Rocking chairs have long been a symbol of comfort, and for many bring to mind images of family members young and old. Along with its ability to make you feel nostalgic or homesick, the simple rocking chair seems to have measurable health benefits as well. Research has shown that the same rocking motion that soothes us as infants may also help improve the psychological well-being of patients with dementia and other illnesses.
A study first published in 1998 was conducted to determine how the use of rocking chairs affected nursing home residents with dementia. The results were surprisingly positive. Despite their mental impairment, the elderly subjects were able to comfortably navigate to the chairs by themselves and learned to rock without any assistance. Over a period of six weeks, the residents rocked for an average of 101 minutes per day.
Results of the study found that not only did the rocking improve symptoms associated with depression and anxiety, but was directly related to a decrease in requests for pain medication. The patients’ improvement seemed to have a positive effect on their families and attending nurses, as well.
The rocking motion of the chair is not only relaxing but can have physical benefits as well. Dementia patients in the previously mentioned study demonstrated significant improvements in balance and motor skills by the end of the six-week testing period. This is particularly important for elderly patients, who risk falling and suffering serious injuries.
Although not high-intensity, a rocking chair can prove to be an effective alternative exercise tool. Rocking provides a way for those who cannot comfortably tolerate weight-bearing exercise to tone their legs and engage in some kind of physical activity. It’s even been thought to cause relief for individuals with back pain or arthritis.
If you’re looking to benefit from the soothing motion of a rocking chair or luxury recliner, visit one of Godby Home Furnishings’ four locations today. Family owned and operated, we’re proud to provide quality, American-made furnishings at affordable prices. Contact us online for more information or to view our extensive inventory.