In this natural reclining posture—one your body instinctively understands as healing —your weight is distributed evenly, and your spine is relieved of body weight. The legs-above-heart position of zero-g reduces the strain on your heart, allowing it to more efficiently pump energizing oxygen through the body, providing relief to tired, sore muscles, as well as reducing the effects of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, diabetes, varicose veins, and edema. As your body experiences this relief, you can rest, relax and truly heal.
You may have heard that the zero-gravity position in a massage chair was inspired by NASA, or that it’s the position that astronauts sit in before take-off. This is partially accurate. NASA’s investigations into body posture began with Skylab in the 1980s. Long after the seminal Mercury and Gemini missions, and the Apollo lunar missions.
The Skylab video analyses formed the basis of what is today known as “neutral body posture”. So, if you are lying completely flat, that is not “zero-G”. Quite simply, “zero-gravity posture” refers to what our bodies do when relaxed in a weightless environment. It’s that simple.
You might have noticed that your body takes this position when you are submerged in water and totally relaxed. It’s also the position a fetus takes in the womb. It is the most natural and relaxing body position for humans.
NASA may indeed have introduced the public to the concept of a zero-gravity position. So thanks to NASA, you can now enjoy the benefit of recliners or full-body massage recliners. Bringing the zero-g posture (or neutral posture) into the design of the furniture in your own home.
What is Zero-G in a Massage Chair?
Many brands claim to offer zero-gravity massage chairs. Unfortunately, not all of the claims are made by serious companies that are serious about massage chairs. We think this description of the zero-gravity position may help you navigate through the multitude of massage chairs. Enabling you to find the best zero-gravity massage chair.
A properly described zero-gravity massage chair (or regular recliner) must have the following attributes:
- The backrest must be capable of a deep recline position. Placing your spine in a position that is almost parallel to the floor. For comparison, most ordinary recliners lean back about 60-degrees. A majority of people describe this as a deep recline. In the world of zero-gravity designs, it is not. To make a legitimate zero-gravity claim, recline angles must be able to go from the upright posture to about 90-degrees of recline. This deep recline is NECESSARY if the chair is to get your legs even with or above your heart. The ability to do this is the next requirement we’ll stress.
- A zero-gravity massage recliner must be able to get the user’s legs (and feet) even with or above the level of their heart. Only in this instance can a user enjoy the circulatory benefits of the zero-gravity posture. In some instances, the footrest or ottoman design of a Zero-G massage chair is the means by which to raise the legs to the level of (or above) the heart.
- The angle between the backrest and the seat should be about 115-degrees. In other words, the massage chair should maintain a slightly “open” posture between your legs and your torso. Almost all zero-gravity massage chair designs have a fixed angle between the seat and the backrest. A very few — the OHCO M-Series are examples of this — can vary the seat-to-back angle and offer users additional benefits and flexibility.
Today’s Zero-G Chair Technology
The first 0-gravity, full-body massage chair available in the US came out in 2004. The technology back then was primitive, difficult, and clunky. Today many massage chairs are zero-G and the technology has improved considerably since the early days.
Many models are presented as 3-D zero-gravity massage chairs, 4-D zero-gravity massage chairs, heated zero-gravity massage chairs, anti-gravity massage chairs, shiatsu zero-G massage chairs, wall-hugging zero-gravity massage chairs… The list of descriptors and claims can be bewildering.
The Furniture For Life Ethos
Our Comfort Consultants have DEDICATED themselves to the task of matching you to your BEST zero-gravity massage chair choice. Furniture For Life also confidently asserts that our zero-gravity massage chair selection meets all the above criteria of the definition of zero-gravity.
Furniture For Life has multiple massage chair manufacturers and models to choose from. We want to make sure you find the best zero-gravity massage chair for your needs. Most zero-G chairs offer full-body and shiatsu massage. While many others offer pervasive air massage features and are heated massage chairs — heat can enhance the overall sense of relaxation you feel. Also, all massage chair track types (S-track, L-track, and MaxTrack) can be found on zero-gravity chairs.
Before your mind is set adrift by the myriad of options available in the space of zero-gravity massage chairs, talk to an expert — one of ours— and let us help guide you toward clarity and toward the best massage chair for YOU.