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Top 7 Misconceptions About Reclining Chairs

by Paige Pesko

Over the last few years, the luxurious relaxation that reclining chairs provide has been catching the eye of many people of all ages. This popularity has brought many misconceptions about the health and safety benefits that reclining chairs may provide. While many claim that their reclining chair has been a boon on their health and wellness, many more have refuted these claims, citing such maladies as back pain and bad posture as their evidence. To stave off the confusion, we will be discussing the many misconceptions surrounding the health benefits that reclining chairs provide. Without further ado, here are the top seven misconceptions about reclining chairs.

“They Are Hot in the Summer”

This misconception most likely comes from those who have never sat in a leather chair in a warm climate. In reality, leather provides a cooler surface to sit on when compared with other materials like nylon or cotton. This is because leather can absorb heat and displace it throughout the surface of the entire covering, rather than just retaining the heat in a single spot. While it may be true that leather can get very hot in the summer if left in the sunlight, a more appropriate question to ask is what material does not.

“They Stick To Your Skin When You Sweat”

This is most often a complaint with leather recliners. Unfortunately, this misconception is based on wrong information. Some lower quality leathers (namely the ‘fake’ leathers) will stick to the skin in high humidity. However, this is not the case with finer leathers, from which most recliners are made. Leather is hypoallergenic, meaning that no one can experience an allergic reaction to any part of the chair. In essence, the better quality leather the chair is upholstered with, the better of an experience you will have sitting in it.

“They Are Bad for Your Back and Posture”

While in some cases it may be true that reclining chairs are bad for posture, in almost all the cases, that can be attributed to the chair not fitting the person. In general, you can expect a recliner to be classified into four distinct categories based on a person’s height. If the chair does not fit someone, it may feel uncomfortable to them, as the lumbar cushions may be pressing in the middle of their back or the upper back cushions might be positioned at the base of the skull. In every case, if the chair is not sized properly to the individual, it will lack the support that the individual will need to feel comfortable. However, if the chair is properly fitted, it will reinforce posture and relax the back.

“They Are Bad for Your Hips”

Yet another misconception surrounding recliners is that they are bad for your hips. The answer to this one depends on the situation. If you are sleeping in your chair all night, there is a possibility that there could be some tightness in your hip and upper thigh region. Even so, it is never recommended that you sit in a recliner for so long that this occurs. A recliner is meant for the person who plans to spend a few hours relaxing in front of the fireplace, not the person who will sleep in it overnight. In fact, sleeping in any sitting position is never recommended, as this could result in a few serious health problems such as deep vein thrombosis and joint stiffness. To follow the famous saying, “Everything is good in moderation”—especially when it comes to recliners!

“They Make It Harder To Breathe”

Another strange misconception that is being passed around is that reclining chairs make it difficult to breathe in the reclining position. This, in fact, could not be further from the truth. Studies have shown that while in a relaxed reclining position (especially that of the zero gravity position), breathing is actually easier. This is due to the diaphragm muscles having enough room to fully expand, providing you with maximum lung capacity and improved lung function. Over time, the lung expansion that you experience will allow your lungs to stretch, resulting in an increased air capacity and a stronger diaphragm.

“They Do Not Promote Circulation”

Another misconception that many have seemed to stumble upon is the idea that reclining chairs do not promote circulation like a traditional seating arrangement would. In reality, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, in many cases after surgery, it is recommended that you sit in a recliner laying back! Due to the zero gravity position that these recliners place the body in, reclining will actually reinforce circulation by utilizing gravity to push the blood to the heart faster. Not only does this promote circulation, but it can actually speed up the healing process, as blood can rejuvenate sore and worn soft tissues.

“They Do Not Help Relieve Muscle Stress”

One of the more impressive functions of a reclining chair is that it gets the body into the zero gravity position. While this reclining position may not accomplish its namesake, what it does do is give your body the feeling of zero gravity by relieving the inherent pressure that gravity puts on all your joints. It does this by raising your feet above your heart level, thus making the muscles enter a state of relaxation. And it does all this while you just sit back and relax! In essence, this will allow tension from your neck, back, and abdominal muscles to loosen and gives your whole body a chance at muscle recovery.

No matter the reason you desire a recliner, you can be sure that it is an experience you shouldn’t miss out on. As we have outlined, there are numerous health benefits that you can take advantage of after daily use of a recliner—especially for the person who spends the entire day on their feet. We hope you have learned more about the top seven common misconceptions about reclining chairs. If you are considering purchasing a home furniture recliner, stop by the Great American Home Store to try one out! We have an amazing selection of recliners for you to choose from.

Top 7 Misconceptions About Reclining Chairs