The Newest Headlines Surrounding Massage Chairs and Human Touch

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Guess what? Gravity owns you. Sure, you can escape it for a few quick (and messy) seconds in a famed “vomit comet,” but eventually you’re going to come back down to earth.

Well, the very same force that’s perfect for keeping paddleboats and livestock from floating around, isn’t so great for our bodies. In fact, gravity + poor posture is really harsh on joints, muscles and vertebrae.

Over time, hunching forward (lordosis) or arching backward (kyphosis) can tire and even injure the back and neck. And even sitting perfectly upright at a 90-degree angle isn’t great for the body (contrary to your math teacher’s scolding), and neither is lying flat at 180 degrees. Turns out the ideal body posture angle – or “neutral posture” – is actually somewhere around 130 degrees.

How do we know this? Some very smart people told us. In the ‘70s during its SkyLab program, NASA coined the term “Neutral Body Position” on discovering that when the human body is completely relaxed and not influenced by gravity – either in space or to a large degree when floating in water (dead man’s float position) – joints naturally assume a “muscle neutral” position. (Interesting to note NASA’s studies occurred at the outset of the computer revolution, which would quickly introduce terms like repetitive stress injuries, cumulative trauma disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, and carpal tunnel syndrome to mainstream America.)

In this neutral posture – such as achieved in Human Touch Perfect Chairs – the vertebrae achieve optimal, equidistant spacing, easing the effects of gravity’s constant strain and pulling. Gravity might be boss, but it’s good to know you can take a vacation from it.