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What’s the one thing we all look forward to each day? Well, it’s the time at the end of the day when we can sit back on our couch or recliner and relax. We catch up on our favourite TV shows or watch our favourite sports. This time is the best part of the day for many of us, but could our favourite time of the day be negatively affecting our health?
It’s not the time we spend watching the television that we are concerned about today, but how we do it. Yes, one of our favourite objects is negatively affecting our health, now before you roll your eyes, saying that here comes another person on the internet that will tell me to not watch television; no this is something different entirely.
It’s our couches and recliners that are causing us some health issues. How many of us suffer from back pain, shoulder pain, or even neck and hip injuries? Yes, many of us do, most of the time we attribute it to either too much stress or overwork, but another factor is our couches and how we sit.
Don’t be scared. You won’t have to give up sitting on the couch or recliner, although you may have to change how you sit or even the type of couch you sit on. Let’s take a look at some of the issues related to couches and recliners and what we can do to avoid them, or even cure them.
Squishy sofas are the latest fashion that people have adopted, we love a sofa where we can sit and just sink, we get the feeling of being cuddled by a big, soft, and very comfortable thing.
They are so comfortable that many of us even fall asleep on our squishy sofas, waking up hours later, some even spend the whole night on it. Well, our squishy sofas are causing all types of havoc to our muscles, joints, and ligaments.
Sitting on a sofa where your feet barely touch the ground and your back is in a slumped position allows a large amount of pressure to build up on your ligaments, muscles, and joints, and especially on your spinal discs.
As this pressure builds up over time, it has a high chance of causing pain in all areas of your body, like your hips, back, neck, and shoulders. This means that we are no longer able to function properly until we go see a physiotherapist.
A physiotherapist might tell you that you must sit with both feet on the floor with your knees either at hip level or just below and your back fully supported and upright. Sounds like tedious work right?
That’s because you don’t want to sit like you are in a classroom or in a meeting when it’s your time to relax. So, what’s the real solution? When sitting use cushions to support your lower back, this is especially true in the case of those using recliners, and use a small footstool to support your legs which will relieve the pressure off of your hips and lower back.
Finally, try to switch up your positions, ideally in periods of thirty to sixty minutes. This is so that the side that we are supporting ourselves on can be rested and does not get fatigued.
Another health problem we face is digestion problems. This is felt mostly by those of us who own recliners, although that’s not to say that the rest of us who slouch down on our couch aren’t facing the same issues. How often do we find ourselves eating in front of the television so comfortable in our position that we don’t even want to sit upright to eat? That could be the cause of many of the digestion issues that we face.
Slumping or slouching right after or during a meal can cause the acid from the stomach to come up which leads to discomfort and inflammation. Improper digestion can also lead to a variety of other health issues such as bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea, or even more series ones such as colitis.
What should you do to prevent this from happening? If you are eating, spend the time seated upright, ideally with your back supported and your feet be on the ground. This position allows for less pressure on your joints and muscles.
It also provides the food you are eating with a straight pathway to the stomach from the mouth, which leads to proper digestion. Similarly, after eating a meal you should spend the next thirty to sixty minutes seated in the same position. With this, the food reaches the stomach and the process of digestion may begin with no health risk to you. Many doctors also recommend taking a short walk after eating a heavy meal which allows for the better digestion of the food.
Many experts agree that, surprisingly, a recliner is better for you than a couch, why? A recliner allows for less strain on your hips as it raises your legs. Due to the slightly slanted position of your back there is less pressure on your neck and back.
That is not to say that recliners are very healthy, some adjustments must be considered as you enjoy prolonged hours in front of the television.
This allows for slouching and puts pressure on your lower back. If there is no small cushion available to you then a rolled up towel will also do the trick.
Some of us get too comfortable in one seated position and when we get up we feel a lot of pain coming from those areas we were resting on, changing the sitting position every sixty minutes prevents that overexertion of the muscle.
That is why many times when you sleep on a recliner or a couch you wake up with back pain or neck pain. In order to avoid that always sleep on your bed, even if it’s a just a short afternoon nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
We should always consider our health when picking the couch or recliner for our homes, many of us look more for what is aesthetically pleasing and comfortable rather than health, and often times we suffer for it.
If we choose smart, we can end up with a couch or recliner that not only looks good but also feels good both in terms of comfort and in health. For those of us not buying a new couch, always remember the tips mentioned above and let’s avoid injuries and health issues and live a healthier and more comfortable life.