least 10 minutes every hour.

With a reclining office chair, you can do this by leaning back, taking the pressure off your spine and legs.

If you plan on purchasing a comfortable office chair for yourself or your employees, it might be in your best interest to consider one of these ergonomic wonder chairs which are more health smart and also an attractive piece of furniture.

Recommended Recliners

Below, we’ve combed the available recliners on the market to find the very best to add to your game cave or living room. These are all top-notch chairs with just the right features to give supportive care to your tired spine and a comfortable place to doze, game, watch television, or read. We’ve got something for every budget.

Budget Winner

Windaze Microfiber ReclinerThe Windaze Microfiber Recliner with heat and massage is a great product at a budget price.

The company doesn’t skimp on quality, even with a price point this low.

You get a beautiful, plush microfiber cover that’s easy to spot clean and tough to stain. It reclines to 135 degrees with a simple pull of the level on the side, lifting your legs to a comfortable height that encourages healthy blood flow and relieves tension in your spine.

The massage and heat elements are evenly placed and give multiple levels of relief.

With 8 massage points and relaxing vibrations in 4 modes, you can choose to add heat or stay cool without. High-density foam over a sturdy iron and wooden frame will keep this chair in top shape for years to come.

The 33″ x 38″ x 40″ size is a great choice for small spaces, but can hold up to 300 pounds.

A 3-year warranty helps make this recliner our top budget choice.

Read Reviews from Real Owners for “Windaze Microfiber Recliner” on Amazon.

Mid-Priced Winner

mid-priced reclinerRelaxzen has created an awesome mid-priced recliner with massage and heat features to knock your socks off. Plush padding, relaxing back support, and a full ottoman all come together to cradle your tired bones in comfort.

A nice bonus of a USB charger built right in shows that this company understands the needs of modern people!

Nine modes of massage with 8 strategically placed motors will target all the sore spots and heat with warm away your tension.

There is even a roomy pocket to hold the massage and heat remote within easy reach. There’s enough room in there for your phone, too!

38.5 x 36 x 39.5 inches and a 300 pounds weight limit make this a great choice for any standard game cave or living room. One of the nicest but simplest features is the gentle rocking motion while the footrest is down.

That’s great for easing yourself into relaxation before you put your feet up.

Read Reviews from Real Owners for “Relaxzen Massage Rocker Recliner” on Amazon.

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Buying Guide

  • Fabric: The fabric of the recliner should be your foremost concern. The choice of the recliner fabric will depend on whether you are buying the recliner for your living area or bedroom, frequency of cleaning it, kids or pets in the house, etc. If you have kids or pets at home, it is better to go for expensive yet durable and easy to clean material like microfiber.
  • Frame: Recliners are available in wood, hardwood, and metal. If you are looking for durable ones, consider going for the metal frame instead of plastic frames. Hardwood frames are better options. 
  • Style: The style of the recliner you purchase should be determined by a few key factors like where you plan to keep the recliner and the size of the room where you plan to keep the recliner. Most importantly, the target users of the recliner and their health profile will be the key determinants of the style you settle for. 
  • Safety: Ensure that you go for a recliner that is safe and will not lead to any injury. For example, check the gap between the footrest and recliner seat. It should never be more than 5 inches. 
  • Motorized Variants: These recliners offer the user additional comfort and convenient usage as they are less stressful on the arms and hands. Though motorized recliners are more expensive than the other recliners, because of the comfort and convenience they provide, their popularity is increasing among the masses.
  • Evaluate How It Fits Your Body: Once you have found a recliner of your choice, make sure to sit in it and evaluate how it fits your body in the seated and reclined position. While you test the recliner on your comfort parameter, make sure to check the following boxes:
      • The footrest provides adequate support to your feet.
      • Is the lumbar support to a firm or too soft?
      • There should be no gap between your lower back and seat when you recline. If the gap exists, it can lead to back pain in the future.
      • Your head is well supported, and the neck is in a natural position while you rest your head.

If you have been looking for a comfy recliner chair to bury yourself in after a long day at work or have been planning to create that perfect cozy spot in your burrow to relax, read, and watch your favorite shows, do consider the products listed above while making your purchase decision. Don’t forget to share your experience with us in the comments section below. 

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