Zero Gravity Chairs vs Recliners: How They Impact Your Body

zero gravity chairs vs. recliners

As more people discover the health benefits of zero gravity chairs their popularity has continued to rise. The neutral body position achieved in zero gravity posture distributes weight evenly along the body reducing bodily stress caused by the natural effects of gravity.

Though the terms are frequently used interchangeably as general descriptors, let's explore the differences in zero gravity chairs vs zero gravity recliners and how they impact your body!

What is Zero Gravity Position?

The zero gravity posture was initially developed by NASA after observing the difference in the resting body position of astronauts in space. Without Earth’s normal gravitational pull, bodies at rest in microgravity conditions assume a posture created by the angles of joints and natural position of body limbs. After documenting this observation, NASA termed the position neutral body position, or NBP

How Do Zero Gravity Chairs Work?

If the neutral body position happened in space, how do zero gravity chairs work here on Earth under normal gravity conditions? The term zero gravity chair, sometimes known as an anti-gravity chair, describes the neutral body position you are in as you sit in it. In zero gravity posture, the body reclines with the legs above the heart level, distributing weight and pressure evenly along the body. This positioning helps alleviate the daily effects of gravity on the body and initiates the health benefits of zero gravity chairs. 

Fixed Zero Gravity Position vs Zero Gravity Reclining Chair

Traditional zero gravity chairs are fixed in the zero gravity position as opposed to reclining from a traditional chair position. While a strictly indoor zero gravity chair may appear most similar to a traditional chaise, many chairs are designed with elastic cording similar to bungee cables that allow for indoor and outdoor functionality. The bungee design keeps the chairs light, but after heavy use these cables may need replacing for optimal performance. This type of zero gravity chair benefits people wanting to take their chair with them for outdoor activities like camping or trips to the beach!

A zero gravity reclining chair goes beyond the basic health benefits of zero gravity chairs. Almost always exclusively for indoor use, zero gravity power recliners are typically larger and have better durability. These transform from an upright traditional chair position into the zero gravity posture. Offering the transition gives zero gravity recliners more versatility to function as a luxury furniture piece in your home. 

Outdoor and Indoor Zero Gravity Chair vs Zero Gravity Indoor Recliner

Outdoor and indoor zero gravity chairs fixed in the zero gravity position are typically unpowered. This means even a strictly indoor zero gravity chair may lack some of the special features found in zero gravity power recliners. Models meant for outdoor use sometimes provide extras like cup holders. While the health benefits of zero gravity chairs from neutral body positioning are irrefutable, traditional zero gravity chairs are a more basic option than their zero gravity recliner counterparts. 

Manual recliners exist but the best zero gravity recliners are powered and often offer luxury features such as massage, heat therapy, and smart wake-up programs. Though typically more expensive than the more basic outdoor and indoor zero gravity chairs mentioned previously, zero gravity electric recliners provide another level of comfort to your body.

Massage features and heat therapy functions work to soothe muscle stiffness and increase blood flow. Combining these with a daily fitness routine can help heal the body from injuries and prevent future ones. Some zero gravity recliners also have features like lumbar support pillows and head cushions. These extras add to the comfort of your recliner and help treat neck and lower back pain with proper bodily support. 

Health Benefits of Zero Gravity Position

Whichever you choose, the health benefits of zero gravity chairs and recliners are what make them essential to self-care. The zero gravity posture allows for spinal decompression, improved heart health from increased blood circulation, and better sleep quality. All these combine for more efficient healing for your body. 

Reducing pressure on the spine allows for disc rehydration and better tissue healing. In zero gravity posture, the spine elongates as it recovers from the daily effects of gravity. This can relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, combatting lower back pain and sciatica symptoms that affect up to 40% of all people. Lumbar support found in the best zero gravity chairs and recliners enhances lower back pain relief. 

Another health benefit of zero gravity chairs and recliners is improved heart health stemming from increased blood circulation. When the legs are elevated above the heart level in neutral body position, blood flows more efficiently to extremities and back again. This provides oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. The ease of blood flow decreases blood pressure and works the heart less. 

A tertiary result of zero gravity posture is better sleep quality from the body’s ability to more fully relax. As the body relaxes, it is able to heal more rapidly. In fact, just 20 minutes a day in the zero gravity position is equivalent to the back repair that occurs during 8-10 hours of sleep. 

Both zero gravity chairs and recliners impact your body in positive ways. The neutral body position lets your body heal and operate at optimal level. Consider which zero gravity chair or recliner fits your needs and will provide you the best benefit.