Should My Feet Hang Over Recliner?

It is refreshing to rest on a Recliner with both feet extended over the footrest after a tiring day.

But, I often wondered if I purchased a wrong-sized Recliner as my feet would hang over the Recliner.

However, the position with feet hanging over the Recliner never tired my legs.

Our feet should hang over the Recliner’s footrest with just our heels sticking over the footrest. It is designed in such a way to improve circulation and distribute body weight. Place your feet flat over the Recliner and let your heels hangover for maximal relaxation.

Feet hang over recliner
Recliner (Source: Unsplash)

After researching more about Recliners and their design, I was assured of the Recliner’s feet hanging design.

So, read on to find out why hanging your feet over the Recliner is beneficial to you.

Should Your Feet Hang Over Recliner?

If you used a Recliner for the first time, you would probably wonder if the Recliner is too small for you or if your legs should hang over the Recliners.

Your hanging heels over the Recliner’s footrest are not a flaw in the design.

In fact, your feet should hang over the Recliners, but they should not dangle off. Your heels should stick out just from the edge of the footrest.

Having your feet hanging off the Recliner sounds uncomfortable.

However, the Recliners are designed in such a way to distribute your body weight evenly on your legs for maximal comfort.

Feet hang over recliner
Resting on Recliner (Source: Wikipedia)

Otherwise, the pressure would accumulate at your heels, leading to discomfort.

Our hamstring muscles on the back of each thigh must be flexed for mobility. While seated, your legs should be at negative angle rest, so your hamstrings are relaxed.

Contraction of legs over a long time can cause Posterior Pelvic Tilt and Pelvic Ulcers.

Keeping the hamstring muscles elevated for a long time can cause effects on posture, but for a shorter time, it helps maintain muscle flexibility.

Advantages of Hanging your Feet Over Recliners

  • This position causes the body fluids to move and reduces swelling.
  • It relaxes your legs through pressure distribution.
  • Leg elevation reduces back pains and Sciatica Symptoms.
  • As the pressure is distributed over the legs, the circulation improves, preventing varicose veins.
  • Having positioned with heels hanging over the footrest increases stability and reduces the risk of falls.
  • According to studies, foot elevation by Recliner provides pain relief to arthritis patients.
  • It helps calm the nervous system, relieves stress, and relax the body.

Disadvantages of Hanging your Feet Over Recliners

  • Prolonged elevated legs can harm your posture and make muscles inactive.
  • Joints may be stiff if you fall asleep for a long time in your Recliner.
  • Painful for people with joint and back complications.
  • Airplane syndrome is possible. It occurs when you sit or sleep in a restricted position for an extended amount of time.

Where Should Your Feet Rest on a Recliner?

Your feet should rest on the Recliner while sitting on it. However, two possible positions are when the footrest is extended and when it is not.

1. Footrest Not Extended

When the footrest is not extended, you should sit in a manner that your hamstring muscles are relaxed. You can do it by seating yourself with your feet at 90-degree angles.

This will relieve strain on your lower back and knees, allowing proper blood flow throughout your lower body.

2. Footrest Extended

You should place your feet on the footrest with your heels, just stretching from the footrest when the footrest is extended.

The weight of your legs is distributed equally across a broad area of your legs when your heels hang over the edge of the footrest.

Some Recliners have a separate ottoman or footrests like this Flash Furniture Recliner Chair.

You can place your foot with heels out by adjusting the distance of the ottoman.

How Long Should be the Foot Rest of your Recliner?

Foot Rest are extendable to increase the length of the Recliner. Usually, Recliners have 18- 19″ inches footrests.

The size of the footrest will also depend on the Recliner’s size. For your reference, here is the size of the Recliner with its footrest.

For taller people, the footrest of the Recliner and the height should be high enough to fit the legs perfectly.

Else, their feet up to the shin can hang from the Recliner, which would be uncomfortable.

Recliner HeightFoot Rest Size
Extra Small (upto 24 inches)18' to 19'
Small (25 to 35 inches )19' to 20'
Large (35 to 50 inches)22' - 23'
Extra Large (50 inches and higher)23'
Recliner dimension
Recliner dimension (Source: Amazon)

Read about; What should be the Ideal Height of your Office Chair?

Are Recliners Bad for Blood Circulation in Leg?

Footrests are present in the Recliners for your relaxation and pressure relief. If you sit in a proper position in the Recliner, it ensures good blood circulation on your legs.

While seated for longer periods, your legs tend to fall stiff. So, you must sit with your heels extended from the footrest.

Letting your feet hang over Recliner in an elevated position for 20 minutes a day improves your circulation. Recliners keep your feet slightly elevated from your torso for this purpose.

Studies show that ischemic rest pain patients need to hang their feet over bed or recliners to regain blood flow and pain relief.

Why do your Leg and Knee Ache While Using a Recliner?

If the Recliner is not the correct size, you can have leg pains and discomfort. One way to prevent leg pain is to measure your inseam.

Usually, people of average height have an inseam of 30 inches.

If you are taller than average, you should choose a Recliner of bigger size like a recliner with 20 inches or higher bach height.

Using a Recliner does not generally cause leg or knee pain by itself, but it certainly can worsen your existing condition or pain if used incorrectly.

Alternatively, you could use a Recliner with a footrest, not having push-down options as you won’t be able to exert the force with an injured knee.

You might also have conditions such as Plantar fasciitis which can cause pain when you are off your feet.

Feet hang over recliner
Leg ache (Source: Unsplash)

Read about; How Much Space do you Need for Office Chair?

Tips to Prevent Leg and Knee Pain When Reclining

  • Check your Recliner’s height. It should be high enough for your feet to rest comfortably on the floor.
  • Try adjusting your sitting posture using cushions, pillows, and other props. Raise your feet to the proper height.
  • Place a pillow behind your leg muscles to give support may help relieve muscle strain pain.
  • Relax in a Recliner with a chair cushion between your thighs and hips to get some relief.

The Bottom Line

While lying with your feet hanging over the Recliner initially might be uncomfortable, it ensures comfort and relaxation over time.

Your Hamstring muscles are stretched while laying down on the Recliner. In addition, there are multiple health benefits when the Recliner is used correctly.

You can relax in your Recliner with no worries about leg pain.

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