Is Sitting In A Recliner Harmful To Your Legs?

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: January 16, 2021

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Did you know that prolonged period sitting is a risk factor for early deaths from any cause? But, are recliners included in this research? Don’t they allow you to kick up your feet and relieve stress from your back after a long day? Aren’t they a source of pure comfort and relaxation?

Due to the recent studies that keep popping, it becomes hard to ignore some of a recliner’s negative impacts. But, many people with recliners cannot seem to resist the endless comfort. For entertainment or those sleep-deprived people, a recliner seems like the perfect solution.

For starters, let’s discuss some of the adverse effects of a recliner on your feet.

Table of Contents

Is Sitting in a Recliner Bad for Your Legs?

Generally, a recliner may not be bad for your legs if you use it properly. If you tend to walk around the entire day working, then a recliner is ideal for your health and comfort. However, if you are the type that sits for long hours, a recliner is not a favorable option. Why so?

A recliner encourages sitting for long periods. If you just sit on your recliner always, it might cause your feet problems. For instance;

Knee Pain

Sitting on a recliner will not cause knee pain. Knee pains are from injuries, overweight, or lifting heavy objects. But if you abuse the use of your recliner, it will advance the knee pain. It would help if you learned how to use the recliner and, above all, how to sit on the recliner when you have a knee injury.

Manual recliners that enable you to push down the footrest will not be ideal for a knee injury. Pushing back the footrest requires more energy hence adding tension to your knees and causing more pain. Moreover, a recliner that does not lift to help you get up quickly from the chair will worsen your knee injury. Your type of recliner could heal or worsen your knee pains.

Leg Swelling

Nothing compares to the fantastic feeling of sitting on a recliner with your feet up after a long day. But, your little piece of heaven can come to an ugly stop when your legs start swelling. Prolonged sitting on a recliner will make your muscles inactive.

When your muscles are inactive, blood circulation will be low and not reach all your body parts. When that happens, it results in swollen legs and ankles. With swollen legs, the small veins become weak, and the skin becomes discolored.

Airplane Syndrome

Airplane syndrome comes as a result of sitting or sleeping for an extended period in a tight position. Most times, you cannot help but fall asleep in your recliner after watching movies all night. While this is normal, it can also be an invitation to death. Prolonged sitting in a tight position causes thrombotic clots in your veins, which can be highly fatal.

The best thing is to fight the strong urge to keep sitting to the extent of sleeping on your recliner. How? You need to get up after every hour and stretch a bit or even take a walk.

Contractions in the Hip and Knee

Sitting on a recliner for so long will cause hip and knee contractures. This results in stiffness in the muscles and leads to improper posture and standing. With knee and hip contractures, you are likely to lose balance making you unable to walk or stand for a few minutes.

Someone in such a state is prone to falling down and even severe injuries. Severe hip and knee contractures lead to physical therapy, home exercise programs, and even personal/home mechanical therapy.

Weight Gain

Sitting in a recliner all day means you are not moving. You can only move when your legs are active; hence recliner ducking renders you inactive. When your body is static, it fails to release lipoprotein lipase molecules that burn the sugars and fats you consume.

Therefore, you risk widening your rear end and gain more weight on the midsection. The midsection is the worst home for fat as losing it becomes close to impossible.

Varicose Veins

Prolonged sitting will also cause varicose veins. Varicose veins occur when blood pulls in the veins causing them to swell. They are not only swollen but very visible and unsightly as well. On a lighter note, they are not harmful. However, if you ignore their presence and lack to cure them promptly, they can lead to blood clots.

 In most cases, blood clots are deadly when they start moving to other parts of the body, including major organs. When a blood clot moves to the heart, it blocks the blood from circulating freely for oxygen, leading to an untimely death.

Is It Good To Hang Over Your Feet On A Recliner?

When you notice your feet hanging over a recliner, do not panic. While someone might consider themselves to be taller than the bike, it is a good thing.

Lift recliners have a design that allows your feet to hang over the end. This way, your heels extend over the footrest, distributing your weight evenly on the legs. That way, no part of your leg will feel strained than the other hence no cause of alarm or risks. This is an ideal position that will let you sit comfortably for a long time.

How Should You Place Your Feet On A Recliner?

The footrest is among the essential features that set apart a recliner from other chairs. When sitting on a recliner, there are two positions of the footrest that you should consider; footrest extended and footrest retracted.

This is how you need to sit correctly on your recliner;

Studies show that the total weight of the leg is 18% of the whole body. Therefore, a recliner chair is your best short in supporting your legs by elevation. So, how vital is leg elevation?

Also check this: Best Recliners for Gaming

Advantages of Elevating Your Legs

  1. It promotes movements of the body fluids hence reduces swelling.
  2. It helps in relieving tired and sore legs after a long day.
  3. Elevating your legs can reduce stress by providing total relaxation.
  4. Also, when combined with systematic breathing, it calms the nervous system.
  5. Elevating your legs will also minimize severe back pains and Sciatica Symptoms.
  6. It prevents DVT and varicose veins.

Take Away

A recliner chair is your best short for the ideal lounging experience. The trick to avoiding sitting problems with your recliner is not sitting for too long—incorporate movements in your sitting period throughout the day. Apart from having the proper use of a recliner, your choice of a recliner will significantly reduce any health problems.

It would help if you went through our reviews for the best of different recliners currently in the market to make a great decision that suits your preference.


  • Andrew Smith

    Andrew Smith is the founder of CozySeating, is a father of 2, and an engineer from one of the leading furniture stores in the country. Due to his 10 years of experience, he has proved to be the best person to offer advice to clients regarding different seating furniture based on their needs and performance. Besides, he is a specialist in product reviews and always keeps up with the current trends in the market.

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