History: From Recliners to Lift Chairs

Published by Steve Hedberg on November 6, 2008 Under lift chairs

Recliners are a very popular type of furniture that has been used for over ninety years. The first recliner was invented towards the end of the 1920′s by a pair of cousins named Edward Knabusch and Edwin Shoemaker. By 1931, they had received a patent for their invention, which would eventually become the La-Z-Boy Recliner. The cousins chose this name for their chair after holding a contest for their employees and their chairs are still one of the most popular recliner around.

The recliner is a type of sitting chair that allows the back of the chair to be lowered. As the back lowers, a footrest extends, which makes these chairs great for sleeping or watching TV. The popularity of the recliner has exponentially grown since the 1930′s and today almost everyone has at least one recliner in their living room.

While these chairs are incredibly comfortable, they can present a difficulty to seniors and those with mobility related health problems. Often, especially after having been siting for awhile, many find that they can not easily get out of their recliner without help. This can be dangerous to these individuals if there is no one around to help, because they are at an increased risk of falling. To address this problem, many people use lift chairs.

Lift chairs were first developed in the beginning of the 1980′s and are very similar in design to the traditional La-Z-Boy Recliner. They differ however, in that a lift chair is designed to make it possible for its occupant to stand up without any help. They have undergone many changes since the early chairs, but today, an electrical lifting system is installed into the base of the chair. When engaged, this lifting system, raises the chair slowly into the air. The occupant is then able to exit the chair easily into a standing position.

In addition to the electrical lifting system, the backrest and footrest are also controlled electronically. This is in many ways an improvement over the traditional recliner, which requires that the occupant pull a level and lean back in order to recline. Since there is no back pressure required to recline a lift chair, they are much easier to use than a regular recliner. It is much easier to find a comfortable sitting position as well, because you can stop the backrest at any point and it will stay in that position until the occupant again activates the electric hand control. This is a big improvement over how a regular recliner operates, in which the slightest movement can cause the backrest to rise.

All over the world, people are using lift chairs not only because they can’t easily stand up, but also because they provide a much more comfortable sitting option than a regular recliner. These chairs are quickly overtaking the popularity of the traditional recliner.

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