Should your feet hang off a recliner?

Megan Smith
 min read

Should your feet hang over a recliner chair? Yes! Your feet need to hang over the footrest of the reclining chair.

should your feet hang off a reclinerWhen buying a recliner chair for the very first time, you might wonder Am I too big for this recliner chair?

Some customers worry that they’ve selected the wrong size of recliner chair when their feet hang over the edge of the chair’s footrest extender.

Don’t panic if you’ve experienced this because it is, in fact, a good thing!

Should your feet hang off a recliner? An introduction

All recliner chairs are developed so your feet hang over the end.

The ideal position in a recliner is to have your heels reach past the footrest.

This divides the weight evenly over a large part of your legs, allowing you to sit comfortably.

There’s a lot more than you’d think about setting up your recliner chair effectively, especially to ensure maximal assistance for your legs.

Below, we’ll take a look at a few questions you might have:

  • Why do your feet need to hang over the recliner chair?
  • How to position your feet properly on a reclining chair?
  • How can you comfortably sit in your recliner for a long time?

Where should your feet go on a recliner chair?

The biggest charm of a recliner is the ability to lift the footrest, allowing you to chill comfortably on top of the chair’s luxurious padding and soft material.

There are two essential feet positions to keep in mind when sitting in a recliner:

  • When the footrest is extended
  • When the footrest is not extended

Reclined position (extended horizontally)

When seated in a reclined sitting position (in other words, when the footrest is extended), your feet need to slightly hang over the footrest.

With your heels over the edge of the footrest, your weight is divided evenly over a big part of your legs.

If you don’t believe me, try having your heels on the footrest, and you will find out yourself that it isn’t comfortable for long.

You need to position your feet properly in order to prevent leg cramps when you sit in a recliner chair.

One of the main reasons for leg cramps is muscle tiredness.

So when your feet are properly positioned, both legs will be relaxed and not tense at all. This will prevent unpleasant leg cramps.

Typical sitting position (not extended, upright)

When seated in the typical sitting position (footrest not extended), your feet need to rest flat on the floor.

Try to sit in a neutral posture with your legs forming a 90-degree angle.

This will eliminate pressure from both your lower back and knees, enabling correct blood flow within your lower body.

Read our related article How tall of a recliner do I need? for more recliner selection tips!

How do recliner chairs affect blood flow in the legs?

Another question many people ask is: are recliners bad for leg blood circulation?

A recliner, when properly placed, can help improve blood flow!

You need to lay on your back with both legs raised a little above the heart to achieve this.

This takes the pressure off the blood veins while increasing blood flow through your body.

Considering that the total leg weight is nearly 18,5% of the human body weight, a heavy-duty recliner chair can support the legs.

These are the most significant benefits for your body from positioning your feet correctly:

  • lowered pressure in the lower body
  • you improve the blood flow in your legs
  • helps to prevent varicose veins and other circulatory conditions

There are even more benefits of elevating your legs correctly when using a reclining chair.

Not only does raising your legs supply pressure relief, it may reduce swelling too!

Health advantages of elevating your legs

Some general benefits of raising your legs are the following:

  • Reduces tension by giving some relaxation
  • Calms the nervous system especially when you combine it with rhythmic breathing
  • Reduces swelling by promoting the flow of fluids in your legs
  • Relieves sore and worn out leg muscles

However, be careful not to sit for too long periods.

A reclining chair can trigger leg issues when used incorrectly and/or used all the time.

Tip: Read How should you sit in a recliner with good posture? for some handy ergonomic tips.

For example, if you sit for 8 hours straight without any movement, your muscles will feel weak and stiff due to lack of exercise now, would they?

Keep in mind to move during the day. A recliner chair is perfect if you like taking a rest or nap once in a while.

But too much sitting is bad for you, especially in a recliner!

Over the long term, constant inactivity can slow down your metabolic process and cause many health issues.

Should your feet hang off a recliner? Essentials to keep in mind

Now you know that your feet should hang over the recliner chair to relax to the fullest.

In addition to positioning your legs effectively, keep in mind to move your legs during sitting time.

Picking the best recliner for a heavier person is also essential to comfortably relax while enjoying a well-deserved rest.

About Megan Smith

Megan has been fighting overweight and her plus size since her teenage years. After trying all types of remedies without success, she started doing her own research. Megan founded Plus Size Zeal to share her findings. She also developed various detailed buying guides for plus-size people in order to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Read More