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HEALTHY AGEING

The benefits of a rise and recline armchair

November 22, 2021

Reclining armchair

Do you struggle with getting in and out of your chair? Or with sitting comfortably for large parts of your day? If so, a riser recliner may be the chair for you.

Rise and recline armchairs, also known as ‘riser recliners’ are motorised armchairs that enable you to rise (lift up and tip forward) from your chair with minimal effort, and recline (down and back) in your chair for comfort. You can adjust your seated position at the touch of a button, making it easy to mobilise from a seated to a standing position and vice versa.

A riser recliner chair will help you retain your independence, improve your circulation, reduce the risk of falls, avoid pressure damage and maintain good posture.

Reclining chair

Here are 5 benefits of a rise recliner chair:

1. The importance of independence whilst sitting

The ability to easily lower ourselves into a comfortable seat and rise again safely by ourselves is key to maintaining independence. Not only is it more dignified and convenient to be able to sit and stand unaided, but being able to do so at any time is important – especially if you experience urgent calls of nature.

According to research by the Economic Social and Research Council, independence is “crucial” to wellbeing in older age.

 

2. How a riser recliner helps to improve circulation

If you do spend prolonged periods of time sitting down, a riser recliner chair could do wonders for your circulation. By elevating the footrest you’ll be able to lift your legs, which in turn will give your circulation a boost and reduce any swelling.

 

3. How a rise and recline armchair can reduce the risk of falls

A survey commissioned by Age UK has found that millions of older people are worried about falling over, with 4.3 million (36%) saying it topped their list of concerns. If you count yourself among this number, a rise and recline armchair could be an important tool in your safe and steady arsenal.

Your rise and recline chair will help you to safely stand up by moving the seat forwards and raising it upwards. This puts you in an optimum position to mobilise your feet. This action can also be used in reverse, to slowly and steadily assist you from standing to seated.

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4. Maintaining good posture

According to research by the British Heart Foundation, people aged 65 and above spend on average over 10 hours per day in a sedentary position.  So, it’s important for your health that you maintain good posture and circulation while relaxing at home.

 

What is posture?

Posture is the term we use to describe the position in which we hold our bodies. Even when we’re sitting with support from a seat, armrests and backrest, we’re engaging our ligaments and muscles to maintain a certain position. When the position we assume is less than ideal, we are putting additional strain on our joints and muscles.

 

What are the effects of poor posture?

Over time, poor posture is well-known to cause pain and damage to the back and neck. However, some other knock-on effects of poor posture might surprise you. Incorrect positioning in an armchair could impair your balance, for example. It could also bring on headaches and respiratory problems.

According to the Harvard Medical School, researchers are even examining whether posture affects “mood, sleep, fatigue, and jaw alignment".

 

What is the impact of poor posture on your abdomen?

Poor posture could also be exacerbating or even causing urinary stress incontinence – when a small amount of urine leaks when additional pressure is added to the abdomen, such as when you laugh or sneeze. This is because poor posture could be loading extra pressure on the abdomen, and in turn the bladder.

However, the bladder isn’t the only organ that calls your abdomen home. If you ever find yourself reaching for antacids after a meal, it may be the way you’re sitting in your sofa or armchair that’s the culprit.

The additional pressure that’s placed on the abdomen when you slouch could be forcing acidic digestive liquids in your stomach up into your oesophagus. It’s these acids that cause heartburn or an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

 

Reclining chair

5. Avoiding pressure damage whilst sitting

As we age, our skin changes. The cell layers in our skin and tissue become thinner and our skin becomes more fragile and takes longer to heal. This makes us more susceptible to pressure damage – particularly when spending a lot of time sitting or lying in a chair or bed.

It’s important to regularly reposition ourselves to relieve pressure from the most vulnerable parts of our body – also known as the ‘bony prominences’. These are located in your heels, sacrum (base of the spine), elbow, shoulders and back of the head.

Your rise and recline armchair will enable you to do this at the touch of a button, by adjusting the angle of the backrest and seat. Relieving the pressure on your bony prominences isn’t just great for your health, but also for your comfort, as sitting in one position for a long time can be painful.

 

How to choose the right rise and recline armchair for you in 4 steps

When it comes to choosing the best rise and recline armchair for you, there are lots of things to think about.

Considerations include motor type (there are three different kinds which affect how the chair will move in space), what kind of backrest style you’ll want, material choice, and whether you’ll need any additional pressure care or cushioning support.

 

Elderly person in riser chair


1. Motor Type

There are 3 main types of motor:

  • Single motor (with tilt-in-space option).
  • Dual motor (with tilt-in-space option).
  • Triple motor.

A single motor riser recliner means that movement of the backrest and leg rest are linked and move together. Whilst this works for most, if you need to customise your position at any point, this would not be the best option for you.

A dual motor means you can operate the leg rest and back rest independently. This offers more control and adjustability.

A triple motor riser recliner is for when a little extra lifting capacity is needed on higher weight limit chairs.

Tilt in space technology allows the users hip and back angle to remain constant. This better distributes weight and prevents sliding, reducing the likelihood of pressure ulcers.

 

2. Backrest Style

There are a variety of backrest styles to suit different tastes and postural needs. The most common are:

  1. Waterfall back: enables very good comfort and can be adjusted for each individual.
  2. Lateral support back: keeps the user in a comfortable upright position – perfect for when the user tends to lean to one side.
  3. Button back: provides structures support for those that prefer a more definite seating position.

 

3. Material

There are 3 main types of material available on riser recliners;

  1. Standard.
  2. Breathable: allows air circulation, preventing heat build up around the user and reducing the risk of pressure ulcers appearing.
  3. Waterproof: allows you to clean the chair quickly and easily in the event of any leaks or spills.

These are available in a wide range of colours and patterns, standard material can be chosen to your personal tastes or even to match existing furniture.

 

4. Pressure relief

Specialist pressure relief can prevent pain and increase comfort when sitting in your chair for a long time. This is normally achieved in one of two ways:

  1. Inbuilt pressure relief is just that - pressure relief built in to the seat of the chair, evenly spreading your body weight. This is discreet and stays part of the chair
  2. Cutout pressure relief is when part of your chair is cut out to accommodate a specialist cushion you may already have. This means you can take the cushion around wherever you go, but does make the seat less aesthetically pleasing.

 

Finding more information about reclining armchairs

So, all in all, a riser recliner can improve your daily life by increasing comfort and reducing risk. And whilst the benefits are clear, which options to go for may still be a bit overwhelming. This is where an expert comes in, someone that can guide you through the process to make sure you have just the right riser recliner for you and your needs.

Reclining chairs for the elderly

Browse the Felgains rise and recline armchair range online, call for advice or visit their showroom.

Reclining armchairs

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