Are Recliners Bad For Your Neck?

Some people think recliners are the culprit of neck pain, but others reckon recliners help relieve the strains and pains on your neck. What is the correct answer to this subject?

This post will investigate the most critical information about the relationship between neck pain and recliner. Are recliners bad for your neck? You will get the answer by reading the article right away!

The right posture for the neck

right posture for your neck
Right posture for your neck

Before we talk about the recliners, it is essential to know the correct posture for your neck. Because if the recliner could help you keep a good neck posture, it would not be bad for your neck.

Our necks are composed of 7 bones, and each of them stays one by one. The spinal cord goes through these bones, and that’s why an injured neck could cause problems in other parts of your body.

When we stand up with the heels, shoulder blades, lumbar spine, and head touching the wall, our neck is in a good posture. In this way, our head could stay just above the shoulder. 

The poor neck posture will lead to forward head position, causing the neck to bear much more weight than usual. For one, leaning forward 3 inches will increase the neck’s weight to support 30 pounds. If the situation persists, neck pain will develop. 

This explains why people who work in front of a computer are likely to suffer from neck pain as they tend to make their heads forward while looking at the computer screen.

Does the recliner cause neck pain?

As we said, if the recliner could keep your neck in a natural position, it would not cause neck pain. A recliner would not be bad for your back either.

In fact, most recliners are designed to relieve strains and pains. Your neck will be comfortably supported as long as it fits your body.

So the critical point goes to whether the recliner at your house can correctly accommodate your body.

A standard recliner chair is designed for an average male who is between 5.5 feet to 6 feet. If you are taller or shorter, it is better to opt for a small recliner or a heavy-duty recliner.

Therefore, a suitable recliner chair that fits your body size will not cause neck pain, but an inappropriate chair can.

Outside of that, the way you sit in the chair also affects your experience. If you get used to leaning your body to one side or sleeping with your head on the armrest, neck pain can develop as you don’t use the recliner in the right way.

How to prevent neck pain while sitting in a recliner

Find a proper recliner chair

The most effective way to prevent neck pain is finding yourself a proper recliner chair.

How to identify whether the chair is compatible with your body? Take a seat to see whether your neck is in the proper posture naturally, and your head will be directly above your head. Also, there should be no spaces between your neck, back, and chair. 

If you plan to buy a new recliner, you’d better test it in person to feel how well the chair supports you.

Adjust your chair

Don’t worry if you find your old recliner can’t provide enough support for your neck. Instead of buying a new one, there are ways to work around it. 

You can DIY a towel roll and place it on the back of your neck. This fills the gap between the chair and neck. To make your chair look better and yourself more comfortable, hundreds of excellent recliner headrest pillows are available in the marketplace. Either way is easy to do and will not cost much.

Sit in the right way

The recliner is the best place to relax. However,  if you sit in the wrong way, you may feel relaxed initially but end up feeling muscle strains. 

The correct way to sit is sitting in the middle of the chair and leaning back without leaving any gaps between your lumbar, neck, and chair. This would be the most comfortable position, even though you may need some time to get used to it. 

Other causes of neck pain

Sometimes, blaming the recliner for your neck pain may not be sensible. Look at our lifestyles, there are a few factors that may be responsible for developing your neck pain.

As we know, we are not designed to sit for a long time. However, we have to sit for eight hours a day for most people to get our job done. As more and more people need to work with a computer, our necks have to bear much more pressure which causes muscle strain. 

Therefore, we must take some breaks and stand up periodically. Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics at Cornell University, suggested we sit for 20 minutes, stand up for 8 minutes and work around for 2 minutes every half an hour

How we sit on our office chair also affects the condition of our necks. Remember to change sitting positions often, stretch your body, and make your lumbar part is fully supported. If you find the office chair is not ideal, why not buy a good ergonomic office chair for yourself. It could bring you a lot of health benefits in the long run.

Another thing worth mentioning is that being mindful of your posture could help you to modify the posture from time to time. We all know that it is difficult to change a posture, but perseverance will pay off, and your strain and pain on the neck will be alleviated.

good sleeping position for neck
Good sleeping position for neck

Your sleeping position also plays a role in neck pain development. Keep your neck and head aligned with your body. The best position for sleeping is usually sleeping on the back or side.

Bottom line 

People who suffer from neck pain like to look for the causes of their uncomfortable experiences, and some owe it to their recliner chair at home or office.

Are recliners really bad for your neck? Our answer is NO. Recliners are designed to relieve muscle stress and strains and provide support for your neck.

However, it is vital to find a perfect chair that fits your body type and body size, allowing the cushions on the recliner to support each part of your body precisely. An unsuitable recliner could lead to neck pain.

To adjust the recliner is a walk in the park. Adding a towel roll or neck pillow often solves the problem.

Always remind yourself to keep in the right posture no matter sitting or standing. Taking a break and standing up from your seated position is also important to relieve strain and stress on the neck.

Photo of author
Rachelle is the founder of Best Chair Finder. She is a fanatic of home improvement, and as an engineer, she knows well about each chair's mechanism. You can find her story on the About page.