Zero Gravity Chairs - Zero Gravity Recliners
Health Benefits to Users
Zero Gravity Recliners are designed to relieve the body of the pressures experienced in an upright position. By extending the lower legs above the heart, the spine is allowed to decompress. This position has several benefits including:
- Less pressure on the spine
- Reduce stress on the heart
- Relieve muscle tension
- Less pressure on the heart and expanded lung capacity
- Increased circulation and increased blood oxygen levels
The concept of the zero gravity recliner actually came from NASA and the experiences of astronauts who have spent many hours in space. During take-off, astronauts recline with their feet higher than their hearts. This zero gravity position reduces the amount of force exerted on the spine by the extreme speed at which they travel.
In an upright standing or sitting position, gravity places pressure on the spine causing discs to compress and spinal muscles to contract to maintain balance. For a person with back pain, this can be extremely uncomfortable. When gravity is neutralized, muscles rest and discs return to their normal size and shape. This is why you are taller first thing in the morning than you are at the end of the day - because your discs have been relieved of the pressures of gravity and the weight of your body.
There are two key health benefits provided by the Zero Gravity Chairs & Zero Gravity Recliner
- Unloading of spinal discs:
Human spinal discs have viscoelastic properties. That is, they compress at a decelerating rate when loaded and expand at a decelerating rate when unloaded. Higher loads result in a higher rate of compression. Spinal loading from daily activities will cause shrinkage in stature, of up to 20mm over the day.
This transfer of fluid in and out of the disc is the body's mechanism for supplying nutrition to the discs. Spinal discs do not have a direct blood supply, and this osmosis and diffusion is essential to maintaining spinal health. It is unknown how often the spine needs to be "unloaded" during a day to maintain good disc health. Of course, disc fluid transfer is also increased with movement (that is, exercise!).
Given that the onset of degenerative spinal changes occurs is commonly at a young age in industrialized societies such as our own, and that these degenerative spinal changes occur only at more advanced ages in primitive societies, it is likely that we need much more unloading and/or exercise in our daily lives than we currently get.
Loads on the lumbar spine are reduced in neutral lumbar postures. Technically speaking, the neutral posture is defined as being near the mid-point of the available range-of-motion in that body region.
- Relaxation of spinal muscles:
The heart pumps blood, full of nutrients and oxygen, to our body parts. Muscles "pump" blood, carrying the waste products of metabolism, back to the heart. The muscle pump works by massaging the blood vessels which pass through them. The pumping massage action occurs as the muscles intermittently contract and relax. During sustained muscle contractions, blood flow through the muscles is restricted or occluded. So it is important that the muscles have intermittent opportunities to relax.
Good Posture Even when Relaxing
Maintaining good posture, even when watching TV or reading a book is not only good for your spine, it's now made easier with zero gravity chairs & zero gravity recliners. Down Under has several zero gravity recliners including fully upholstered recliners in traditional and contemporary designs as well as recliners made for outdoor use. These recliners are designed to follow the natural curves of the spine while providing full lumbar and upper back support. They move easily from full upright position to full recline, making it easy to get in and out.