Yes, this is a real article! The fact that you’re reading this may mean you have heard from others that sitting in a rocking chair helps you burn calories as you rock back and forth. If you think this is impossible, read on!
It’s a question we have all asked ourselves. Can I lose weight from doing the bare minimum? If this includes sitting down, then yes, you can!
Believe it or not, rocking away in a rocking chair helps you lose some of those unwanted pounds. We will go into more detail about how much weight you can lose further down.
Before we go into how rocking chairs help you burn calories, we want to find out a bit more about the history of these swaying chairs.
The fact that someone sat down one day and thought “this chair should move backward and forward” is a stroke of genius in our eyes. Let’s find out when they first appeared.
History of the rocking chair
Most of us credit Benjamin Franklin with inventing the first rocking chair. However, historians don’t agree with this as they can trace it back to the 1700s. Benjamin Franklin was a small child at this point so it is very unlikely that he invented such a contraption.
Rockers were very simple when they started out. They were improvised chairs that were only found in gardens. As the years went on, rocking chairs became evermore popular throughout most countries in the world.
Over the last 250 years, they have made their way from the garden indoors to people’s living rooms, baby rooms, and back through the front door to front porches.
If you have ever sat in a rocking chair, you will know how soothing their rocking motion is. This relaxing feeling is because your body’s center of gravity changes.
As you rock backward, your body sits at an angle in which it can not feel any gravitational stress. That’s why you always see Grandma fast asleep in her rocking chair.
Benefits of a rocking chair
We usually think of a rocking motion being the most soothing way to help an infant fall asleep but research shows that this gentle motion has many benefits to adults too. It helps you achieve better rest leading to a quicker time falling asleep.
Some people have found that rocking chairs have reduced their need for pain medication. If you have back pain or arthritis, a rocking chair is potentially better than a stationary chair as it allows for some joint movement.
Blood flow can also increase when using a rocking chair which can lead to more oxygen getting to your joints. This can result in the easing of symptoms attached to arthritis.
As well as physical help, rocking chairs can improve your mental health too. The repetitive rocking movement has been found to ease anxiety, stress, and even depression. This soothing motion helps trigger the brain to release endorphins helping us feel better.
But what about losing weight? Let’s take a closer look.
Losing weight in a rocking chair
Unlike sitting in a regular chair where you are still without any movement, a rocking chair allows you to continuously move in some way or another.
Rocking back and forth is an exercise. But don’t expect to get ripped from sitting on your rocking chair 8 hours a day. It’s not the same as going to the gym, lifting weights, or doing a cardio workout.
The movement involved with a rocking chair is a non-exercise activity and is categorized as thermogenesis. This is the process of heat production in our bodies.
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is any energy expended that isn’t from sleeping, eating or sports-like exercises.
Just by sitting in a rocking chair and swaying gently forwards and backward, you can theoretically burn an extra 150 calories an hour. This is a great way to burn some fat, especially for those who are housebound or unable to exercise on a regular basis.
Granted, it’s not the most physical exercise but it’s certainly better than nothing. Helping get the blood flowing will benefit the body in so many ways.
However, there is no doubt about it that you burn more calories standing than sitting but we understand that this isn’t possible for everyone.
While sitting or lying down can burn calories, this burns the fewest amount out of any form of calories burning activity. When you’re on your feet, you get to activate your muscle mass leading to more calories being burned off.
Take the average 20 year old American female who is 5 foot 4. A study from Healthline details the calories burned over an eight-hour workday. Weighing 140 pounds, a female burned approximately 514 calories while sitting.
On the other hand, she burned 784 calories while standing. This is a difference of 270 calories over the whole day which will add up over time.
Of course, this study was with regular chairs so the number of calories burned would be more with a rocking chair. But standing and moving around will always help you lose weight quicker than sitting all day long, no matter how much you rock back and forth.
Is a rocking chair good for you?
Studies have demonstrated that rocking chairs are fundamentally good for your physical and mental health. People who suffer from mental health issues and physical problems such as back pain or arthritis benefitted from the soothing motion of a rocking chair.
It’s even been found to help those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Any form of exercise can be beneficial so if a rocking chair is the only form someone can get, it’s better than nothing.
So, simply sitting down, rocking back and forth or side to side, nodding your head, and tapping your toes can help you lose weight. These non-exercise activities can help you burn an extra 150 calories an hour so all we have to say is “rock on!”