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Is Sitting In a Recliner Bad For Your Hips? The Truth About Recliners and Hip Health

What is a recliner?

A recliner is a type of chair that has a built-in mechanism that allows the backrest to tilt backward and the footrest to rise, allowing the person sitting in it to recline into a more comfortable position. The angle of the backrest and footrest can usually be adjusted independently to suit the user’s preferences. Recliners are often upholstered with plush materials such as leather, fabric, or microfiber, and may also come with additional features such as heating, massage, or built-in cup holders. They are commonly used for relaxation, watching TV, reading, and even napping. Some people also use them as a comfortable alternative to a bed when sleeping.

New research suggests that sitting on a soft chair may be bad for a person’s hips. But it may not be the fault of the chair. A recliner may seem the most comfortable place to sit when watching TV or reading. However, sitting for extended periods on a recliner can put pressure on the joints of the hips and cause pelvic misalignment.

Thus, what you do while sitting may affect your hip health. Learn more about Is sitting in a recliner bad for your hips?

Is Sitting In a Recliner Bad For Your Hips?

Recliner hip pain causes

Sitting in a recliner can be comfortable for many people, but it is possible that it may cause some discomfort or problems for others, including issues with the hips.

When sitting in a recliner, the hips are positioned in a flexed position, which can place pressure on the hip joints and potentially cause discomfort, especially if sitting for long periods of time. Additionally, if the recliner does not provide proper support for the hips, it may contribute to poor posture and lead to hip pain over time.

However, whether or not sitting in a recliner is bad for your hips can depend on several factors, including the individual’s posture, overall health, and any pre-existing conditions or injuries.

Bad posture

Having improper posture while sitting on a recliner can cause sore hips. Sitting with an unnatural curve in the spine occurs when some people slouch or hold their stomachs in too tightly.

Bad balance

When your body is out of balance, it might lean in the wrong direction, leading to hip and back pain if the spine is also affected.

Muscle tightness

A tight muscle can cause soreness to radiate throughout the body, even to parts that may not normally feel pain, such as knotted muscles or stiff joints.

Overweight

Prolonged sitting for an overweight person might cause hip pain. It may occur due to their extra weight or a change in their equilibrium.

Arthritis

A person who suffers from arthritis may experience sharp pains that are caused by inflammation of their joints. These sharp pains are often triggered by pain radiating from the joints.

Muscle deterioration

If your legs and pelvic muscles are weak, you may also experience hip pain while sitting in a recliner when you can’t keep up with what is expected.

Fragile bones

Sitting in a recliner with weak bones may also cause hip pain. Due to their insufficient strength or endurance, these muscles cannot cope with the pressures of everyday activities.

Hip rigidity

Soreness caused by tight hips can be felt all over the body in the form of muscle knots and stiff joints. This may be because the pain is generally not felt as severe. 

Changes in hormones

A person experiencing menopause may experience substantial hip discomfort as a result of hormonal fluctuations, which makes prolonged reclining impossible.

Physical inactivity

Muscle atrophy and weakness can lead to soreness due to a lack of physical activity. Consequently, joints become inflamed and painful.

Uncomfortable sitting position

Over time, if a person spends too much time in a recliner, their hips may experience pain. Due to their inactivity, they are not constantly lubricated.

How to make sitting in a recliner more comfortable?

Finding the right chair for reclining is a matter of comfort and style. A recliner chair in your living room offers comfort, but some people still struggle sitting in it. Here are some tips for making sitting in a recliner more comfortable.

Add Lumbar Support Cushion

Different types and styles of lumbar support cushions are available for recliners, but choosing one that fits your recliner well is critical. Lumbar support cushions are available in two types. In the first type, the foam is cut into a block that wraps around the recliner. As for the second type, it resembles a long pillow with straps you can hook onto.

Lift your legs and feet with a footrest

Adding a footrest to your recliner will allow you to elevate your feet and legs to make the experience more comfortable. Besides benefiting your back, it will also improve your circulation.

Insert a seat cushion

Due to continuous use, a recliner’s fabric and foam wear out over time. Consequently, the cushion will sit lower than it did before as a result of this. A new recliner would be the best solution, but this might be expensive if only the cushion needs to be replaced. In order to help you continue to enjoy your favorite chair, cushion makers offer various options. You can use these cushions as a backrest and make reclining more pleasurable.

Check out Repose Contur Inflatable Air Cushion for Recliner Chair – Prevention and Relief of Bed Sores, Pressure Ulcers – Manual Pump.

Make the chair warmer with a blanket

When it comes to recliners during the winter months, it’s a good idea to wrap a blanket around the back of the chair. Besides providing extra warmth, it will make the seat more comfortable. This will make it feel cozier on chilly days, and if you want to cool down, you can remove it.

As an added bonus, you can also use this as a lovely way to provide some extra warmth to your living room while not firing up your stove as well. 

You can elevate the armrests

Armrests on your recliner help you get seated comfortably. You may have trouble getting comfortable if you have trouble with your arms or are not tall enough. It is a good idea to raise the chair’s armrests as you can relax more easily seated on the chair with the armrests raised.

Conclusion

Thus we have concluded: Is sitting in a recliner bad for your hips? Several factors contribute to hip problems, but prolonged sitting in a recliner is the most problematic. The sooner you discover the cause of your hip pain, the more easily you will be able to recover.

It is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional if you are experiencing hip pain or discomfort while sitting in a recliner or any other type of chair. They can evaluate your specific situation and provide guidance on how to maintain proper posture and minimize any potential negative effects on your hips.