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Are Recliners Bad For Your Back?

May 15, 2020

Are Recliners Bad For Your Back?

Since 1927, the Recliner Chair has been an iconic symbol representing relaxation.


After a long day, there is nothing more comforting than kicking up your feet and sinking into that reclining chair. Laying back, you settle in for some time in the recliner to help your muscles relax, rest, and repair.


But have you ever sat up from your chair and been surprised to feel a kink in your neck or a strain in your lower back? This may have caused you to worry, “what if the recliner chair that I trust to ease all my tensions are actually causing them?”


The answer is, it might be the cause of your aches but it shouldn’t be!


At La-Z-Boy, we have helped hundreds of clients find reclining comfort. We are the inventor of the original recliner chair, after all. Our team of consultants are experts at helping customers find a recliner chair that suits their style, budget, and most importantly, their comfort requirements.

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In turn, we aim to bust the misconception that spending time in a recliner is bad for your back. In fact, this article will explain how recliners can be good for your back and your health … as long as you choose the right one for YOU! 

You Need a Recliner That Fits your Body Type


Think of a recliner like a shoe. Although you may be going for style, if the shoe doesn’t fit your foot just right, it could lead to blisters, sore feet, and even potential back pain.


Just like an uncomfortable shoe, an ill-fitting recliner could be the mysterious cause of your aches and pains. You may experience mild to severe pains in your neck, back, legs, and even ankles.


It’s key you chose a recliner that is the right match for your unique body type to avoid any discomfort and enjoy your chair with ease.

How to Pick a Recliner That Fits You


Whether you are tall or short, thin or stalky, there is a recliner for you, and we’re here to help you find it.


La-Z-Boy has designed over 50 high-quality recliners of contrasting styles to accommodate a wide range of customer preferences and body types. It is important that the height, depth, and width of the chair are perfect for you.  


Our recliners are sorted into four main categories for you to choose from:


Check out The Definitive Buyer’s Guide for recliners.


This is just the beginning of finding your perfect fit. For a detailed look at finding the perfect recliner fit for you check out How to Find a Recliner that is the Best Fit for You.

Follow this simple checklist to make sure your recliner is the right fit for YOU …

and 5 pressure points to pay attention to!

Step One

When you sit back into the depth of the seat, make sure that your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet are comfortably reaching the floor.

  •  Pressure Point: Knees & Feet
Step Two

As you lay back, your shoulders should naturally lay at the seam where the two back cushions meet.

  •  Pressure Point: Shoulders
Step Three

It is important that your chair provides good lumbar support. Resting into your chair, you want to ensure that the middle cushion provides enough lumbar support to your lower back. The cushion should support the natural curve in your back ensuring that it does not cave inwards and cause tension.

  • Pressure Point: Lumbar/Lower Back

To learn more about lumbar and neck support, visit this article.

Step Four

As you rest your head, the cushion that supports your head and neck should not cause extension or strain forward. Your neck should rest comfortably aligned with your spine and your head should naturally relax into the cushion.

  •  Pressure Point: Neck
Step Five

When in a reclining position, your feet should not dangle too far over the edge of the chair … the heels of your feet should just fall off the edge of the footrest.

  • Pressure Point: Knees and Calves
Are Recliners Bad For Your Back?
Are Recliners Bad for Your Back?

Now Enjoy the Health Benefits of a Recliner Chair


So to answer your question, no, recliners are not bad for your back!


Once you’ve chosen a recliner of optimum fit, not only will your aches and pains fade, but you can begin to enjoy the intended health benefits of the recliner chair.


Zero Gravity Position


As you lay back and kick up your feet in your recliner, your feet will elevate above the heart level. In this comfortable position, your body will experience zero gravity. If you have ever dreamt of going to space, this may be the closest you will get!


But, confined to earth, our bodies are constantly fighting against gravity and the negative effects that this constant pressure can have on our bones, joints, and muscles. 


Luckily, the zero-gravity position that you experience while resting in your recliner will allow your muscles to enter a complete state of relaxation. All tension will then release from your back, neck, and abdominal muscles, giving your body a true chance of recovery after a long day. If you suffer from back pain, it is especially helpful to rest in your recliner for lower back pain relief. 


Better Circulation


The zero-gravity position also promotes better circulation throughout the entire body. This optimal circulation allows for your blood to return to your heart faster, relieving each body system of strain leading to faster healing. 


If you have recently experienced an injury or are recovering from surgery, your recliner chair is the best place for you to rest and heal. 


Improved Lung Health


Believe it or not, even your lungs will benefit from your recliner chair. When you recline back into a relaxed position, your diaphragm is able to expand to its maximum capacity, improving total lung function. Over time, the lung expansion experienced in your recliner chair will lead to overall deeper breathing.


Easier Digestion


Finally, imagine sitting down and getting comfy in your recliner after a big dinner. The relaxed and reclined position actually promotes better digestion. While resting with ease, your digestive system is able to process your food fully. In no time, a belly full of food will feel nicely digested and you will be able to sleep more peacefully.

Are Recliners Bad for Your Back?

Next Steps


Come out to one of our local La-Z-Boy stores or visit us virtually to find a recliner that is the perfect match for you. 


A personal consultant from our local team would be happy to meet with you for free and help guide your choice of a recliner. Our trained consultants will ensure that the chair you choose fits your style preferences, and most importantly, your body, so that the chair you take home provides you with the utmost comfort. 


You will leave the store knowing that your purchase will unlock every potential health benefit of recliner relaxation.


Until you can join us in-store, you can browse our recliner options online and schedule either a phone consultation or a virtual visit. 


Take a look at this article to browse our 5 Best Selling La-Z-Boy Power Recliners.



Canadian Chiropractic Association. (2020). Home. Retrieved from Canadian Chiropractic Association:

Clayton, E. (2016, 10 30). Is your recliner hurting you? Retrieved from Health Beat:

The Perfect Sleep Chair. (2018, 05 15). Benefits of the Zero Gravity Position. Retrieved from The Perfect Sleep Chair:


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