Updated on July 6th, 2023 at 09:52 pm

I recently bought a recliner, and I am addicted to it! It’s just so comfortable that I refuse to sit anywhere else. Of course, this led me to think and wonder…

Is sitting in a recliner bad for you?

Sitting in a recliner is bad for you when you sit for an extended period of time especially if you have mobility issues. Sitting for a long time can cause knee and hip contractures, which can consequently affect your mobility and posture. It can also lead to a sedentary lifestyle that is already the root cause of many health problems. 

image of a man seated on a recliner seat with the words 'Let me ponder this question, for just a few more minutes' edited in = Extra Large Living


Nothing feels more tempting than relaxing in your cozy recliner and binge-watching Netflix after a long day at work. Compared to sitting upright, adjusting your chair to a reclined position is a healthier option, especially for those that suffer from back pain, muscle aches, and hip pain.

Is sitting in a recliner good or bad for you? Which recliner are we referencing? This is not the place to make a blanketed statement. Stay with me as I explain the circumstances of how and why recliners can be either good or bad for you.

When is the recliner bad for you?

Like everything, the law of moderation applies to recliners too. Sure, a recliner seems like a godsend when you are always on your feet and want to relax for a bit. But, spending too much time in a recliner can be bad for you.

If you get too comfortable sitting in a recliner, you might get addicted to it. But that’s not the recliner’s fault.

Here are some scenarios where recliners are bad for your health:

  • If you have a bad back and your recliner has space between your lower back and seat, your pain will worsen. Throw a cushion or pillow to fill the gap, or you will end up being miserable. Make sure to purchase a recliner with good lumbar support, so your back is adequately cushioned at any angle or sitting position.
  • If you love sitting around, a recliner is bad news for you. Try to incorporate some physical activities in your life. Too much sitting will complicate things, and you will end up with numerous health problems like joint pains, leg pain, back and hip pain.
  • If you are tempted to sleep in a recliner every day, it can be a bad decision. Sleeping in a recliner once in a while is not bad, but if you are replacing your bed with an Oversized recliners or a Reclining couch, it is a poor health decision.

Modern recliners are designed from a comfort standpoint, which allows you to sleep in them without suffering from back pain. However, if you are suffering from chronic back problems, respiratory issues, heart, and circulatory problems, it is highly recommended to consult your physician before sleeping in a recliner.

When is the Recliner Good for You?

Recliners can be your best friend if you are experiencing any of the following health issues:

  • You suffer from arthritis and achy joints. The crippling pain can make you immobile and have an adverse effect on your health. A recliner can be particularly useful as doctors recommend the reclined position because it helps alleviate the pain by relaxing the stressed muscles. According to studies, the reclined position can help lower muscle pain by 77%.
  • You are experiencing pregnancy or post-pregnancy back or leg pain. Sleeping in a comfortable position can be challenging during pregnancy due to the additional weight and strain on your body.

If you are a mom-to-be, you might find yourself relaxing in a recliner more than usual. According to studies, pregnancy-related back pain can be alleviated by up to 66% by being in a reclined position.

I also used my recliner after pregnancy for breastfeeding, which allowed my baby and me to maintain the most comfortable position.

  • You need help recovering from surgery. Recliners offer you the ability to change positions easily and improve blood circulation. If you are on bed rest after surgery, the recliner can be your saving grace because you can angle your Heavy duty recliner at the desired position to take the load off your back and legs.

Recliners are usually pretty comfortable, so you can stay well-rested and make an excellent recovery.

Can sitting in a recliner cause back problems?

Sitting in a recliner does not cause back problems provided you have adequate back and seating support.

image of sitting in a recliner bad for you and your health - Extra Large Living

If your recliner does not have enough back or seating support, you can end up suffering from unexplained back pain. When a recliner has a hollow space at the end of the lower backspace, it might cause some serious problems.

Be sure to buy a recliner with enough support. The hollow space means your back is not receiving proper cushioning, and the spine is pressing in the open space, which can result in back pain.

If you keep this aspect in mind, recliners are the perfect solution for soothing back pain. If you want to invest in a recliner for back pain, buy one with multiple hip angle placements so you can adjust it to your comfort level.

Is sitting in a recliner bad for your legs?

Spending a day on your feet can lead to leg and foot pain. By elevating your feet, you alleviate pressure and allowing the blood to flow properly, which increases circulation and reduces pain and inflammation naturally.

Sitting in a reclined position is beneficial after an exhausting day. However, you need to remember that sitting in an upright position can lead to increased leg swelling.

When muscles are stagnant for too long, the circulation of blood flow becomes slow. So when the blood can’t circulate throughout the entire body, it concentrates in the veins leading to joint stiffness in the knees and swollen legs and ankles.

Are recliners bad for posture?

Sitting upright for hours can lead to a bad posture, regardless of the type of chair you use. Bad posture is the root cause of many health problems we face today, like muscle and joint pains.

But you can get rid of all these problems and fix your posture issues by reclining a bit. See, if you are in a reclined position, the gravity is doing its work by keeping your hips, shoulders, and chest open while your neck and chin stays upright. It’s an ideal posture for sitting for long hours.

According to BBC News, a study in 2002 conducted by Canadian and Scottish research clearly shows the benefits of reclined positions in reference to bad postures.

22 participants took part in the study while sitting in 3 different positions: slouching, sitting in a reclined position, and sitting in an upright position.
The results showed that sitting in a reclined position is ideal for preventing disc slide and compression. It provides more spinal relief compared to other sitting positions.

Can sitting in a recliner cause blood clots?

According to research by Harvard Health, sitting in a recliner doesn’t cause blood clots. But if you are sleeping while sitting up, there are some risks involved.
In some cases, sitting motionless for long hours can cause deep-vein thrombosis, which refers to a blood clot in limbs. It happens when your arms and legs are bent and you are sitting immobile for hours.

But if you are comfortable in your recliner and sleeping in a position where you can move easily, you have nothing to worry about.

Wrap up

Sitting in a reclined position has its advantages, and it doesn’t hurt that the recliner gives you instant relief after a tiring day. Sitting in an upright position is not bad; providing it is not making you inactive for hours on end and promoting a sedentary lifestyle.

How do you achieve the most health benefits while still enjoying your recliner? Invest in a good one with proper back support, do your research, and follow the precautionary measures. That way, you can continue the love affair with your beloved recliner without any adverse effects.