Rocking chairs used to be much more popular items of furniture than they are these days, and no one really knows why they fell out of favor in the modern household. They are, however, making a big comeback as recent studies are suggesting that more people should be using them for their physical and mental health benefits.
More often seen in nurseries than anywhere else, it’s a well-known fact that a gentle rocking motion will help to send a baby to sleep. As it turns out, they can be useful to more groups of people than just new mums.
So why are rocking chairs good for you? We will look at seven great benefits to explain why everyone should have a rocking chair in their life.
Seven Great Rocking Chair Benefits
Let’s have a quick look at some of the reasons why are rocking chairs good for you. Don’t be surprised, though, if you find yourself wanting one after this because after researching for and writing this article, we certainly did!
Starting with the most apparent benefit, rocking is relaxing. Rocking can help improve your mood and reduce stress and pain by stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system. If you think of a child or adult in great distress, they have a natural response to rock themselves. The reason is that the rhythmic motion releases endorphins in your brain that can be relaxing, calming, and energizing simultaneously.
2. Great for Babies
One of the most common reasons people invest in rocking chairs is that they are great for soothing babies. Anything that can help to calm your baby and get them off to sleep is fantastic, right? Rocking imitates the feeling of being in the womb and has been shown to reduce episodes of crying in babies suffering from colic, while also helping them to sleep more frequently.
3. Helps You Lose Weight
We all know that we could benefit from moving around a little more but who said sitting down had to be bad for you? Rocking in a rocking chair can burn up to 150 calories an hour so swapping out your usual lounging chair for a rocker could even help you lose weight.
That is great news especially for those who are unable to get out of the house too much or move around easily. While no one is pretending that this is the best form of physical exercise, it’s certainly better than sitting on your bum and doing nothing!
4. Improves Muscle Tone
In a similar way to burning calories, rocking isn’t ever going to replace going to the gym, but it is excellent for those who are unable to have other forms of exercise, or for those who simply like staying more active, even while sitting and relaxing.
Rocking engages the thigh and abdominal muscles, offering a very mild form of exercise to the muscles and tendons of the legs, thighs, ankles, and stomach, improving knee strength and flexibility.
5. Better Balance
By stimulating the balance mechanism in the inner ear, rocking chairs can help improve your balance. As your body rocks back and forth, your inner ear is working hard to keep you balanced, thereby giving it a good old workout. Better balance is especially useful in elderly users who have a higher risk of injury from falls.
6. Good for Arthritis
By increasing blood flow around the body, rocking can help to alleviate arthritis pain. Better circulation will allow more oxygen to travel to your joints, which will in turn decrease flare-up symptoms of arthritis.
The slight exercise of rocking yourself back and forth will also increase flexibility in your lower body and help to strengthen your ankles and knees. Just ten minutes of rocking a day can help to improve your flexibility, strength, circulation, and even your blood pressure. The longer you rock, the more benefits you will see.
7. Improves Wellbeing of People Living with Dementia
Experts claim that rocking improves the emotional and psychological wellbeing of people with dementia. Symptoms of anxiety and depression are said to be reduced after using a rocking chair.
Following the reduction of anxiety and depression symptoms, rocking can also lead to a decreased need for medication. Medications often come with a long list of unwanted side-effects, so any reduction will lead to a better quality of life overall.
Rock Your Way to Health
Many people have heard the term “Are you off your rocker?”, or maybe even used it themselves to refer to someone acting strangely without really giving too much thought to where it came from. As a term that has been bandied around since the 1800s, a new understanding of the benefits of rocking chairs just goes to show how much truth may lie in the term, and that perhaps we all need a bit more rocking in our life!