WHY RECLINE?

According to a post on Web MD, a study was conducted that suggested sitting in an upright position for many hours could lead to prolonged back pain. 

The researchers studied the seating positions of 22 volunteers, using the “positional” magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  This MRI machine enabled imaging while the volunteers were in different seated positions, i.e., slouched forward (as if hunched over a desk or playing a video game), an upright 90-degree angle and reclined at about 135-degrees (with the feet on the floor).  The volunteers’ spinal positioning while seated was then examined.  The outcome of the study was that the 135-degree reclining position places less stress on the spine and may decrease the risk of back pain. 

Researcher, Waseem Amir Bashir, MBChB, a clinical fellow in the department of radiology and diagnostic imaging at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada stated in a news release: “A 135-degree body-thigh sitting posture was demonstrated to be the best biomechanical sitting position, as opposed to a 90-degree posture, which most people consider normal.”  Bashir continued, “Sitting in a sound anatomic position is essential, since the strain put on the spine and its associated ligaments over time can lead to pain, deformity and chronic illness.”  “This may be all that is necessary to prevent back pain, rather than trying to cure pain that has occurred over the long term due to bad postures,” says Bashir.

This research study seems to be echoed by a survey that was done across the U.S.A.

According to a post in Medical Condition News, a nationwide survey was conducted in the U.S.A where 68% of the doctors surveyed said they were likely to recommend that their patients experiencing back pain sit in a reclined position to help alleviate the pain. 

“We hear a lot about the importance of exercise and stretching muscles to relieve back pain but the fact is that resting those muscles properly is just as important,” says Dr. Dave David, a board-certified physician who has been practicing medicine for more than 30 years.  “Sitting in a reclined position provides full body support – from the upper back down to your legs – which relaxes surrounding muscles, ultimately taking tension away from the pain-ridden area.”

According to the survey, 80% of doctors recommend that their patients sit in a reclined position with their legs raised up high and their back slightly or completely reclined.  Dr. David agreed that this position provided the appropriate lumbar support and pressure required to help relieve the pain experienced in the back muscles, more specifically those in the lumbar region – which is used for stability and is an important part of the body’s core.

The survey also revealed varying types of back pain that doctors feel could be lessened by sitting in a reclined position, these include muscle strain, degenerative changes and pregnancy-associated back pain.  Dr. David recommended relaxing in reclining furniture offering total body and lumbar support, as well as the option of varying degrees of reclining to suit each person’s support needs.  “Back pain is one of the top reasons people visit their doctors,” adds Dr. David.  “My patients are always pleased to learn that reclining is a real solution to help ease their pain.  I hope that with this new research, other sufferers can find relief too.”

Another interesting outcome from the survey conducted was that 60% of the doctors surveyed each owned reclining furniture at home. 

There’s no truer definition of “practice what you preach”.


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