Are Bean Bag Chairs Good For Your Back? And How To Choose One

Bean Bag Chairs

Unlike ordinary chairs that make one strain to maintain an upright posture, bean bags are flexible and provide a comfortable sitting position. It helps prevent back pains resulting from stress on the backbone due to long-standing periods and poor sitting positions.

Are Bean Bag Chairs Good For Your Back?

Bean bag chairs have gained popularity for their casual and relaxed style, making them a versatile seating option for homes, offices, and lounges. However, when it comes to back support, some people wonder if these comfortable chairs can be good for their backs. Let’s delve into the factors to consider when it comes to bean bag chairs and their impact on back health.

  1. Ergonomic Design:
    Bean bag chairs are designed to contour your body shape, which can provide some level of support to your back. Unlike traditional chairs with rigid structures, bean bag chairs mold to your body, allowing for a more personalized seating experience. This ergonomic design can help reduce pressure points and provide relief for those with back pain.
  2. Posture Support:
    While bean bag chairs may not offer the same level of lumbar support as dedicated ergonomic chairs, they can still promote better posture. When sitting in a bean bag chair, it encourages you to sit in a more relaxed and natural position, reducing strain on your back muscles. However, it’s important to note that maintaining good posture is still crucial to avoid long-term back issues.
  3. Flexibility and Versatility:
    Bean bag chairs offer the advantage of being easily adjustable, allowing you to find the most comfortable position for your back. You can mold the shape of the chair to provide more support to your lower back or adapt it to different seating positions depending on your needs. This flexibility lets you find the optimal seating arrangement that helps alleviate back discomfort.
  4. Variety of Fillings:
    The type of filling inside the bean bag chair can play a role in its impact on your back. Foam-filled bean bag chairs can offer more support and maintain their shape better over time. However, it’s essential to note that low-quality foam or excessive fillings can lead to discomfort and a lack of support. Finding a balance between firmness and softness is key to ensuring proper back support.
  5. Usage Time and Activities:
    Like any seating option, extended periods of sitting can take a toll on your back, regardless of the chair type. Bean bag chairs are best suited for short to medium sitting durations or for activities that require occasional seating and relaxation. For individuals with chronic back pain or those who spend long hours sitting, it’s advisable to incorporate other ergonomic alternatives alongside bean bag chairs.

While bean bag chairs may not provide the same level of back support as dedicated ergonomic chairs, they can offer certain benefits for your back health. Their ergonomic design, posture support, flexibility, and versatility make them a suitable seating option for short to medium sitting durations. However, it’s important to maintain good posture, choose a chair with the right filling, and use bean bag chairs as part of a well-rounded seating arrangement to ensure proper back support and alleviate discomfort.

What Are Bean Bag Chairs?

Bean bag chairs are large bags made of fabric, filled with polystyrene beads to make them fluff. They were first designed by Pierro Gatti, Franco Teodoro, and Cesare Paoliniin 1968 to play furniture for kids. It was later discovered that bean bag chairs were very flexible, malleable, and could be used by anyone. The chairs can be designed in different shapes and colors depending on the user’s preference.

 Bean bag chairs are readily available at affordable prices. They are very attractive, especially when placed in a household with well-matching room décor. For a bean bag chair to be comfortable, it has to be well-filled with foam which offers support to the back system. This comfort creates a sense of relaxation as it ensures there is no stress resting on any part of the anatomy. High-quality bean bag chairs can last up to 30 years compared to normal chairs and sofas, which require replacement after less than ten years. 

Back pain can be fatal and can cause other ailments such as heart disease. It is advisable to use a bean bag chair to deal with back pain as it is ergonomic, which is not the case with other household items that hold less value.

What Are The Benefits Of Bean Bag Chairs?

Comfortability

Bean bag chairs are very comfortable, especially due to their malleability (ability to adapt to any body shape and size). The piece of furniture can accommodate both adults and children for whichever purpose. This chair ensures that the sitter’s body parts are not affected by any level of stress brought about by straining muscles. The use of bean bag chairs prevents pain and tension from building up in the body, which would lead to back pains.

Improving Sitting And Body Posture

 Using these chairs leads to proper sitting postures, which reduce pressure on the shoulders, the spine, and other body muscles. This pain happens especially for those using laptops as they sit in an upright position while leaning forward without curving the spine. The bean bag chair trains the body muscles helping them to overcome the little pressure exerted on them. They should be properly and regularly used to attain the right body posture.

