For the term “zero gravity”, most people would probab […]
For the term “zero gravity”, most people would probably conjure images of floating weightlessly in space (give or take a few aliens). Now take that feeling and imagine you are sitting in a chair on Earth. Zero gravity chairs make users feel like astronauts because of the steep reclining angle and s-shaped back that is designed to exert minimal pressure on the body.
These chairs are therefore perfect for those who want to kick their feet back on a Sunday afternoon instead of getting backstabbed by a cheap plastic lawn chair. The greatly reduced pressure on the body is also ideal for those with lower back pain who need to recline in a comfortable and ergonomic position when taking breaks from standing. Indeed, the zero gravity concept is similar to that used by the zero-gravity treadmill, which helps injured athletes recuperate and exercise without putting too much stress on their lower limbs.
Benefits of a Zero Gravity Chair
As mentioned earlier, zero gravity chairs mimic the zero gravity conditions of outer space on the body. Don’t worry though, you won’t be floating off anywhere anytime soon. The reclined position of zero gravity chairs is actually the same as the position that astronauts assume when they take off for their missions beyond the atmosphere. Since they are leaving Earth at such a high speed, astronauts will experience intense effects from gravity, which is why it is important to redistribute those back-breaking forces so that they can safely withstand take-off without feeling like Christian Bale after he fights Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.
To assume this reclined configuration, zero gravity chairs elevate the legs so that the angle of gravity is decreased, which also decreases the pressure on the back. Back problems like herniated or prolapsed intervertebral discs can be exacerbated by obesity and improper gait or exercise posture, which can affect the nerves in the spinal cord and induce pain. Therefore, an ergonomic chair that mimics the natural shape of the human spine helps the user maintain a proper posture when sitting. Moreover, a zero gravity chair that elevates the user reduces the stress that induces back pain by redistributing that stress throughout the body and to the chair itself. For those with back problems due to old age or injuries, this elevation and weight redistribution is especially needed.
In addition, by reducing the pressure on the body – especially on the back – zero gravity chairs alleviate the stress on the heart and lungs, allowing them to operate at a higher efficiency. The raising of the user’s legs also decreases the effects of blood pooling in the lower limbs (which can result in varicose veins over the long term) so that body-wide circulation is facilitated. This increase in blood circulation and lung capacity assists the body in better nourishing its cells. Feel comfortable while helping out your body – winning!
Other than the physiological benefits of a zero gravity chair, sitting in a chair that makes you feel weightless and light will undoubtedly help you relax. Since many of us may sit in office chairs during work, it is a welcome break to recline in a chair that almost lets you lie down. No doubt we’d prefer reclining in a zero gravity chair than a cheap plastic or metal foldable lawn chair that is stiff and non-ergonomic.
What to Look for in a Zero Gravity Reclining Chair
Now that I’ve covered the benefits of a zero gravity chair, what should you look for when buying one of these ergonomic powerhouses? I’ve compiled a brief buyer’s guide for those looking for furniture to help alleviate their back pain and to relax. Note that some functions will exclusively be for indoor or outdoor chairs, where their different environments of intended use will affect chair functions and features. As I may have mentioned in previous posts, nothing is better than actually sitting the chair to get a feel for how well it fits you.