[Updated on 1 June 2020] The older I get, the more I find myself questioning how my activities are going to affect me tomorrow. My health and the health of my family is a major concern in all of my decisions, so when it came time to buy new outdoor seating, I had some questions. I know that they are comfortable, but I found myself wondering; Are Adirondack chairs good for your back? I found the answer to my question and so much more about how comfortable these chairs are.
What Makes an Adirondack Chair?
Before we talk about all the benefits of Adirondack chairs, we should first understand the features that make these chairs what they are. It is important to know what makes and Adirondack chair because there are a lot of imitators, but none of them offer all of the great features that a traditional Adirondack chair has.
- These chairs are usually made of wood but are manufactured with plastic or composite materials as well.
- They slope from front to back to place you in a reclining position naturally. The slope also makes these chairs the perfect option for sitting on uneven ground.
- The back is tall and fanned out. It is also at an angle to the base to naturally place you in a reclining position.
- The seats of the chair are low to the ground, often only six inches or less.
- The wide arms offer great comfort, but also a place to rest cups and plates.
How Do I Make My Adirondack Chairs More Comfortable?
Sloped Adirondack chairs are already designed to be comfortable, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t add more to make them even more luxurious.
- Footrests – Many Adirondack chair manufacturers also make footrests that are curved to fit their chairs perfectly. These footrests maximize comfort, but they also look nice, and when you buy them with your chair, they will match perfectly making your patio set more aesthetically pleasing.
- Cushions – A simple search will bring you to hundreds of stores selling cushions for Adirondack chairs. These cushions cover the entire front of the chair from the seat and all the way up the back. Most of these cushions don’t support your back per se, but they do allow you to relax into the back of the chair.
- Add Accessories – Imagine being able to sit back in a chair and not need to move again because everything you need is at your fingertips. Many manufacturers make matching side tables for their chairs, but even better, some make drink holders that attach to the arms of the chair.
Do They Offer Any Other Health Benefits?
The unique design of Adirondack chairs is not just great for your spine; it benefits the whole of the body especially the joints. Because these chairs curve up, they keep your feet off the ground, so they remove any pressure from your ankle and knee joints. If you are tall, you have undoubtedly experienced situations where your knees are higher than the chair seat which is uncomfortable and puts undue stress on your joints.
There are no metrics to confirm this, and it is my opinion only, but I think that these chairs are great for your mental health and physical health as well. Using these chairs usually leads to great nights in the fresh air with family and friends and if that isn’t good for the body and mind, I don’t know what is.
Are There Any Other Benefits to Adirondack Chairs?
Being easy on your back is only the beginning; if you are thinking about purchasing a set of Adirondacks for your outdoor space, you are going to want to know all of the other benefits that you get with these chairs.
- A Family Chair – Its incline makes it the perfect place to take a nap and naturally makes a great space for kids or animals to lay on your lap.
- Long-lasting – They are often made from durable materials so your family can use them for years.
- Attractive – These chairs are aesthetically appealing and stay contemporary through ever-changing styles.
- Light Weight – Adirondack chairs weigh less than 40 pounds on most occasions, so they are easy to move around the yard.
- Easy Maintenance – These chairs do need to have regular maintenance, but the maintenance is pretty easy. Aside from needing to refinish the chairs every once in a while, depending on their materials and the look you are going for, the one thing you need to do to maintain these chairs is to clean them occasionally.
The easiest and fastest way to clean Adirondack chairs is by using a pressure washer.
How Do Adirondack Chairs Compare with Other Outdoor Seating Options?
Adirondack chairs are not even close to the only option when it comes to outdoor seating, but they are arguably the best when it comes to health and comfort. It’s interesting to see how they stack up to other popular outdoor seating options.
- Traditional Seating – Traditional patio chairs and even wicker chairs with cushions are fine, but even with cushions, their design is not great for your back. The 90-degree angle of these chairs offer zero support for your back and can also have a negative impact on your knees.
- Benches – Benches are a popular outdoor seating option because they can seat multiple people and are weather resistant in most cases. Unfortunately, benches offer absolutely no back support and are just as bad on your knees as traditional seats.
- Hammocks and Swings –These seating options are great to relax in, but they don’t offer a lot of support. These options are also bulky, stationary, and much more expensive than the average Adirondack chair.
- Lounger – Loungers are great for your back because they allow you to recline comfortably. The only problem with this option is that it is so low to the ground that it takes a lot of effort to get up.
What are Some Stretches to Help My Back?
If your back hurts or you have chronic back pain, it is good to know a few quick stretches to help you out.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend at your hips and reach toward your toes. Allow your hands to hang there for a few moments; you should feel your lower back and hamstrings stretching and relaxing.
- From a seated position, place one hand on your thigh and raise the opposite arm over your head. Slowly bend the raised arms side to the opposite side until you feel a stretch in your back and side. Hold that position for a few moments before returning to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your lower back. Using your hands for support, slowly lean back until you feel a stretch in your abdomen. Hold this position for a few moments before returning to the starting position.
Are There Back Support Accessories?
There are a lot of back support accessories out there meant to support the lower back, though they may not be very compatible with an Adirondack chair. With so many options out there, you should be able to find at least one that would help support your back if you need it. Since these chairs are already in a reclined position that is naturally good for your back, a sturdy pillow may be all you need for support.
How Do I Avoid Back Pain?
The best thing you can do is to do exercises that strengthen your lower back, but there are also a few things you can do while using your chair.
- Listen to your body and be careful when you are getting in and out of your chair. Remember that slow and steady wins the race.
- Get up and walk around once an hour at least, prolonged sitting leads to weak back muscles.
- Do your stretches to keep your back muscles healthy and active.
- Sit in the chair properly, even the slightest angle to your lower back can cause a problem so make sure that your back is on the back of the chair while you are sitting in it.