Providing Support To The Spine

 People are more into aesthetics than their comfort and health. Most chairs are unhealthy to use as they force one to sit in a specific position without supporting the spine. When used for a long time, they eventually lead to health problems, unlike bean bag chairs, which are created to align with the spine to avoid straining. This type of posture helps the body muscles and joints to align properly while sitting.

Provides Ergonomics In Workplaces

 Ergonomic refers to the art of designing a place considering the health risks involved. With the emergence of bean bag chairs, many companies have adopted them.  An ergonomically designed office helps prevent musculoskeletal injuries and poor body postures, increasing workers’ productivity within the company.

Ease Of Cleaning

Bean bag chairs are easy to clean as compared to other seats such as sofas. Cleaning these pieces involves removing the zipper, and putting the bag in the washing machine, and in other cases, you can hand-wash it. The ease of cleaning makes them preferable, especially in a household with kids who spill food and dirt all over. Those with unremovable covers can be scrubbed, wiped, and left out to dry.

Portability

 Bean bag chairs are very light compared to normal sofas which are heavy and difficult to carry around. They also do not damage the floor when children move them around the house as they are light, and the materials used for the cover are floor friendly.

These chairs allow you to focus on your mobility while sitting because the furniture realigns itself with every movement you make. It makes the joints and muscles align themselves depending on the position you take. It also teaches the body muscles to realign every time there is a change in the sitting position, not the case with other chairs.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Bean Bag Chair

Like any other item, bean bag chairs vary in quality depending on various factors that include:

Type Of Fabric Used

Fabric is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing any furniture piece because various materials offer different kinds of comfort. For example, a bean bag chair made of cotton fabric could be unsuitable since cotton easily absorbs liquids and takes longer to dry. Materials like silk are the best for bean bag chairs, but they are expensive, so people opt for cotton-made bean bag chairs due to their affordability.

Fabric Weight 

A comfortable bean bag chair should have at least 1680D polyester. It is not easy to achieve such weight since the fabric is very expensive. The more the fabric, the more comfort and the better the chair. Poorly made bean bag chairs are more prone to tear and scratches and cannot be used for outdoor activities. 

Filling

 Filling materials are used to fill up the bean bag chair. Virgin polystyrene beads should be used since they are bouncy and long-lasting compared to recycled beads acquired from repacked materials.  

Type Of Zipper 

When buying a bean bag chair, one should consider the type of zipper used to cover it. A good zipper offers excellent safety, especially when children are involved. Poorly-made bean bag chairs have plastic zippers, which can be easily pulled out compared to the big metallic zippers that are difficult to open and lose.

Cost 

Some bean bag chairs will tag along with miscellaneous expenditures. For example, cheap bags which easily wear off will incur more cost for repairing whereas a good and expensive chair will come along with a warranty of a specified period. It means that after purchase, the buyer will have no extra costs as the warranty will cover them. It is, therefore, advisable to avoid cheap bean bag chairs.

Risks Associated With Bean Bag Chairs

Bean Bag Chairs Also Come With Their Disadvantages That Include: 

  • Bean bag chairs may cause choking in young children when they accidentally inhale the polystyrene beads used as fillings. When poor zippers are used, children can open up the bean bag and access the fillings.
  • Children below the age of three are likely to suffocate if they fall in the bean bag chair and get covered by it and its contents. The children may be unable to breathe, which could lead to death.
  • Some bean bag chairs lack sturdy seams that are used to prevent fillings from falling out.  Children can easily swallow fallen fillings which may cause health issues that may require more serious medical attention, such as surgery.
  • Bean bag chairs are difficult to dispose of since they are made of expanded polystyrene balls. These balls are non-biodegradable and may pose a great health risk to the environment and wildlife. However, their eco-friendlier options such as buckwheat could be used as bean bag fillings though the chair may not be as comfortable.

Conclusion

Bean bag chairs are good for the back as they are ergonomically designed. They provide support to the neck and back. Their mobility nature enables one to move around freely, which helps avoid strain and stiff-related pain, leading to increased productivity of the individual. The different designs create a better working atmosphere in the office than the ordinary boring wooden office desks, which cause fatigue and back pain at the end of the day.

References:

https://cordaroys.com/blogs/news/are-bean-bags-good-for-your-back
https://medium.com/@urbanloom/will-bean-bags-harm-your-back-9727e1512cba

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