Reclining chairs and back health

April 13, 2015

 

Why the simplest solution to back pain is also the comfiest  

From an early age, we´re taught that sitting up straight is ¨good posture.¨ In recent years, however, science has discovered that this is simply not the case. Multiple studies have shown that, contrary to popular belief, sitting in a reclined position is actually better for back health. This comes as welcome news to anyone who loves kicking back and relaxing after a long day.

A surprising discovery:

Using a positional MRI, which allows patients to move around while being imaged; scientists can collect data on how the back reacts to different positions. As it turns out, sitting up straight puts significantly more stress on the back than sitting in a reclined position.

This makes perfect sense when you think about weight distribution. When you sit up straight your spine has to absorb all the pressure—which puts a lot of unnecessary stress on your spine, back muscles, tendons, and vertebral disks. When you recline, on the other hand, your weight is distributed much more evenly, allowing your whole body to relax. This is exactly why reclining feels so comfortable.

Why it matters:

This is an important finding because a growing number of people experience back pain at some point in their lives. Even if you don´t experience back pain, sitting in a healthy, reclined position will minimize stress and help you to avoid problems in the future.

 Sitting up straight could in fact be a leading cause of back problems—after all, many common jobs require hours and hours of sitting. To combat this problem, we need to make an effort to spend more time sitting correctly.

What doctors say:

Doctors recommend that patients concerned about back heath invest in reclining furniture that will allow them to spend more time sitting in a comfortable and healthy position.