The Effect of Recliners

Sean Russell

Recliners sit comfortably in the living room of many American homes, allowing their owners to put their feet up without an ottoman to take up space and be tripped over on the way to the kitchen. These recliners, which also allow the user to lean back, have several effects on the body and mind of owners.


Recliners benefit the body in several ways.

The main reason recliners are so popular in the living room and elsewhere is the comfort they offer. The reclining back and flip-up footrest allow users to lounge in almost completely supine luxury.

Relieve Back Pain

Not only do recliners allow the user to sit in comfort, they also grant relief to those suffering from back pain. Unlike normal chairs, which focus the forces of gravity on the small of the back and the feet, recliners distribute gravity evenly around the body while lifting the entire body from the ground. This process pushes the weight of the upper body into the back of the chair instead of the lower back. The upper back also is relieved because instead of pressing back on one point, the weight is distributed evenly allowing the back muscles to relax instead of forcing them to hold a certain posture.

Relieve Stress

Another problem relieved by recliners is stress. Doctors recommend at least one hour of relaxation per day other than sleeping. The reclining chair promotes relaxation without putting the user in a "lie down" position. This allows the sitter to enjoy other activities such as talking on the phone, using a computer, watching television or playing a video game while relaxing the body and mind.

Helps with Pregnancy Pain

Pregnant women benefit from the angle at which a recliner is positioned at rest. This angle, which is customizable on some models, takes the weight of the front carriage and aligns it with the mother's center of gravity. Additionally, the chair's design ensures the mother stays aligned in this way, making it better to sleep on than a bed.

Bad for Bad Knees

While some recliners are designed to adjust to people who have chronically bad knees, many styles of recliner are not helpful to people with bad knees. This is because the reclining ottoman must be kicked down before a person can rise from the chair and because the center of gravity on a recliner is so far toward the center of the chair that a person requires considerable force from the knees to get up.