There’s nothing like switching off after a long day at the office. Coming home to that soft-as-a-cloud sofa that after 5 minutes is not so soft. Half sitting, half lying because your body wants to recline but the sofa doesn’t. Stuffing cushions behind your back because the sofa doesn’t have stuffing where you need it. Forgetting all the reasons your back loves that great office chair. Searching the web, looking for a new sofa that looks and feels good.
If this is you, then take a serious look at the PEEL recliner by Variér. When used correctly, this recliner is healthy for your back, comfortable for your body and appealing to your eye. That makes the PEEL recliner a rare find in the after office hours seating world. Why is it rare? Because Variér seat design is about health based on fact, not myth.
Myths about comfortable seating
• To be comfortable the upholstery has to be soft as a cloud
• To be comfortable I have to resemble a reclined letter C
• Once I’m floating on my cloud I won’t have to move
• All those rules about comfort and sitting in the office don’t apply after work, because I can’t hurt my back sitting after I leave the office
Why is the PEEL recliner healthy and comfortable?
The PEEL recliner has upholstery specially designed to maintain support of the body. You’ll float, but you won’t sink and bottom out, trapped in feathers without support where it’s needed. You won’t need a rainbow of cushions to shove in your back for lumbar support, or behind your neck for neck support. You won’t want to slouch because the very design of this recliner offers utter comfort while maintaining healthy postures. The design of the PEEL recliner is such that to maintain the natural curve of the low back you just need to sit your buttocks right back in the chair, adjust the recline to the position you want, the neck rest to support your neck in neutral, and put your feet up.
You will indeed feel that you are floating. But because the upholstery of the PEEL recliner offers constant support, you will find it easy to change positions. Movement is further facilitated by a double spring system that ensures the chair moves smoothly with you, simply by shifting your body weight. No levers. Movement is essential to maintain the body’s health, and this is particularly relevant to the spine. Movement is essential to maintain the health of the discs, the joints, the ligaments and muscles of the spine.
The discs are fluid filled cushions between the spinal vertebrae. The discs act as shock absorbers. If you sit immobile then disc pressure builds up and this pressure forces the fluid out of the discs. Changes of posture create changes of pressure that allow fresh fluid and nutrition to come into the discs, and waste products to be removed. So by maintaining hydration with movement, the discs retain their shock absorbency function.
Movement also assists in the health of the joints on either side of the vertebrae. Apart from allowing movement, these joints take some of the load of the body off the discs, muscles and ligaments. However if you sit in one position, these joints get stiff, just as happens if you keep your fingers clenched for a period of time. Constant load on joints from lack of movement also causes seepage of fluid from the joints, which leads to impingement of joint surfaces and resultant pain.
And as discussed in a previous post, the muscles and ligaments also need movement to maintain their protective role of the spine, by creating stability. One of the best ways to use back muscles when seated is to use a rocking chair.
JFK’s physician, Dr Janet Travell, quite rightly recommended a rocking chair to treat his low back pain. She reasoned that a rocking action instigated via the feet, causes alternating relaxation and activation of the deep back muscles. This is a very beneficial form of seated movement. By using the footstool to initiate the rocking action, you can turn the PEEL into a rocking recliner.
So being able to move in a chair is very important. In the PEEL recliner, movement is assisted by the supportive upholstery, by the recline mechanism of the backrest and the use of the footstool.
Reclining is a natural posture when relaxing. However, when you try to use a normal sofa as a recliner by half sitting, half lying along it, legs outstretched, regardless of whether you put a pillow in your back, your spine will resemble a banana. This is because your hamstrings are attached to your pelvis at one end and run down the back of the leg to attach below your knees at the other end. By sitting bent at the hips with the knees out straight along the sofa, the hamstrings are on the full stretch, and will pull your pelvis backwards causing your low back to slouch, reversing the natural curve. SLOUCH over time equals OUCH.
The backrest recline in the PEEL lessens the tension in the hamstrings. By positioning the footrest so that your knees are slightly bent, your hamstrings are no longer taut. Indeed they are as relaxed as you are. Therefore the hamstrings are no longer pulling the spine into a slouch. And if you have correctly positioned your buttocks as far back in the seat as possible, then the natural curve of your low back is comfortably maintained. Now adjust the head rest so your neck is supported in line with the rest of your spine, not flexed down or bent back. You are now totally relaxed and the care that you have taken looking after your back at work, will be maintained by excellent seating at home. All that remains is to pick up that book, or switch on the TV.
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