This was a wonderful question that I received a little while ago that I feel we should explore more in depth:
Is a reclining chair bad for your spine?
In my experience, I do not feel that any position is necessarily good or bad for you. The problems are with staying in the same position for extended amounts of time.
For instance, it was found that after only 1 hour of sitting, males exhibited a measurable increase in back stiffness while it took females 2 hours.
Now, if you are sitting at work for ~35–40 hours per week, and then when you get home each evening, you spend ~2–3 hours sitting down each evening. Then ~7–10 hours sitting during the weekend. You are now sitting for ~55-60 hours per week!
Did you know that half body weight is supported by a very narrow area while sitting?
Compression into your lower back is 1.5X greater when sitting than when standing. It is about 2X standing when slouched sitting.
It is essential to ensure that you change positions frequently to offload areas that are always under pressure and stresses. For more information to improve your sitting posture, check out our blog: Healthy Habits for Your Home Office.
It was also found that a backward leaning position is best for a relaxing.
A recliner chair is likely no worse for you than any other chair. It is the amount of time that you spend in it that matters!
Here are some general back exercises that I like to use in my practice to get you moving.
- Todd AI, Bennett AI, Christie CJ. Physical implications of prolonged sitting in a confined posture – A literature review. Ergonomics SA. 2007:15.
- Ergonomics of sitting. http://ergo.human.cornell.edu