How Should You Sit in a Recliner with Good Posture?

William Adams
 min read

How should you sit in a recliner with good posture in order to avoid back pain and other physical ailments?

How should you sit in a recliner with good posture
Male Hands Holding White Sheet Of Paper With The Words Mind Your Posture On It

Much has already been said about the correct ergonomic position for sitting in a recliner. An upright posture is key.

However, what if all you thought you knew was wrong?

What if sitting up straight wasn't the best ergonomic posture for you? It might be more likely than you think...

Ergonomic reclining: Modern research study results

Yellow Post-It Has Ergonomics Written On It Important Attention Point To Recline Wisely

Research findings from the last years indicate that simply keeping an appropriate ergonomic posture isn't enough.

Research studies used MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) devices that take positioned scans instead of the traditional machine that need one to lay flat on the test table.

These kinds of scans are perfect for studying the spinal column in situ while holding a specific posture.

One study had a patient holding 3 positions.

The first is a hunched-over position all of us know is terrible:

  • it strains the spinal column
  • puts pressure on the back and shoulders
  • causes all kinds of pain

The second is the standard upright position.

The third is a reclined position.

Repeatedly, studies reveal that the very best position for prolonged sitting is a reclined position!

A 135-degree body-thigh sitting posture is the best biomechanical sitting position, rather than a 90-degree posture, which most people consider normal.

135 degrees reclined is midway between the standard upright (or 90-degree) posture and lying flat on your back.

Tips for successful reclined seating: How should you sit in a recliner with good posture?

Black Torn Paper With The Words Secret To Success At The Center In Context Of Successful Reclining And Being Seated In Recliner

Regularly stretch throughout the day

Frequently standing up and stretching is an excellent idea, no matter your overall posture when sitting in a recliner chair.

We advise stretches for your back, legs, arms, and shoulders.

There are many ways of stretching you can do. So focus on the muscle groups you have most issues with, and try to stretch them every evening.

Keep your feet flat on the floor

Bare Feet Of Man Standing Flat On The Ground Side By Side

We all know how comfortable it can be to lay back with our feet and/or legs in the air, but it ends up putting a lot of tension on your knees.

It can put pressure on your knees and tend them to bend backward, which can result in long-lasting damage.

It can also cause harmful compression of the back of your thighs and calves, though this is less frequently an issue.

Do not cross your legs: How should you sit in a recliner with good posture?

Man In Suit Pants And Blue Shirt Sits In Leather Recliner Reading Newspaper With Legs Crossed Which Is Bad Sitting Position

Once again, keep your feet flat on the flooring.

Crossing your legs raises an entire range of biomechanical tensions on your body, many typically centered around the hips and lower spinal column.

Crossing your legs twists your hips, making them no longer lined up with your shoulders. This puts twisting pressure on your spine.

This can put extra stress on your hips if you cross your legs with your knees spread out.

Both kinds of pressure can cause discomfort from hip to back to neck strain if you maintain the posture for enough time.

Change your lumbar support

Cushion For Extra Back Support To Place Behind Back Against Backrest Of Recliner

Your lower back needs to feel supported, and there can't be a gap under the curvature of your spine.

So using an ergonomic lumbar pillow for extra support is essential.

The perfect type of chair is a reclining chair with a back pad that adjusts dynamically when you lean backward.

It fits just enough in both positions to support your lower back without obstructing.

Change your headrest to support your head and neck.

If you need to lift your head to watch TV or use your tablet on your lap, you're not in a proper reclined position.

Your headrest must support both your head and your neck, with more support under your head.

This is needed to prevent putting unnecessary stress on your neck.

When you're reclined, make sure to adjust your television screen so it's much easier to see.

Avoid extremely cushioned chairs: How should you sit in a recliner with good posture?

Beige Backrest With Thick Padding Beware Of This Because Overly Cushioned Recliners Are Not Good For Sitting Posture

Do you believe reclining is the best way to relax in a chair?

And is that your reason to buy the newest recliner chair? In that case, excessive cushioning will do you no good.

Too much cushioning hurts your posture, as it puts uneven pressure on different parts of your body.

It might feel more comfortable, but once you get up, you'll notice just how many different body parts hurt.

Look for a reclining chair with:

  • a basic but helpful mesh back
  • back support
  • a padded seat

These features will do the trick. Plus, a reclining chair is most likely to have a built-in footrest, which does you no good as bait.

Adjust armrests for easy access to your gadgets

You'll probably want to relax as much as possible in your recliner chair.

So, your goal is to avoid putting stress on your shoulders and neck by positioning your armrests correctly.

Interested in buying a new model? Then read our buying guide about great recliners for big and tall men.

Let your reclining chair put you back into a sitting position when you need to move

Drawing Of Man Struggling With Cube And Other Man Smoothly Pushing Sphere Forward Symbol Of Recliner Doing The Work To Get Back Into Sitting Position

Preferably, your reclining chair motor should generate a high enough force on the back that's able to lift you up when you need to sit up.

This usually means that the act of reclining will need more pressure than usual, and the recliner chair may lock in place.

Some recliners with differing stress will find a balance around 135 degrees of reclining.

While others can lean back more and need to be used carefully.

Since the act of sitting up tends to put a lot of stress on your knees, letting your power reclining chair do most of the work is crucial.

That's right, your knees get the results of the pressure of sitting up!

The more you can depend on your chair to lift you up, the less you need to worry about your knees hurting.

Consider switching to standing throughout your day

Woman With Blond Hair Glasses And Dark Sweater Works While Standing On Computer At Standing Desk Good For Body And Mind

Just because a reclined position is much better than an upright sitting position does not mean it's the only position you should take during the day.

Standing is much better on the body than sitting, and moving is even better than standing.

If you shift between sitting and standing every hour or two during the day, you'll be much better off than you would if you'd only do one of them.

A standing desk is required if you're interested in standing.

You'll want to find a comfy standing posture, and you'll most likely wish to get an anti-fatigue mat to stand on.

You can also consider other accessories like a:

How should you sit in a recliner with good posture? Related information

Wooden Blocks Forming The Word Reading Reference To Related Information On Recliners For Heavy Duty Use
About William Adams

I’m an engineer and a happy plus-size individual myself. I love to blog online if I can have a positive impact on the lives of others. I help other plus-size people with in-depth product guides to make shopping for products and services less stressful in their busy lives. Read More