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Ergonomic Sofa

How do you choose an ergonomic Sofa? Where does one buy ergonomic couches, recliner chairs and sofas?

First of all, let's review these things to consider when buying an ergonomic sofa.

good sitting posture

The Ergonomic Principles of Sitting

The ideal seating position
  1. 90 degree angle of your knees

  2. Feet touching the ground or on a foot stool

  3. preferably on a chair with good back support

Good Sitting Habits

We also know that

  1. our bodies are not designed to sit for prolonged hours

  2. sitting, even correctly, produces a lot of pressure (and weight) on our backs

  3. we should get up and move or change 'position' every twenty minutes or so

How To Know If Your Sofa Is Ergonomic

Firstly, the above ergonomic principles are a good guide to follow.

Secondly, I looked and there is not many 'ergonomic sofas' on the market, but as long as you are aware of ergonomics, you can choose the right sofa for your home.

Beware of soft sofas especially with elderly folks

As I wrote in my previous article on Home ergonomics, what is commonly overlooked is the strain an overly soft sofa is on your hips. These sofas usually have soft cushions that cause you to 'sink in' when you sit on them. It's okay if you don't spend that much time sitting in them, but stay away from them if you do, AND especially if you have elderly residents, who may be the most susceptible to hip injury.

When you 'sink' into your soft sofa, it causes heavy pressure on your hips. My grandmother broke her hips twice, because they were too fragile and she would have broke them again if she attempted to get up from the sinking-in sofa. We made her an ergonomic chair where she sat upright with a seat cushion to make it more comfortable (and feet on the ground to minimize efforts in getting up).

When you sink into a sofa that it takes extra effort to get up. And if you are not careful, sometimes you may exert too much force and strain something.

While these type of sofas are the most popular, you can try to get something inbetween. Otherwise, you can custom make your sofa, so that you'll minimize possible injuries. An alternative is this customizable ergonomic sofa company.

Beware of the Sofa that is Too Low

bad sitting posture - not ergonomic sofa

It is important for the sofa not to be too low, causing your knees to bend less than 90 degrees when you sit in.

Our bodies will naturally adjust to the ill-designed sofa, and slouch thus increasing our knee angle to greater than 90 degrees.

"Sitting slouched like this may give temporary relief from back pain, as it causes the joint spaces to open up at the back and thus reduce pressure on spinal nerves for a short time. However, this posture builds up pressure on the discs and in time the back walls of the discs may weaken and develop a bulge. This would result in pressure being exerted on a spinal nerve." - Body Stress Release.

Modern Ergonomic Sofa

There are many companies that claim to make ergonomic sofas and couches, but don't believe all the hype. Have a sit in it yourself and run through the aforementioned principles of a good chair.

The only few I've found remotely interesting is this sofa designed by Ramon Esteve for JOQUER, a spanish furniture company I think.

ergonomic sofa
Sofa by Ramon Esteve for JOQUER

It is covered with stress-resistant foam and has a high density foam core seat base. Its back and lumbar cushion is covered with Dacron fiber and graphite glazed metal legs. There are also headrests (awesome!) which join to the sofa with magnets. Interesting! I guess headrests are optional.

I don't have any more info on this, so you might want to do a more intensive research and search on this ergonomic sofa.

Lounging Around On Your Sofa

Sure, you can lounge around and slouch - after all, that is a way of resting. Just mix up your positions regularly and don't stay in one position for too long. If you find yourself sleeping, you should move to your ergonomic bed.

Thank you for reading 'Ergonomic Sofa'!

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