Are Recliners Bad for Leg Circulation

Are recliners bad for leg circulation? To efficiently answer this question, I would need to go over certain things like understanding what recliners are and the positions formed when you have to either sit or sleep in them.  

Recliners are sofas or armchairs that have adjustable backrests that can be reclined into a comfortable angle. It also has an extendable footrest that pushes out and up to raise the foot of the user. Recliner chairs are comfortable chairs mostly used by people for their snuggling effect and oftentimes users fall asleep in them and this is eternally being debated.

Sleeping in recliners has a split down the middle of almost equally good and bad attributes but there are ways to work around the bad or disadvantages by learning the proper way to sleep in recliners or learning the ways to mediate issues that may occur.

One of the disadvantages of using recliners is that there is a possibility of the blood circulation to the legs being cut off. In this article, we will be going over the causes of the circulation of the legs being cut off and ways this can be avoided if possible.          

Recliners can cause poor leg circulation

Recliners are designed in such a way where the user is comfortably engulfed and relaxed in the chair. This comfortable attribute tends to keep users in the chair for extended hours and they may even fall asleep on the recliners.

On the other hand, it is a known fact that sitting for a long period causes two major changes to the legs; the legs swell up and the blood circulation to that region is irregular.

This occurrence is mostly prompted by the inactivity of muscles when the muscles are idle or inactive for a long time. In a reclined position for a long time, the blood may have some difficulty circulating back from the leg region to the upper part of the body.

What this means is that the blood would tend to buildup in the veins in the leg region and this leaves the ankles and legs swollen. This weakens the engorged veins around the legs and causes discoloration around that region of the leg.                

There is a certain bended knee position that a user has to maintain when using a recliner and this can cause joint stiffness. Especially when used throughout the night, the bent knees can eventually lead to tightness of the calves, hamstrings, and hips.

The motionlessness and confinement that has to be maintained when you sleep in a recliner throughout the night can also lead to deep vein thrombosis or DVT or blood clots.  

Essentially, sitting or lying in a bended knee position can damage the functionalities of the blood vessels of the leg regions or the lower body.     

The major cause of this impairment to the blood vessels in the leg region is the popliteal artery, an artery located at the back of the leg, behind the knees. The blood circulation to and fro the leg is restricted when blood flow to this artery is blocked by the bent posture of the user in a recliner.

Read More: Best Recliners for Sleep Apnea

How to sit to improve circulation  

People who sit for extended hours at a time are prone to muscle fatigue and compression of the blood vessels that are in charge of supplying the muscles with blood. In this case, it is advisable to regularly change positions and maintain a good sitting or lying position.

I have listed a few things I think would be beneficial to you in terms of improving circulation while using recliners.  

  1. Sleep in recliners when they are completely reclined and you are laying outstretched. Maintaining a sitting position with bended knees for a long time could damage blood vessels and impair circulation around the knees.
  2. Paddings and extra paddings. Although recliners are designed to be optimally padded and comfortable for users, getting some extras cannot hurt.
  3. Get the right size. Always make sure to purchase the right size of recliner so that you are not held confined and immobile. With a little more room, you can afford to change positions.