Are beach chairs bad for your back?
Yes, it’s true, the sitting posture of a typical beach chair is bad for your back…
Many beach-goers bring a reclining beach chair that lies really close to the ground (a low reclining beach chair, for example).
People are interested in these beach chairs for diverse reasons (such as comfy seating while reading, napping after lunchtime, preventing being in the sand, etc.).
Table of Contents
- 1 Low reclining beach chairs enforce a C-formed lower back
- 2 Tips to improve your comfort and sitting posture while using a beach chair
- 3 Conclusion about beach ergonomics with beach chairs
Low reclining beach chairs enforce a C-formed lower back
Sitting in a low reclining beach chair can be compared to sitting in a big cup or bucket.
Your bottom nearly touches the sand, your knees are up, and your lower back looks C-shaped.
This type of sitting posture should be prevented by all beach fanatics!
It causes excessive pressure on the intervertebral discs in the back, strains the muscles in the hips and puts pressure on the neck muscles.
The problem is that our human bodies don’t let us know that it hurts, until we finally try to get up after an hour or two.
And then, seemingly suddenly, the growling, hurting and moaning starts…
Tips to improve your comfort and sitting posture while using a beach chair
If you’re a fan of reclining beach chairs, use the following tips to improve your comfort and sitting posture when at the beach:
Stand up regularly to stretch your body
Get up every 30 or 45 minutes to put your hands on your hips and carefully arch your body backward to stretch.
Hold this stretching position for 5 seconds. This is one of the best things to prevent pressure and injury from the sitting position in the beach chair.
Always think about reversing bad postures as often as you can!
Stretching workouts for your back to counter your sitting posture
- Try an activity monitor/tracker that buzzes every 45 or 60 minutes and tells you to move.
- If you like a walk, add additional walking activity on the beach to exercise your body a bit more.
- Raise your hands above your head, gripping one hand to the opposite wrist and extending up.
- Stand up straight and move your hands to your hips, bend backward, repeat this 5 times (while holding the flexing position for 4 or 5 seconds each time).
Do this every hour or more. Remark: This stretching strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all option.
Elderly people who struggle with stenosis (a narrowing of the spine) shouldn’t bend backwards at all.
If you suffer from stenosis, you’d feel discomfort or tingling below the knee right away.
Movements to avoid (are beach chairs bad for your back?)
Some movements don’t have any proven benefits to correct your sitting posture in a beach chair.
You might want to avoid the following movements:
- Lying on your back on a towel in the sand, bringing up your knees and twisting side to side
- Flexing forward and touching your toes
- Standing and cracking your back by pushing your back forward with your two hands
Sitting up straight in a beach chair is vital
Select one of the following sturdy, premium and comfortable beach chairs for big and tall people.
Alls these models have a high weight capacity and offer enough space for your bottom, thighs, and back.
Concentrate on your sitting posture, and don’t imitate a couch potato.
Sitting up as straight as you possibly can in the beach chair is crucial to safeguard your back.
Ergonomics is essential, also during your beach trip! Ergonomic beach chairs ensure a comfortable day at the beach.
Stretch your legs regularly
Avoid sitting with your knees bent high above your hips all the time.
This position and posture leads to tense muscles at the front of the hips, which tightens the lower back.
Instead, stretch your legs out in front of you to change the position frequently.
Bring an extra beach towel or pillow
To reduce the pressure on your spinal discs, take an extra beach towel (or pillow) with you.
You can take the beach towel, roll it up into a towel roll (about 3 to 5 inches thick) and place it behind your lower back above your belt line.
This will give you a better posture. The towel prevents your lower back from sagging into the back of the beach chair.
Use this technique to prevent your spinal columns from being put under even more pressure.
This method also prevents your head and shoulders from slumping forward.
Conclusion about beach ergonomics with beach chairs
The beach should be a comfortable day out. Follow the tips above to keep it that way!
If you are interested in even more beach tips, then read our article about how to have an excellent day at the beach for more inspiration and ideas!